An RV Road Trip to Edmonton, Alberta – What to do and see in Canada’s Gateway to the North

Edmonton, the capital of the province Alberta, plays a significant role in both Canadian culture and economy. Culturally, it’s known as “Canada’s Festival City,” hosting over 30 festivals annually, which contribute to the vibrant arts scene. It’s home to the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Alberta Ballet, and the Citadel Theatre, reflecting a rich performing arts tradition.

For many Canadian, the term “Edmonton” recalls the glory days of the Edmonton Oilers, the NHL hockey team that Wayne Gretzeky led to several Stanley Cups.  Gretzky, often referred to as “The Great One,” (or Wayner to locals) is a legendary figure in the world of ice hockey. He played for the Edmonton Oilers in the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1979 to 1988. During his tenure with the Oilers, Gretzky led the team to four Stanley Cup victories in 1984, 1985, 1987, and 1988.

Gretzky’s impact on the Oilers and the game of hockey was monumental. He broke numerous records, including scoring the most goals, assists, and points in a season, as well as the fastest to 50 goals in a season. His innovative play and leadership on and off the ice greatly contributed to the popularity and growth of hockey in Edmonton and across North America.

In 1988, in a move that shocked the sports world, Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings. Despite leaving Edmonton, his legacy remains ingrained in the city’s sports culture. The Oilers retired his number “99” jersey in 1999, and a statue of Gretzky stands outside the Rogers Place arena, the home of the Edmonton Oilers, as a tribute to his incredible contributions to the team and the city.

So, that that we’re biased of the Edmonton Oilers, but their NHL season for 2023-34 runs October 11, 2023 to April 18, 2024. The playoffs can run into June. Tickets can be had for as little as $30 a seat.

Economically, Edmonton is the hub of Canada’s oil and gas industry, contributing significantly to the national GDP. The city is a major center for petroleum, oil sands, and other natural resources, driving the energy sector in the country. Furthermore, Edmonton has a growing IT, biotech, and healthcare sector, diversifying its economic footprint. It’s also known for its shopping, with West Edmonton Mall being one of the largest shopping malls in North America, attracting tourists and boosting local commerce. There are dozens of locations for rv storage in Edmonton

To best prepare for an RV trip to Edmonton, consider the following steps:

  1. Plan Your Route: Map out your journey and consider the sights you wish to see along the way. Consider fuel stops, accommodations, and rest areas.
  2. Check Your RV: Ensure your RV is in good condition. Check the tires, brakes, and engine. Make sure your kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping areas are well-stocked.
  3. Pack Essentials: Pack clothes according to the weather, personal hygiene items, a first-aid kit, food and cooking supplies, potable water, and any necessary electronics or entertainment.
  4. Prepare for Emergencies: Have roadside assistance contacts handy, and keep emergency supplies like a flashlight, spare tire, and tools in your RV.
  5. Research Edmonton: Learn about the city’s RV parks, attractions, rules, and regulations. 

The best time to travel to Edmonton on an RV trip is during the summer months (June to August), when the weather is warm and the city hosts numerous festivals like the Edmonton International Fringe Festival. However, if you enjoy winter sports, Edmonton’s winter (December to March) can also offer a unique experience. Always check the weather forecast ahead of your trip.

Once in Edmonton, here are 10 must-dos for the RV traveler:

  1. West Edmonton Mall: As the largest shopping mall in North America, the West Edmonton Mall is a top tourist destination. Not only does it host over 800 stores, but it also includes a water park, ice rink, and amusement park.
  2. Fort Edmonton Park: This park offers a unique experience where visitors can live a day in the life of 19th-century pioneers. It is the largest living history museum in Canada, filled with authentic and reconstructed historical buildings.
  3. Edmonton Art Gallery: Known as Art Gallery of Alberta, it is a public art gallery situated in downtown Edmonton. It boasts a collection of over 6,000 works of art and hosts regular exhibitions and public programs.
  4. Elk Island National Park: This wildlife park, located east of Edmonton, is home to herds of free-roaming bison, elk, and over 250 bird species. It’s a great spot for hiking, picnicking, cross-country skiing, and stargazing.
  5. Royal Alberta Museum: As the largest museum in western Canada, it offers exhibits on natural history, cultural history, and interactive children’s galleries. 
  6. Edmonton Valley Zoo: Home to over 350 animals, the Edmonton Valley Zoo is a fun family destination. It offers interactive exhibits and opportunities to get up close and personal with many of the animals.
  7. Muttart Conservatory: This botanical garden comprises four pyramid-shaped greenhouses, each housing a different type of plant environment. It’s perfect for those who love nature and gardening.
  8. Telus World of Science: This science center provides interactive exhibits and IMAX films designed to educate and entertain. It’s ideal for families and those interested in science and technology.
  9. Edmonton’s River Valley: The largest urban park in Canada, its extensive trails, golf courses, ski hills, and beautiful views of the North Saskatchewan River make this a must-see.
  10. Alberta Legislature Building: Free guided tours are available to learn about Alberta’s political history and the building’s architecture. It’s particularly beautiful during summer when the surrounding gardens are in full bloom.