An International Travelers' Ground Transportation Guide
Things To Do in Yellowknife & Yellowknife Airport Layover Ideas
Things to do in Yellowknife if you have a Yellowknife Airport Layover or Extended Yellowknife Airport Stopover
If you have an extended layover at the Yellowknife Airport or staying in town, why not consider getting out with some fun activities? We list a few here and there are many more on Yellowknife.LayoverIdeas.com
Northern Frontier Visitors Centre
The best place to start any visit to Yellowknife is the Northern Frontier Visitors Centre. Easily accessible (it's just off the main highway leading into town), the centre has exhibits on Yellowknife history, mining and geology, natural history, and aboriginal culture. A small gift shop offers a selection of northern souvenirs. The centre's staff can help you plan your visit, providing brochures and information on allthere is to see and do.
You can drop-in in person, or visit the online Yellowknife Visitor's Centre before you go: Yellowknife Visitor's Centre
See the greatest light show on earth
Aurora Borealis (Northern lights) This is the one thing that you must see. There are many different ways of seeing the Aurora Borealis, such as snowmobile, sled dog expedition, photography workshops and tractors rides to various lodges.
Bush Pilot's Monument
The Bush Pilot's Monument, situated on top of a large outcrop (nicknamed "The Rock"), is a simple needle that pays tribute to pioneering bush pilots who opened up the Northwest Territories. Climb the stairs to the viewpoint for a spectacular view over Great Slave Lake.
Talk about once in a lifetime! For a truly northern cultural experience, go dog-sledding. The professional mushers who raise, train and care for the dogs help them do what they love most: to work and run! Accept this unique experience to be with the dogs and their handlers as you enter their world, and are literally carried away!
Learn about the northern history and culture
There are good cultural and historical centres worth visiting:
- The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre is the Northwest Territories' (NWT) museum and archives. The museum manages objects and archival materials that represent the cultures and history of the Northwest Territories.
- The Northern Arts and Cultural Centre (NACC) is a 313 seat theatre facility, built with the help of the Globe and Mail's fundraising efforts across Canada. The only fully equipped live performance theatre in the NWT, the NACC venue supports northern, national and international artists.
- The Diavik Diamond Mines Visitor's Centre tells the story of Diavik Mine. The interpretive exhibit, showcases the geology of kimberlite deposits, sub-arctic mining technologies and the process to turn rough stones into beautiful diamonds.
- The NWT Mining Heritage Society has begun development of a mining interpretive centre at the old Giant Mine townsite. The outdoor minung heritage exhibits of old mining machinery, vehicles, and some buildings are on display for public viewing near the Public Boat Launch at Giant Mine.
Yellowknife is an outdoor enthusiast's dream. There are several scenic walking and hiking trails within the city boundaries. The Ingraham Trail (Highway 4) connects Yellowknife to many lakes, rivers, and hiking routes that draw campers, hikers, paddlers, fishing enthusiasts, and hunters.
As always, make sure you leave plenty of time to get back to the Yellowknife Airport in time for your connection and enjoy your layover city rather than whiling away the time leaning up against your luggage in the departures lounge.
Take in a festival
Yellowknife has a few big festivals each year:
- The Snow King Festival, Caribou Carnival, and the dog sled races are annual winter events. Every year they even build a huge snowcastle on Great Slave Lake - definitely worth checking out.
- In the summer, visitors can take in the Summer Solstice Festival, Raven Mad Daze (with its 24-hour golf tournament), and Folk on the Rocks, a popular music festival.
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Last Updated: 22 Feb 2023