For someone who loves to travel and explore (and well, as much as it is a hobby and passion of mine, it’s also part of my job), I have to say I really was able to keep the exploration going in 2020 fairly easily thanks to all the little towns, cities and sights to see right here in my home province of Alberta.
In and around Edmonton in particular—there’s so much to do that you could do in the evenings after work, or on weekend day trips, and despite all the little, close-to-home trips I’ve been doing the last few months, I honestly don’t think I’ve barely scratched the staycation surface!
But I’m slowly checking off exploring all these Alberta destinations, and the latest one I got to check off is the Town of Stony Plain, located just 30 minutes west of Edmonton. (If you’re from Edmonton, ever wonder where Stony Plain Road takes you if you keep going west? The Town of Stony Plain!)
I actually explored Stony Plain over two days instead of just one day trip because there’s *that* much to do, one day won’t cut it! You could literally spend an entire day just shopping (that’s what I did with my friend Cindy—this town is a surprising hub for local shops!) and once you add meals, arts and culture and other attractions, you’re either staying overnight or coming back the next day (a weekend in Stony Plain perhaps?)
The Town of Stony Plain hired me to come up with a day trip itinerary to explore and share about the town on my blog. (This post is sponsored—though I chose every store, stop, restaurant, attraction I featured).
Use this Travel Guide to help plan your visit!
- And be sure to check out my Shopping in Stony Plain, Alberta: A Surprising Hub for Local Stores for even MORE ideas for your trip!
Explore Alberta Travel Guide: A Day Trip to the Town of Stony Plain – Where to Eat, Shop and Experience Arts and Culture
Where to Eat in Stony Plain
There’s a lot of delicious, locally-owned restaurants in the Town of Stony Plain, including a favourite breakfast spot for Mike and I—Twenty Eight Urban Kitchen!
We’ve actually been for breakfast and lunch here a few times prior to this specific day trip, and each time I thought to myself “I want to blog about this place!” and never got around to it. Until now!
Twenty Eight Urban Kitchen is unique because not only does it offer Canadian breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes, it also serves a selection of Filipino/Asian cuisine, as the owners are an Asian family.
This is an interesting looking restaurant—brick wall on one side, bright teals and blues, and then wallpapers on the other sides and a bike hoisted against the wall where the wheels form the O in the word FOOD decaled on the wall. And they serve really great food. I’m very partial to the Filipino tapsilog (marinated beef sirloin slices, garlic fried rice, over easy eggs with cucumbers, tomatoes, and fish sauce). They also serve a variety of omelets, bennies, pancakes for breakfast, and a lot of burger and Asian bowl selection too.
When eating in Stony Plain, you also need to stop in at Bing’s #1 Chinese Restaurant for several reasons.
First, it’s an institution in the town! Bing’s #1 has been serving Chinese food to the community since 1970 (over 50 years!) Next, Bing’s owner William Choy is also the Mayor of Stony Plain! How neat is that? You gotta eat at the Mayor’s restaurant. Third and fourth: Bing’s #1 has also been featured in the Royal Alberta Museum’s Chop Suey on the Prairies exhibit, as well as Chop Suey Nation, an amazing book about small town Chinese restaurants across Canada. And reason five: the Chinese food is great (though I was disappointed there was no hot and sour soup, lol).
Bing’s #1 is a no-fuss Chinese restaurant that was clearly popular when we stopped by (it was bustling for both dine-in and take-out—well, as bustling as you can be with pandemic distancing measures in place).
Mike loves the butter chicken from Butter Chicken Hut, so that’s another great option for you. I also like their vegetable samosas! Or you could grab food at the Freson Bros. Stony Plain kitchen. Freson Bros. is an Alberta-owned, 24-hour grocery store with a pretty comprehensive kitchen program. Pre-pandemic, they often had “all you can eat” theme nights too. Mike’s favourite pizza is from Stony Plain’s Atomic Pizza (he recommends the donair pizza). Or try Codfadders Fish N’ Chips, featuring fish flown out directly from Canada’s east coast.
And depending on the time of year, you can also catch the Stony Plain Farmers’ Market, which has been operating in the community since 1974.
Needless to say, you’ve got a lot of options for dining in the Town of Stony Plain!
