Saskatchewan River

Casino Yellowhead in Edmonton, Alberta and the surrounding metropolitan area offer a lot of entertaining options to players outside of the poker tournament while they’re here for the DSPT Edmonton Spring Main Event. Here are a few things the DSPT crew recommends checking out if you have some free time at this tournament stop.

If you have a few hours: Downtown Edmonton is a short drive from the casino, and in addition to the Alberta Legislature Building, Art Gallery of Alberta, City Hall, and Churchill Square; just south of downtown the River Valley (pictured) provides an excellent panorama of the river and the Muttart Conservatory. On the south side of the Saskatchewan River you will find the neighborhood of Old Strahcona centered around the University of Alberta. It features many great restaurants, bars, and numerous arts and culture options. The neighborhood also hosts a Farmer’s Market on Saturdays. A few favorites of the DSPT crew in this historic district include Situation Brewing and Have Mercy, a whiskey bar that features karaoke with a live piano player who is fantastic.

A little further afield: Elk Island National Park is just a half hour from Casino Yellowhead, and it offers a great opportunity for wildlife viewing. It played an important role in the conservation of American bison, and coyotes, moose, elk, deers, lynx, beavers, and porcupines can commonly be found in the refuge as well, along with over 250 types of bird species. If you’re lucky you might even spot black bears or timber wolves.

If you have your family along for the trip: The West Edmonton Mall features a water park, amusement park, lagoon with a pirate ship and Sea Lion show, a movie theater with IMAX screen, and of course an ice skating rink since it’s Canada. Another option on the weekends is Fort Edmonton Park on the banks of the Saskatchewan River. This amusement park features a journey through different historical periods in Edmonton and Canadian history, including the 1846 Hudson’s Bay Fort and streets from 1885, 1905, and 1920. There is also a steam train and other rides for kids to enjoy.

If you bagged Day 1A, and have Day 1B or 1C off: Jasper National Park is the call if you have a day off up here in Edmonton. Just over three hours from town is some of the most beautiful wilderness in the Canadian Rockies. Top sights include Spirit Island in Maligne Lake, the Athabasca Glacier and Athabasca Falls, and cruising the Icefields Parkway to enjoy the sights and wildlife that abound throughout the park. This time of year is also prime-time for viewing the Northern Lights. You can start to see the Aurora Borealis if you drive just 20-30 minutes out of town, but Jasper is the best spot to see them since there is little to no light pollution up in the mountains. Jasper will actually be hosting a Dark Sky Festival from October 13-22 if you wanted to stick around in Alberta after the DSPT Battle of Alberta Calgary Main Event that runs from October 6-9.

And in addition to all these options, the Casino Yellowhead has a number of great gaming options and amenities. In addition to the 24-hour 14-table poker room, there are hundreds of slot machines, dozens of live action table games, craps, roulette, and more. Dining options include Retro, which offers a modern twist on comfort classics, The Social Bar & Lounge, and SNAX Pantry & Wok, where a personal favorite of the DSPT crew is the mini donuts made fresh to order. Whatever you choose, there is definitely a lot to do here while you’re in town for the WPTDS Edmonton Spring Main Event.