Calgary to Edmonton?

Reply

Mar 26th, 2003, 09:33 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 30
Calgary to Edmonton?

We are going to the Stampede and my wife would like to go to the Mall in Edmonton. We are hoping to stay in the Lake Louise/Banff area also for two nights. Can we drive to Edmonton from Calgary, spend the night, and then go on to Lake Louise/Banff without being exhausted and/or disappointed?
steffek is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 27th, 2003, 06:14 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 102
Yeah,you can do it, but its a lot of driving.
Calgary to Edmonton is 3 hours.
Edmonton to Lake Louise ( if you go back through Calgary) is about 4.5 hours.Roads are excellent both ways, so thats not a problem. I dont know if it is worth it just to see the mall. Its ok, but its just a big shopping mall,and you might be dissapointed to do all that driving just to see it.Edmonton has a lot of other attractions, and is often underestimated as a tourist destination. Its a beautiful city with quite a bit to see.I would recommend staying two nights and seeing the city properly.
jimmoi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 27th, 2003, 07:12 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,019
To be quite honest about it, the Icefields Parkway between Jasper and Lake Louise is a better attraction than cowboys bulldogging cows, roping calves and driving chuck wagons around in crazy fashion.

The West Edmonton Mall, to be quite frank, is nothing extra other than it is huge. If you want to see two ordinary big city malls jammed together with a hotel for the buffer zone, then I suppose it is an attraction. After spending half a day there, I decided once was enough. Nothing special; no big deal. No shops of mind boggling quality that exist no place else.

The drive from Calgary to Edmonton is 300K or 186 miles. The mall is, as the name implies, west of downtown Edmonton.
To get there, take Whitehead Drive to the west as you approach the southern part of Edmonton. Whitehead leads west and then north and then west again. Exit at 170 Street, turning north. You cannot miss the mall because it is rather prominent.

I think 3 hours if a good driving time estimate even though the Canadians are NOT slowpokes when it comes to driving. The road you want leaving Calgary is Alberta 2, the Deerfoot Trail. As I recall, it is 4 laned all the way, but I would not call it Interstate because it has grade level crossings, even stop lights. (I think I am recalling correctly here.)

At any rate, you can see where I prefer to go.
bob_brown is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 27th, 2003, 07:20 AM
  #4
BAK
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,944
The tricky thing for the geographically-unaware is teh fact that the Rocky Mountains go north on an angle.

That means it is a long, long drive if you decide to go west from Edmonton into the Rockies, and then head south to Lake Louise.

On the other hand, once you get over the boredom of the Edmonton to Hinton part fo the trip, the drive through jasper and down the highway to Banff is great.

The stores in the mall are like the stores everywhere else in big malls. The only real reason to visit the mall is to see the indoor beach, submarines, golf, midway rides, and so on.

I'd be reluctant to recommend the trip all the way to Edmonton for this, for adults.

Now, back to your question.

It's a couple of hours drive up to Edmonton, and there's other things to see (as mentioned above) so leaving Calgary early int he morning, getting to Edmonto by noon, enjoying downtown Edmonton in the afternoon and then going to the mall for dinner (lots of restaurants) and then back to a htoel would make for an interesting day.

The next morning, leave Edmonton and head back south on the main highway to Red Deer, then head west into the mountains and follow the highway as it turns south along the foothills, and into lake Louise.

Allow most of the day for this dfrive, to give you time to enjoy the scenery, stop and take pictures, and so on.

Fill your gas tank before you leave Red Deer, by the way, and you might want to get some snacks to enjoy along the way.


This Edmonton - Red Deer - Lake Louise day will be one of the highlights of your visit.
BAK
BAK is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 27th, 2003, 09:24 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 64
With all due respect to Bob, the Stampede is one of the greatest parties you will ever attend, as long as you are willing to go with the flow - cowboy boots, jeans, c&w music. If you can't let yourself go with the flow, it can be pretty cheesy, but it's definitely a lot of fun if you can get into it.

