If you haven’t yet had the pleasure, we’re pleased to introduce you to the town of Bonnyville. Bonnyville is a gorgeous town between Cold Lake and St. Paul in East Northern Alberta. It has a population of about 10,000 and is world-famous for its incredible fishing, hunting, birdwatching, and natural scenery. It’s situated on Jessie Lake, a gorgeous natural wetlands home to 200 different bird species. It’s an ideal destination for anyone who loves life by the water, relaxation, and time spent in nature.
There are tons of things to keep you busy on a trip to Bonnyville, but it can be tricky to make an itinerary if you’ve never been before and don’t know anyone in the area. So, we’ve done the work for you. Below, you’ll find some of the best things to do in Bonnyville, which are also some of the key reasons you should visit the town. Enjoy!
Bonnyville and District Museum
If you’re into history and getting to know the roots of the places you visit, you’ll love Bonnyville and its local museum. You’ll find an impressive collection of artifacts across 3 acres and 13 buildings. You can check out the buildings, including historic churches, pioneer artifacts, machinery, folk art, and other historical items. It’s a captivating, gorgeous place, and you’re sure to learn a ton.
Moose Lake Provincial Park
This stunning provincial park is located just 3 km north of Bonnyville. It’s the perfect lakeside location, with sandy beaches, picnic shelters, power boating, sailing, swimming, camping, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and tons of trails for hiking. While it’s popular, it’s still incredibly peaceful and relaxing. No matter how you love to enjoy nature, whether doing a high-impact activity, birdwatching, or simply sitting down with a good book, you can do it here. If you want to immerse yourself fully, you can even book a campsite and make a weekend of it. There’s nothing better than a campsite near the water on those hot Alberta summer days.
Bonnyville Splash Park
One of the more tricky things about travelling and visiting new places is planning something that can keep the whole family entertained, especially if you’ve got little ones. The Bonnyville Splash Park is the ideal spot to post up in the sun while your kids run around and get soaked. Featuring the iconic giant moose that sprays water, your kids will love this place. We know Alberta can get insufferably hot in the summer, so this is the perfect place to ensure your littles are keeping cool and having fun at the same time.
Bonnyville Golf & Country Club
You don’t need to be a golf fanatic to enjoy a day spent on this beautiful course. Though, if you are a big golfer, you’ll love it, too. About 5 km Southwest of Bonnywille, Bonnyville Golf & Country Club is a challenging 18-hold championship course that offers unbeatable views of Moose Lake and Chatwin Lake. Because the food and beverages are part of the experience, you better believe they have a fully licensed lounge and full-course meals for you to enjoy. If you’re bringing your clubs on an Albertan tour, you must stop here.
Birdwatching at Jessie Lake
Jessie Lake is a gorgeous kettle lake, and the town of Bonnyville borders the northern shore. It has a breathtaking loop hike around the shores; while it’s long, over 17 km, it’s absolutely worth the journey. If you like staying still more than undergoing a big old hike, it’s also the ideal place for birdwatching. Birders come from far and wide to see the endless bird species. Not only is the place awe-inspiring and wildly serene, but it’s easily accessible from Bonnyville. If you’re making the trip to the area, you should save some time for a day at the lake.
If you love camping, you’ll be happy to hear that there are 12 campgrounds in the Bonnyville and Cold Lake Region. Some standouts include Chicken Hill Lake, Moose Lake, and Muriel Lake. As we said, this area is idyllic for anyone who loves spending time near water. If you and your family are on a road trip and you love to set up camp in beautiful areas, this is your new favourite destination.
Jennie’s Diner in Bonnyville is a destination in its own right. You can expect a super retro, nostalgic experience with home-cooked meals, tunes from the 1950s, milkshakes, and amazing cupcakes and other treats. This place is a must for anyone who loves a classic diner with all the charm and even better food. This place is a cult favourite, and we’re willing to bet you’ll be coming back for more.
Britanny Burr is a freelance writer and a contributor to Great West Media. This story was written for the 2023 Hot Summer Guide advertising feature. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff.