Wanting to escape the city and see what Alberta has to offer this summer? If you head south of Edmonton, you’ll find no shortage of day trips that will keep you busy long after the leaves have started to turn.
For more trips south of Edmonton see:
- Things to Do in and around Rocky Mountain House
- Family Fun Things to Do in Clearwater County
- Things to Do in Nordegg
1. Bowden Sun Maze
2. City of Leduc
Just 15 minutes south of Edmonton, Leduc has a lot to offer for a day trip. Make sure to check out Dr. Woods House Museum, Stone Barn Garden, and the Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator Site – one of the last remaining wooden grain elevators in the province. For outdoor fun, visit Telford Lake, one of the many parks, and the multi-trail system with over 60 km of walking trails.
3. Canadian Energy Museum
Home to the famous Leduc No. 1, the Canadian Energy Museum tells the story of how Alberta’s economic history was changed. When the well hit oil in 1947, it signified prosperity and history was made. Now, it’s home to exhibits and galleries that show how the area grew up around this energy source and how the industry has change and adapted since.
4. Town of Ponoka
Don’t underestimate a day trip to Ponoka! Discover speciality shops, Lions Centennial Park with a stocked trout pond and mini-golf, and the world class 18-hole Ponoka Community Golf Club, and much, much more. Don’t forget to get that Instagram photo with “Legacy” – the world’s largest bucking saddle bronc and horse rider!
5. City of Lacombe
Lacombe is perfect for a day trip for the whole family. Michener House Museum & Archives is in one of the city’s oldest remaining houses, the world’s largest fishing lure marks the home of the Len Thompson factory, explore Ellis Bird Farm, and much more awaits with unique experiences you won’t find elsewhere. Plus, find plenty of parks, local shops and restaurants, and public art to make you feel like a local.
6. Gleniffer Reservoir Provincial Recreation Area
There are several day use sites at Gleniffer Reservoir, so visit the website to see which works best for you. Activities include boating, sailing, water skiing, even windsurfing, topped off with a sandy beach. Rainbow trout are stocked for great fishing.
7. Flying Cross Ranch
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8. Town of Blackfalds
Blackfalds’ activities are numerous and will keep you entertained all day. Wadley Visitor Centre showcases local history, the new Bike Skills Park and Skateboard Plaza will test your skills, and cool off at Tayles Water Spray Park. The Abbey Centre offers an outdoor ampitheatre, a three-storey indoor play space, and the only indoor section of the Great Trail (formerly Trans Canada Trail).
9. Pigeon Lake Provincial Park
There is so much to do in the provincial park that you just may have to make more than one trip! There is a swimming area and beach for hot summer days, fishing opportunities for pike, perch, walleye, and more, and 12 km of hiking trails winding their way through the park. And through it all, keep an eye out for local and migrating birds, moose and deer, and maybe even a porcupine.
10. The Village at Pigeon Lake Resort & Town Centre
Just an hour from Edmonton, The Village at Pigeon Lake is great for a day trip that combines both indoor and outdoor interests. Shop at locally-owned stores and boutiques, eat at Eco Cafe or Chef N, hike nearby trails, and even hit the spa. Plus, there are events taking place every Saturday, all summer long.
11. City of Red Deer
There’s something for everyone on a day trip to Red Deer. Two art galleries, plus lots of public art, Discovery Canyon (and it’s tube run!), Bower Ponds, two disc golf courses, and much more will keep you going. The River Bend Golf Course is a par 72 championship course that is hard to beat.
12. Jarvis Bay Provincial Park
Jarvis Bay Provincial Park overlooks Sylvan Lake (though, note that there is no direct lake access from the park). There is lots of front country hiking to be had, so pack the hiking boots and grab the camera while you keep an eye out for local animals and birds. Make it a treasure hunt with geocaching in the area.
13. Town of Innisfail
Get out and explore through numerous parks and playgrounds, the 20 km trail system winding throughout the town, water ski and swim at Dodds Lake, and more when you visit Innisfail. With locally-owned shops and restaurants, this friendly town will have you feeling like a local in no time at all. While you’re at it, time your trip with local events such as the farmers market and community parties.
