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5 Days: Summer Vacation


This itinerary is the ultimate for those looking for a bit of everything Manitoba has to offer: wildlife, culture, history and tons of fun.


Start in downtown Winnipeg at the The Manitoba Museum – explore a 17th century ship and go back even further in time discovering the Ancient Seas. Make sure to visit the Planetarium and Science Gallery while you're there.

Next, make your way over to The Forks. Have lunch at one of the market's restaurants or kiosks and enjoy tastes from around the world. Explore the mixture of greenspace, eclectic shops and entertainment.

Gaze up at the impressive Canadian Museum for Human Rights (on track to open 2014) as you head across the Esplanade Riel bridge to St. Boniface, Winnipeg's French Quarter. Spend the afternoon absorbing the history of early Francophone and Métis communities at places like Le Musée de Saint-Boniface and Fort Gibraltar.

Stop and have dinner at one of the trendy bistros or cafés located in St. Boniface. After your busy day, hit the sheets at one of Winnipeg's premier hotels.


Begin your day by driving north on Highway 9 towards Selkirk following Routes on the Red's self-guided tour of fur trade sites en route to Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site. Take a guided tour of the site to get an authentic experience of the 19th century fur trade at this original Hudson's Bay Company post - costumed interpreters re-enact events of the period.

Stop for lunch in Selkirk, then head north to Gimli to learn about Manitoba's earliest settlers - Vikings!

Stop at the New Iceland Heritage Museum to learn about Gimli's beginnings as New Iceland. The Lake Winnipeg Visitor Centre displays a 1940s whitefish boat and a 500-gallon aquarium with local species.

Enjoy local fare at one of Gimli's family-run restaurants. Try vinaterta for dessert, one of the area's specialties that reflects its Icelandic roots. Get a good night's sleep at one of the town’s hotels or resorts.


Make sure you're up early for the 300+ kilometre drive - head north on Highway 8 (45 kilometres) then west on Highway 68 toward Dauphin.

About halfway into your drive west, stop at Lake Manitoba Narrows to stretch your legs and look out over the clear blue waters of Lake Manitoba. Strong winds send waves washing against an offshore island, creating the sound, "Manito-bau". In Ojibway legend, this sound is said to be the Great Spirit.

Once you arrive in Dauphin, check into one of its many hotels, then head to the Fort Dauphin Museum. Inside the palisade walls you'll find a trapper's cabin, trading post, blacksmith's shop, pioneer log house, a church and schoolhouse.

The Watson Arts Centre (formerly the 1905 Dauphin Town Hall) is another must-see attraction, featuring talented Manitoba artists. Try one of Dauphin's many restaurants influenced by the region’s Ukrainian heritage before heading back to your hotel for the night.


Travel south on Highway 10 through beautiful Riding Mountain National Park. If you enjoy hiking, take a short detour and try one of the trails. If hiking isn't your cup of tea, the town site offers many shops for your perusal.

Leave Riding Mountain and continue along Highway 10 to Manitoba's second-largest city, Brandon, and make a point of visiting the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba.

After the gallery, treat yourself to lunch at the one-of-a-kind Lady of the Lake Shop Café & Pub. After lunch, meander through the 7,000 square feet of eclectic home decor, charming gifts, and vintage furnishings.

Continue south on Highway 10 until you hit Boissevain located near the Canada-U.S. border, where the decorative murals tell the story of the area. Continuing south about 40 kilometres, experience the incredible International Peace Garden, boasting colourful floral displays, the 120 foot-tall Peace Tower, the seven Peace Poles and a 9/11 memorial.

Head back to Brandon and stay the night at a Bed & Breakfast or another accommodation option.



Before you leave Brandon, stop in at any of the many take-out restaurants and pick up some grub to go.

Head east on the Trans Canada Highway toward Winnipeg - turn right at Highway 5 and go about 25 km to Spruce Woods Provincial Park, home to Spirit Sands, Manitoba's desert. Check out the sand dunes that shift on the whim of the wind, unlikely plants like the pincushion cactus, and strange creatures like the hognose snake.

After you’ve finished exploring, head to Highway 2, then go east and back to Winnipeg. The quaint communities along the way are great places to stop for ice cream, snacks or anything else you might be craving.

Hit the city just in time for dinner – and if you have time, take in some theatre at the open-air Rainbow Stage, a Goldeyes Baseball game or one of the city’s many festivals.


Travel Manitoba
Tourism Winnipeg
Parkland Tourism
Tourism Dauphin The Manitoba Museum
Fort Dauphin Museum
The Forks
Watson Arts Centre
Tourisme Riel
Riding Mountain National Park
Le Musée de Saint-Boniface
Southwest Tourism Association
Fort Gibraltar
Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba
Interlake Tourism
Lady of the Lake Shop Café & Pub
Red River North Tourism
International Peace Garden
Lower Fort Garry
Bed & Breakfast Manitoba Routes on the Red
Manitoba Parks
New Iceland Heritage Museum
Rainbow Stage
Goldeyes Baseball
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