Situated in northeastern Alberta, surrounded by stunning boreal forest and a vast network of rivers and lakes, the town of Fort McMurray is the ultimate vacation getaway for outdoor-oriented travellers. The town rose to prominence in the early 1900s, due to the surrounding area’s vast oil sand deposits.
While petroleum is still the town’s biggest industry, it is also home to some great attractions for families and adult travellers alike. Check out these seven great activities to spice up your next trip to Fort McMurray, Alberta.
1. Soar high above Fort McMurray on a flightseeing tour
Perhaps the best way to see the beauty of Fort McMurray is from above. During your next trip, join the experienced pilots of McMurray Aviation, for a flightseeing tour of the city and the surrounding woodlands. McMurray Aviation offers a variety of flightseeing adventures, which range from 30 minutes to an hour and a half.
You can choose from a wide variety of trips, including aerial city tours or water landings on the Clearwater River. If you’re looking to experience the beauty of Northern Alberta, a flightseeing tour with McMurray Aviation is something you won’t want to miss!
Address: Building 531 Snow Eagle Drive, Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada
Website: McMurray Aviation
2. Experience the magic of the Northern Lights
At 56 degrees north, Fort McMurray is perfectly situated for wintertime viewing of the magnificent Northern Lights, or the Aurora Borealis. With long, dark winters and frequent Aurora Borealis activity, visitors to Fort McMurray are likely to see these natural beauties on a cloudless night.
For best viewing possibilities, head out of town or to a local park so you can escape the lights of the big city and be sure to check weather and northern lights forecasts before you head out. Don’t forget to bring warm clothes, blankets, and hot drinks so you can stay warm while you wait for the best light show on earth!
The Northern Lights in Fort McMurray
Website: The Northern Lights in Fort McMurray
3. Learn about the local industry at the Oil Sands Discovery Center
Fort McMurray sits in the heart of the Athabasca Oil Sands, the world’s largest oil deposit and the main source of revenue for northern Alberta. The best place to learn about the industry and the area’s unique history is at the Oil Sands Discovery Center, where visitors can enjoy a variety of interactive exhibits and displays. Dedicated to increasing public knowledge about the oil sands and their deep connection with the town of Fort McMurray, the Discovery Center is a fantastic rainy day activity for families and solo traveller alike.
Oil Sands Discovery Center
Address: 515 MacKenzie Blvd, Fort McMurray, AB T9H 4X3, Canada
Website: Oil Sands Discovery Center
4. Walk the Aboriginal Interpretive Trail and enjoy some family fun at MacDonald Island Park
MacDonald Island Park is the largest community-oriented recreation centre in Canada and is home to an array of facilities and activities to please any visitor. One of the island’s main attractions is the Suncor Community Leisure Centre, which is home to a swimming pool, rock climbing wall, fitness centre, golf course, dance studio, and art gallery.
The land around the centre boasts a vast network of trails and an assortment of sports playing fields. A must-see for visitors to the island is the Aboriginal Interpretive Trail, which showcases Canadian First Nations in a beautifully curated and interactive manner. The MacDonald Island Park and the Aboriginal Interpretive Trail are must-visits for Fort McMurray travellers.
MacDonald Island Park
Address: 1 C. A. Knight Way, Fort McMurray, AB T9H 5C5, Canada
Website: MacDonald Island Park
5. Watch the coolest game on ice at the Oil Sands Curling Club
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Curling is one of the most underappreciated, yet exciting games, on ice. And there’s no better place to experience it than at the legendary Fort McMurray Oil Sands Curling Club. Home to numerous curling leagues and a frequent tournament host, the Curling Club is a great place to see the sport live and gain a newfound appreciation for a popular Canadian past time.
Be sure to check out the club’s website for an up-to-date schedule and don’t miss your chance to watch the coolest sport on ice, during your next trip to Fort McMurray.
Fort McMurray Oil Sands Curling Club
Address: 151 MacDonald Dr, Fort McMurray, AB T9H 5C5, Canada
Website: Fort McMurray Oil Sands Curling Club
6. Enjoy live entertainment at the Keyano Theater & Arts Centre
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
The Keyano Theater & Arts Centre is the premier performing arts venue in the northeastern Alberta region. The centre itself is the performing arts home to a number of local colleges, schools, and organizations but frequently hosts world-renowned acts in its 594-seat state-of-the-art theatre.
In addition to performing arts, the arts centre hosts a number of visual arts exhibits, throughout the year. The Keyano Theater & Arts Centre is a great stop for art-lovers in your group and the performances make a great date night getaway for couples.
Keyano Theater & Arts Centre
Address: 8115 Franklin Ave, Fort McMurray, AB T9H 2H7, Canada
Website: Keyano Theater & Arts Centre
7. Explore the history of northern Alberta at the Fort McMurray Heritage Park
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Located in the heart of Fort McMurray, the Heritage Park is dedicated to preserving and displaying the rich history of the town and the surrounding area. Owned and operated by the non-profit Fort McMurray Heritage Society, the Heritage Park is comprised of two distinct sections, the Heritage Village and the Heritage Shipyard. At the Heritage Village, visitors can visit a collection of buildings, each of which displays a different aspect of the town’s storied history.
The Heritage Shipyard showcases Fort McMurray’s rich past as a transportation hub for small villages and large towns in Northern Canada. These two attractions are the perfect interactive activities for history buffs and families in Fort McMurray - don’t miss your chance to visit!
Fort McMurray Heritage Park
Address: 1 Tolen Dr, Fort McMurray, AB T9H 1G7, Canada
Website: Fort McMurray Heritage Park
Where beauty and history intersect
The northeastern Alberta town of Fort McMurray is steeped in history and surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscapes in Canada. During your next trip to Fort McMurray, check out these seven activities to help you make the best of your vacation!
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