By Lisa Monforton
Looking for a cabin fever cure mid-winter that’s not too far a drive from Edmonton? Head east to the town of Vermilion, about two hours away for a daytrip. Or, you could easily make it a mini-holiday.
You’ll find wide open spaces for outdoor activities like fat biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Then warm up by popping into homey restaurants, cafes, shops – or Vermilion’s first homegrown distillery.
Over the past decade, Vermilion’s main street has evolved into a charming, hip and easily walkable thoroughfare with a pleasant mix of restored historic brick and clapboard buildings, where about 20 local businesses have opened. The angled parking on main street gives the town a classic prairie small-town feel.
Plan your road trip in any number of ways with these suggestions of what to see and do. Or read the full story at SnowSeekers.ca to for more Vermilion winter inspiration.
Vermilion Provincial Park
This pretty park that hugs the Vermilion River Valley has a bit of athletic fame attached to it: the 15 kms of cross-country ski trails were the training ground for Olympic gold medal Nordic skier Beckie Scott.
There are a mix of easy loops and longer trails with downhills that will get your adrenaline pumping. You can easily spend a good part of the day here, gliding along the aspen and pine-tree lined trails, the sun glinting off the snow. Don’t ski? You can also fat bike or go for a leisurely trail walk to see if you can spot hawks, white-tailed deer or a red fox.
The Red Brick
Homey vibes and delicious aromas await as you enter The Red Brick, a popular spot on main street for its daily home-made soups, baked goods, locally roasted specialty coffees and tea selection. You can grab-and-go or sit for a bit with comfort food, like grilled cheese and tomato soup, or other rotating specials of the day.
Burnt Rock Adventure Company
Burnt Rock Adventure Company is the place to check out if you need anything from a new cozy plaid shirt or boots to cross-country ski gear or snowshoes. The shop also rents gear, stocks bikes of all kinds and offers simple bike tune-ups.
Read more about Vermilion’s feelgood vibes on SnowSeekers.ca.
If indulging in a bit of retail therapy on your mini holiday is your thing, you’ll want to head to Craig’s Cornerstone, not just a cool looking retro building, but also home to seven shops. You’re sure to find a cozy new toque or sweater or your new favourite winter boots, or a new pair of earrings at one of the shops. The building also provides a homey setting for Upper Level Pottery and Art Gallery, which features a rotating roster of Alberta artists.
Copper Cork Distillery
Warm up at Copper Cork Distillery after a day of playing in the snow. Owned by four locals, the distillery which opened in 2019, has become a bona fide success story with the four business owners doing what they are passionate about – creatively crafting spirits, that use prairie grains and fruits infused with their house-made vodka and gin, whiskey flavoured beverages, coffee liqueurs. They also have a spirit-forward menu of specialty cocktails, such as the Sassy Sunset or Vermilionaire.
Like the effects of a good cocktail, after a visit to Vermilion you’ll feel relaxed from soaking up the unhurried vibe of this lively town.
PLAN YOUR VISIT
Check out these #SkiNorthAB deals for ways to save when you visit Vermilion this winter.