Each summer I try to explore a new area in Alberta that I haven’t really been before.
Everyone wants to go to the Alberta Rocky Mountains—it’s an amazing place to be, often quite a bucket list destination for many as it should be, but I’m always happy to remind you there are some lovely little towns, hamlets, villages, and overall gems across the province that make a great day trip or short getaway spots—especially during our glorious summers.
One such location and the topic of this particular travel guide is the lovely little hamlet of Wabamun, Alberta located in Parkland County just less than an hour drive west of Edmonton!
For those who like to hit the lakes in Alberta, Wabamun Lake is considered one of the most popular ones you can recreate on. Most people who do visit the lake, come via Wabamun Provincial Park—rather than the hamlet of Wabamun. I’m here to tell you—keep going to the hamlet! It’s only a 5 minute drive further.
This summer I’ve partnered with Parkland County to promote the Hamlet of Wabamun as an easy day trip destination from the Edmonton area or a great place to stop off and stretch on the way home from the Rocky Mountains!
This does not affect the opinions stated in this guide—as I’ve mentioned, I love exploring little towns and regions across the province and Wabamun was no exception!
Mike and I are actually in the Wabamun / west of Edmonton area a fair bit because his family lives out on a farm near there—though despite that, our July 2022 visit was both of our first times exploring Wabamun!
Whether you’re a local curious about a fresh, tourist perspective on your town, or you live in the Edmonton / Alberta area and are looking for ideas for a quick, fun day trip getaway—use my Day Trip Guide to Wabamun to plan your visit! Read the blog or watch my video blog!
And keep scrollin’ to enter my Parkland County Giveaway!
Explore Alberta: Day Trip Guide to Wabamun
Where is Wabamun, Alberta?
Wabamun is located approximately 69 km straight west of Edmonton off the Yellowhead Trail. It’s super close to the city—less than a 1 hour drive.
The little hamlet sits next to Wabamun Lake and Wabamun Lake Provincial Park.
The Lake itself is known for being a great fishing, swimming, and boating lake! It’s one of the cleanest in Alberta.
Wabamun’s name derives from the Cree word for mirror, ᐋᐧᐸᒧᐣ (wâpamon).
Where should you eat in Wabamun, Alberta?
There’s a few spots to plan your eats in Wabamun and they’re all excellent!
Grab breakfast, lunch or dinner from Jingls on 52:
Jingls is a cute diner owned by a nice couple named Joanne and Craig. Joanne actually used to be a realtor in Wabamun, and the location for Jingls at the time ended up being one of her listings. They bought the building in 2014 and since then it’s become a popular spot for breakfast, burgers, baked goods, and more. Just before the pandemic they had also started jazz and live music nights—something they hope to bring back. Their patio is large and partially covered with pretty canopies.
All the baked goods at Jingls are made in house, as are the burger patties. The restaurant is named after Craig’s dad—whose nickname was Jingles. He had tried to get a license plate with the nickname but there weren’t enough characters to fit the ‘e’—so Jingls was born. The space is also home to a vintage market (I picked up a cute wooden ‘KITCHEN – OPEN 24 HOURS’ sign while we were there).
During our stop at Jingls, we ordered from the breakfast menu “just like mom used to make.” Mike got the breakfast plate with two eggs, bacon, toast and fried potatoes, and I dug into the delicious breakfast sandwich on croissant (I call them croissantwiches), with both bacon AND sausage (always get both, lol), and cheese. Our breakfast was super filling and well seasoned for a great price!
Try fudge and pie from Gossamer Gallery and Gifts
This art gallery and gift shop opened in 2015 and is a must-visit in Wabamun for all of the amazing pieces they carry (from dozens of artists) and all of the dragonfly art and gifts (Wabamun is all about its dragonflies), but I also wanted to shout-out to Gossamer Gallery and Gifts’ homemade fudge and Fifendekel pies! Owner, Lois (known as “The Gallery Lady”) makes an assortment of fudge flavours and is the only location outside of Edmonton to sell famous Fifendekel pies you can enjoy in her gift shop cafe (or there’s some outdoor seating as well).
