Summer Road Trip ideas around Edmonton

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Alberta has many well-known road trip destinations — beautiful places like Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper come to mind. However, if you’re looking to hit the road this summer, consider some of these less obvious (but equally appealing) options. Click on the name of each destination for more details.

UNIQUE PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES

You don’t have to spend a fortune to have a fun day on the road. Across Alberta, there are small towns with big “must-see” objects that are certainly Instagram-worthy. Pack your own food and drinks, take in the scenery, and enjoy the adventure. Here are a few charming examples:

  • World’s Largest Sausage in Mundare, 1 hour east of Edmonton – it’s 42 feet tall and was built in honour of Stawnichy’s Meat Processing.
  • World’s Largest Perogy in Glendon, about 2 hours northeast of Edmonton – yes, it’s actually a 25 foot tall perogy, impaled on a giant fork.
  • World’s Largest Mallard Duck in Andrew, about an hour northeast of Edmonton – on a hot day, catch some shade under its 23-foot wingspan.
  • Clem T. GoFur in Torrington, about 2 hours south of Edmonton – since 1991, this smiling gopher statue has welcomed visitors to the town of Torrington and its Gopher Hole Museum.

For a full list of “big things” around the province, check out this article from AMA Travel.

DINOSAUR RELATED

If you have a child who is keen on dinosaurs, hopefully you’ve already discovered the Dinosaur Playground in our Meadowview community in Leduc. Continue your journey into the past with these dinosaur-inspired road trip destinations:

Jurassic Forest
Located just 20 minutes from Edmonton’s north side, Jurassic Forest offers kid-friendly experiences such as a forest walk amid animatronic dinosaurs, a dino-themed mini golf course and a Triceratops-shaped play structure.

Royal Tyrrell Museum
Since 1985, this world-class museum has offered dinosaur enthusiasts a chance to “walk among giants” in its incredible Dinosaur Hall. Travel time from downtown Edmonton is about 3 hours to the museum’s location in Midland Provincial Park.

World’s Largest Dinosaur
From the Royal Tyrrell Museum, it’s only a few kilometres to the town of Drumheller, which boasts the world’s largest dinosaur statue. “Tyra” the Tyrannosaurus rex is 86 feet tall, with an inner staircase allowing visitors to ascend to the viewing platform in her mouth.

Dinosaur Provincial Park
Located in the Badlands, Dinosaur Provincial Park is a 5 hour trek from Edmonton, travelling south toward the town of Brooks. The sweeping landscape definitely looks like a place where dinosaurs would have lived. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is carefully protected because of the many treasured fossils that have been discovered here, including hadrosaurs and pterosaurs.

NATURE APPRECIATION

Summer can be an ideal time to get away from the city and re-connect with nature. Here are a few nearby places to do just that:

Elk Island National Park
How lucky are we to have a gorgeous National Park right in our backyard? Just 50 minutes from downtown Edmonton and a mere 25 minutes from Sherwood Park communities like SummerWood, it’s definitely worth the drive for a hike or picnic. Measuring 194 square kilometres, the park is a refuge for bison, elk and over 250 species of birds. It’s also great for stargazing, since it’s part of the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve.

Kerry Wood Nature Centre
Located less than 2 hours away in Red Deer, this is the gateway to scenic Waskasoo Park and the Gaetz Lake Sanctuary. The nature centre has interactive exhibits, a nature-based outdoor play space, and paved walking trails.

Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park
It’s hard to sum up the view in one word — adjectives like “magnificent,” “majestic,” and “stunning” come to mind. You’ll be glad you drove two and a half hours to reach these breathtaking overlooks of the Badlands.

INDIGENOUS CULTURE

In the spirit of education and reconciliation, why not spend a day learning about the Indigenous way of life? Here are a few suggestions within range of Greater Edmonton:

Métis Crossing
Alberta’s first Métis cultural interpretive centre is in Smoky Lake, about one and a half hours from downtown Edmonton and less than an hour from our Fort Saskatchewan communities of Forest Ridge and Sienna. Visitors are welcome to explore independently or take a guided tour.

Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park
Four hours south of Edmonton, you’ll find Blackfoot Crossing, showcasing the traditions of Siksika Nation and its people through displays, dance, crafts, and food.

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre
About four and a half hours from Edmonton, this UNESCO World Heritage Site has an unforgettable name and undeniable history. The region’s terrain was optimal for a traditional hunting practice where buffalo were purposely herded to fall off a cliff. The Plains people had a close relationship with the buffalo, and every part of the animal was respectfully put to good use.

Have an adventurous summer ahead! For additional information about family-friendly road trips from Edmonton, check out this list from the Edmonton Family Blog.

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