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This Epic Winter Getaway Is Just North Of The US Border & Here's What To Do While You're There

Embark on an adventure to Canada's North.

Contributive writer
This Epic Winter Getaway Is Just North Of The US Border & Here's What To Do While You're There

Winter’s totally underrated. Just because the weather’s chilly and snow blankets everything, that doesn't mean the fun needs to be put on hold. If anything, this is the ideal time for your list of activities to expand (and the icy temps are a convenient excuse for a little adventure).

No one does winter better than the Great White North; this is when Canada’s wild side really comes to life.

Bonus: an Alberta winter getaway is actually super accessible for west coast travelers. You can catch short, non-stop flights daily from the Denver International Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport straight into the heart of the action. Not to mention the US dollar goes farther up north ($1 USD = $1.37 Canadian).

Edmonton offers a rapidly growing urban culture scene with unique culinary spots, attractions and festivals. After making your rounds through Alberta's capital city, visit Jasper National Park to immerse yourself in the dreamy Canadian Rockies.

If you're ready to make lasting memories on an unforgettable vacation, then here are nine activities full of wintry fun.

Catch An NHL Hockey Game

Courtesy of Explore Edmonton

Address: 10220 104 Ave. NW, Edmonton, AB

Why You Need To Go: It's no secret that hockey is one of the most popular sports in Canada, so it only makes sense to attend an Oilers game while you're in town. Plus, the city’s new state-of-the-art arena, Roger's Place, is located in the heart of the brand-new ICE District, a buzzing cultural hub for entertainment and dining.

Grab a bite to eat before or after the game, then stroll around the district and watch as the city skyline transforms into a beautiful evening backdrop.

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Wander Whyte Avenue

Address: 82 Ave. NW, Edmonton, AB

Why You Need To Go: Located in Old Strathcona neighborhood, Whyte Avenue (also known as 82nd Avenue) is the place to be for anyone who enjoys people watching or a night on the town. There are plenty of amazing local restaurants, pubs and stores to hit up all along the strip.

Start the day off by browsing the huge music selection at Blackbyrd Myoozik, followed by sweet treats with a gorgeous ambience at Sugared & Spiced, then end the evening with dinner and drinks at Pip.

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Explore West Edmonton Mall

Courtesy of Explore Edmonton

Address: 8882 170 St. NW, Edmonton, AB

Why You Need To Go: West Edmonton Mall (known as WEM to locals) is North America’s largest shopping and entertainment center. This iconic attraction offers plenty more to do than just shop. It’s kind of like an Edmonton sampler platter.

From riding North America's tallest (14 stories) indoor roller coaster at Galaxyland and floating the waves at the World Waterpark to putting away on a mini golf course — there's a little bit of everything to meet all your entertainment needs.

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Check Out A Winter Festival

Courtesy of Explore Edmonton

Address: Edmonton, AB

Why You Need To Go: Edmonton is known as Canada's Festival City. With countless events annually, there’s no shortage of excitement to fill your stay.

From a garden of dazzling lights and ice sculpture competitions to a 10-day-long skating festival and canoe races down snowy hills, it's guaranteed you'll find one (or a dozen) that you'll love.

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Journey Through The River Valley

Courtesy of Explore Edmonton

Address: 11037 97 Ave. NW, Edmonton, AB

Why You Need To Go: Edmonton's River Valley is 22 times larger than Central Park, making it the perfect playground for your every adventure.

From cross-country skiing and snowshoeing to ice skating in Hawrelak Park, a winter excursion that checks off the to-do list is definitely guaranteed. You can also rent segways and crush the snow beneath you on those river valley trails.

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Shred The Slopes At Marmot Basin

Courtesy of Tourism Jasper

Address: 1 Marmot Rd., Jasper, AB

Why You Need To Go: After exploring the urban side of Alberta, make your way to Jasper for an amazing outdoor adventure in the Canadian Rockies — it's only a four-hour drive away! Located 20 minutes away from downtown Jasper, Marmot Basin is known as one of the best places to shred in Canada, with 91 runs across four mountain faces.

There are several runs for all levels, plus, the view from the chairlift is truly one to behold. And after a long day of carving the mountain, come back and unwind at the Caribou Chalet with some pizza, brews and jaw-dropping views of the Athabasca Valley.

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Take An Ice Walk Down Maligne Canyon

Courtesy of Tourism Jasper

Address: Maligne Canyon, AB

Why You Need To Go: Just 10 minutes north of Jasper lies an otherworldly adventure you won't soon forget. Named for its haunting atmosphere, Maligne Canyon is the deepest, easily accessible canyon in the national park.

A guided tour is the best way to explore this iconic canyon, but anyone can strap on anti-slip cleats to see its frozen waterfalls and impressive channels.

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Go Ice Skating On Pyramid Lake

Address: Pyramid Lake, Jasper, AB

Why You Need To Go: There's something incredibly magical and uniquely Canadian about lacing up your skates on a perfectly frozen, glacier-fed lake with mountain views.

Pyramid Lake has on-site rentals at the Pyramid Lake Resort, incredible vistas and is also a popular star-gazing spot.

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Cheers Over Local Brews At The Jasper Brewing Company

Courtesy of Tourism Jasper

Address: 624 Connaught Dr., Jasper, AB

Why You Need To Go: Also known as the Brewpub to Jasperites, this local-favorite pub made waves by using real glacier water from within the national park to craft their beers. Pretty neat, right?

If you love to try new things, the rustic elk meatloaf comes highly recommended. Pop on over for a comforting pit stop before hitting up the next destination on your Jasper journey.

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The frosty season is the perfect time to get out and explore a magical side some might overlook. So pack your bags and get ready to experience the best of both worlds with a city-to-summit getaway this winter.

To learn more about a trip to Canada’s North, check out Explore Edmonton’s website.

This article is for general informational purposes only. If you choose to travel internationally, check your destination's COVID-19 situation and travel requirements before travelling. Countries may have their own entry and exit requirements, including mandatory COVID-19 testing and/or proof of vaccination.

Kianni Reynolds-Lewis
Contributive writer
Kianni Reynolds-Lewis is a Staff Writer for the Studio department focused on sponsored content and is based in Edmonton, Canada.
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