THINGS TO DO IN EDMONTON ALBERTA WITH 24 HOURS OR LESS

Driving down the highway, swaths of yellow came into view. Was it sunflowers? Mustard seed? No, these were the canola oil fields of Edmonton Alberta. It's a lucky day when you are in Edmonton and these massive yellow fields are in bloom, but we are just as happy to see snow across the plains provinces of Canada. You see, Edmonton, won't let a little weather stop it from enjoying what Mother Nature has to offer. After all, when you live in Canada, you can't let a little snow get in your way. The same goes when you visit. If you only have 24-hours in the city, you need to make the most of your time.As the second-largest city, and the capital of Alberta, Edmonton isn't one to hibernate no matter the weather. This festival city, with its warm summers and cold winters, has embraced the arts during the Fringe festival, literature during the Shakespeare festival, and all things winter during Ice on Whyte. It's an urban oasis filled with funky neighborhoods emerging from its fur trading past, rich foods that will rival most kitchens in New York City, and shopping that will make American's think everything is on discount thanks to a favorable exchange rate. The local spirit of Edmonton comes out in full force each summer, as windows are open wide in restaurants, shop doors are left open to welcome you in, and everyone stays out late to watch the sunset after 10pm. There is a joy that resonates across the metropolitan landscape when layers are shed and neighbors come out to say hello. When you visit, you should feel free to do the same. Want more National Park info? Summer temperatures average in the low 70s, but have been known to get into the 80s thanks to global warming. Nights are cooler, in the 50s, requiring travelers to pack a light jacket at the very least. Winters are just as welcoming, but quite a bit colder. While doors won't be propped open, bar stools and tables are ready for you to settle into, have a chat and meet your neighbor as you all stay warm together. Lows in the 20s, with nighttime temperatures dipping into the single digits have been known to happen. Layers and ski gear are encouraged, especially with Jasper National Park and Marmot Basin just a just four hours away.During a recent visit to Edmonton, I finally got the chance to dive into the city to wander and find out what makes this place tick. I’ve flown in and out on my way to Jasper National Park and Banff National Park plenty of times. One winter, I even stayed overnight, but didn’t have time to linger. This trip, I was going to get out of the hotel and find out why people would want to hang out in the city for a day or more before heading into the parks or home after riding the Rocky Mountaineer.Edmonton is the capital of Alberta, which makes it worth a visit just to see the seat of government, if that is your thing. However, there are so many things to do in Edmonton that you might not dive into politics at all when during your visit. West Edmonton Mall is the largest indoor mall in North America, but when we only have one day, we choose to skip the city-sized shopping experience to stay local. There is no shortage of things to do in Edmonton. In fact, if you get bored, you really never left your hotel room. This northern capital city in Alberta, Canada has plenty of provincial politics, local artists, big-city quality food and festivals that shouldn’t be overlooked. Whether you are visiting in spring, summer, fall or winter, you are sure to find some fun, and even a little warmth in one of our favorite Canadian cities.