Ah, summer — a time when our city comes alive with things to see and do, and longer days during which to see and do them.
We understand the need to relieve your pent-up travel urges, but have you ever done the typical vacation activities — golfing, beach lounging, museum touring — in and around your own city? Read on for ways to experience what the Edmonton area has to offer in terms of arts, culture and relaxation in the city, and even places that make you go, “Damn, we have that here?”
Some of them are out of this world.
Reach the Beach
Aspen Beach Provincial Park
There are many reasons to like Aspen Beach Provincial Park, located on the shores of Gull Lake. It’s just a short drive north of Red Deer, so it’s easy to find nearby hotels if you’re there for a weekend trip and camping is just not your thing.
The beach itself is very wide, with lots of grassy park area, too. So, there are many places to set up your blanket or picnic spot. But, as a parent, the best part is the shallows at Gull Lake. Your kids can walk in the water and only be ankle-or knee-deep for yards and yards and yards. There’s lots of room for creature-hunting, splash-ing and dashing.
Directions: Take the QEII south from Edmonton to Highway 12 — then turn west on 12. The entrance to Aspen Beach is right after the SH 792 intersection. Drive time from Edmonton: 90 mins.
Wabamum Lake Provincial Park
You need to be an early riser to enjoy Wabamum Lake Provincial Park on a weekend. Spaces fill up quickly, and it’s not unusual to see the parking lot gates close before noon. The wide, smooth beach is well kept — there are plenty of spots for walks along the shore, or in the nearby wood-lots. The nearby Seba Beach Mini Golf and Ice Cream Stop is a real hub, and where I’ve run into neighbours from Edmonton while waiting for a soft-serve.
Directions: From Edmonton, take Yellowhead west to Range Road 35. Follow the signs. Drive time from Edmonton: 45 mins.
This article appears in the June 2022 issue of Edify