The capital city of Alberta, Edmonton is a vibrant city that’s full of life. Boasting cool, trendy vibes, this urban metropolis is located in the heart of the Canadian wilderness, so to speak, and is an awesome place to live in or visit.
But if you’re hoping to escape the city for a little while and enjoy some peace and quiet, you can do that quickly and easily from Edmonton. One of the best parts of the city is its proximity to other awesome destinations, so there truly is no shortage of options when it comes to weekend getaway or even just day trips from Edmonton. In fact, the most difficult part of deciding where to go is picking just one place! That’s why we’ve done the work for you and made a list of the top 11 weekend trips from Edmonton so that all you need to do is decide what you’re in the mood for and take your pick.
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The Best Weekend Trips from Edmonton
Edmonton is conveniently located in and amongst a plethora of epic destinations for weekend getaways. Whether you’re looking for a break from the city to enjoy nature in a national park or you want to enjoy quaint, small-town culture nearby, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.
1. Red Deer
With just over 100,000 residents, the little town of Red Deer has often been used as a stop between Edmonton and Calgary. Historically, the location of the town today was used as the best and safest spot to cross the Red Deer River. The town itself was named after the elk that frequent the area, commonly referred to as red deer by the Indigenous Cree people who call the land home.
Today, there’s lots to see and do in Red Deer – it’s certainly way more than a mere stopover between Edmonton and Calgary! Here are a few things you should do while you’re in town:
- Explore the Downtown area and check out the trendy shops and restaurants
- Visit the City Hall Park to see the flowers
- Take the kids to Rotary Recreation Park
- Stop in at Red Deer Farmers’ Market
- Check out a few of the craft breweries – try out Troubled Monk and Wild Brewing
- Spend the day at Bower Ponds
- Enjoy nature at the Gaetz Lakes Bird Sanctuary
This is just a handful of the incredible things you can do in Red Deer, so make sure you’re ready for a weekend of fun!
Distance from Edmonton: 88 miles, about an hour and 45 minutes
Where to Stay: Red Deer Resort and Casino
2. Lamont County
Enjoy a fascinating glimpse into Ukrainian culture when you visit Lamon County. Known as one of the largest Ukrainian settlements in the area, Lamont County is just teeming with history and culture. You’ll feel as though you’re stepping back in time as you explore all that this delightful destination has to offer.
Here are a few things you should do while visiting Lamont County on your weekend getaway from Edmonton:
- Visit the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village
- Explore a few of the 40 different historical churches in the countryside
- Check out Ross Creek Market to peruse fabulous cultural and traditional stores run by locals
- Play a round of golf at Elk Island Golf Course
Lamont County is an excellent place to get away to for the weekend and really enjoy something totally different from what you’re used to.
Distance Between Lamont County and Edmonton: 52 miles, just over an hour
Where to Stay in Lamont County: Days Inn by Wyndham Lamont
You don’t have to travel far to reach Vegreville from Edmonton, and you’ll be glad you made the journey when you do. It’s an interesting little town full of quirky and quaint little stores to visit and sights to see.
Vegreville is best known for the Vegreville Pysanka, a sculpture of a large, Ukrainian-style Easter egg. It may sound like a slightly odd attraction, but the Vegreville Pysanka is one of the Seven Wonders of Canada and is made from a collection of tiles in all sorts of shapes and colors. It truly is a sight to behold!
Here are a few other cool things to do in Vegreville:
- Visit the Elks-Kinsmen Park
- Catch a Vegreville Vipers game
- Explore Elks Pond by paddle boat through the free borrow-a-boat attraction
- Hit the links at Vegreville Kinsmen Golf Course
- Check out the Ceramic Cottage
Full of culture and fun, Vegreville is a great spot to go for something a little bit different.
Distance Between Edmonton and Vegreville: 60 miles, just over an hour
Where to Stay in Vegreville: Vegreville Suites
4. Athabasca County
Get your fill of countryside living when you visit Athabasca County for a delightful weekend getaway. Whether you’re with your partner, family, or friends, you’re sure to have an absolute ball. With dozens of lakes in the area, endless options for hiking trails, and even a little beach nearby, Athabasca County has loads to offer visitors of all different types of preferences.
