In May 2016 I flew to Edmonton, Alberta ready to start my Master's degree. I knew this would be an interesting trip for me as I was renting an apartment and spending 3 weeks living in Garneau, one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Edmonton. I did the same three-week stay again in May 2017 and really got to experience the Edmontonian culture. One of the most simple activities that never got old was taking the train across the Saskatchewan River to class every morning. The sunrise reflects off the water and brings a sense of clarity to the mind... ah, nature!
Thanks to some great friends who live in this beautiful Canadian city, I discovered a few Edmonton gems that I would recommend adding to your next trip itinerary:
Blue Plate Diner is a casual eatery with a creative look and feel–perfect for a Happy Hour cocktail or a weekend brunch. The menu serves up big portions and is on the middle of the pricing scale. My go-to brunch choice is the Caprese Benedict–hollandaise, eggs, ricotta cheese... what else do you need?! The restaurant is busy so be sure to make a reservation if you're visiting with a group.
After a gruelling week of essays and lectures, my good friend Jen took me to Leva. This cafe is a hidden gem in the Garneau neighbourhood, hidden amongst apartment buildings and beautiful homes with beauty and character. Leva is modern, stylish, and cozy––the perfect spot for our Thursday evening latte and gelato date. One thing I love about Garneau and spots like Leva is how accessible they are––you can walk almost everywhere and when you aren't living nearby, public transit is readily available.
On the May long weekend of 2017, my friend Dan took me for the scenic tour some of Edmonton's most beautiful neighbourhoods. Getting a personalized tour from an Edmontonian is the only way to do it–you can drive into neighbourhoods and walk down pathways you might have otherwise overlooked. Plus, Edmonton has a lot of history behind it and you miss that needed background when you don't have a local to guide you. On this gorgeous sunny day Dan drove me through Riverview first. As you may have guessed, it runs along the Saskatchewan River. We then drove to Glenora, a beautiful neighbourhood that is home to the Alberta Government House and the Royal Alberta Museum. There is nothing better on a beautiful summer long weekend than grabbing brunch, cranking the tunes, and going for a drive in a beautiful city. If you're visiting Edmonton in the spring or summer, I'd recommend extending your drive, stopping by the river to rent a canoe, or going for a walk to soak in the sun and breathe in the fresh air with friends.
Another historic gem in Edmonton is the Garneau Theatre. Originally built in 1940, the theatre has a vintage-classic look and feel that is hard to resist. We went to see an old Audrey Hepburn movie and enjoyed popcorn and all the go-to movie theatre classics. Tickets are not expensive and the theatre will bring you back in time. It's a must-see when visiting Edmonton and it's perfect for all ages.
Last but not least, an Edmonton favourite of mine––Three Boars Eatery. I was first introduced to Three Boars as a pre-Garneau Theatre experience... it's a small space built for intimate gatherings and the making of memories. The menu speaks to foodies who love the classics but aren't afraid to try something new. If you like shareables and a good cocktail, Three Boars is for you. A few favourites of mine include the PB&J chicken wings, sauteed brussel spouts, and the mushroom egg yolk toast. It's the perfect spot for date night, girls night, and everything in between.
Alberta is such a beautiful province and literally has something to offer everyone–lots of history and culture, shop-til-you-drop outings, delish spots for foodies, arts and culture happenings, and adventures for everyone. Edmonton now feels like a second home to me–and it will to anyone who visits.
[Cover photo credit: Edmonton Journal]
Thanks for following along with my travel adventures! To read older posts you can visit Becca's website and blog through the button below.