Clear blue skies. Fluffy white clouds. Crisp orange leaves. The open road. Few things say fall like a scenic day trip through the country. We’ve picked a few of our favourites that combine beautiful vistas, delicious nosh and a little adventure along the way. So grab your pumpkin spice latte, gas up the car and while away your weekend clocking in some relaxing miles on the road.
Head north out of the city on this rolling idyllic roadway. Boasting stunning views of the Red River and beautiful 19th century buildings, along with some of the province’s most lovely homes, this drive is a can’t miss. Along the way, you’ll pass by Twin Oaks, a former girls school supported by the Hudson’s Bay Company in the late 1800s and then St. Andrew’s Rectory and Church. The grounds at the rectory are open year round. Stretch your legs and explore the exterior of this quintessential example of Hudson Bay style Red River architecture. Continue your tour of historic buildings past Hay House, one of only a handful of stone houses left from the Red River Settlement era.
Make your way across the Red River and over Lockport Dam to get a view from the other side of the bank. After you cross the bridge, stop in at Lockport Heritage Park, an ideal spot to stop and get close view of the water. Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, keep heading south on Henderson Hwy to the Half Moon Drive In where this retro cool diner is renowned for its ice cream, burgers, dogs and my personal favourite, the poutine. We suggest one of the picnic tables out back where you can dine al fresco next to the river.
Whiteshell Northern Route
Head northeast about an hour and half out of the city to Provincial Hwy 307. A stunning drive that meanders past the Seven Sisters Falls and the lakes named after them. Make your way past Natalie, Eleanor, Margaret and Dorothy Lakes–each boasting their own brand of beauty. Follow the bend past Nutimik Lake and arrive at the Bannock Point Petroforms. Using stones laid into the bedrock, the forms of turtles, humans, snakes and some abstract patterns make for fascinating discovery. First Nations people believe they were left long ago for the benefit of all who visit the site. By now you’ve probably worked up an appetite. Continue south on 307 and then head west on Hwy 44 to the town of Whitemouth and the Spicy Radish Cafe. This local favourite offers simple and delicious comfort food boasting Manitoba ingredients–we highly recommend the fluffy and light quiche at lunch and cornmeal crusted basa at dinner.
Our final pick for a scenic day trip takes you south west of the city to the verdant Pembina Valley. Take Hwy 14 east to the cute and quaint town of Winkler. Make a pit stop for a whipped cream and chocolate syrup doused coffee or bright and delicious smoothie at the adorable Gingerwood Lane. Hop back in the car and head towards the town of Morden. Here you can discover the oldest inhabitants of the province at the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre. The town itself is worth a meander with its historic homes and lovely green spaces. As you take in the lush fields and forests around you, continue down Hwy 14 and then south on 528 towards Hywire Zipline, where you can take in the best view of the valley there is as you zoom over the trees.
Thanks to @tannerbanas for the awesome header shot!