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Yellowknife's Sights & Attractions

• A WorldWeb.com Travel Guide for Yellowknife, Northern Canada.
Yellowknife, the capital city of the Northwest Territories, is home to many natural attractions and cultural sights. Visitors will be dazzled by the vibrant colours of the area's numerous parks and bodies of water, which continually change with the seasons. After taking pleasure in the area’s natural wonders, travellers can spend time visiting its popular neighbourhoods and streets to enjoy local cuisine or shop for keepsakes. And before leaving, vacationers will want to spend time absorbing the local culture and learning the area’s history at a museum or interpretive centre.

The Colours of Yellowknife
Under the endless light of summer—with color themes that run the gamut from shades of sparkling blues to alpine forest greens—outdoor and nature enthusiasts will discover a land, untamed and full of beauty and adventure. Whether that adventure comes in the form of catch and release fishing or hiking one of the area's numerous trails, travellers can choose their level of exertion and difficulty. Eager to soak up the summer sunshine, both residents and visitors frequent the area's many beaches. A favourite site for sun bathing as well as fishing, paddling, water skiing and wind surfing is the Fred Henne Territorial Park, situated on Long Lake. This park also features a boat launch, picnic tables, BBQ pits, kitchen shelters and serviced campsites.

Fall's cooler temperatures bring about the bright hues of yellow, orange, gold, red and burgundy among the deciduous trees, alpine shrubs and sub-arctic tundra. While short lived, this crisp and colourful time presents a number of sightseeing opportunities. Not far from downtown Yellowknife along Niven Lake, on the Niven Lake Trail, visitors can leisurely walk the two km trail (1.25 mi), taking time enjoy the showy foliage as well as wildlife such as muskrats, beavers and birds. Spectacular views can also be had from the water while paddling in parks such as the Powder Point Day Use Area. Located east of Yellowknife, this popular day area features excellent paddling and wildlife viewing on Prelude Lake, as well as an interpretive display that highlights the park's unique offerings.

The colours of winter and spring in Yellowknife are inadequately described with mere words, and must be seen and experienced to be believed. Not even photographs can do justice to the dancing Aurora Borealis reflected off the pristine white of an arctic winter. The brilliant hues of the northern lights could be described as a box of florescent felt pens, scribbled across the sky by an over-eager toddler in brilliant hues of yellow, green, blue, violet and purple. One of many ways in which they can be experienced include cross country skiing under their aerial ballet along trails and through green spaces such as Parker Park. Located along Range Lake, the park also offers visitors picnic tables, benches, playground and a baseball diamond. Winter enthusiast preferring to cross country ski during day light or under lights, will prefer the groomed trails of the Yellowknife Ski Club, which cover a vast area over and along Fault Lake.

Interesting Neighbourhoods and Streets
Yellowknife is not your average looking city. Large rock formations and hills thrust out between buildings and make for a unique and beautiful landscape. While travelling in the region’s distinctive neighbourhoods, along it's popular streets and down its major highways, vacationers will be privy to the rustic beauty of the land and the modern-day conveniences of city. With all of the amenities you would expect to find in the downtown area of a northern city, downtown Yellowknife, sometime referred to as New Town, has plenty to offer visitors to the area. Along the city's main street—Franklin Avenue (50th Avenue)—are a variety of hotels, shops and services. Travellers wishing to do a bit of shopping will find everything from outdoor stores to flower shops and fashion boutiques. As well as its numerous shops, downtown Yellowknife has a variety of restaurants and plenty of nightlife to offer. For an afternoon or evening of entertainment, Capitol Theatre, Yellowknife's movie theatre shows popular and independent films on three screens.

Home to the renowned Ragged Ass Road, Old Town dates back to the 1930's gold rush. Situated on a peninsula of Great Slave Lake known as "The Rock", this historic neighbourhood features a number of trendy restaurants and shops as well as unique dwellings. A variety of Ragged Ass Road memorabilia can be found in the area including t-shirts and road signs. At the end of the peninsula, visitors can travel over the bridge to Latham Island, also referred to as N’Dilo. Many of the Dene residents of this scenic island continue to follow the traditions of their heritage and visitors can experience firsthand the culture of these people while visiting the art gallery or staying on the island in one of its bed and breakfasts.

A popular pasttime for both locals and visitors, driving along any of the region’s main highways provides countless opportunities for sightseeing. Abundant lakes and waterfalls are easily accessible and rich with diverse species of birds and wildlife. By far the best route to see waterfalls, the Mackenzie Highway (Highway 1) runs from Alberta and connects with the Yellowknife Highway (Highway 3). Likewise, the Ingraham Trail (Highway 4) travels around the northern end of Great Slave lake and continues northeast, and is an excellent means of accessing a number of recreational areas both within and outside of the city.

Northern History & Culture
An excellent location to explore the rich cultures and history of the northern peoples, Yellowknife has a variety of historic sites, museums, monuments, buildings and specialty attractions. Visiting history-rich sites such as the Old Fort Reliance site, visitors will be transported back to the 1800s, which saw the exploration of the north and  progressive change for its people as well as the birth and expansion of trade.

Museums and interpretive centres in the city display information honouring the history and culture of the different northern peoples dating back to its original inhabitants and early settlers. Vital to the historical and ongoing development of the area, travellers can pay homage to the courageous bush pilots of the north at the six storey high Bush Pilot's Monument, located on "The Rock" peninsula.

Visitor centres displaying information on the northern diamond mines are just a few of Yellowknife’s other attractions, as well as the impressive NWT Legislative Assembly. Set in an igloo-shaped building, the members of the assembly practice a consensus -styled government, which is similar with traditional Northern governing styles.

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