Manitoba fall road trips: A Day in the Peg

Posted September 16, 2021

Here are some Winnipeg fall favourites to get you started if you only have a day in the Peg.

A day trip to Manitoba’s capital means you won’t be able to see everything this charming city has to offer (luckily, we’ve got weekend and longer stay ideas as well!). But you will be able to pack in some of Winnipeg’s favourite destinations.

Aerial photograph of The Forks, including the Esplanade Riel and the Red and Assiniboine Rivers.
George Fischer

Part 1: Where the rivers meet

Start at The Forks, where the Assiniboine River meets the Red River and where people have been gathering for thousands of years. The site’s Indigenous roots are celebrated in stunning public art pieces throughout the area. Many buildings here harken to The Forks’s history as a rail depot. This includes the former horse stables, now home to The Forks Market. Inside and across the Plaza in the Johnston Terminal, is a collection of shops featuring Manitoba-made products.

Stop Here
Four people enjoying drinks while seated at a table at the Common at The Forks
JP Media Works
Chic Eats

The Common is the city’s most popular dining hall, with a variety of food vendors along with wine and beer on tap, available to enjoy inside or on the patio with views of the river and under the changing leaves of fall.

No visit to The Forks is complete without a stroll along the River Walk, the accessible path that hugs the riverbank. In the winter, the path is relocated to the icy surface as a stunning multi-use trail decorated with inventive warming huts. The Forks is home to other attractions like a world-class skate park in the winter, Inn at The Forks, the Children’s Museum, the Winnipeg Rail Museum inside Union Station and the Manitoba Theatre for Young People.

Two people wearing masks and holding hands inside the Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Two people looking up at images projected on the wall at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Two people, including one in a wheelchair looking out of the Tower of Hope at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Part 2: A journey from darkness to light

It’s hard to miss the impressive shape of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights which is a must-visit when in Winnipeg. If time is pressing, take some snaps of the building, clad in wings of glass, located at The Forks. You can access its restaurant, ERA Bistro and gift shop without paying an entrance fee.

A visit through the museum’s 10 galleries, connected by glowing alabaster ramps, is an opportunity to learn and reflect on triumphs and failures of the human spirit through inspiring and interactive exhibits. Whether you take a tour with a guide, opt for an enhanced experience through the museum’s multimedia app or simply stroll through the galleries at your own pace, you will leave inspired to do your part to make the world a better place. End your visit with a climb to the museum’s pinnacle, the Israel Asper Tower of Hope, with stunning views of the city.

Two people dining on a patio on the Exchange District in Winnipeg
JP Media Works
People crossing the street in in the Exchange District in Winnipeg
Jeff Frenette
A person shopping at Tara David Studio Boutique in the Exchange District in Winnipeg
JP Media Works

Part 3: Sharing stories of the past

Next, head to the Exchange District - a 30-block National Historic Site of early 1900s warehouses and skyscrapers. From The Forks, continue north along Waterfront Drive on foot, on a rented bike or by car.

The preserved heritage buildings of the Exchange District are now home to a diverse collection of galleries, shops and eateries. From donut shops to distilleries, artist-run collectives to trendy boutiques, the Exchange is known as the cultural heart of Winnipeg. It’s also known as the city’s theatre district, boasting the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre and the Manitoba Centennial Concert Hall, home to the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, whose performance season start in September and October respectively.

Manitoba Museum

Also in the Exchange District is the Manitoba Museum, a family-friendly destination to learn about the places and people who have shaped this province. When open, the Science Gallery and Planetarium offer another level of learning and fun. The Manitoba Museum’s nine galleries showcase world-class dioramas and captivating stories of the human and natural diversity of our province. Enjoy the sounds and smells of the boreal forest, watch a polar bear under the northern lights, step aboard a life-size replica of the 17th-century sailing ship that launched the Hudson’s Bay Company, stroll the boardwalks of 1919 Winnipeg and learn about the General Strike. With updates to some of your favourite galleries in recent years, this is the perfect year to return to — or to make your first visit to — this important collection of artifacts and stories.

A person and a child wearing masks looking at an interactive display at the Manitoba Museum