Thirty-five years after Canadian rocker Bryan Adams released Cuts Like a Knife, the 1982 album that rocketed him to worldwide fame, Adams is still rockin’. This month his Get Up Tour hits Alberta with stops in Medicine Hat, Red Deer and Grande Prairie. Yes, GP! This northern city might be off the radar for most big city dwellers, but Grande Prairie has hosted a lot of big name acts of late. Elton John, Keith Urban and Janet Jackson have all graced the stage of the 3,228-seat Revolution Place. There are tons of things to do in town, so why not turn the concert night into a short and sweet weekend getaway?
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19
8 a.m.: Leave Edmonton
10 a.m.: Bathroom break
Stretch your legs and use the facilities at Valleyview Shell Super Station. The truck stop’s bathroom was once named the best in Canada.
12:30 p.m.: Arrive in Grande Prairie
1 p.m.: Take a big bite
Head straight to the Dine-O-Saur Restaurant at the Phillip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum in Wembley, 24 kilometres outside Grande Prairie. The dinosaur-themed menu offers light lunch selections including salads, paninis and burgers.
3 p.m.: Get schooled
Attend a lecture on “Canada’s New Dinosaur Revolution” by paleontologist David Evans.
4 to 5:30 p.m.: Tour the Phillip J. Currie museum
The Phillip J. Currie museum boasts a sizeable collection of dinosaur and marine fossils that shed light on the past while also detailing how geology and paleontology have helped to shape the region’s modern-day economy. For an even more memorable experience, patrons can book a helicopter tour of the nearby Pipestone Creek bonebed, one of the densest dinosaur fossil sites in the world. AMA members save 15% on admission and 5% at the gift shop.
6:15 p.m.: Visit a microbrewery
Catch the last GP Brewing Co. tour of the day and get a behind-the-scenes look at the brewing process. The $15 tour includes a souvenir glass and 4 oz. beer sample. If time allows, hit the retail store and grab a six-pack to take home. Tours must be booked in advance.
7 p.m.: Dinner downtown
You’ll find most of the big restaurant chains and fast-food outlets in Grande Prairie. State and Main, Canadian Brewhouse, Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria, Sawmill Prime Rib & Steakhouse and Original Joe’s are all located downtown. And if you’re looking for a value-oriented nibble, use your AMA card at Harvey’s and Swiss Chalet and save.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20
11 a.m.: A savoury feast
For the best dim sum in town, make a beeline to Hong Kong House on 100 Street.
1 p.m.: Take a good look
The prairie kitsch paintings of Levine Flexhaug are on display at the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie until Dec. 11. View the hundreds of pieces by “the travelling salesman of Canadian art,” who roamed the West making and selling variations on the same landscape—a lake scene framed by conifers and snowy mountains. The pictures are quaint, but they’ve gained an odd sort of cachet (and have even been the subject of a feature-length documentary), while the artist himself has earned posthumous respect for his remarkable consistency.
3 to 7 p.m.: Free time
8 p.m.: Sing along with Bryan Adams at Revolution Place
Grande Prairie is about a four-hour drive along Highway 43 northwest of Edmonton. Consider upgrading to a Plus or higher membership, which allows for extended towing distances, free passport photos, free fuel and delivery, and enhanced trip collision reimbursement. And don’t forget you can pay for your membership monthly for as little as $9 a month.
HOW TO SAVE
Stay for less: AMA members can save 10% or more at Best Western properties across the country, including the Best Western Grande Prairie Hotel & Suites.