Eat pizza, subs, burgers and ice cream from Yellow Submarine
If you’re spending the day at the beach (which, most visitors to Wabamun in the summer do!) then a visit to the Yellow Submarine should definitely be on your list. This is a take-out only restaurant offering a big menu of pizzas, subs, and burgers, along with a separate ice cream window to conveniently order Foothills Creamery hard ice cream.
We didn’t order pizzas during our visit—even though that’s a specialty we realized afterwards, but I figured if we were grabbing food from a spot called Yellow Submarine, we had to try their submarine sandwiches right? I got the Assorted sub which comes with pepperoni, salami AND ham (it’s really loaded!) plus you get to pick as many vegetables and sauces for subs from a list of 20 options. It was a delicious massive sub filled to the brim with some of my favourite items.
Mike ordered a classic cheeseburger that did not disappoint either, and we shared a Moon Mist ice cream (the reason why the cow jumped over the moon ;)) with a mix of bubble gum, banana, grape and cherry ice cream. We only got the baby scoop but saw some people go hard with their ice cream sizes lol (perfect for a hot summer day!)
The Yellow Submarine is *the* destination for ice cream so if you’re headed there on a hot summer day, you will likely need to wait. The ice cream order window had a steady line-up of people throughout the whole day we were exploring Wabamun.
What should you do in Wabamun, Alberta?
Here’s just a few ideas!
Hit up the Wabamun Farmers’ Market (NEW as of June 2022)
In 2021, Wabamun became a part of Parkland County, and one of their initiatives included starting up a Wabamun Farmers’ Market (managed by the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market).
This market runs from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. each Sunday until late September and features 14 vendors with more being added all the time! Vendors aren’t guaranteed to be there each week but there’s a variety of offerings ranging from cookies to vodka, fresh fruits to honey, lotions to soups and more!
The vendors are inside and outside of the old Wabamun Fire Hall, and there are also food trucks as well as live music on site too. Discover some local area vendors as well as Edmonton favourites!
Experience Wabamun Waterfront Park
At Wabamun Waterfront Park you’ll find some beach / sand and swimming access to Wabamun Lake (very typical for people to lay out here and spend the day at the beach!) along with a boardwalk where you can find people set up to go fishing, as well as a marina with boats (including rentals for the water), and a kids playground and splash park too.
Learn how to Paddle with Parkland County Dragon Boat Racing Club
Our visit to Wabamun lined up with the Parkland County Dragon Boat Racing Club‘s “Learn to Paddle” clinics that they offer to the public—so we got to hop into a Dragon Boat and get a lesson on paddling too! It was so nice to be out on the water, and for many of the participants in the padding clinic, learning a different type of paddling than they’re used to (it’s not the same techniques as kayaking or canoeing!)
The Parkland County Dragon Boat Racing Club offers a few Learn to Paddle sessions each summer and they do group bookings / team building or private paddle events too.
For Summer 2022, you can still register for their:
During our lesson, we learned different Dragon Boat paddling calls (for instance, “ready, ready!” and “paddles up!”). We also learned a bit about the different roles each paddler at different sections of the boat play (you’re seated for specific purposes). We paddled to song (singing a slow rendition of Row, Row, Row Your Boat out on the water). And we even “competed” with some kids who were out on inflatable kayaks.
Being *near* the water is always a treat but to get out onto the water is always so much fun so whether you’re renting a boat or water craft of some kind, or booking a guided paddling clinic, there’s a lot of fun to be had on Wabamun Lake!
Take photos with the World’s Largest Dragonfly
There’s a lot of dragonflies in Wabamun (they love water and the lake is *right* there!) so naturally, you would find the World’s Largest Dragonfly in the hamlet of Wabamun.
The 10-metre long dragonfly created by Frank Phaneuf is located at the hamlet’s entrance, and was erected in 2009, made from airplane wings, a light pole and propane tanks.
According to the article, Wabamun is only the second Alberta community to commemorate an insect with a giant art piece (the other is Falher’s giant bee!)