14. Town of Sylvan Lake
This lakeside community is the place to be during summer! Paddle boarding, playing on the beach, sailing, even diving are just some of the benefits of a town on the water. Plus, niche shops and restaurants are the opportunity to get out of the sun. Check the website for events happening all year round, such as movies on the beach.
- Things to do in Sylvan Lake
- Fun Things to Do with Kids in Sylvan Lake
- Things to do during Winter in Sylvan Lake Alberta
15. Aspen Beach Provincial Park
Aspen Beach Provincial Park, on the south shores of Gull Lake, has everything you could want for a summer day trip in the great outdoors. The day use site has a large, sandy beach, playground, and the heads of front country hiking trails. The lake is great for boating, fishing, and water sports, too.
16. City of Beaumont
17. City of Westaskiwin
Wetaskiwin is much more than the place where “cars cost less!” The Aviation Hall of Fame and Reynolds Museum show the history of different kinds of travel in world-class exhibits and interactive displays. Go surfing at Murphy’s Waves and pick a driver to cheer on at Edmonton International Raceway for unique experiences you won’t forget.
18. Red Lodge Provincial Park
Nestled on the banks of Little Red Deer River, this small, treed park is perfect for getting away in the great outdoors…without straying too far from the comforts of nearby towns. Fish and boat on the river (when the water levels are safe – visit the website for any warnings) with the easy access found at the day use site. It’s a perfect park for kids, since Family Discovery nature-themed backpacks are available to borrow and explore.
19. Coal Lake North Provincial Recreation Area
Coal Lake has the reputation of being a great place to canoe and kayak, keeping an eye out for local and migrating birds on the water and at the shoreline. Use caution at the boat launch, but when done carefully, it’s definitely worth the drive. Explore the area to see what other wildlife you can spot – make sure to bring your camera with you.
20. Town of Bentley
Get a taste of small town Alberta in Bentley. Explore the walking trail to Gull Lake, the parks and playgrounds, stop for ice cream, and you’ll fit right in with the locals. The Saturday Farmer’s Market in the curling rink has people coming from all over to get fresh food and treasures from local farmers and artisans.
21. Miquelon Lake Provincial Park
This park is far enough from Edmonton that you’ll really feel like you’re escaping the city, but close enough that you won’t have to drive too long to get there. With great hiking and mountain biking trails, playgrounds, and animal and bird-watching, you won’t run out of things to do. Plus, Family Discovery Packs and Mystery Animal Geocaching make it great for the whole family, no matter how old the kids are.
22. Kraay Family Farm
Home to 40 different attractions, including the world-famous Lacombe Corn Maze, Kraay Family Farm is the perfect day trip to get out of Edmonton. Activities such as pig races and tractor pulls will give you a break from city life, and the jump pillows and pumpkin cannons are experiences you won’t forget. With 2020 marking 21 years of fun, it’s the perfect time to go.
23. J.J. Collett Natural Area
Located near the Hamlet of Morningside in Central Alberta, the natural area and the foundation that runs it helps to preserve this diverse habitat and the wildlife that call it home. It consists of 635 acres of aspen parkland and sand dunes, with trails running through it. Explore on your own or time it for a guided walk to learn about the area and its ecological importance.
24. Wolf Creek Golf Resort
Wolf Creek is “where Canada meets Scotland.” The Old Course is a Tour tested, inland links course that winds through the Wolf Creek bed. The Links Course runs through natural sand dunes, offering a challenge to even the best teeing up. Wolf Creek was a fixture on the Canadian Tour for 13 years, so what are you waiting for?
25. Town of Olds
Find the small-town feel among the big city amenities in a day trip to Olds. Historic Uptown Olds has a great shopping district with locally-owned businesses and restaurants, catch a show at the TransCanada Theatre, and take in the murals and sculptures of public art that is preserving the culture of the area. The paved and unpaved trails, as well as plentiful playgrounds and parks, make it easy to get fresh air and burn off some energy after the drive. Don’t forget to explore Olds College Botanic Garden and Treatment Wetlands comprised of three phases spread over 25 acres and are populated with a wide ranging collection of prairie hardy plant material, both native and ornamental.
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