Top 15 Day Trips From Edmonton, Canada

day trips from edmonton
Celeste
Celeste 
Updated
| 4 min read

After spending time at Edmonton’s Airbnb vacation rentals and savoring scrumptious meals at its brunch buffet spots, take a day off of the town and head over to the interesting attractions and experience the wilderness nearby. Escape the crowded waterpark of West Edmonton Mall for the tranquility of the University of Alberta’s mystical Aga Khan Garden filled with peaceful pools, fountains, and terraced garden spaces. The fierce cougars, black bears, and curious raccoons of Discovery Wildlife Park offer a fun-filled, educational day. There’s more to see outside Edmonton if you just start getting to know the options. To further enhance your visit to nearby wildlife sanctuaries, golden beaches, and towering fear-inspiring dinosaurs, check out our list of the top day trips from Edmonton, Canada,

1. Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Please be advised that most trails in Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area are inaccessible due to heavy...

Posted by Alberta Parks on Friday, July 17, 2020

Have an eventful outdoor experience at the staging areas of Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area. It is a 97-square-kilometer (37.5-square-mile) park that traverses through forests, pastures, wetlands, and several small lakes and ponds. This multiple-use area, 47 kilometers (29.2 miles) from Edmonton, is available for year-round recreational day use.

No matter the season, Cooking Lake-Blackfoot provides all-year fun and thrills. During spring, summer, and fall, this park is a lovely place for recreation like hiking, biking, nature walks, and trail running. Kayaking and canoeing on Islet Lake is also a great adventure. During the winter season, the park hosts the annual Canadian Birkebeiner Ski Festival. Go skiing, skating, snowmobiling, and dog sledding on its several accessible areas.

Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area

Address: 52365 Range Rd 210, Sherwood Park, AB T8G 1A6, Canada

Website: Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area

Opening hours: 7am - 11pm (daily)

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2. Lacombe, Alberta

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

The city of Lacombe in central Alberta is the largest among the five communities of Lacombe County. It is located approximately 125 kilometers (78 miles) south of Edmonton. The area consists of scenic lakes, charming communities, nature preserves, and exciting businesses that delight every tourist’s attention. If you are considering weekend road trips from Edmonton, Lacombe would be a great detour.

On your visit, make sure to explore the historic downtown Lacombe to experience the charming small city centers in the province. The community has done a great job preserving the area’s architecture, making it evident in the coffee shops, retail stores, restaurants, museums, and parks lined up in its few small blocks. Do not miss to see the world’s largest fishing lure, recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records, located in Len Thompson Trout Pond.

Lacombe, Alberta

Website: Lacombe, Alberta

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3. Jasper National Park

Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jeanne18 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Step into the fresh air wilderness that is offered by Jasper National Park. It is a national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Alberta, Canada, about a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Edmonton. Adventurers can take advantage of the breathtaking sites, majestic peaks, endless outdoor activities, pristine wilderness, and abundant wildlife.

You can embark on incredible backcountry locations to do alpine day hikes, mountain biking, and paddling. After these adrenaline-pumping activities, get into a more relaxed pace by having scenic drives, picnicking on the mountain peaks, and unique wildlife viewing. Winter highlights are equally engaging as guests can go snowshoeing, skiing, fat biking, and more. Or better yet, set your trip in October for you to experience the dark sky month and the annual Jasper Dark Sky Festival.

Jasper National Park

Address: Jasper, AB T0E 1E0, Canada

Website: Jasper National Park

Opening hours: 24 hours

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4. Nordegg, Alberta

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

A landscape like Nordegg, Alberta, is meant to be explored. This hamlet in west-central Alberta is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream town where the rivers, trails, and mountains are waiting to be explored. It is approximately 300 kilometers (186.4 miles) away from Edmonton and situated just off of the David Thompson Highway.

Get out and play in the great campgrounds of Goldeye Lake, Crescent Falls, and Fish Lake Provincial Recreation Area. Learn more about the town by visiting Nordegg Heritage Museum and Brazeau Collieries Mine Site. For those who love to befriend horses, check out Ram Rides, a horse ranch that offers a wide range of outdoor activities. You can also hit the ball at Nordegg Historical Golf Course for a more relaxed recreation.

Nordegg, Alberta

Website: Nordegg, Alberta

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5. Leduc, Alberta

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by City of Leduc on Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Situated near Edmonton International Airport and about 15 minutes south of Edmonton, Leduc is an active city in the Edmonton metropolitan region. It is built on a strong history of agriculture and petroleum but now entices vacationers with its rich art, culture, and tourism scene. A popular landmark of the city is Leduc Recreation Centre (LRC), a sizeable premium multi-use recreation & fitness facility open for all ages.

