Discovering Edmonton’s Hidden Gems: Off-The-Beaten-Path Tourist Destination (2023)
Edmonton, the capital city of Alberta, Canada, is a vibrant and exciting destination that offers a range of popular tourist attractions, from world-famous malls and cultural landmarks to stunning natural wonders. However, Edmonton is also home to a wealth of hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered by travelers seeking unique experiences off the beaten path.
Whether you’re looking to delve into the city’s history, explore its diverse cultural scene, or venture into its natural surroundings, these off-the-beaten-path destinations are sure to captivate and surprise you.
Discovering Edmonton’s Hidden Gems: Off-The-Beaten-Path Tourist Destination
In this article, we will explore some of Edmonton’s hidden gems that offer something different to the typical tourist destinations.
1. Ukrainian Village
Located just a short drive east of Edmonton, the Ukrainian Village is a living history museum that offers a fascinating insight into the lives and traditions of Ukrainian settlers in Alberta. Spread over 320 acres, the village features over 30 restored buildings, including homes, churches, and schools, that have been meticulously preserved to showcase the daily lives of Ukrainian pioneers in the early 1900s.
Visitors can explore the village’s streets, interact with costumed interpreters, and learn about Ukrainian customs and traditions through a variety of exhibits and demonstrations. The village also hosts a range of events throughout the year, including the annual Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village Festival, which features live music, dance performances, and traditional food and crafts.
2. Edmonton Corn Maze
For a unique and entertaining outdoor adventure, head to the Edmonton Corn Maze, located just outside the city limits. This massive, 15-acre corn maze is carved into a design that changes each year, providing a fun challenge for visitors of all ages.
In addition to the maze, the Edmonton Corn Maze also offers a range of other activities, including a petting zoo, hayrides, mini-golf, and a giant jumping pillow. The maze is open from mid-July to mid-October, making it a perfect summer and fall destination.
3. Royal Alberta Museum
While the Royal Alberta Museum is not exactly a hidden gem, it is often overshadowed by the larger and more famous museums in other Canadian cities. However, this world-class museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in Alberta’s natural and cultural history.
The museum’s collections include over 5 million objects, including dinosaur fossils, rare minerals, and artifacts from Alberta’s First Nations, Métis, and Inuit cultures. The museum also offers a range of engaging exhibits and programs, including interactive displays, hands-on activities, and special events.
4. Little Brick Cafe & General Store
Tucked away in the heart of the Riverdale neighborhood, the Little Brick Cafe & General Store is a charming and cozy spot that is beloved by locals but often overlooked by tourists. Housed in a historic brick building that dates back to the early 1900s, this cafe serves up delicious homemade fare, including soups, sandwiches, and baked goods, as well as a range of locally sourced coffee and tea.
Visitors can also browse the store’s selection of unique and quirky gifts, home decor, and vintage finds. The cafe is open year-round and features a beautiful outdoor patio during the summer months.
5. Hawrelak Park
Located in the heart of the city, Hawrelak Park is a beautiful and tranquil oasis that is often overlooked by tourists in favor of more famous parks and gardens. The park features a range of natural and recreational attractions, including a lake, walking trails, picnic areas, and a large open-air amphitheater that hosts concerts and events throughout the summer.
During the winter months, the park transforms into a winter wonderland, with skating rinks, sleigh rides, and a festive lights display that illuminates the park’s trees and pathways.
6. The Neon Sign Museum
For a unique and retro experience, head to The Neon Sign Museum. Located in downtown Edmonton, this outdoor museum showcases a collection of vintage neon signs from local businesses that have since closed down. The signs have been restored and are now displayed on the sides of buildings, creating a colorful and nostalgic atmosphere. It’s a great spot for photography enthusiasts and anyone who appreciates a bit of history and art.
7. Edmonton Corn Maze
Get lost in the Edmonton Corn Maze, a family-friendly attraction that offers a fun and challenging outdoor adventure. The maze covers over 5 acres of land and features twists, turns, and dead-ends that will test your navigational skills. There are also other activities available, such as a petting zoo and mini-golf, making it a great destination for a day out with the family.
8. Mill Creek Ravine Park
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by visiting Mill Creek Ravine Park. This natural oasis is located in the heart of Edmonton and features walking trails, picnic areas, and a creek running through the middle. The park is a popular spot for birdwatching and is home to a variety of species, including woodpeckers and chickadees. It’s a great place to unwind and enjoy nature in the middle of the city.
9. Alberta Railway Museum
History buffs will appreciate a visit to the Alberta Railway Museum, which is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the history of railways in Alberta. The museum features a collection of vintage locomotives, railcars, and other artifacts, many of which are still in working order. Visitors can take a guided tour and learn about the important role that railways played in the development of the province.
10. Elk Island Dark Sky Preserve
Experience the wonder of the night sky at Elk Island Dark Sky Preserve, located just outside of Edmonton. This protected area is one of the best places in Canada for stargazing, thanks to its low light pollution and clear skies. Visitors can attend a guided stargazing event or explore the park on their own, using telescopes and binoculars to spot constellations, planets, and other celestial objects.
Edmonton may be known for its popular tourist attractions like the West Edmonton Mall and the River Valley, but there are also plenty of off-the-beaten-path destinations waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re a history buff, nature enthusiast, or just looking for a unique and memorable experience, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant and dynamic city. From exploring hidden alleys and street art to getting lost in a corn maze, these hidden gems are sure to leave a lasting impression and make your trip to Edmonton all the more unforgettable.