Strategizing about the best way to get your Christmas shopping done this year? Why not head to Edmonton for a shopping getaway? Edmonton offers an abundance of places to shop, from North America’s largest mall to funky independent boutiques, so you’ll be sure to find something for everyone on your list.
You can’t talk about Edmonton's shopping scene without mentioning West Edmonton Mall. At 5.3 million square feet and housing over 800 stores and services, WEM is truly a shopper's paradise. However, you don't have to be a shopaholic to appreciate this mega mall. Along with shops and restaurants, WEM also boasts the world’s largest indoor amusement park, an indoor water park, an ice skating rink, mini golf, a sea lion show and several cinemas.
If mega malls aren’t your thing, try Edmonton’s downtown shopping core, encompassing Commerce Place, Manulife Place, and Edmonton City Centre. You’ll find many designer names and high-end dining here.
West of Edmonton's downtown area is 124th Street, an area filled with beautifully preserved Edwardian buildings and one-of-a-kind independent shops. Known for its high concentration of art galleries, 124th Street is also a great place to view both local and national art.
For those who like to shop big-box style, South Edmonton Common is definitely worth a visit. This retail complex has everything from outlet clothing stores to home decor centres and is spread over 320 acres, making it one of the largest open-air retail developments in North America.
Of course, we can’t forget Whyte Avenue, located in the city's Old Strathcona district. Named one of Canada’s 10 best shopping neighborhoods, Old Strathcona has it all. With trendy clothing boutiques, used book stores and eclectic antique shops, you won't be stuck finding a unique gift here.
Finally, just off Whyte Avenue is the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market. This year-round indoor market is home to the finest local food producers and artisans in the Edmonton area and is the perfect place to get your foodie friends something special.
Where to stay:
Located 1 block off Whyte Avenue, HI-Edmonton is the destination of choice for travellers who want to be in the middle of the action.This urban hostel offers private and shared rooms, free parking, free wireless internet and plenty of programs and activities arranged by the hostel staff. And for those visitors on a Christmas shopping mission, West Edmonton Mall is just a quick bus ride away!
Image credit:Travel Alberta