They are easy and inexpensive. They don’t use up your vacation days. And they are straight-up re-energizing. So, forgive us for daydreaming of day trips!

Frankly, we don’t really need a reason or a season to make a quick escape from this beautiful yet chaotic urban jungle we call Edmonton. But the beautiful summer weather sure seems like a great excuse to spend every friggin weekend outdoors. Lucky for us, there is plenty to see and experience within a short drive from the city.

car in mountains
Photo via Shutterstock

Before we get into the list, we do want to point out that any good road trips or day trips start with a good, aka timely serviced, vehicle. TBH, Mr. Lube is our choice for all car service-related woes. For one, they are one of the most trusted brands in the industry. For two, they make oil changes and most other services a piece of cake. No appointments, no waiting for hours, no getting out of the car. Plus, they are affordable as hell.

Coming back to the list, we’ve rounded up five stellar day trips that will spruce up your summer. The best part- you can make ‘em a solo trip, enjoy ‘em with your significant other or take ‘em with your besties.

Take a walk through history and heritage at the Ukrainian Village

The beauty of this living museum is one that we never tire of. Walking through this well-restored early 20th century Ukrainian settlement with costumed interpreters is always a mesmerizing experience. Cherry on the cake: you also get to devour authentic Ukrainian delicacies and some even with modern twists (think Pyrogy poutine).

Revel in the floral wonders at University of Alberta Botanical Garden

Of course, Alberta’s largest botanical garden made it to our list because there’s nothing more refreshing and de-stressing than bright and beautiful blooms. The gigantic garden is home to a variety of blooms, several speciality displays, trails, picnic areas and more. Immerse yourself in the magnificence of nature here. Parch on a picnic blanket sipping a Sauvignon Blanc with a book, your furry friend or your besties.

Go full tourist at Village at Pigeon Lake

Village at Pigeon Lake is the picture-perfect touristy destination with great food, incredible views, old-town charm and both indoor and outdoor fun. Whether you want to spend a day at the spa relaxing, hike a few trails or simply explore the cutsie boutique shops and cafes, the village has you covered all the way. And if you want a lake-side picnic, head to the beach at Pigeon Lake which is just 5 minutes from the town.

Go brewery-hopping at Snake Lake, Troubled Monk and Filed & Forge

 

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This is our favourite kind of day trip. Grab a bestie (or 4) and check out the many great breweries around. Frankly, whichever direction you head in, you are sure to find at least one brewery worth visiting. We prefer the trip down south. Start with the Snake Lake Brewery for beautiful patio seating, great eats and some lip-smacking brews. Then head into Red Deer to pay a visit at the Troubled Monk Brewery for another round of equally amazing yet unique brews. And finally, head to the Field & Forge Brewing Co. in Innisfail to give your craft beer-tasting trip a spectacular finish. Plus, it’s a cute town to spend the night, unless you have a designated driver to bring you back.

Spend a day at the mural capital of Alberta, the Town of Legal

This is one for the creative souls or the ones who are in dire need of gram-worthy backgrounds. This tiny town north of Edmonton is made beautiful by the vibrant murals adorning its buildings and streets. There are more than 35 pieces of art working as a narrative of the town and the country’s rich cultural history. And when you’ve had your fill of the inspiring art, you can take advantage of the beautiful rural setting and the many parks here.

Before you get into the car and head out on those day trips, don’t forget to get your oil changed at Mr. Lube.