A few of the best things to do during your weekend trip to Athabasca County:
- Visit Forfar Recreation Park for waterskiing or just a day at the beach
- Hike to the Tawatinaw Valley and Muskeg Creek
- Play a round of golf at Athabasca Golf and Country Club
- Do the Athabasca Historical Walking Tour
- Go shopping in Downtown Athabasca
Best of all, you can visit Athabasca County with family or friends with different interests, and you can all have a great time doing the activities that you enjoy!
Distance Between Edmonton and Athabasca County: 105 miles, about 2 hours
Where to Stay in Athabasca County: Ramada by Wyndham Westlock
Get ready to be treated to absolutely spectacular views if you choose Wainwright for a weekend getaway. Wainwright is an incredibly historical little town, boasting lots of interesting facts about railway history as well as some really gorgeous old buildings. It also has quite a nifty little business district, so you can enjoy the perfect balance between historical and modern.
Here are a few cool things to do when you’re staying in Wainwright:
- Visit the Memorial Clock Tower
- Take a drive to the Battle River Train Trestle, the second largest in Canada
- Watch a rodeo or a chuckwagon race at Wainwright Stampede
- Explore Bodo Archaeological Site & Centre
- Learn all about the Great Fire of 1929
If you’re into history, you’re sure to have a blast in Wainwright. This town is the ideal destination for a proper relaxing weekend away from big city life.
Distance between Wainwright and Edmonton: 120 miles, 2 hours and 10 minutes
Where to Stay in Wainwright: Ramada by Wyndham Wainwright
6. Cold Lake
Looking for an ideal place to away for the weekend with the whole family? Well, look no further. Cold Lake is an awesome choice when you’re considering weekend trips from Edmonton. With so much to see and do out in nature, this may even become your regular family holiday spot.
There’s nothing better than just spending a few days outside, surrounded by picturesque views and chirping birds, and Cold Lake is the best place you can do that. Here are a few of the coolest things to do while you’re visiting:
- Enjoy the sand between your toes, kayak, or swim at Kinsoo Beach
- Go curling or book a round of golf at Cold Lake Golf and Winter Club
- Get into nature on the Iron Horse Trail branches like Millennium Trail
- Check out one of the city’s museums like the Air Force Museum or Indigenous Museum to name a few
- Test your skills at Cold Lake Mountain Bike Park
Distance between Cold Lake and Edmonton: 174 miles, 3 hours and 15 minutes
Where to Stay in Cold Lake: Lakeshore Inn
7. Lac La Biche County
Immerse yourself in the great outdoors when you visit Lac La Biche County. With over 100 different lakes to explore and enjoy, you can fish, swim, and kayak to your heart’s content! An absolute paradise for anybody who has a thing for a relaxing outdoor getaway, Lac La Biche County is an awesome place to go with the family, especially if you’re in the mood for a camping trip. Just make sure to check the weather!
A few fun things to do in Lac La Biche County:
- Hop in a canoe and do the world-renowned Lakeland Canoe Circuit
- Go fishing! If you are bringing the boat, check out Popular Point or Plamondon Bay on Lac La Biche Lake. If you are looking for a shore spot, check out Trout Pond in Alexander Hamilton Park
- Hop on your mountain bike and explore the trails
- Learn about indigenous culture at one of the city’s many experiences
- Go back in time to learn about the region’s rich history at Lac La Biche Museum
Sometimes, the best way to get a real break from normal life is to leave the luxuries at home for a few days and go back to basics. So go camping in Lac La Biche County and it’s sure to become one of your favorite places to go for weekend trips from Edmonton!
Distance between Lac La Biche County and Edmonton: 158 miles, about 3 and half hours
Where to Stay in Lac La Biche County: BCMInns – Lac La Biche
8. Elk Island National Park
Enjoy a getaway to Elk Island for a real change from the city life. The best part of visiting Elk Island is that it’s super close, making it one of the best options for weekend trips from Edmonton if you don’t enjoy driving long distances.
The national park focuses its efforts on the conservation of bison, and visitors have the privilege of seeing these majestic creatures in the wild. You can also see elk, over 250 different types of birds, and other animals too.
A few fun things to do while visiting Elk Island National Park:
- Get a unique look at the wildlife that call Elk Island home such as elk, bison and other unique wildlife. Check out the Hayburger Trail and Wood Bison Trail! But always be sure to observe from a distance and respect the animals’ space
- Rent a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard or if your trip is in the winter lace up your skates on Astotin Lake
- Borrow one (or two) of the multiple seasonal Discovery Kits to experience a unique look into Elk Island as Astotin Theatre
- Look up! This area is known as a Dark-Sky Site meaning little to no light population that would otherwise block the magnificent colors and sights in the night sky. Grab a blanket and take in the after dark sights.
