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If we're being honest, as much as we would all like to plan a weekend road trip getaway to somewhere super awesome, and far, far away from the responsibilities of adulthood with all of our friends, it's definitely not always realistic, or easy. Everyone has different work schedules, time commitments, financial situations, interests, etc. At the end of the day, none of us want to spend more time planning a road trip than time spent going on the actual trip.

We've all been stuck in that situation, the one where your phone is blowing up with messages from your group chat, yet again, trying (but definitely struggling) to figure out what to do this weekend. It's not uncommon for people to be feeling extra stressed out around this time of year, what with midterms, the weather changing, and work related things.

Sometimes, the most perfect solution to all your problems is a simple day trip out of the city and into the gorgeous areas surrounding. What better way to blow off some steam than to leave all your worries behind? Sure, Edmonton is great, but you're bound to get bored quickly if you spend all your time there, doing the same old things every day. On your next day off, venture out and try one of these super cool, quick road trips:

1 Hour Trips 

2 Hour Trips 

3 Hour Trips

Click "Next" to see 1 hour road trips.

1 Hour

Sylvan Lake

Time: Approximately 90 minutes

Why you should go: Sylvan Lake is ideal, no matter what time of year. In the warmer months, you can spend the day beaching and soaking up the sun, and in the cooler months, you can enjoy the gorgeous views.

Prairie Gardens and Adventure Farm // Bon Accord

Time: Approximately 25 minutes

Why you should go: 'Tis the season for pumpkins, corn mazes, and all things fall. They also have a petting zoo, fruit picking, and an on-site cafe from Friday to Monday during certain times of the year.

Alberta Beach // Lac Ste. Anne

Time: Approximately 60 minutes

Why you should go: Now may not be the best time of year, but if you're looking to start planning a road trip in the warmer months, you'll definitely want to visit Alberta beach. There's also a botanic garden about 30 km away that's perfect for exploring.

Elk Island National Park

Time: Approximately 45 minutes

Why you should go: Not only is this probably the most likely place for bison spotting, it's also a great place for stargazing. The Northern Lights can be seen super clearly from Elk Island, which always makes for a great show.

Click "Next" to see 2 hour road trips.

2 Hours


Time: Approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes

Why you should go: It's just as beautiful as Banff, but with a substantially shorter drive time. Athabasca is also home to many significant buildings and sites that you can tour on your trip.

Fort Assiniboine

Time: Just under 2 hours

Why you should go: If you're looking for quirky, small-town Alberta vibes, head here. Fort Assiniboine is home to some super interesting landmarks, such as the world's largest Wagon Wheel and Pick Axe.

St. Paul

Time: Just over 2 hours

Why you should go: St. Paul was chosen as the home of the World's First UFO Landing Pad, so if extraterrestrials are your thing, you'll definitely enjoy this place.

Gull Lake

Time: Approximately 1.5 hours

Why you should go: Gull Lake is another versatile spot that's good for visiting any time of the year. Try ice fishing in the winter, or work on your tan while you go windsurfing in the summer.

Click "Next" to see 3 hour road trips.

3 Hours

Columbia Icefields

Time: Approximately 3.5 hours

Why you should go: If you're the kind of person who thrives in the cold, you'll love this place. Take a bus over the infamous Columbia Icefields Glaciers and experience what an Ice Age might feel like.

Jasper National Park

Time: Approximately 3.5 hours

Why you should go: Jasper has so much to offer, from hiking waterfalls to lakes, admire the views and take lots of pictures to keep your Instagram followers envious of your adventures.


Time: 3 hours

Why you should go: If you're looking for a big city-esque getaway, head to YYC for the day. Although the two cities aren't that different, they definitely have different things to offer in terms of restaurants, shopping, and nightlife.


Time: 3-4 hours

Why you should go: If you don't mind driving a bit further south, why not head to Drumheller for the day? Climb to the top of the giant T-Rex, explore hoodoos, or dig for fossils.

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