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Best area for family stay in Edmonton

sydney
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Best area for family stay in Edmonton

Hello!

We will be spending 3 nights in Edmonton next June and would like recommendations for good hotels/areas in which to stay. We are a family of 4 with 2 six year olds.

I love the idea of staying in Old Strathcona but am worried that the weekend noise at night will be too much.

So, that seems to leave Downtown and West Edmonton. We will be going to the Mall so West Edmonton is close to that, but the hotel area seems a bit bleak.

Downtown seems central in terms of getting around and I was thinking the kids might like the River Valley trails.

From Edmonton we drive to Jasper.

Any advice/tips would be appreciated!

Thanks

Karen

Sydney, Australia

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Edmonton
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Alberta, Canada
Old Strathcona
Old Strathcona
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1. Re: Best area for family stay in Edmonton

The other hotel area you left out is on the south side (along Calgary Trail and Gateway Blvd, especially near the Whitemud Freeway), but to be honest, it's just as bleak as the west end hotel areas. Neither area is pedestrian-friendly; you just need to jump in your car to get around.

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Calgary
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Edmonton, Canada
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2. Re: Best area for family stay in Edmonton

You could try Glenora Bed and Breakfast (nice area, close to museum, 124th St): tripadvisor.ca/Hotel_Review-g154914-d185665-…

Personally I recommend downtown, between 99th Street and 124th Avenue. Lots to see and do, great restaurants, and convenient access to river valley. Also, travel to West Edmonton Mall is not too difficult from downtown, either by car or bus (if you have GPS or use GoogleMaps you'll be fine).

Also, make sure you take the kids to Fort Edmonton Park while you're here.

Strathcona/Whyte Ave are great to visit during the day, but after 9:00 PM or so there are too many drunken university students and teenagers, but they're far more of an annoyance than a threat. I don't think it should necessarily disuade you from hotelling in the area.

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West Edmonton Mall
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3. Re: Best area for family stay in Edmonton

IF you have a car, Sherwood Park is a nearby family-friendly community which has some nice newer hotels. You can make it to West Ed Mall in 30 minutes via the Anthony Henday or Whitemud. Also easy access to Whyte Avenue. Not such a nice view as the river valley, though. I would recommend the hotels on Broadmoor Boulevard area adjacent to Millenium Place (where there is a wave pool, indoor playground and gym)(not the Road King on Highway 16). You would also be close to Kidz Quarterz play zone (another indoor playground). It also allows an easy drive out to Elk Island National Park (where the Bison still roam free) or the Ukrainian Village ( a great look at the early Ukrainian settlement of Alberta). It would add an extra half hour of driving on your Jasper trip as Sherwood Park is on the East side of Edmonton.

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Sherwood Park
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Alberta, Canada
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Edmonton, Canada
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Elk Island National Park
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4. Re: Best area for family stay in Edmonton

There are new hotels in Ellerslie, which may be a little more convenient than Sherwood Park - a Four Points Sheraton, Hampton Inn, and Sandman, and they are just off the Henday.

Karen, what do you plan on doing in Edmonton? Is a hotel pool important for you? The Whyte Avenue hotels generally don't have pools, I believe.

You can walk Whyte Avenue in the evenings, though many of the shops close at 6. The surrounding residential areas are pleasant to walk at night, and there is quick access to river valley trails. The noise from motorcycles can be a bit much at 1 a.m., though.

Downtown is more of a concrete jungle, so not as pleasant if you want to walk around at night.

Much of where I'd recommend depends on your day plans.

If I were coming for a visit, I would likely stay in Strathcona, just because it is a pleasant area and fairly central. My second preference would be a hotel in Ellerslie or on Calgary Trail, as they are relatively fast to Strathcona, downtown, and West Edmonton Mall (no more than 20 or 25 minutes to each).

Edited: 17 August 2012, 02:20
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Sherwood Park
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Alberta, Canada
Edmonton
Edmonton
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Whyte Avenue
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Edmonton, Canada
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Calgary
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Edmonton, Canada
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5. Re: Best area for family stay in Edmonton

Sherwood Park and Ellerslie have some decent hotels; however, I would not stay there UNLESS 1) you have a car, AND 2) are OK with doing a lot of driving every day.

Most of the interesting things to see and do are central: the best river valley access points, the art gallery, the Edmonton Queen, the museum, Fort Edmonton, Old Strathcona, and much more are all centrally located. Whereas in Sherwood Park and Ellerslie there is very little to see or do beyond the front door of your hotel besides suburban residences, freeway, arteries, and strip malls (both are nice communities, but are not tourist destinations). To see or do anything you will have to drive to the centre of the city anyway. Downtown Edmonton has come a long way in the last 10 years, though it still has a ways to go to be more visitor-friendly and vibrant. But it's worth a go, or the Old Strathcona option is good, too.