Whether you’re wanting to get away with the whole family or just your partner for a romantic escape, Elk Island National Park is sure to help you relax and recharge your batteries.
Distance Between Elk Island National Park and Edmonton: 26 miles, 35 minutes
Where to Stay at Elk Island National Park: oTENTik
Step back in time when you visit Lacombe for a weekend full of relaxing and exploring. Best of all, there’s no shortage of things to do in Lacombe, whether it’s visiting a few of the town’s interesting museums or enjoying a day outdoors.
Here are a few of the best things to do during your weekend trip to Lacombe:
- Visit the a local museum such as the Blacksmith Shop Museum or Michener House Museum
- Spend a day at the Kraay Family Farm or Ellis Bird Farm
- Go down to the Aspen Beach Provincial Park for some fun in the sun
- Enjoy a few of the many restaurants and cafes like Cilantro & Chive or Toller’s Bistro
Lacombe is a fun little town that’s just waiting to be explored, so hop in your car and go check it out!
Distance Between Edmonton and Lacombe: 73 miles, an hour and 20 minutes
Where to Stay in Lacombe: Country Club Inn
A small city just south of Edmonton, Wetaskiwin is an interesting place with a fascinating history and lots to see and do. Its name originally comes from the Cree language, and it’s famous for its aviation and railway history. You can visit the museums and learn all about trains and airplanes while looking through some super cool exhibits.
It’s also totally worth spending some time in town, trying out a few of the local establishments, window shopping, and even going for a little walk in the By-the-Lake Park.
Here are a few other things to do in Weaskawin:
- Enjoy the outdoors with a park visit to Montgomery Park, home to the Wetaskiwin’s Edible Urban Forest or hike at Peace Hills Park
- Visit Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame
- Spend some time at the Wetaskiwin District Heritage Museum Center and the Reynolds Museum
- Check out the Wild West Gallery in town
If you’re a history buff or somebody that’s into aviation, you’ll absolutely love your stay at Wetaskiwin. But even if you’re not, it’s sure to be a getaway for the books.
Distance between Edmonton and Wetaskiwin: 41 miles, an hour
Where to Stay in Wetaskiwin: Best Western Wayside Inn
11. Sylvan Lake
Sylvan Lake is the perfect getaway for just about anybody – whether you’re a lover of the outdoors or someone who just enjoys trying out new restaurants, Sylvan Lake is sure to be a good time. It’s a great place to visit if you really just need a weekend to relax and unwind – not to mention, it’s absolutely beautiful!
A few things to do while you’re at Sylvan Lake:
- Step back in time with the Sylvan Lake walking tour. Stop by the archives department in the municipal building to pick up your passport and a map
- Schedule your weekend trip on a festival weekend such as Sylvan Lake Ice Dragon Boat Festival, The Meltdown, or Flannel & Feast!
- Get outdoors with all the right equipment for snowshoeing, jet skiing, and paddling at Sun Sport Recreation
- Visit the local farmers’ market
- Go for a hike in Sylvan Lake Provincial Park
Sylvan Lake really is a great place to just kick back, relax, and have some fun in the sun.
Distance Between Edmonton and Sylvan Lake: 95 miles
Where to Stay at Sylvan Lake: Best Western Plus Chateau Inn
Final Thoughts on Fun Weekend Trips from Edmonton
There you have it, folks – 11 fun weekend trips from Edmonton. As much as Edmonton is a fabulous city to live in or visit, one of the best things about it is its proximity to several other epic destinations. Whether you’d like to visit a quaint little town or a beautiful Canadian national park, you’re sorted.
So next time you’re considering a getaway and cool Edmonton road trips, consider one of these 11 awesome destinations and have a weekend you’re sure to remember.
What you should read next
Travel Resources For Your Next Trip
If you’re in the process of planning your trip and putting together your itinerary, these are genuinely the best resources that the Going Awesome Places team stands by 100%.
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If you need more help planning your trip, make sure to check out our Travel Toolbox where we highlight all of the gear, resources, and tools we use when traveling.