See an Oilers Game, check out...
See an Oilers Game, check out Whyte Ave, see a festival in the summer (there is at least one a week for all summer), check out the River Valley, Parliment Buildings and grounds. God, where do I begin? Riding my bike in Edmonton is one of my fondest memories. Their trails are like being in the Country, not a major city. You can leave it all behind, and the connect so easily throughout the city.
I found the people in Edmonton way more friendly than on Calgary. People are so much more down to Earth!
Ok, you might want to see West Edmonton Mall. It is the biggest, blah blah yah yah. Whatever. Tourist trap, expensive, boring, blah blah. Go somewhere else, see something cultural. It is over 10 blocks long, they have the same store multiple times. That is way too much for me. Plus for a city that has THE LARGEST MALL IN THE WORLD, let me tell you, there are a lot of shopping centers throughout Edmonton. Weird I tell you.
With its stampede, farms, ranches, oil, country music and pick-up trucks, it might be fair to say that Alberta sort of is Canada's Texas. And if you think it's only a myth, just look at this picture I took of two little boys in Edmonton. Yee-haa!
Biking with in city limits
Of all the cities that I've visited and lived in, I give credit to Edmonton for having some of the best biking trails.
Considering that Edmonton is located in the flats of Alberta, the river bluffs give some fantastic contour to the bike trails.
It does not matter if you like cruising, speed on a road bike or technical mountain bike, the trails exist here and are very close at hand.
There are paved and gravel paths that follow both sides of the river for many kilometers in both directions. There are also branches of these paths that go into Terwilliger and Mill Creek Ravine, etc. In my riding, I would say that there are at least 40km of paved trails that do not have any motorized traffic.
For those of you who like mountain biking on single tracks, do not be discouraged by the above. There are copious amounts of single track trails that weave in and out of the river park, running both flat parallel to the river and testing your skills with climbs into the river bluff hills.
If you don't have anyone to point you in the right direction, the bike stores here are very helpful. Bring your own bike and headlights (needed in the winter). If you don't have your own gear, contact either of these two shops and inquire about rentals.
Red Bike on the south side of the 109 High Level bridge, as well as Hard Core Bikes (82nd Ave & 100 St) are two that I'd recommend. They both have weekly rides every Monday and more aggressive rides every Wednesday 6:30pm.
Out in the oil patch
Out in the oil patch is definitely off the beaten path! Much of the oil and gas exploration in Alberta is based in Edmonton.
This is a view of Refinery Row on the east side of Edmonton on 17th street, with a field of blooming canola in the foreground. The huge Petro-Canada refinery is on the right and the Strathcona refinery is on the left. Downtown is more or less in the centre. Both are undergoing massive upgrades to meet the refining capacity needed for the oil coming from Fort McMurray's oilsands projects. Alberta currently produces more than 2.7 million barrels of crude per day.
Another Place I found in town was Ezmerelda's or 'Ezzy's' as the locals call it. A young crowd without much quality dancing, except on select days. The floor is large and the people are friendly (It IS Canada you know). Make sure you get some of that local beer, eh?......the dancers in the area usually go to 'Ezzy's' on Sundays.