Forget the Rivalry, Calgary: Spend Your Long Weekend in Edmonton

While we all wish that every weekend had three days, the reality for most of us is that we get one or two. 

Depending on your employer, however, the weekend upon us may answer your prayers and give you that extra day (or two) you’ve been desperately wanting since Labour Day.

And since you probably spent Hallowe’en weekend here in YYC (and are still recovering), why not avoid the crowds heading west to ski and board and shoot straight north to Edmonton, instead? We promise the nickname Deadmonton is so over… 

Wannabe (and real, we suppose) cowboys and cowgirls rejoice. This weekend, the “City of Champions” is hosting the Canadian Finals Rodeo, which promises to tie you over until Stampede with Mr. and Miss Rodeo competitions and a whole slew of Western-themed revelry and dirt to make you feel like you’ve left the snow behind.  

Cowboy up and get your tickets now.

When dinner rolls around, though, we suggest skipping the arena pulled pork and trying out RGE RD (pronounced Range Road, for the city folks out there), which has just been named number four of the Top 10 New Restaurants in Canada by EnRoute Magazine. You’re going to want to reserve immediately, however, as that kind of acclaim has meant New York City-level wait times for this 44-seat gem.

And if you’re really more of a city kid at heart and thrive on urban comforts, fear not: you can do A LOT of shopping in Edmonton.

Those seeking more of a boutique experience shouldn’t miss Colourblind, an adorable little shop run by artists and filled with preppy goods by Ben Sherman, Ark&Co., and the like.

But then there’s that little mall, you know, that one in the west end…

If you haven’t been to the West Edmonton Mall since your parents took you there in the ’90s, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with what you’ll find for adults. The ladies can feed the Kate Spade addiction they developed on their last trip to Toronto by hitting up Alberta’s only location. And for the gentlemen, Jack & Jones has just opened up, and don’t forget your favourite Quebecois department store, Simons, is also ready and waiting. The rollercoaster and skating rink are still just as fun as when you were a kid, but now that you’re all grown up, you can chart new territory at their casino.

When you’re finished there, hit up the nightlife on Whyte Ave. You’ll be surprised by the number of Edmontonians holding onto a serious affinity for dancing, which means plenty of opportunities to shake a tail feather along the famous strip. Pack accordingly.  

Before embarking on the drive home, remember that no trip to Edmonton (or anywhere, for that matter) would be complete without brunch. There are some incredible culinary delights to be uncovered at this time of day, so check out the acclaimed Urban Diner or, for more eclectic tastes, The Sugar Bowl in the Garneau neighborhood, which also happens to start their happy hour at 2:00pm (and 160 craft beers makes it real happy).

Like we said, Christmas is seven weeks away. Now is the time your Edmonton escape.


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