Compared to Canada’s most populous metropolises, such as Toronto, Vancouver, or Calgary, the city of St. Albert might seem quaint and unassuming. The truth, however, is that behind St. Albert’s big city-meets-small town charms are some of best hidden gem attractions in the country.
The Enjoy Centre
“Reflect. Relax. Reconnect.” That’s the motto for The Enjoy Centre, and it certainly lives up to it. One part shopping mall, one part greenhouse, and one part event conference hall, this is a beloved piece of St. Albert real estate that has something for everyone.
Looking to indulge your inner shopaholic? The Enjoy Centre is home to numerous unique boutiques, pop-up shops, and markets. Hungry for something savory, or maybe something sweet? Take in the stunning window view at Glasshouse Bistro during lunch, then score some fresh-baked pastries from the Wild Earth Bakery for dessert.
From artisanal olive oil to wine and spirits, beautiful indoor gardens to luxurious wellness spas, The Enjoy Centre is your one-stop shop for reflection, relaxation, and reconnection in St. Albert.
Red Willow Trails
If you’d rather spend your day strolling the great outdoors, St. Albert’s Red Willow trails are your all-access pass to Mother Nature at her finest. Whether you’re hoping to get in a calorie-burning hike or just take in the scenery, you’d be hard pressed to find a better place to do it than here.
Consisting of more than 85 kilometers of recreational trails, including 35 kilometers of paved pathways perfect for biking and rollerblading, the Red Willows trail system snakes its way through the lush Sturgeon River valley region, with a diverse array of routes for every skill level, from novice all the way up to expert.
Even better, the Red Willows trails provide hikers with a handy tour of some of St. Albert’s most stunning natural views, such as the rushing Red Water Falls and the verdant Celebration Gardens, as well as some man-made ones, like the cherished Children’s Bridge and the impressive CN Train Trestle.
St. Albert Farmers Market
One of the area’s most famous attractions, the St. Albert Farmers Market isn’t just a great place to get fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s the biggest outdoor farmer’s market in all of Western Canada.
Taking place every Saturday starting in mid-June and going all the way to late October, the St. Albert Farmers Market brings together more than 250 vendors with a surprisingly eclectic variety of wares. Sure, there’s plenty of tasty goodies, both homegrown and home-cooked, but there’s also handmade crafts, jewelry, décor, clothing, art, flowers, and antiques.
Half the fun isn’t even buying things, but just looking at the countless wonders up for sale. Better get there early though. With so much to see, buy, and taste, it might take all day to do everything.