Where to Shop in Stony Plain
I knew before my tourism trip to Stony Plain that this little town had a lot of little shops because I had a lot to choose from when researching for my Guide to Edmonton & Area Shopping + Dining Itineraries/Crawls Featuring Women-Owned Businesses I put together back in March 2020. I remember being surprised at that time how many small shops, vintage stores, boutiques and other businesses there were in this town with less than 20,000 residents.
So if you’re visiting Stony Plain—you can expect to shop til you drop, lol.
Go antiquing at One Man’s Treasure (4912 50 Ave.), a unique “antique emporium and marketplace,” where you’ll find all sorts of antique furniture, jewelry, clothes, household items, and a ton of collectibles. This was one of the biggest antique shops I’ve ever been to. You think you’re done but then there’s a whole other nook, cranny, and room to explore. They have a whole section of fancy vintage door handles that I’m going to go back and scour when we renovate our kitchen, lol.
Make your home country rustic chic with pieces from The Barn Owl / Nerissa’s Woodcrafts (4912 52 Ave.). It’s all very seasonally themed, so during our fall visit, it felt like we were on the set of a Thanksgiving-themed Hallmark movie, surrounded by all sorts and sizes of pumpkin decor, rustic watering cans, flowers, wooden signage. We spent a pretty big chunk of time pulling items together to create a perfectly pumpkin-themed front step look.
Be sure to grab a trendy piece of clothing at the Crown & Fox Boutique (#121 3003 43 Ave.), which sells clothes, accessories, paper goods, beauty, home items and more! I’m always thrilled when a shop carries rompers and jumpsuits which they had plenty of. Or head to Whimsical Vintage Creations or Shelly’s Finds, two great local shops located in the same shopping complex (3919 49 Ave.) for awesome home decor, clothing, jewelry, gifts and more.
And that just barely scratches the surface of shopping options in Stony Plain.
- Be sure to read my other Stony Plain-focused blog guide: Shopping in Stony Plain, Alberta: A Surprising Hub for Local Stores for even MORE shopping ideas for your trip!
If you visit and shop in Stony Plain before the end of October 2020, you can also take advantage of different deals and discounts by picking up a FREE Stony Plain Downtown Deal-ite Coupon Book!
The coupon books are available at any Main Street business (at check out, just ask for it or grab one) and you’ll get free gifts with purchase or different % off!
Where to Experience Arts, Culture and the Outdoors in Stony Plain
Murals and Instagrammable Walls
Something I thought was really cool about visiting Stony Plain was discovering they actually have a Mural Guide that outlines the location and stories behind over 39 different historical murals located throughout the town! You can follow the mural guide (see the online version here) to learn about the life and times of Stony Plain—through murals created by 23 different artists from across Canada. If you’re interested in history and art, this historical mural tour will be right up your alley!
As you know, I’m all about the Instagrammable Walls, and there are a few lovely ones here in Stony Plain too. Here are a few I would consider ‘Instagrammable!’
A selection of Instagrammable Walls in Stony Plain, Alberta
- A must-stop for a Stony Plain Instagrammable Angel Wings Wall is at the The Barn Owl (4912 52 Ave.).
- There’s also an Instagrammable Alley (and wind tunnel lol) behind Spring Lake Naturals (5007 50 St.) near Bing’s #1 Restaurant on Main Street.
- There’s a corner portion of one of the historical murals, the 2008 “Evolution of Electricity” Wall by Brian Romagnoli (an Ontario artist), that is also pretty Instagrammable (blue shapes).
- There’s a “Welcome to Stony Plain” Wall as well, at 4917 50 Ave., part of one of the historical murals “The First People” by Calgary artist John Langeveld, created in 1992, featuring symbolic colours – red (power), green (Mother Earth), white (purity), yellow (sun), blue (sky), and black (death).
- And there’s a nice “Canada 150” Mural Mosaic Wall at Stony Plain’s Rotary Park (4815 44 Ave.)
- Check out the Instagrammable Graffiti Tunnel at the Stony Plain Skate Park (4401 49 Ave.) which was recently (Summer 2020) done by artists Daphne Cote and AJA Louden.
The Art of Pottery
I’ve always wanted to learn how to do pottery and it’s still on my to-learn list for some day. When I do learn, I could see it being through a class/workshop at the Crooked Pot Gallery (Parkland Potters Guild) located at 4912 51. Ave. The Crooked Pot Gallery displays and sells one-of-a-kind pottery pieces made by members of the Parkland Potters Guild. Classes as of writing this post are on hold due to the pandemic, but hopefully those will start up again when it’s safe to do so!
