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Edmonton Girlfriend Getaway Tips for a Hip Trip in Alberta, Canada

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Looking for the perfect trifecta of shopping, spa and splurge-worthy restaurants for your next girlfriend getaway? You’ll find all this and more in Edmonton ~ Canada’s most Northern provincial capital. I went to University in Edmonton, but since I graduated oh-so-many years ago, I haven’t made it back much. There’s a bit of rivalry between my hometown of Calgary and Edmonton, but I’m kicking myself for letting pride get in the way. As I recently rediscovered, Edmonton is cool, like really cool. It’s always been know as an artsy city, but I had no idea how much this extended to their shops and restaurants. Here’s my advice on how to enjoy a hip Edmonton girlfriend getaway.

Edmonton Girlfriend Getaway Tips for a Hip Trip in Alberta, Canada

An Edmonton girlfriend getaway is affordable and fun! (Photo credit: Edmonton Tourism)

Get your shopping on in Edmonton

Edmonton has several trendy areas in which you’ll want to flex your credit card. My favorite, Whyte Avenue, lies in the historic Old Strathcona area. Here, you’ll find loads of indy shops, an art-house cinema and more hipsters swigging coffee than at a Modest Mouse concert. 

Just off downtown, 124 Street is a posh shopping district that boasts an abundance of cafes, galleries and charming boutiques. Best of all is Pura Botanicals, where you can make your own custom perfume. I fell in love with their organic baby care line and the Overnight Watermelon Mask – the perfect anti-dote to winter’s harsh climes. They’re only open on Thursdays, though, so plan according or shop online.

Be sure to visit Pura Botanicals during your Edmonton girlfriend getaway

Even if you’re not into scents, you’ll want to Instagram the interiors at Pura Botanicals (Photo credit: Jody Robbins)

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention West Edmonton Mall. You think Mall of America is a big deal? Well, West Ed (as we local’s call it) is North America’s largest shopping mall. You’ll find most everything under its roof, including a skating rink, movie theater and delightful little cafes at which you can rest your weary legs and admire your purchases. If you happen to be towing the tots, check out it’s World Waterpark or Galaxyland, the world’s largest indoor amusement park. If not, you’ll want to avoid these kid-populated zones at all costs.

Lattes are almost too pretty to sip at Cafe Linnea ~ Edmonton Girlfriend Getaway Tips

Lattes are almost too pretty to sip at Cafe Linnea (Photo credit: Jody Robbins)

Where to dine during your Edmonton girlfriend getaway

I’m not a huge fry gal, but I was converted at Woodwork. My girlfriend insisted we go here, as it was the site of the best cocktail she’d ever downed (Earl Grey tea, bergamot gin, Gallino, honey grappa and Chartreuse infused milk). The fries have a distinct edge to them from being tossing in smoked butter. Worth. Every. Calorie. The menu isn’t large, so you can order almost everything and share it. 

Duchess Bake Shop is a destination in itself. Modeled after a Parisian tea salon, this is the spot for ladies who lunch. Their sister restaurant, Cafe Linnea, gets the thumbs up for brunch. Here, the theme is Scandinavia meets France and it works. Dishes are minimalist (without sacrificing portion size) yet savory. Their oeufs en cocotte was one of the best I’ve had in my life.

french inspired brunch

Brunch is delightfully refined at Cafe Linnea (Photo credit: Jody Robbins)

Fairmont Hotel Macdonald for your Edmonton girlfriend getaway

The most glamorous place to stay on your Edmonton girlfriend getaway is at Fairmont Hotel Macdonald. This swish hotel meets all your needs with a lovely Royal Tea service on weekend afternoons followed by a tour of the historic property (which looks like a castle, by the way). You’ll definitely want to take advance of their full service spa and fitness center, too. For a hearty walk along the river trails, ask to borrow the hotel’s canine ambassador, Smudge (a gorgeous golden labrador retriever. Read reviews of the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald and book your stay on TripAdvisor now.

Hotel Fairmont Macdonald ~ Edmonton Girlfriend Getaway Tips

Sleep like a princess in this castle-like property (Photo credit: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts)

Final Edmonton girlfriend getaway thoughts

Edmonton, I owe you an apology. You may be further north, but that only adds to your charm. Next time I visit, I promise to check out your newly unveiled ICE District. And I’m crossing my fingers that I can score a table at Corso 32. (This restaurant is fully booked every time I call!)

For all my American friends reading, did you know Alberta has no sales tax? Or that your dollar is worth 25% more here?

Read more about Edmonton and book your girlfriend getaway with TripAdvisor now!

Would you and your besties enjoy an Edmonton girlfriend getaway? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from The Saucy Travel Mama: I paid for all accommodations, meals and entertainment during my Edmonton girlfriend getaway. All opinions are mine, as always. This story includes affiliate links. Your purchases help to keep a free resource for readers like you. 

About Jody Robbins, The Saucy Travel Mama

After a career in international marketing and a few years spent living the high life as an expat, Jody now resides with her family in Calgary, Canada. Figuring travel writing was a good way to combine her wanderlust and parental duties, she’s spent the past few years working with both print and online media, contributing to the Calgary Herald Travel and Real Life sections and blogging about her adventures at Travels with Baggage ( When not circling the globe with her precocious children (one daughter, one husband, one dog), she can usually be found snowboarding or pretending to enjoy hiking. Find Jody on Twitter at @Jody_Robbins.

  1. Thanks for writing such an upbeat and positive review of Edmonton! I’ve always loved our city, and am happy to see it finally getting the recognition it deserves. Our river valley is amazing and definitely worth a leisurely meander, with coffee in hand, plus all the boutique stores and eateries mentioned above, add up to a fab place for a girls’ getaway…..yes, come visit our hip city, everyone!

  2. I don’t think I have ever been to an indoor water park. That sounds awesome!

  3. Amy Desrosiers says

    Wow, I need to visit Alberta then! This looks like a fun getaway to do my fav thing–shopping.

  4. Until reading this post I never knew all the gems Edmonton had to offer- looks like a great place to enjoy an amazing girlfriend getaway! Putting it on my must travel to list of attractions!

  5. I have heard a lot about Edmonton… Hope it is a good place to visit for girlfriends.

  6. Toni | Boulder Locavore says

    These are really great advice! I’ll definitely add this to our list for our next visit to Edmonton!

  7. Dana Vento says

    Edmonton is on my bucket, I’m really excited and I’ll make sure to shop on Giant mall.

  8. My teen guide says

    I’ve never been in Edmonton, and I really wanted to go in that place. I will check it out about that.

  9. I used to live in Edmonton … awesome that you had a great time enjoying some of my favorite spots!

  10. Dawn McAlexander says

    Edmonton seems like it has some great shopping. Unfortunately it is just a little too far away for me to enjoy it. If I ever get up that way though, I will be sure to check it out.

  11. Edmonton looks like a fantastic place to visit. You definitely had me sold with that amazing mall.

  12. Pam Wattenbarger says

    Wow, it looks like there is a ton to do in Edmonton. I would love to visit the giant mall and get my shop on!

  13. Jen Rattie says

    I’ve never been to Canada, which is weird considering how close I live to it. I really should make that my next trip.

  14. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says

    That sounds like an amazing time. I’ve been all over the word, but for some reason, I’ve never gotten to Canada. I have to get to Edmonton!

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