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Edmonton is known for its glorious summer days. June through August, the sun can rise as early as 5:00am and sets as late as 10:00pm. That’s 17 hours of vitamin D, and plenty of time to pack in tons of warm-weather activities. Don’t worry, making the most of a sunny day has never been so easy—we’ve got you covered with this fool proof itinerary:
Feeling fit and fancy? Start your day with an early-morning run or cycle. Edmonton’s river valley and park systems boast over 150 km of trails just waiting to be used. Stop for a breather and take in the sunrise at the top of one of the many sets of stairs leading down to the river. Here are some useful maps to help you navigate Edmonton’s river valley trails. You can even tag along with November Project who run early morning drop-in fitness sessions around the city.
Little Brick Café and General Store is the perfect place to kick back on an adorable patio. This café is unlike any other: inside a tiny brick house tucked away in a residential neighbourhood. Pair their potted French toast with a craft cappuccino, and you’ve got the perfect fuel to kick-off a long day of exploring.
Head to City Market Downtown on 104 Street for food trucks, live music, handmade goods and fresh produce. Shop local and pick up some uniquely Edmonton souvenirs. Then grab a sandwich (or maybe half a dozen Moonshine doughnuts?) ‘to go’ for lunch a little later.
Ride the High Level Streetcar, and take in an incredible view of the city. Each vintage streetcar has been refurbished from a different part of the world, with names like Osaka #247 or the ex-Melbourne tram #930. Best of all, it’s only $6.00 to ride, and the south side stop drops you in the heart of Old Strathcona.
All the glory of shopping, with the bonus of walking outside. Peruse the shops of Whyte Avenue and check out local favs like Bamboo Ballroom, Workhall, Gravitypope, Blackbyrd Myoozik, and The Briefing Room. Make sure you pop into Poppy Barley, a uniquely Edmonton retailer that creates made-to-measure boots and shoes that are real game changers.
If you’re into history, or just looking for a free way to explore the city, download the FORHS Walks App, created by the Friends of Rutherford House. Their first virtual walking tour takes about 30 minutes and connects Rutherford and the University of Alberta campus. More locations will be added soon, including the river valley and Legislature grounds!
Patios in Edmonton are the definition of a summer hotspot, and a great place to recharge for the evening ahead. Old Strathcona has some greats: The Black Dog Freehouse, Julio’s Barrio, MKT, Sugarbowl, and The Next Act are not to be missed. If you’re downtown, stop in at Sherlock Holmes Pub, Craft Beer Market, The Needle Vinyl Tavern, or Rocky Mountain Icehouse for a cold drink and some eats in the sun.
If you’re in YEG over the summer, there’s probably a festival going on. Depending on the date, options include spending the evening at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival or The Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival, checking out a live concert series at K-Days or Taste of Edmonton, or hitting up the Servus Heritage Festival, the Freewill Shakespeare Festival, or the Edmonton Pride Festival (just to name a few).
Your 17 hours are almost up—can you believe it?! Cap off the day by instagramming some shots of the sunset. Premium spots include: The Alberta Legislature (10800 97 Avenue NW), Forest Heights Park (10104 84 Street NW), The High Level Bridge (109 Street) and Gallagher Park (9411 97 Avenue NW). Your tan may fade away, but the memories will last forever. Click here for even more sun-filled activities to make this summer one for the books.