What to do in Edmonton
The center of Edmonton is divided by the North Saskatchewan River into a northern and a southern part. The south is mostly characterized by quiet residential areas, the University of Alberta Main Campus (our conference location), and busy Whyte Avenue with its large variety of stores, bars, and restaurants. The north shore is occupied by the Downtown core, which offers its own attractions with the City Centre Mall and Jasper Avenue. Here, you will also find the Royal Alberta Museum, the Art Gallery of Alberta, and the Winspear Centre – home of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.
For more advanced shopping needs, West Edmonton Mall – the largest shopping mall in North America – can be reached by bus from the city center. The most insatiable of thrill-seekers will even have a chance to ride the world’s largest indoor looping rollercoaster.
Edmonton prides itself for having the largest expanse of urban parkland of any city in North America. The River Valley, immediately accessible from the university’s main campus, invites for walks along its long stretches of trails all the way from the immersive Mill Creek Ravine through sprawling Hawrelak Park to the “End of The World”. (If you know where to look, you might even be able to find a small beach in the east… even if it is only an accidental one.)
Outside of Edmonton
If you want to venture further outside the city, there are a number of notable goals in the closer vicinity:
Elk Island, about 40 minutes to the east of Edmonton, is the national park closest to the city. There are good chances for wildlife sightings, most notably bison. Be sure to check with the visitor centre at the park entrance for travel and safety information.
The University Botanic Garden in Devon is about 40 minutes by car to the southwest of Edmonton and features almost 100 hectares of different themed gardens and collections.
If you plan to spend more time in Alberta, then a definite must-see are the Canadian Rocky Mountains in the west of the province. The most prominent areas to visit are the national parks around Jasper in the north and Banff in the south; both are about 4 hours drive away from the city. They are connected by the Icefields Parkway with an expanse of countless beautiful lakes, mountain views, and waterfalls. Be sure to book your accommodations early!
No matter what you choose to do – we hope you enjoy your stay in and around Edmonton!