The fact that you can't travel very far these days is actually no big deal when you consider all the world-class beauty and experiences found in Manitoba's backyard. Who needs to travel far to Europe, the Caribbean or Africa anyways? Here are 9 ways to scratch that travel itch while staying close to home.
*Please note that travel to northern Manitoba is restricted starting September 3. Please respect all guidelines by the Province of Manitoba. Travel directly to Churchill is permitted.
Go on Safari
📍 Churchill - Treaty 5 territory
If you love wildlife and had an African Safari on your travel bucket list, consider looking north to Churchill for the annual polar bear migration season each October/November. You may not see as many different types of animals in Churchill as you do in Africa, but customized tundra vehicle adventures allow you to get up close to this Arctic apex predator like no other experience in the world.
Take a dip in blue waters
📍 The Pas - Treaty 5 territory
If you love dips in tropical blue-hue waters, consider heading off the beaten provincial park path to Clearwater Lake located just north of The Pas. The clarity of the waters can pass for the Caribbean or Mexico...even if the water and air temperature can't.
Dine in a hip city
📍 Winnipeg - Treaty 1 territory
If you love the cosmopolitan vibe of large North American cities like Austin or Montreal, consider making a dinner date with your pals at Hargrave Street Market, Winnipeg's chicest food hall located on level 1 & 2 of True North Square downtown. Stepping into the sleek space feels like you're in a different city, as does gorging on the incredible selection of food. Artisan tacos, smoked meat sandwiches, pizzas and coffee are all on offer, along with craft brews and cocktails.
Stand in awe of falls
📍 Thompson - Treaty 5 territory
If family travel plans to visit Canada's iconic Niagara Falls were thwarted this year, consider Pisew Falls Provincial Park to get your fill of exhilarating, rushing waters. At Pisew Falls, the Grass River drops 13 meters, changes directions and jets down a gorge. A boardwalk pathway leads to close views of the powerful, hissing falls, which means 'lynx' in Cree.
Discover a walled settlement
📍 St. Andrews - Treaty 1 territory
If visits to walled cities, fortresses and forts are often on your travel itinerary when abroad, consider tuning your taste for history close to home with a visit to Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site. In the year of Manitoba 150, relearn our province's history by entering the fort's stone walls where you can watch historical demonstrations and participate in interactive activities led by costumed interpreters.
Escape down south
📍 Brokenhead Ojibway First Nation
If you crave the art deco vibe of Miami, consider a weekend getaway to South Beach Casino & Resort located just north of Winnipeg on Highway 59. The welcoming blue and orange vibe of the hotel-casino sets a beachy tone for what's in store: great eats at Mango's Restaurant and Blue Dolphin Lounge, relaxation at the sunny pool (replete with a spa-like trickling rain feature), and of course, good times at the casino.
📍 Saint-Boniface, Treaty 1 territory
A trip to the 'city of love' is not in the cards for the near future, but satisfying your cravings for fine French pastries can be with a visit La Belle Baguette in Saint-Boniface. This quaint neighbourhood bakery has all the feels of Paris with mouthwatering croissants, macarons and tarts decorating their display case. Take a seat on the patio, overhear your neighbours parlez en français, and you just might feel transported overseas.
Take in views of Chicago
📍 The Exchange District, Treaty 1 territory
If you're a Manitoban who likes flying or driving to Chicago for big city vibes, consider spending a weekend shopping, dining and browsing Winnipeg's Exchange District. Did you know that at the turn of the 20th century, Winnipeg was also known as 'Chicago of the North'? This is because architects from Chicago travelled north to design Winnipeg's booming downtown. Parallels between these two cities are easy to spot in the design details of the historic buildings.
Unwind by the sea
📍 Hecla/Grindstone Provincial Park, Treaty 2 territory
If you love the seaside vibe of the East Coast, plan a weekend to stroll the rocky shorelines and breath in windy Lake Winnipeg at Hecla/Grindstone Provincial Park. A short hike along the Lighthouse Trail brings you to the picturesque historic lighthouse. With views of swelling waves all around - you can't help but think you're by the ocean.