For exciting outdoor adventures, the paved Multiway Trails and William F. Lede Park are great opportunities for exploration. The art lovers and performers can spend time at Leduc’s performing arts facility, which hosts local community groups and international artists. Additionally, make sure to visit these sites for an immersive experience of the town: Maclab Centre for the Performing Arts, the Dr. Woods House Museum, and Stone Barn Garden.

Leduc, Alberta

Website: Leduc, Alberta

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6. Discovery Wildlife Park

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Take a walk on the wild side by signing up for a tour to get up close and personal with the majestic big cats of Discovery Wildlife Park. Sit back and learn about the various bears, raccoons, wolves, cougars, and lions while they interact with their trainers. Sign up for special wildlife encounters that bring you face to face with bears, exotic tigers, and elusive wolves. Assist the conservation efforts of the park staff to rescue and train animals orphaned and donated by overfilled zoos by donating funds and purchasing souvenirs from the gift shop. It is one of the awesome places to visit outside Edmonton when vacationing with the kids.

Discovery Wildlife Park

Address: 5400 42 Avenue, Innisfail, AB T4G 1P9

Website: Discovery Wildlife Park

Opening hours: May 1 - September 7: 10am - 7pm (daily), September 8 - October 12: 10am - 5pm

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7. Elk Island National Park

Northern lights at Elk Island National Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Saoster used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Enjoy camping under the star-filled Alberta sky to experience the stunning Northern Lights wash swatches of emerald green across the midnight sky. Sit by the sizzling campfire to keep warm as the first settlers to Canada’s prairies would have done centuries earlier. Stroll or cycle carefully across the numerous, easy to travel trails so as not to spook the massive bison herds. Spread out your blanket for a peaceful picnic in the tall Serengeti-like grassy meadows to dine amongst the native birds and peace-loving woolly bison.

Elk Island National Park

Address: 54401 Range Road 203, Fort Saskatchewan, AB T8L 0V3

Website: Elk Island National Park

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

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8. Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village

Ukrainian village
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Kevlar67

Leave the modern world of Edmonton behind to be transported back to the early days when Ukranian immigrants arrived in Canada and settled much of Eastern Alberta. Hop aboard a horse-drawn wagon to drive past historic buildings transported from all over Eastern Alberta to maintain the historical authenticity of such early settlements. Wander through the sprawling grounds admiring the 40 historic buildings before heading over to listen to an informative presentation on Ukranian culture by staff dressed in period costumes. Be careful when walking or riding along the wooden and earthen pathways since these can become extremely hazardous in wet conditions.

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village

Address: 195041 Highway 16 East, Lamont County, AB

Website: Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village

Opening hours: May - Sept: 10am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 0 - 31 USD

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9. Cross Iron Mills

Cross Iron Mills The unnamed sports store. (13701335994)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Thank you for vis... used under CC BY 2.0

Drive out of sprawling Edmonton until you are a 20-minute drive out of Calgary, to spend a day exploring the unique shopping center of Cross Iron Mills. Enter through Bass Pro Shops and encounter fascinating rocky mountain landscapes filled with fearsome polar bears, howling wolves, and wide-eyed does en-route to entering Alberta’s largest single-level mall. Enjoy dining in the 1200-seat themed food court after windowshopping at popular retail outposts including Tommy Hilfiger, Laura, Calvin Klein, and Hugo Boss. After visiting Coach for the latest in luxury handbags and accessories, finish off at Bed, Bath & Beyond with a relaxing massage in one of their therapeutic loungers.

Cross Iron Mills

Address: 261055 Crossiron Boulevard, Rocky View No. 44, AB T4A 0G3

Website: Cross Iron Mills

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 9pm, Sun: 11am - 6pm

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10. University of Alberta Botanic Garden

Devonian Japanese Garden
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Neil used under CC BY 2.0

Enjoy strolling through the secluded forested avenues until you reach geometric shaped pools in the stunning Aga Khan Garden. Be at one with nature as you listen to birds singing and streams trickling en route to the terraced amphitheater. During the autumn months, experience the vivid fall foliage, waterfalls, decorative lanterns, and stone garden ornaments in the serene Kurimoto Japanese Garden. After enjoying the peace and serenity of the gardens, stroll over the Japanese wooden bridge to the Ozawa Pavilion Teahouse to relax with a cup of rejuvenating green tea.

University of Alberta Botanic Garden

Address: 51227 AB-60, Spruce Grove, AB T7Y 1C5

Website: University of Alberta Botanic Garden

Opening hours: May 1 - 31: 10am - 5pm (daily); June 1 - Sept 2: Mon - Wed & Fri - Sun: 10am - 6pm; Thu: 10am - dusk

Price: 0 - 31 USD

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11. Pembina River Provincial Park

PEMBINA RIVER PROVINCIAL PARK ALBERTA
Source: Photo by Flickr user Jason Woodhead used under CC BY 2.0

Enjoy hiking along the rugged forest trails hoping to encounter some of Alberta’s native white-tailed deer, moose, beavers, badgers, and mink. Float leisurely down the winding Pembina River while admiring the breathtaking natural beauty passing by one either side. Splash playfully, fish, and paddle along the mighty Pembina River hoping to view black bears from the shoreline. Remember to always exercise caution on the river since cell service may not be reliable in case of emergencies.