As to your question regarding the Mall, I do have to agree with the other posters that all it is is a "really" big mall, and has the exact same stores that you would find at any other mall, just more of them.

I would suggest that you skip the Mall, and take the day and night that you were going to spend on that trip driving from Calgary to Jasper and staying overnight there. You can then drive back down and spend a few nights in Banff or Lake Louise like you had originally planned.
Terrence is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 27th, 2003, 10:55 AM
  #6
ltt
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,466
if you are into shopping, it is definitly where you want to go. there is an excellant waterpark in there if you like those.
take hwy 2 straight to edmonton. then on the return, you could either head west (4 hours), stay the night in jasper, drive the icefield parkway the next day and arrive in lake louise or banff.
or if you don't care about jasper, as recommended above, take hwy 2 back 1/2 way and take the rocky mountain turnoff. this road ends on the icefield parkway so you'd see some of it. it is a really beautiful drive from rockey mountain house to banff. if you didn't want to drive all the way back in one day, there is a hotel called the david thompson resort between rockey mountain house & the parkway. we stayed there once so that we could hit the parkway first thing in the morning. it's a basic motel but has a small pool and a restaurant. it's in a beautiful location.
ltt is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 27th, 2003, 03:33 PM
  #7
DS
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 62
well, apart from the over 800 stores in West Ed Mall there's also the Waterpark and GalaxyLand (Amusement Park), Movie Theatres etc. It's fun to visit if you've never been there before and if you have a certain amount of interest in shopping!

Don't miss the drive 1A between Banff and Lake Loiuse. It's quite stunning.

Enjoy that great part of the world!
DS is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 27th, 2003, 10:02 PM
  #8
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 30
Thanks to all of you for the info. I will try to digest it and look at maps this week end. I may have more questions. The Icefields parkway sounds great is it easy to see Glaciers up close? I mean no more than a few miles of hiking? I probably sound like an idiot, but I have never been to this area. There are not too many glaciers in So.Cal.! Sorry ,Bob Brown, but we like Rodeo. Our first date was to a rodeo! However, Is it really over the top crazy at the Stampede?
steffek is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 28th, 2003, 12:21 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 916
Having not been to the Calgary Stampede myself, but knowing many people who have been, I'd say the Stampede is definitely a must-see event, as it's the epitome of rodeos, and it's when Calgary really comes to life, festivally speaking of course!

I find that the people who stay away from the Calgary Stampede are generally people who don't like large masses of crowds, or they don't like carnival atmospheres... or they simply don't like rodeos (as we all have our preferences), but I'd definitely check it out if I had the opportunity. I really hear it has a fun environment.


As for the Icefield Parkway - you can't miss the glacier. It's HUGE... and you can walk right up to it. You simply park your car at the well-marked parking lot (where dozens of other people, as well as tour buses, will be). And you walk up the trail... right to where the edge of the glacier, where it's melting. It's not a far walk at all.
Carmanah is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 28th, 2003, 07:05 AM
  #10
BAK
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,944
If you like rodeos, keep an eye open for listings of small town rodeos in addition to the Calgary Stampede.

The Stampede is similar to a very big state fair, with mid-way, exhibits, etc., plus the riding and roping, and so on. One Stampede feature not that common at many otehr rodeos is the chuckwagon races.

In the smaller towns, you get to talk with the cowboys, pat the horses, smell the bulls...

There's easy access to a great deal of thje interesting aspects of the Rockies, and no need for even half-hour hikes, unless you really like to hike.

I once spent an hour climbing up a hill covered with boulders, and when I got to the top I was surrounded by senior citizens who had strolled up the paved pathway around the side of the hill.

