Welcome to Alberta’s capital city of Edmonton. Pick up your rental car and explore the city. There is no shortage of things to do in Edmonton that will make your inner arts and culture lover jump for joy. Live theatre, art galleries, and countless festivals are just the beginning. Here, every season is the festival season. Whether it is Shakespeare under an open sky in the summer or a winter festival with sculptures made of ice and…fire. If you are in Edmonton, there is a festival going on somewhere. Over 50 festivals annually mean there’s no shortage of excitement to fill your stay.
Pick up your rental car and explore the city. A unique, easy to learn and relaxing way to discover Edmonton is to join our included Segway Tour along the quiet pathways of the River Valley. You will receive in-depth training from a Segway certified trainer who will go over the skill you need before heading out on your adventure. You will be surprised at the ease of operation these scooters that require no balance and no previous experience. Enjoy the experience of a lifetime as you ride through Edmonton’s world-famous river valley. Later, stroll or pedal bike along Whyte Avenue, visit the Parliament Buildings or spend time at the water park, the ziplines or in Galaxy Land, just a few of many attractions within the well known West Edmonton Mall.
Just 35 minutes east of Edmonton is a natural wonderland that is open all year long. Follow the footprints of a bison and learn how this magnificent animal was brought back from near extinction, bring along a picnic basket or spread a blanket and gaze at a starry sky free from city lights. In addition to being an important refuge for bison, elk and more than 250 bird species, Elk Island National Park is also an oasis of calm for day picnickers.
Nearby is another cultural attraction that is open from mid-May to early September - the Ukrainian Heritage Village, a living history museum where the history of Alberta’s early European settlement is brought to life by costumed interpreters portraying the lives of actual pioneers. Hear stories of solitude, survival, and perseverance while discovering how Ukrainian immigration made a significant impact on Alberta's cultural identity.
Return to Edmonton and return your rental car as you prepare to depart on the late evening VIA Rail overnight service to Saskatoon through the wide-open prairie landscape of central Canada. Note that you can choose between comfortable couch sitting, sleeper berth or private cabin accommodation for your overnight trip and your travel agent will be happy to provide you with the different cost options.
Arrive in Saskatoon early this morning and pick up your rental car and then drive to Wanuskewin Heritage Park, a National Historic Site located 5km north from Saskatoon. This Northern Plains Indigenous Interpretive Site is home to over 6000 years of history and a truly unique cultural experience. The Heritage Park is a window into a part of Canada’s history that remains little known, and a link to the past unlike any other National Historic Site in Canada. Wanuskewin’s uniqueness is based on the composition of many different aspects of human habitation, hunting and gathering, and spirituality, all in one place. Virtually every ancient indigenous group recognized across the Great Plains visited this location year-after-year and the result is a remarkably complete and intact record of cultural development in the region over that time span. The area contains some of the most exciting archaeological finds in North America, many of which pre-date the pyramids of Egypt and the archaeological resources of Wanuskewin are exceptional and among the finest examples of human occupation of the Great Plains of North America. Today, the site gives us the opportunity to delve into the past and discover what life was like for these nomadic hunter-gatherer peoples.
Later, check into your hotel and explore the city centre of Saskatoon. There is a tremendous variety of craft breweries and boutique restaurants using fresh local ingredients in the city. Saskatchewan is, after all, the breadbasket of Canada and the city’s food creators have infused local ingredients into their menus to create a wide and varied choice.
During summer, enjoy an evening river cruise on the South Saskatchewan River aboard the Prairie Lily riverboat through the heart of Saskatoon. The sightseeing cruises consist of a one-hour sailing with narrated commentary.
Have an easy morning to explore the miles of scenic trails along the South Saskatchewan River or drive less than 2 hours to the Manitou Hot Springs. Often compared to the Dead Sea of Israel, the mysterious waters of Manitou is legendary for its natural buoyancy, mineral-rich and curative properties, powers. A European-style spa and hotel in the heart of Canada’s prairies are the only one of its kind in Canada. There are indoor shops featuring unique Saskatchewan-made products by local artisans and restaurants for fine dining. The mineral spa is open daily up to 10 p.m.
Drive back to Saskatoon, return your rental car and continue with your onward travels.