If you want to teach your kids about a place’s past or want to know the history better for yourself, local forts are the best places to explore. Fort McMurray, in Alberta, is one such historical place you shouldn’t miss. It not only provides you with rich glimpses to the past but makes your present better too!
About Fort McMurray
The city is located in the heart of northern Canada’s boreal region. Fort McMurray is a flourishing cultural society and thriving thrift positioned in the center of Canadian natural beauty. It is snuggled in boreal forests where four rivers flow together, the community of 70,000 people with a rich past, a plethora of opportunities for outdoor adventure, and a bright future. Visit Fort McMurray Alberta, the town hotels, and other tourist attractions.
Presently, Fort McMurray (also known as Fort Mac or Fort Mckay) has become an industrial area situated in the regional municipality of Alberta in (Wood Buffalo). The fort is on the northeast side of Alberta in the heart of the Athabasca oil sands and is encircled by the beautiful boreal forest.
The region has contributed a fair amount of its part in the progress of the national petroleum manufacture. In the wildfire of the year 2016, many inhabitants had to leave their homes and the fort, along with massive damage.
Places to Visit Near Fort McMurray
1. Oil Sands Discovery Centre
Plan a trip to the Oil Sands Discovery Centre to learn about the province’s oil sands history, technology, and everything. This center is managed by the Alberta Culture & Tourism through their Branch of Historic Sites and Museums.
2. Wood Buffalo National Park
Wood Buffalo National Park is situated on the line of Alberta province and the northwest regions. The park comprises over 4.5 million hectares of prairie, wetlands, and forests, along with a significant part of the Athabasca-Peace Delta.
The humongous length and breadth of the park make sure that the wildlife present in the region is well protected. The park is situated so deep in the woods, which makes it stay away from the human touch and live its flourishing wildlife.
As the park’s name suggests, there are several species of bison, including Tuberculosis and the Bovine Brucellosis in the periphery of the park. Every activity directly or indirectly impacting the Wood National Park is analyzed for further development and maintenance by the staff in collaboration with some partners.
Wood Buffalo Region possesses a fantastic model of a continuous morphological and environmental process of the biggest uninterrupted Sedge and grass meadows of North America. It helps to nurture Canada and the world’s most giant herd of Wood Bison, which is counted as an endangered species.
The enormous fields of the boreal forest are also responsible for being a vital home for many more species, including another threatened creature, Whooping Crane. What adds appeal and distinctiveness are its salt plains, gypsum karst, and vast inland delta.
3. Fort McMurray Heritage Society
The Fort McMurray Heritage Society is an NGO that looks after two of the historical places of the surrounding region; the Heritage Shipyard and the Heritage Village. The organization has made it very exciting with years of hard work and curation for the visitors to explore, learn and enjoy the heritage shipyards and the heritage village. With the help of visuals and stories, you can be a part of those who had come here years before.
4. Vista Ridge All Seasons Park
Vista Ridge All Seasons Park is Alberta’s one of the most famous ski resorts. The Park consists of some runs, big jumps, chairs, and other elements to keep the visitors amused. For those who haven’t tried skiing ever or are newbies, the park lets you familiarize yourself with the sport with the help of two bunny hills and magic carpets. This way, you can quickly learn snowboarding and skiing.
One can experience the picturesque Skate Park, Mini-Putt, and Adventure Park in the summer months. Tube Park and Bagjump Airbag welcome the public in the winter.
5. Experience the Magical Northern Lights
Northern lights or Aurora Borealis is something that can not be expressed through words. It’s an enchanting display of the light and colors in the skies at night. Northern lights are produced by the energy particles which merge with the atmosphere, and something out of the world, heavenly, is created. Sometimes, as the air flows around and these lights change their forms and dance in their way. Anyone visiting Fort McMurray should not even think about missing this out!
Fort McMurray is surrounded by a band of aurora on the 65th parallel. The residents of Fort McMurray can access this phenomenon vividly in the nights of October till March. Northern lights are most expected to have happened on cold winter nights; they’ve also been noticed in the hot August nights; it’s rare, though.
These lights aren’t easy to see, and they test your patience. Often, you might not even spot a faint image of it, and other times, it can stay for hours. No matter a second or an hour, witnessing the magical northern lights is a heavenly experience.
Some Tips for Better Sighting of Northern Lights
Although there are some tips to know beforehand if you can spot aurora, check the weather forecast before planning. You can watch the northern lights anytime between 9 PM to 3 AM, but if you want to experience something unique, stay up and wait for the midnight magic!
Some elements can affect your experience of hunting the northern lights, which include a sky covered with clouds, city lights or moonlight, and pollution as well. The northern lights are mostly caught at the cityside of Fort McMurray, but the pollution can make it hard for you to see the aurora. You can drive to some offside for a better view.
It may get freezing at times, so better to go prepared. Keep warm clothes, warm water, and something to eat if you’re planning to stay up till midnight. The aurora is seen in the direction of North or North-East, so don’t look anywhere else. Northern lights are called northern for a reason.
Bonus tip: If you’re a photographer, you already know that extreme cold can make your camera batteries drain; it would be better if you carried extra.
Places to Eat Near Fort McMurray
1. Wood Buffalo Brewing Company
The Wood Buffalo Company has been operating since January 2013 and earned itself a name by the locals as the Brew Pub. they have been offering great drinks and food ever since their establishment. Their top seller drink is the Babe Blueberry Vanilla Ale, which people seem to be enjoying a lot. Live bands perform every Friday and Saturday night.
2. ATMOSFERE Restaurant, Fort McMurray
ATMOSFERE is one of the best-known restaurants in the area which provides excellent services. Along with great, finger-licking food, you can also get alcohol and beverages. The restaurant has an indoor setting, and private tables are also available. Booking your tables in advance is always recommended. I love the place is; you get options of vegan-free and gluten-free dishes too! (just in case someone’s health-conscious).
3. Cosmos Pizza
As the name suggests, Cosmos Pizza is a one-stop destination for all pizza lovers. They cherry-pick the fresh ingredients, and all of their products are halal. Some of the most loved dishes of the Cosmos Pizza are the extensive Cosmos special, Chicken Shawarma plate, jumbo mixed donair, and the medium Hawaiian pizza. Along with tasty pizzas, you can also get Donairs.
4. Soleilki Japanese Restaurant, Fort McMurray
Soleilki Japanese Restaurant offers fine quality Japanese and Asian food, which is prepared with locally grown ingredients. You can get freshly prepared delicious food based on your choices. They also have branches in Cold Lake, Grande Prairie, Lloydminster, and Edmonton. You don’t only get to taste the traditional Asian and Japanese cuisine, but a fusion with modern dishes can also be seen.
This place houses a master chef who excels in Asian cuisine and is unbeatable at their culinary and presentation skills. Soleilki Japanese Restaurant offers dine-in, takeouts, and delivery. You can choose your preferred way and enjoy the meal.
Next time you plan a trip with your family, consider Fort McMurray as it’s an all-rounder with entertainment, fun, facts, and food. Do not miss the places mentioned in the article because these are cherry-picked and the best!As an Amazon Associate, Icy Canada earns from qualifying purchases.