Manitoba road trips: Windmills & Prairie Hills

Posted March 09, 2023

From windmills to waterslides, explore the province’s central region. Spend a day or two in Portage la Prairie before opting for a day trip to nearby Delta Marsh and then making your way to Holland and Carman for plenty of small town charm.

This summer, we're featuring an amazing collection of road trips that will help you explore every corner of Manitoba. From water parks and windmills to great eats and watching wildlife on some great trails, the Windmills and Prairie Hills road trip has something fun for everyone.

Part one

Portage la Prairie

There is so much to see and do on this island on the prairies. Perfect for a family getaway, you’ll never run out of fun to be had.

Where to stay

Farm Away Retreat is just outside the city limits and is just so darn charming, you'll wonder if you walked into a storybook. The sprawling farmhouse boasts 5 spacious rooms, a huge kitchen, enormous living area and views of the verdant back garden that is bursting with hidden treasures. Book a stay in the Prairie Oasis Room with its big bay window and adjoining room perfect for the kids to have their own little space, complete with kid sized beds, activity books and puzzles as welcome gifts. Did we mention the pool?

Or rest your head at CanadInns Portage la Prairie, complete with several on-site restaurants, pool with waterslides and gaming lounge.

What to do

Fort la Reine Museum

This collection of 25 historic buildings is the perfect place for some exploration and education. The recreated buildings not only honour the history of the area, but aim to show what life was like on the prairies 'once upon a time'. Visit a school house, trapper's cabin, doctor's office, dentist's office (complete with a creepy and uncomfortable looking dentist's chair), law office, general store, printing press, firehouse and more.

Ahead of your visit, check out Fort La Reine's website for hours of operation and any scheduled events. In the past, they've conducted homesteading activities such as getting hands on with bannock making, butter churning, soap making, pioneer crafts and more.

Island Park and Splash Island

Start at Island Park, formed by an oxbow lake that was once part of the Assiniboine River. This picturesque recreation area features tennis courts, a disc golf course, a playground and an outdoor bandstand. The park also offers sheltered and open picnic areas and public art – including an impressive Dutch-style windmill – along with miles of walking and biking trails.

Kids love Splash Island Water Park. This outdoor pool with its distinctive purple water slide is the place to be come summer. Make your reservation before you visit. You can also check out Stride Place, with its can’t-miss aquatic centre. This indoor water park features Manitoba’s largest wave pool, along with a water slide, lazy river and splashing water feature.

Where to Eat

A weekend away wouldn't be complete without some nosh to go with it. Head to Bill's Sticky Fingers for their famous ribs or a heaping plate of souvlaki. Nearby, Over the Coals is known for their giant, melty subs if you're in the mood for some serious carbs. Kids and train buffs will marvel at Lita's Statio where the interior is made for train lovers of all kinds. Hundreds of model train cars decorate the space while a train track along the ceiling boasts a moving train to go with your burgers. Be sure to try the crispy homemade fries. A newer addition to the city is Mole Guacamole, which serves up authentic Mexican cuisine from recipes passed down through the generations.

Chicken kebabs on rice with a side of tzaziki at Bills Sticky Fingers in Portage la Prairie

Part two

Looking through the marsh grasses at the main buildings at Delta Marsh.

Delta Marsh and Park

Take a day trip to Delta Marsh. On the southern tip of Lake Manitoba, it is one of the largest and most important marshes on the Canadian Prairies. Keep an eye out for gray partridge, sharp-tailed grouse, coyote, beavers and muskrats. Post marsh exploration, head to Delta Beach for sun and super soft sand on the edge of Lake Manitoba – there is also a campground here. Check out another great beach in the area at St. Ambroise Beach Provincial Park. With its shallow waters and sand bars, it’s a perfect place for little ones to splash



No, you don't have to go overseas to see Holland. We have our very own right here in Manitoba, named after the first postmaster Arthur Holland. The picturesque small town has fully embraced the Dutch vibes of its name, with its famous windmill roadside attraction garnering dozens upon dozens of photo-ops each summer by those passing through.

Less than an hour from Portage la Prairie, Holland makes for an excellent stop to admire its scenic rolling hills and quaint main street. In the town is the Gothic-style Holland Emmanuel Historical Church and the impressive Tiger Hills Art Centre, which features local artists each month. Insider tip: Stop into The Hollander restaurant for some excellent and authentic homemade samosas!


Or you can head the other direction and visit Carman. With its lovely setting near the Boyne River, Carman has six kilometres of paths that run through the town. It's also home to a great 18-hole golf course and the Carman Pool, which kids love. Check out the Dufferin Historical Museum featuring a collection of early settler artifacts along with a heritage school. Don’t leave without stopping in at the famous Syl’s Drive Inn or the Carman Bakery & Pastry Shop for a bite to eat. Or don’t even leave and spend the night! Stay at one of the three bed and breakfasts: Bell Aura, Bishop Bay or Riverwalk or at a more traditional hotel like Blue Crescent Hotel and enjoy this quaint town's natural surroundings.

For camping, Stephenfield Provincial Park is 20 minutes east on Provincial Road 245. In addition to basic and full service campsites, yurt rentals are also available here, including ones that are both accessible and pet-friendly

Looking down the length of the boardwalk through the trees on a sunny day.