BAK
BAK is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 28th, 2003, 02:11 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 64
Steffek, the Stampede is as "over the top crazy" as you want it to be. You can - as many (if not most) people do, start your day with a chuckwagon breakfast (local companies and organizations offer free pancake breakfasts every day during Stampede, and you can find one just about anywhere). You can then go to the Stampede grounds and spend as much time walking around as you want - there's always lots to see, although alot of it is much the same as what you would find at a State Fair, only there's alot more of it here. The rodeo events start at 1 or 2 (I can't remember), and take up most of the afternoon. You can then go back to your hotel to relax, or find a bar with a patio and enjoy the Stampede "spirit". You then definitely want to be back at the grounds for the chuckwagon races (7:00/7:30) which are just incredible to see, following which there is the grandstand show, which will take you to about 11/11:30, following which there are fireworks every night. If you have any energy left, you can head back to a watering hole, or you can crash and get ready for the next day.

Just to give you an idea of the Stampede spirit, I'm a lawyer, and for Stampede week, it is expected that all lawyers and judges will appear in court in their jeans, boots and denim shirts - there is actually a judicial notice to the profession stating that this dress is appropriate during Stampede.

If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask.
Terrence is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 29th, 2003, 11:50 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9
In terms of the 'rodeo' aspect, I'm not a fan of the Stampede. The chuckwagon races are a disgrace IMHO and I've been to better rodeos in Edmonton (Western Canada Finals) and in Southern and Eastern Alberta. In terms of the 'party' aspect, the Stampede is pretty awesome...but also crowded and accomodations are expensive. However, if you will be in Alberta, you should visit the Stampede as it is an experience. West Edmonton Mall is also an experience and Edmonton is a great city. During the summer there are many festivals downtown and the Old Strathcona/Whyte ave area is one of the "coolest" neighbourhoods in Canada according to a magazine I read on a plane once. My vote is for the Calgary, Edmonton trip. Leave Calgary early morning. The drive can be done in under three hours. Spend time at the mall, and in the evening (in the summer it is light out until quite late in Canada) maybe check out Whyte Ave. and what ever festival is going on at that time. Book a hotel on the south end of the city so the next morning when you leave you don't need to fight traffic to get out. Take the 2 to theDavid Thompson (as recommended by others) onto Banff. The drive is spectacular.
monkey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 1st, 2003, 10:48 AM
  #13
ltt
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,466
if you go to the mall, book a room in the hotel that is right in the mall. that way you could look around a few hours, go relax and then head back down. plus, if you wife wishes to shop more then you then you can just be in the room.
ltt is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2003, 07:20 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 790
Steffek:

If you like rodeo, try also the Canadian Western Final which is held every year around November in Edmonton.

There are many places to visit in Edmonton in addition to the Mall. As a previous post said, around that time of the year there are lots of festivals going on in the city; also you can visit Fort Edmonton Park (a theme park with turn of the century buildings reserved), the cool/trendy Old Strathcona. Or rent a bike and go bicycling in the river valley. If you need any more info you can email me at [email protected]
Johnmango is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 11th, 2003, 11:02 AM
  #15
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 30
Thanks to everyone for the advice. We are staying in Banff after Calgary and just haven't decided about Edmonton for this trip.
steffek is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 11th, 2003, 12:54 PM
  #16
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 735
I do agree that the mountains are more interesting than the Stampede. Been there, done that and nearly fell asleep at the chuck wagon races. Rodeo is really not that interesting unless that is your thing.

We spent two weeks in a Calgary based home exchange and did Calgary, Lake Louise, rafting out of Golden (BC) on the Kicking Horse, Drumheller Dinosaur Museum, Icefields Parkway, Jasper and the Edmonton Mall.

The Edmonton Mall is no big deal although you will get a laugh out of the rooms in the Fantasyland Hotel. That hotel, in my opinion, is the only reason to trek up to The Mall from Calgary. Kids will, however, enjoy the indoor attractions. My son, who was about 13, loved it.
LaurenSKahn is offline  
Reply With Quote
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:16 AM.