Edited: 17 August 2012, 03:12
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Edmonton
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Old Strathcona
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6. Re: Best area for family stay in Edmonton

I agree there is not much to do in hotels other than downtown or Strathcona. But, having travelled a significant amount with kids, I found staying a little offsite was not a big deal, as most of your time is spent away from the hotel. I don't think there is a lot of driving time - 20-25 minutes downtown from Ellerslie, 20 minutes to Fort Edmonton, 20 minutes to the mall, 30 minutes to the museum, 30 minutes to the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. From Strathcona, in non rush hour traffic, 10 minutes to downtown, 20 to the mall, 10 minutes to Fort Edmonton, 15 minutes to the museum, 45 minutes or more to the Village.

Downtown is 25 minutes to the mall, less than 10 minutes to the museum, 20 minutes to Fort Edmonton, close to an hour to the Village. However, depending on when Karen is going to be in Edmonton, she may hit the Street Performers' Festival, which is downtown, and is kid friendly. I can't speak for Karen's kids, but I know mine would not have been too excited about art galleries. At about that age, I took them to Warhol and Rodin exhibits in Vancouver, and they could barely wait to leave. Perhaps Karen's children are more cultured. ;).

In the absence of the Festival, I disagree on staying downtown. I think it's great for adults, but not any better than the suburbs when you add kids to the mix, unless one plans most activities downtown during the day. Strathcona is the probably the preferred area, provided one doesn't mind noise.

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Edmonton
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Fort Edmonton Park
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7. Re: Best area for family stay in Edmonton

Several reviewers have suggested you see Fort Edmonton with your children. May I suggest you stay right in the park at the Hotel Selkirk. It's set up like an historic hotel (no pool, unfortunately) with features such as a large claw-foot bathtub that both kids could probably fit in at one time. It's very quiet at night because there's no traffic! The only people allowed on the grounds after the park is closed are those registered at the hotel, so you won't get a bunch of drunk hooligans fighting under your window in the middle of the night. The bonus of staying at this hotel is that you're right there in the morning when the park opens and you can easily spend an entire day there. If the children get tired, you can go back to your room before exploring more. It's about a 15-20 minute drive to West Edmonton Mall from the park. We stayed there last year with a 9 year old girl and it was one of the highlights of the trip for her. They leave a small, souvenir teddy bear on the bed for you to take home. You might have to ask for another one if you've got the two children!

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Fort Edmonton Park
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Edmonton, Canada
Hotel Selkirk
Hotel Selkirk
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Edmonton, Canada
West Edmonton Mall
West Edmonton Mall
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sydney
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8. Re: Best area for family stay in Edmonton

Thanks everyone. The advice is really helpful.

I am tending towards downtown at the moment - maybe the Courtyard Marriott. This is our tentative plan:

- arrive Edmonton airport at 11.30am, Hire car and drive to hotel

- spend afternoon around hotel - river valley. shops, legislative grounds etc

- next day - West Edmonton Mall

- last day - morning Old Strathcona / afternoon Fort Edmonton Park

- next day - drive to Jasper

We don't need a pool (will be going to be water park at the Mall) and don't need somewhere where we can walk around at night.

We'd like somewhere where there a couple of family friendly restaurants close by for early dinners, and a hotel where it is quiet at night.

Thanks again everyone!

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Edmonton
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West Edmonton Mall
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Edmonton, Canada
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Old Strathcona
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9. Re: Best area for family stay in Edmonton

Hi - it seems like you have really good intuition about what's right for your family. I think if you are the family that would like to stay downtown, close to the river valley and downtown attractions (which it sounds like you are) you will have a splendid time. The river valley is so beautiful in June.

Your itinerary sounds great!

You will find a lot of good family friendly dining options downtown. A fun restaurant for the family downtown is Mongolie Grill:

themongoliegrill.com/ordereze/1000/Page.aspx

Let us know if you want some more ideas, and have a great time!

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10. Re: Best area for family stay in Edmonton

Sounds like a nice itinerary, SyndneyKaren. The Courtyard Marriott where you'll be staying has a very cool restaurant with a patio overlooking the river valley.

Also, for neat little shops and cafes try 104th Street (just walk along Jasper Ave five blocks due West of your hotel). Another five blocks from there you'll find 109th Street which also has some restaurants (including The Mongolie Grill that Mcwhippet recommended).

On your way to Jasper you may also try some tipi camping for the kids:

tripadvisor.ca/Hotel_Review-g181726-d269808-…

Have a great stay and drop us a line if have any more questions.

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Jasper
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Jasper National Park, Canada
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