Thousands of dragonflies are hatched at the lake each June and as a bonus, dragonflies eat mosquitos so you’re less likely to get mosquito bites when you visit! ;)
Browse the Art Gallery and Local Boutique Clothing Store
As mentioned above, Gossamer Gallery & Gifts is a must-visit when in Wabamun. You won’t be able to miss it either—the building features a beautiful Iconic Canadian Musicians Mural, among other art work on the exterior.
The Gossamer Gallery carries the work of over 40 local artists and artisans from the Edmonton region, encompassing painters, photographers, pencil artists, sculptors, carvers, potters, metal workers, glass workers, fabric artists, wood craftsmen, and jewelry makers—so many artistic disciplines and pieces to experience here, and from both up-and-coming and seasoned artists.
Lois is also a treat to talk to—she has a ton of information to share and you can tell she’s passionate about art and artists. Be sure to ask her about the pieces and artists to learn more!
And as you might tell from being home to the World’s Largest Dragonfly, dragonflies are kind of a big deal in Wabamun, so you’ll find a lot of dragonfly gifts and artwork at Gossamer too. These make perfect keepsakes from your Wabamun adventure!
Gossamer Gallery & Gifts also presents a Wabamun Art Walk as part of the annual Summerfest put on by the Wabamun Area Volunteer Entertainment Society. This year, Summerfest takes place August 20, 2022.
In the same building, you will also come across Pieces by Sharon, a local clothing boutique. I was really tempted to pick up a piece but ended up not—and now I’ve been thinking about it every day since our visit! lol.
Listen for the Wabamun lunch siren
You read that right! Wabamun still sounds a siren each and every day, 365 days a year, at noon—to mark the lunch-hour.
This air-siren (which we had the pleasure of hearing during our visit), is leftover from railway days—where it was used to signal to workers that it was time for a lunch break.
Apparently, there may only be two spots in Alberta that still sound a lunch siren (though please correct me if I’m wrong!) The other siren spot is in Bowden, Alberta
It’s a fun, small town quirk (and also just good to not be alarmed if you hear it lol).
** GIVEAWAY! **
To encourage you to explore Parkland County (including Wabamun, Alberta) this Summer 2022, I’m giving away a Parkland County Prize Pack!
Enter to win a Discover Parkland County Prize Pack!
The prize pack includes:
- Family passes to each of the following:
- Tri Leisure Centre (Spruce Grove)
- University of Alberta Botanic Garden (near Devon)
- Entwistle Outdoor Pool (newly renovated, heated with a water slide)
- $50 in ‘Market Bucks’ to be spent at Wabamun Farmers’ Market
(also redeemable at the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market)
- All of this comes wrapped up in a Parkland County cooler bag to keep your Farmers’ Market finds cold while you adventure out!
(Pretty great prize pack hey?)
To enter for a chance to win the Discover Parkland County Prize Pack:
- Mandatory entry: Leave a comment below on this blog post telling me what part about Wabamun you’d most like to check out when you visit. Note: This is a mandatory entry. You have to leave a blog post comment to qualify for the prize!
- Bonus entries: You can also get additional entries on social media!
Please note: comments are moderated, so if you don’t see your comment appear right away—that’s okay!
I will select a winner from all entries received by July 25, 2022. The winner will be contacted via the email included with your blog post comment/entry.
Please be wary of potential scammers. I will never ask for your credit card information or ask you to fill out any forms with personal information. I will email connect you with Parkland County to coordinate your prize.
Plan your visit to Wabamun, Alberta this summer!
Truly, it’s so close to Edmonton. It’s such a nice lake (one of the best and most popular lakes in Alberta!) There’s lots of waterfront or on-the-water options for you to experience, and some great gems to visit along the hamlet streets as well—along with the NEW Farmers’ Market.
This was such a nice day trip for Mike and I—and it brought out a lot of stories from Mike about his family and their connection to the hamlet. His mom used to work at the credit union. His sister used to work at the grocery store. His cousin’s family actually started the grocery store many years ago (see the vintage grocery store flyer they found and shared with us).
We made some nice new memories together in Wabamun this summer and I hope you do too!
Note: my visit to Wabamun in Parkland County was sponsored. Experiences were hosted by Parkland County. This does not impact opinions or views stated in this post—I love exploring Alberta, including its little gems like Wabamun!
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