From the independent boutiques of the Old Strathcona neighbourhood to downtown’s exciting exhibits, Edmonton is bursting with unexpected art and fashion finds. If you only have two days in Alberta’s capital city, here’s where to go.

Day 1

Make your hub the cozy Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, a downtown icon overlooking the scenic North Saskatchewan River. Fuel up with breakfast at nearby Credo Coffee, then cross the street to The Artworks for high-end giftware such as bar tools and coffee table books. On Saturdays, head to City Hall to shop at Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market; it’s one of Edmonton’s most popular, with more than 100 vendors selling everything from locally roasted coffee beans to pet products. Continue your art-filled day at the neighbouring Art Gallery of Alberta (open Thursday to Saturday with a pre-booked ticket) to check out its collection of contemporary works. For dinner, dine on decadent pasta at Italian hotspot Uccellino (reopening August 1; curbside pickup available now). 

Day 2

Spend your day in hip Old Strathcona, starting at The Next Act or MEAT, casual sister restaurants where locals gather for hearty Sunday brunch. One block away is Whyte Avenue, one of Edmonton’s main shopping destinations. Stroll the 10-block stretch and browse local boutiques: stop into Vivid Print for colourful cards, prints and giftware (currently online only with curbside pickup); Foosh for the newest must-have sneakers; and, WORKHALL (reopening July 4) for simple, locally designed women’s wear. For the city’s best vintage finds, check out the Old Strathcona Antique Mall for everything from vinyl and books to clothing and jewelry. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, refuel at lively Dorinku for Japanese fare—the savoury, spice-covered Shaka Shaka fries are a must. 

*Check each business’s website for details and updates on Covid-19 safety procedures and mask requirements. 

 

This story appears in the November 2018 issue of WestJet Magazine and has since been updated.

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