Edmonton makes Travel + Leisure’s international list of 50 places to travel in 2018

Edmonton makes Travel + Leisure magazine’s ’50 Best Places to Travel in 2018′ list
WATCH ABOVE: Travel + Leisure magazine has released its list of the 50 best places to visit in 2018, and Edmonton was just one of two Canadian cities to make the cut. Renee Williams with Edmonton Tourism talks about why we stood out.

Edmonton is one of the 50 best places to travel in 2018, according to digital and print magazine Travel + Leisure. It was one of only two Canadian cities to make the cut.

“We’re in good company with Toronto,” Edmonton Tourism’s Renee Williams said. “But we’re really thrilled because this is an opportunity to showcase Edmonton and what we know and love, as a city, to the rest of the world.”

READ MORE: Edmonton joins Machu Picchu and Fiji as must-see locations 

The publication’s travel experts and advisors from around the world offer recommendations and then Travel + Leisure narrows the list by looking at cities’ attractions, including new hotels, restaurants or major events that are making waves.

In its description, the magazine calls Edmonton “Canada’s token middle child,” a city that has “long gotten short shrift amid its glitter sisters”… until now.

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The magazine praises the city for its museums and burgeoning food scene, highlighting new restaurant The Butternut Tree, the new Royal Alberta Museum and Crash Hotel.

READ MORE: Travel guide angers Edmontonians over description of ‘frigidly cold’ city 

“After stints at Noma in Copenhagen and Manhattan’s Daniel, chef Scott Downey returned to his hometown to open The Butternut Tree in September, with a focus on Indigenous foods — grilled bannock with wild mushrooms and winged kelp; bison served with Saskatoon berry jus; maple-butter cake with black-currant jam,” Kathryn O’Shea-Evans wrote in Travel & Leisure.

READ MORE: Nation’s best new restaurants include 4 from Edmonton, 3 from Calgary area: Air Canada 

She also mentions the new 419,000-square-foot museum, designed by Dialog architects on the site of an old Canada Post centre and a trendy hotel nestled in the Ice District.

“To experience Edmonton’s indie side, stay at Crash Hotel, an homage to the Ace, which opened last winter. Its themed Hi-Fi room walls are lined with vintage speakers and hangover pills are at the ready in the mini-bar.”

“Those are really great examples of the kinds of things that our travel media team tries to showcase and pitch to international writers and journalists all over the globe,” Williams explained.

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“They’re always looking for those unique, authentic, totally original Edmonton stories we can tell.”

READ MORE: Big events in Edmonton bring city new visitors and prestige 

She says accolades like this help Edmonton diversify and boost the local economy.

“The more people that come here, the more they’re going to be spending their money, experiencing the culinary scene, experiencing the attractions, and some of the ground operators like our segway operation down in the river valley,” Williams said.

Edmonton has also been recently recognized in lists by Conde Nast, EnRoute Magazine and WestJet.

READ MORE: Creative Edmonton Tourism campaign threatens to ‘capture’ Calgarians 

In recognizing Toronto, the magazine highlights historic Broadview Hotel, Brothers Food + Wine, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the many celebrities that visit or live there.

Other top places to visit include Marrakesh, Morocco; Fiji; Valletta, Malta; Mendoza, Argentina; and Luang Prabang, Laos.