Edmonton is Alberta's capital and largest tourist destination. Home to North America's largest mall as well as popular events like the Edmonton Fringe Festival, Edmonton is also North America's largest city with over one million inhabitants. Cold dark winters are balanced by warm summer with long days, making the summer months an especially pleasant time to visit this Canadian city.

WHAT TO DO

Visitors to Edmonton should not miss hanging out in downtown, where they can hang out in the parks, go shopping, hit the bars, dine at a variety of restaurants or go to one of the summer or winter festivals that take place here.

Another district not be missed in Edmonton is the Strathcona Historical District. Here you will find trendy shops and a vibrant nightlife along with beautiful historic homes and tree lined streets.

The distinctive Muttart Conservatory is easily recognizable with its four glass pyramids rising out of the river valley. These pyramids house three distinct climate zones and the fourth pyramid is home to a seasonal display.

If you are in Edmonton in the summer, a great place to spend some time is the River Valley Park. Here you can find walking, jogging and cycling paths along the Saskatchewan River. Hawrelak Park, located near the University of Alberta encircles a large pond full of ducks and geese and is the location of many different festivals throughout the year. In the winter, you can ice skate on the pond as well.

GETTING THERE

Edmonton International Airport (YEG) is located just south of Edmonton and has daily scheduled departures to 10 major United States airports as well as regular service from Montreal, Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver. Because the city is located so far north, getting a cheap flight into Edmonton is the best way to travel here.

There is no public transportation to the airport, but it is easy to arrange for an airport shuttle or take a cab into the city. If you are driving to the airport, arranging your airport parking in advance can save you both time and money.

WHERE TO STAY

There are a wide range of hotels in Edmonton that should cater to almost any budget. If you are willing to spend a few extra bucks, it is probably worth the cash to stay close to downtown so you can easily get around and access all of the city's best attractions. For those on a serious budget, there are also a few hostels in Edmonton to choose from.