Do you remember, as a kid, jumping on your bicycle and being excited to ride? It didn’t matter where you were going or how long it took to get there, you didn’t have a destination, and you certainly weren’t worried about traffic - you just wanted to explore and see the world. And when you found something cool, wasn’t that just the best feeling? I love that feeling.
As adults, that’s a large part of why we travel. To get up, go, see the sights, eat the eats, and create special memories in new-to-you-places. So, what is it that makes a place feel special? Public art? A breathtaking view? The sense of history? Or is it the people that you see and meet? I think it’s a confluence of all of those things, paired with a delicious snack or refreshing drink, of course. Something that, months and years from now, you’ll think of everytime you have a slice of neapolitan pizza or a perfectly made coffee.
While travelling has been limited during the pandemic, I’ve spent many hours wandering around Bridgeland, and the community is full of spots that I’ve made my own.
Here are 3 of my favourite spots to go to grab a spot and people-watch the day away:
The Bridgeland Piazza
Located in the heart of Bridgeland, right along 1st Ave NE, the Piazza is always bustling with people. Have lunch at one of the picnic tables, bring your next work meeting outdoors, enjoy a cup of coffee at one of the tables, or play a game of foosball on the Roma’s table. The Piazza features a beautiful mural by @bravotoner and it’s surrounded by fantastic spots to grab a bite and people watch.
- Veggie Donair Pizza from Roma’s Pizzeria
- Grab & Go Sushi from Ikusa Izakaya
With the recent addition of Phil & Sebastian, Hoopla Donuts, Village Ice Cream, and Una Pizza & Wine, the south-facing park is now an all-day destination for the perfect picnic! Bring a blanket and grab some shade with your four-legged friends and let the little ones hit the playground until they’re ready for a cold treat, or head over for date night - everything you need is lined up along General Block. Don’t forget to check out the rotating mural along the north side of the building.
- Pizza Picnic from Una Pizza & Wine
- Seasonal Scoop from Village Ice Cream
- Cold Brew from Phil & Sebastian
St. Patrick’s Island Park
There’s something special about feeling like you’ve left the city without ever having to get in a car. St. Patrick’s Island is the perfect inner-city getaway to sit back, relax, and dip your toes in the Bow River. 31-acres of wide open space, nestled between the East Village and Memorial Drive, the park boasts hikeable and bikeable trails, an amphitheatre, and a play area. Stop by Lukes Drug Mart for sunblock and then head to Bridgeland Market and pack a lunch before you venture across to the park.
- Cheese & Charcuterie from Bridgeland Market - Enjoy at The Picnic Grove
- Sparkmouth Mimosa Mocktail from Bridgeland Market - Enjoy at Trout Beach
Want more local tips to enjoy Bridgeland? For the best of Bridgeland, be sure to follow along at @InBridgeland on Instagram and Twitter. Headed to one of the spots mentioned above? Share your photos with us by tagging @InBridgeland/ #InBridgeland - we love seeing what you’re up to in the neighbourhood!