Pembina River Provincial Park

Address: Entwistle, AB T0E 0S0

Website: Pembina River Provincial Park

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

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12. Jurassic Forest

Jurassic Forest
Source: Photo by Flickr user Mack Male used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Be transported back to prehistoric times when dinosaurs roamed freely across Alberta’s badlands remaining unchallenged only by superpredator, T-Rex. Enjoy participating in onsite digs to unearth ancient fossils of extinct flora and skeletons of such notable creatures as a stegosaurus. Meet up with knowledgeable staff members to experience educational presentations on Alberta’s dinosaur history and their environments. Indulge in a game of mini-golf while carefully keeping your eyes open for towering brachiosaurus, triceratops, and ferocious T-Rex passing by.

Jurassic Forest

Address: 23210 Township Road 564 #2, Gibbons, AB T0A 1N0

Website: Jurassic Forest

Opening hours: Tue - Thu: 10am - 2pm (closed from Fri - Mon)

Price: 9 - 105 USD

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13. UFO Landing Pad

Aire d'atterrissage des Ovnis à Saint-Paul
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Heterodyne used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Lovers of all things science fiction will be able to experience Alberta’s own little green men staring into space from the center’s windows. Spend time investigating the historical photographs of UFOs and crop circles at the UFO Tourist Information Centre. Look up in hopes that a shiny silver spaceship will descend upon the flag emblazoned landing pad. Don’t forget to purchase souvenirs featuring extraterrestrial life forms or steely UFOs before taking a quick selfie of the eerie 1967 landmark.

UFO Landing Pad

Address: 4844-5012 53 Street, St. Paul, AB T0A 3A1

Website: UFO Landing Pad

Opening hours: Fri & Thu: 10am - 6pm (May - October)

Price: Free

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14. Alberta Beach

Beach
Source: Photo by Flickr user Erik Cleves Krist... used under CC BY 2.0

Leave the summer heat of the prairie metropolis of Edmonton for a relaxing beach getaway to the tiny village of Alberta Beach. Book ahead to enjoy summer months since the community of nearly 1,100 is overtaken by an influx of nearly 3,000 beachgoers during peak season. Enjoy a funfilled day filled with swimming, beach volleyball, and lounging under a beach umbrella. Stroll along the golden sand beachfront while watching pets and children frolicking in the cool, refreshing waters of Lac Ste. Anne.

Alberta Beach

Address: Lac Ste. Anne County, AB

Website: Alberta Beach

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

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15. Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary

Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary
Source: Photo by Flickr user Mack Male used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Drive out of the bustling oil town of Edmonton to get away to this tranquil nature sanctuary filled with furry beavers, badgers, hare, muskrats, etc. While walking along the wooden boardwalk through the tall grass of the marshlands, beware not to disrupt nesting sites and water aviators. Make certain to avoid disturbing the wildlife while hiking through the dense pine forest by keeping your pet on a leash. Enjoy a peaceful picnic in the wildflower-filled meadow while admiring white-tailed deer in the distance bounding through the lush grass.

Clifford E. Lee nature sanctuary

Address: Spruce Grove, AB

Website: Clifford E. Lee nature sanctuary

Opening hours: Sunrise - sunset (daily)

Price: Free

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Captivating memories

View from above on Moraine Lake, Alberta, Canada, Banff National Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Viktor Birkus used under CC BY-SA 4.0

When your adventurous pals want something exciting, head out of town to indulge in one of the best road trips from Edmonton sure to fascinate every interest. Enjoy encountering powerful, woolly bison, fierce wildcats, and even mighty beasts from the Jurrasic period. After spending the summer months in search of Alberta’s little green men and golden sand beaches, fly home from Edmonton with many captivating memories locked away for next year.

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Frequently asked questions about the top day trips from Edmonton, Canada

1. Which parks are best for day trips from Edmonton?

For a relaxing day outdoors, these parks near Edmonton provide restful yet exciting experiences: i) Pembina River Provincial Park, ii) Elk Island National Park, iii) Discovery Wildlife Park, and iv) Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area.

2. Which are the best places to visit for day trips from Edmonton?

If a weekend getaway from Edmonton is all that your time can afford, these destinations will definitely make up for a great day trip: i) Leduc, Alberta, ii) Jurassic Forest, iii) Alberta Beach, and iv) Lacombe, Alberta.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Celeste is a writer based in British Columbia with a profound passion for travel and the exploration of new destinations. Her adventurous spirit leads her to engage in exciting activities during...Read more

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