In the meantime, the gallery sells functional pottery sculptures, unique, handmade collectibles and seasonal items that make perfect gifts! They also take custom orders and each month feature a different artist. During our September visit, Lynnette Lukay was the featured artist and we ended up each getting one of her uniquely designed “wiggle mugs!”
History, Culture and Ghost Stories
A popular Stony Plain destination is the Multicultural Heritage Centre, located at 5411 51 St. featuring two historic buildings—an old brick school built in 1925 that is now home to a living museum reflecting local history (there’s a library and archives), and the Oppertshauser House built in 1910. The house is set up as a house during that time would be. The centre also acts as an art gallery, and regularly features curated pieces of artwork. Typically (pre-pandemic), the centre offers visual art classes and workshops, heritage and children’s programs, performance and display space, and runs a number of outdoor and indoor events.
When my friend Cindy and I visited, the centre was hosting Alberta Culture Days market and activities, so we ended up buying jewelry, art, and clothing from a number of local makers.
Every October, you can also attend ghost tours at the Multicultural Heritage Centre!
The building is actually listed as one of Alberta’s top 20 haunted places. According to this report, “people have felt shoves from unseen forces, three people have died from the flu at the area before it all was used as a museum, and, similar to other purportedly haunted locales, people have had items go missing and heard strange noises.”
And according to this report, “Paranorbill (Bill Connelly) and The Alberta Paranormal Investigative Society (TAPIS) have recorded video footage — available on YouTube — of paranormal activity in the centre and the Maker’s Market. In 2009, Paranorbill set up infrared cameras and found a lot of orb activity. ‘The orb flies through the room, and it’s inexplicable,’ said Robin Lillywhite, communications director at MHC and a tour guide. After TAPIS’s visit in 2011, they (said) the MHC is one of the most haunted places they have ever visited.”
If that’s not enough history for you, be sure to check out the Stony Plain and Parkland Pioneer Museum and Tea House!
Outdoor Experiences in Stony Plain
There were lots of people walking and having picnics at the Stony Plain Rotary Park, which offers beautiful lake views during the fall, spring, and summer, and features a skating rink with festive lights during the winter. This park also has a beautiful red foot bridge that makes for a great photo op spot too!
If you’re visiting with your pooch, stop at the Umbach Off-Leash Dog Park, a 25-acre park that features a dog agility course (first of its kind in western Canada) featuring 21 obstacles for both beginner and advanced dogs and trainers!
There’s also over 43 kilometres of trails in Stony Plain and a Willow Park Natural Area with small birds and wildlife!
Whew. I wasn’t kidding when I said you’d need more than a day to experience Stony Plain! I hope reading this guide has got you excited to explore—whether as a local or a tourist!!! And that the guide helps you plan your exploration. There’s always something new to discover in your backyard—whether you live in the Parkland County area or in Edmonton. Being located just 30 minutes outside Edmonton, I’d absolutely classify Stony Plain as being in “Edmonton’s backyard” and a really quick, easy, and FUN destination for close-to-home travels.
- Don’t forget to check out my Shopping in Stony Plain, Alberta: A Surprising Hub for Local Stores for even MORE ideas for your trip!
If you’re planning a visit, please remember to double check hours of operations directly with the business before you arrive as things may change with the pandemic.
Have you been to Stony Plain? Do you live there? Do you have a favourite restaurant, shop, attraction or experience I’m missing? Leave a comment so readers can factor your suggestions into their planning too!!
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Disclaimer: This blog post is sponsored by the Town of Stony Plain. This has no impact on opinions stated in this post. I love exploring small towns (even better when they’re so close to home), and I had so much fun eating, shopping and experiencing arts and culture in Stony Plain!! Please remember to double check hours of operations directly with the business before your visit as things may change due to the pandemic.
Great to read your impressions of Stony Plain, Linda! We are one of the “Hidden Gems” of Alberta, for sure, where you can still get the small town feel, so close to a big city!
We hope you will come out to explore the Pioneer Museum, soon, where folks can spend about half a day exploring the history of our town and the county that surrounds it.
If you are able to come out on September 24, to take in our last celebration of the year – Harvest Fest, you will have LOTS to write about, and MANY photo opps!
Hope to see you there!