Modern design, contemporary sculpture flourishes in Edmonton (Courtesy: City of Edmonton)This just in: National Geographic lists Edmonton, Alberta as one of the "Best Summer Destinations for 2015" in a special feature released a few days ago. Rightly deserved, too. I lived in Edmonton for several months when I was a youthful university student exploring the Canadian West for the first time – and that's exactly what I fell in love with: Edmonton's Western heritage. I went back to Edmonton three years ago (and revisited again quite recently) and fell in love all over again – but this time with its urban side, its culinary scene and edgy theatre. So it's no surprise that the venerable National Geographic included Edmonton as one of "The Best Summer Destinations for 2015." The National Geographic writers mentioned some of the off-the-radar experiences Edmonton has to offer, as well as the international events taking place in the city this summer, including the FIFA Women's World Cup in June and the Edmonton Fringe Festival, which rivals similar festivals in Edinburgh and Toronto. My own must-do list for Edmonton (in no particular order): 1. Edmonton's food truck scene. Edmonton has been way head of Toronto, my current hometown, on the food truck movement. Not only have Edmontonians embraced the street food scene, their food trucks were on the Twitter band wagon long before the rest of the country, by my reckoning. One portable foodie venture I'd highly recommend is Between Two Buns @bunstwo.
Segway tour of Edmonton's River Valley (courtesy River Valley Adventure Company)2. Do the River Valley Segway Tour, seriously. A couple hours with River Valley Adventure Company on the two-wheeled locomotives will make you giggle. 3. Spend the morning at Strathcona Market. I dare you to swing by the historic Strathcona Market and not come home with two bags full. 4. Fave restaurant: North 53. The kitchen staff get extra marks for their commitment to Canadian ingredients – with innovative twists. Of course, you'll be tempted by the "Steak of the Moment M/P" but also consider the Pork Cabbage Rolls (a nod to the East European populace of Edmonton) which is served with porcini cream, wild mushrooms and black truffle. 5. Fave art gallery: by all means, tour the hallowed Art Gallery of Alberta, especially if there's a special exhibit, but carve out some time during your visit for a wander through 40 years of Canadian art, much of it contemporary, at the West End Gallery. For more information, visit Explore Edmonton. Have a great summer!