When it comes to under-the-radar destinations, Edmonton is full of surprises

Edmonton, the capital city of Alberta, Canada, is a vibrant and diverse destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for culture, nature, history, or entertainment, you’ll find it in Edmonton, but if you want to go beyond the typical tourist attractions and discover some of the hidden gems and quirky activities that make this city unique, here are 10 under-the-radar experiences you can have in Edmonton.

Explore the Old Strathcona District

Step back in time and soak up the historic charm of the Old Strathcona District. Located just south of the North Saskatchewan River, this vibrant neighbourhood is Edmonton’s oldest and most eclectic area. Stroll along Whyte Avenue, the main street of the Old Strathcona District, lined with unique boutiques, trendy restaurants, and lively bars. With its unique blend of history, culture, and entertainment, the Old Strathcona District is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for an offbeat experience in Edmonton.

Visit the Royal Alberta Museum

Immerse yourself in Alberta’s rich natural and cultural heritage by visiting the Royal Alberta Museum. Located in downtown Edmonton, this world-class museum offers a fascinating journey through the province’s history, culture, and natural beauty. The Royal Alberta Museum showcases a vast collection of over 2 million artifacts, ranging from dinosaur fossils and indigenous artwork to interactive exhibits on Alberta’s ecosystems.

Go on an Urban Adventure Quest

If you’re looking for a fun and interactive way to explore Edmonton, you can go on an Urban Adventure Quest. This is a scavenger hunt that turns the city into a giant game board. You can use your smartphone or tablet to access clues, solve puzzles, and complete challenges as you discover hidden gems and learn about Edmonton’s history and culture. Urban Adventure Quest is a great activity for families, friends, couples, or solo travelers who want to have some fun and learn something new. You can play any day of the year from sunrise to sunset. 

Visit the Muttart Conservatory

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enter a world of tranquility and beauty at the Muttart Conservatory. This is a botanical garden that features four glass pyramids, each housing a different climate zone and plant collection. You can explore the tropical, arid, temperate, and feature pyramids and admire the stunning variety of plants, flowers, and trees from around the world. You can also learn about the different ecosystems, their challenges, and their conservation efforts. The feature pyramid changes its display several times a year to showcase seasonal or thematic exhibits.

Experience Dark Matters at TELUS World of Science

If you’re looking for a unique night out in Edmonton, you can experience Dark Matters at TELUS World of Science. This is an after-hours event that takes place every two months and explores the science behind various topics in a fun and engaging way. You can enjoy live science demonstrations, hands-on experiments, games, music, drinks, food, and more. You can also access the galleries, exhibits, and shows at TELUS World of Science without the crowds of kids. Each Dark Matters event has a different theme, such as zombies, love, space, horror, etc., so you can expect something new and exciting every time. 

Visit the Neon Sign Museum

If you’re a fan of retro signs and neon lights, you’ll love visiting the Neon Sign Museum in Edmonton. This is an outdoor museum that displays a collection of historic neon signs from various businesses and organizations in Edmonton. The signs are mounted on two brick walls on the corner of 104 Street and 104 Avenue in downtown Edmonton. You can admire the signs’ design, craftsmanship, and history as you walk along the sidewalk or across the street. The museum is open 24/7 and is free to visit. The best time to visit is at night when the signs are illuminated and create a dazzling display.

Go on a River Valley Adventure

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can go on a River Valley Adventure in Edmonton. This is an outdoor activity company that offers various ways to explore the North Saskatchewan River Valley, the largest urban parkland in North America. You can choose from Segway tours, fat bike rentals, snowshoe rentals, kick sled rentals, canoe rentals, kayak rentals, stand-up paddleboard rentals, and more. You can enjoy the scenic views of the river valley while having fun and getting some exercise. River Valley Adventure also provides training and safety equipment for all their activities. You can book online or visit their location at Louise McKinney Park in downtown Edmonton.

Visit the Art Gallery of Alberta

If you’re an art lover, you’ll want to visit the Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton. This is a public art gallery that showcases local, national, and international art in various media and genres. The gallery features over 6,000 works of art in its permanent collection as well as rotating exhibitions that highlight contemporary and historical art from Canada and around the world.

Experience the West Edmonton Mall

No visit to Edmonton would be complete without experiencing the West Edmonton Mall, the largest shopping mall in North America and one of the largest in the world. This mall is more than just a place to shop; it’s a place to have fun and make memories. The West Edmonton Mall features over 800 stores and services, as well as numerous attractions and entertainment options for all ages. You can splash around at the World Waterpark, the largest indoor waterpark in North America, featuring slides, wave pools, hot tubs, and more. You can also enjoy thrilling rides at Galaxyland, the largest indoor amusement park in North America, featuring roller coasters, bumper cars, arcade games, and more.

See wildlife at Elk Island National Park

Elk Island National Park is a natural oasis that is home to more than 250 species of birds and mammals, including bison, elk, moose, deer, coyotes, beavers, and lynx. You can hike, bike, canoe, or kayak in the park, or join a guided tour or program to learn more about the wildlife and conservation efforts. The park is also a dark sky preserve, meaning you can enjoy stargazing without light pollution.

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