Your next summer vacation is Found in Canada, and more specifically, in the best province ever. Okay, we might be a bit biased, but Manitoba is home to polar bears, beluga whales and 100,000 lakes. If that doesn’t entice you enough, our summers are also filled to the brim with festivals, fishing weekends and good ol’ fashioned road trips. So turn the car around and head straight for the border where your money goes further, the fish bite harder (don’t worry, just your bait and not your toes) and the festivals go on all summer long. Here are 8 reasons why Americans should visit Manitoba this summer…

Join into a lively gathering at one of our festivals

If you love lively gatherings, music and partying with the locals, plan your trip up to Canada during one of our many festivals. If you enjoy cultural festivals, consider Folklorama, Islendingadagurinn or Pioneer Days. Relatively new festivals like the Medieval Festival are growing in popularity while old favourites like the Morden Corn and Apple Festival continue to draw the crowd. If your goal is to bust a move, check out the Winnipeg Folk Festival, the Rainbow Trout Festival or Rockin’ the Fields. Still can’t decide? Here are 10 festivals you can’t miss this summer in Manitoba. 

Find out why we love the lake life

Being home to over 100,000 lakes, it’s no surprise that lake life is a staple of Manitoba summers. Indeed, locals and visitors alike must make the choice of spending a sunny weekend in the city, or heading out to the cabin or to your favourite campsite. If you make the trip to Manitoba, be sure to experience one of our many lakes. Spend a day in the sand on the popular Grand Beach or Winnipeg Beach, or camp near the shimmering Clear Lake in Riding Mountain National Park. The Whiteshell is home to some of the most beautiful lakes in the province while Hecla/Grindstone Provincial Park is a gorgeous oasis where you can kayak, canoe, swim or simply soak up the sun.

Embark on a summer arctic safari

If you think Churchill is only a tourist draw in the winter, think again. In summer, the northern town comes alive with fireweed, beluga whales and yes, even polar bears. Upwards of 58,000 beluga whales populate the western side of the Hudson Bay, thousands of which visit the shores of Churchill each summer, the peak months being July to August . Listen to the beluga’s songs by kayak, boat, or even by snorkel ling alongside the friendly whales. Bears are more low-key in the summer, but you can still spot them lazing on rocks by the shore or even playing in the pink fields of fireweedLazy Bear Expeditions and Churchill Wild offer summer polar bear adventures. In between wildlife viewings, you can check out the Eskimo Museum and the Prince of Wales Fort.

Stay at one of our unique summer stays

If your ideal summer vacation includes taking the road less traveled, consider checking in to one of our unique summer stays.  In a perfect mix of adventure and rejuvenation, our unique hospitality options charm and delight travelers of all kinds. In Manitoba, you can learn about what it takes to run a family farm, go glamping in Riding Mountain National Park, or simply kick back at a resort or in your own personal yurt.

Indulge in a foodie’s paradise

As soon as the weather warms, you can bet locals and visitors alike are flocking to our province’s many patios to drink, eat and soak up the sun. Our awesome foodie scene doesn’t take a break in the summer – if anything, it speeds up. Grab a bite at one of our top summer eats or venture outside city limits to explore the Cinnamon Bun Trail. Integrity Foods is an artisan bakery where you can choose your pizza toppings from the gardens and explore the farm. In the city, you can wander through outdoor markets such as the St. Norbert Farmers’ Market and the Downtown Farmers’ Market for a wide selection of yummy and local goodies.

Reel in a big one and become a master angler

Make your next adventure a fishing trip to one of the 100,000 lakes in Manitoba. Earn the prestigious title of Master Angler by reeling in one of our qualifying species or simply chill out at a fly-in lux fishing lodge, pulling in all the hot Pike action. If you prefer to stay closer to city limits, catching a Catfish on the Red River is a perfectly slimy and thrilling experience that everyone should have at least once in their lifetime. What’s more, Manitoba’s incredible fishing is partially due to an impressive conservation effort that has served as shining example throughout North America.

Make roadtrip memories

If you’re like me, then most of your summers hold memories of hittin’ the road with the family – often to the lake (see above). And if you haven’t made many roadtrip memories yet, you’re missing out! Hop in the car and head up through the border on a trip on one of our recommended roadtrip itineraries. On one road trip through the Interlake, you may or may not come across: Pizza farms, giant vikings, slithering snakes and plenty of photo ops. Don’t forget to pack some car snacks!

Experience our vibrant arts scene

Our warm summer months moves our arts scene outside. Ballet in the Park takes place every July (since 1970) at the Assiniboine Park, where dancers from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet take to the stage to perform excerpts from their most memorable pieces. Some of the city’s best murals are located in the West End, where tours begin in June and go through to August. Explore the unique area of the city and discover the history and culture through painted imagery. For the musical lovers, Rainbow Stage is a covered, open air theatre that holds the title of being  Canada’s largest and longestrunning outdoor theatre. This year’s shows are Cash: Ring of Fire (June 23 to July 15) and Shrek: The Musical (August 11 to 31).