Grande Prairie is a charming town in northern Alberta, with abundant natural attractions, outdoor activities and enough restaurants and bars to keep even the pickiest visitors happy during their holiday.
Despite being a relatively small city, Grande Prairie delivers attractions to keep all family members occupied. There are mini-golf and full size golf courses, bowling alleys, cinemas, skateboarding parks, fishing ponds and a superb outdoor theatre which hosts drama and music throughout the summer months (May through to September).
But the real appeal of this destination lies in the countryside. Northern Albert is world-class fishing territory, with plenty of lakes and streams to explore. Visitors can also rent the right equipment in town and head out kayaking, or they can take riding lessons at the region’s many stables. Rent mountain bikes and hit the trail or just take a map and hike into the wilderness to achieve pure tranquility and relaxation.
Shoppers are also welcomed to Grande Prairie, and the town has one of North Alberta’s best-stocked shopping malls in the Prairie Mall. In the centre of the city, the Downtown district is something different – a world away from big box stores, it is filled with boutiques and eateries where you can hop from clothes shopping to coffee and a satisfying Canadian feast in the same afternoon.
For those who rent a car, there are many sights that beg to be seen in northern Alberta. Don’t miss the unusual rock formations at Medicine Hat, drive past fields of beautiful canola blooms, or get close to nature at the Kakwa Wildlife Park. The region is even a fine skiing destination in winter – and offers excitement all year round.
Alberta is warm in the summer (June to August) and very cold in the winter (December through to March). Skiing and snowboarding fans should head to Grande Prairie in March for bargain deals on equipment hire, while hikers and fishing lovers might want to try May or October for cheap accommodation, pleasantly empty trails and the likelihood of good weather. High season in June and July is likely to be the most expensive time to visit.
Grande Prairie is spread out and the region around town is massive, so a rental car is generally recommended, particularly if you want to take a canoe or skiing equipment to the streams and slopes. However, the city itself has a good public transport system (buses don’t run all night so don’t get caught out!).