This epic winter getaway is just north of the US border and here’s what to do while you’re there

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Winter is totally underrated. Just because it’s cold and snow is covering everything doesn’t mean you have to have fun. On the contrary, it’s the perfect time to expand your list of activities (and freezing temperatures are a handy excuse for a little adventure).

No one does winter better than the Great White North; this is when the wild side of Canada really comes alive.

Bonus: a winter getaway in Alberta is actually super accessible for West Coast travelers. You can take short non-stop flights every day from the Denver International Airport and Seattle/Tacoma International Airport right at the heart of the action. Not to mention that the US dollar rises further north (US$1 = Canadian$1.37).

Edmonton offers a rapidly growing urban cultural scene with unique culinary venues, attractions and festivals. After touring Alberta’s capital, visit Jasper National Park to immerse yourself in the dreamy Canadian Rockies.

If you’re ready to create lasting memories on an unforgettable vacation, here are nine activities full of winter fun.

Catch an NHL hockey game

Courtesy of Explorer Edmonton

Address: 10220 104 Avenue 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 makes sense to catch an Oilers game while you’re in town. Additionally, the city’s new state-of-the-art arena, Roger’s Place, is located in the heart of the all-new ICE districta bustling cultural hub for entertainment and dining.

Grab a bite before or after the game, then stroll around the neighborhood and watch the city skyline transform into a beautiful evening backdrop.

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Stroll down Whyte Avenue

Address: 82 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB

Why you need to go: Located in the Old Strathcona neighborhood, Whyte Avenue (also known as 82nd Avenue) is the perfect spot for anyone who likes to people watch on a night on the town. There are many amazing local restaurants, pubs and shops to visit all along the Strip.

Start the day by browsing the vast selection of music on Blackbyrd Myoozikfollowed by sweets in a superb atmosphere at Sweet & Spicythen end the evening with dinner and drinks at Seed.

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Explore West Edmonton Mall

Courtesy of Explorer 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 much more to do than just shopping. It’s kind of like an Edmonton sampling board.

Whether it’s riding the tallest (14-story) indoor roller coaster in North America at Galaxyland, floating on the waves at World Waterpark, or tucking away on a mini-golf course, there’s a little everything to meet all your entertainment needs.

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Discover a winter festival

Courtesy of Explorer Edmonton

Address: Edmonton, Alta.

Why you need to go: Edmonton is known as Canada’s Festival City. With countless events each year, there’s no shortage of excitement to fill your stay.

From a garden of dazzling lights and ice sculpture competitions to a 10-day skating festival and canoe races on snowy hills, you’re guaranteed to find one (or a dozen) you’ll love.

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Shred the slopes of Marmot Basin

Courtesy of Tourism Jasper

Address: 1 Marmot Road, Jasper, AB

Why you need to go: After exploring Alberta’s urban side, head to Jasper for an amazing outdoor adventure in the Canadian Rockies – it’s just a four-hour drive away! Located 20 minutes from downtown JasperMarmot Basin is recognized as one of the best places to shred in Canada, with 91 trails on four mountain faces.

There are several runs for all abilities, and the view from the chairlift is truly a sight to behold. And after a long day carving the mountain, come back and relax at the Caribou Cabin with pizzas, beers and breathtaking views of the Athabasca Valley.

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Walk on the ice in the 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 spellbinding atmosphere, Maligne Canyon is the deepest and most easily accessible canyon in the national park.

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

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Ice skate on Pyramid Lake

Address: Pyramid Lake, Jasper, AB

Why you have to go: There’s something incredibly magical and quintessentially Canadian about lacing up your skates on a perfectly frozen glacier-fed lake with mountain views.

Pyramid Lake offers on-site rentals at Pyramid Lake Resort, incredible views, and is also a popular star gazing spot.

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Thumbs up for local beers at Jasper Brewing Company

Courtesy of Tourism Jasper

Address: 624 Connaught Drive, Jasper, AB

Why you need to go: Also known as Brewpub at Jasperites, this local favorite pub has been making waves by using real glacier water from the National Park to make its beers. Pretty cool, right?

If you love trying new things, the Rustic Elk Meatloaf comes highly recommended. Drop in for a comforting pit stop before heading to the next destination on your Jasper Travel.

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The freezing season is the perfect time to get out and explore a magical side that some might overlook. So pack your bags and get ready to experience the best of both worlds with a getaway from the city to the top This winter.

For more on a trip to Canada’s North, check out Explore Edmonton’s website.

This article is for general information 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.

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