It’s National Tourism Week in Canada, which some of us might feel a little bummed out about seeing as travelling is a lot more complicated than it once was. There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world right now, however, our local tourism industry is eager to come back stronger than ever and we have the power to help it do so.
There are tons of beautiful and exciting things to see and do in our region, all while staying safe social distancing. Here are ten places we suggest you check out as our province begins reopening.
Dunnottar – a quaint summer escape.
Dunnottar is a village that sits on Lake Winnipeg’s western shore, making it a great place to explore, relax, and vacation in the summer. This small-town gem has everything we Manitobans love about summer: beaches, piers, gardens, and, of course, good eats. Whyteworld Emporium sits next to the water and boasts the best pizza, crepes, and fudge in the area. Its patio is open for full service with social distancing measures in effect. Check out the attached greenhouse and antique store to make a full day of it.
Dunnottar also has a ton of virtual activities that take you all around the world— from free tours of the Great Barrier Reef and digital escape rooms to online educational activities, Dunnottar has you covered for days.
Chill out in Stonewall
While this small town normally boasts one of the most popular summer festivals in the area, it’s still a great place to check out this summer with social distancing measures in place. The walkable town has tons of historic sites including the Stonewall Quarry Park with its picnic facilities, walking trails, and social media-shareworthy backdrops. Make a day of it and hop in the car for a two-minute drive to Oak Hammock Marsh for a self-guided canoe excursion through the marsh.
Practice your swing in Rockwood
Just down the road from Stonewall is the RM of Rockwood, a place well-known for its Prairie Dog Central Railway. While the locomotive attraction doesn’t look to be running until July, the town still offers plenty of fun outdoor activities during this time of social distancing. Rockwood is known for its beautiful golf courses including Teulon Golf and Country Club and Bel Acres Golf & Country Club, both of which are open for the season!
Get some culture and fresh produce in St. Francois Xavier
Steeped in rich native folklore and legends, the RM of St. Francois Xavier is known locally as “White Horse Plain” and is Manitoba’s second oldest settlement site. This town is home to an abundance of berry farms and organic vegetable shops, making it a hotspot for organic aficionados.
Head for a hike in Cartier
The RM of Cartier is home to Wild Grape and Elm Trail, two of Manitoba’s many picturesque hiking trails. These treks will take you through beautiful wildflower trails with views of the Assiniboine River along the way. If you’re someone who likes to get some quiet time away from the busier provincial parks, this is the place for you.
For hiking enthusiasts, Travel Manitoba has compiled a list of Manitoba trails you may have never even heard of!
Cast your rods in Selkirk
This riverside community boasts everything you could hope to find within one. Catch a boat ride down the Red River to find some popular fishing spots or cast your road over the side of the Selkirk Waterfront. A hop and a skip from the fishing sites is beautiful Selkirk Park, filled with walking trails, a campground, and the famous Marine Museum of Manitoba. Take a selfie in front of Chuck the catfish statue, then order some of Barney Gargle’s famous Fish n’ Chips.
Enjoy a day (or several) in Birds Hill Park
Located in the RM of East St. Paul and just a 15-minute drive from Winnipeg, Birds Hill Provincial Park is a year-round natural stage for a range of recreational activities and sporting events. While many of those events won’t be happening this year, Birds Hill still has tons of fun and excitement to offer. Its hiking trails, biking / rollerblading paths, and beautiful picnic spots have been accessible throughout the pandemic and are even more scenic now with the summer greenery in full bloom. Check out this list of its many self-guiding trails and head to Pineridge Hollow afterward for a bite and some summer sangria on the patio.
Get lost a corn maze in Springfield
Each year, Deer Meadow Farms replants its 10-acre corn maze, creating a new design with new trivia challenges to discover throughout. This summer attraction is located in the RM of Springfield, just a short drive from Winnipeg, and is open every day. The site has many other fun activities that guests can enjoy while safely social distancing.
Walk through Winnipeg
While a great deal of our capital city’s summer festivities may be postponed this season, Winnipeg still has absolutely no shortage of fun things to do on these warm summer days and nights. Massive city attractions like the Assiniboine Park Zoo, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and The Forks recently re-opened to the public and allowing small group entry. Tourism Winnipeg also offers a list of fascinating self-guided tours that anyone can do on their own time.
Check out all that’s become virtual
Maybe there’s an event you’ve been thinking of going to for a couple years, or a concert you were hoping to attend, or a hobby you’ve been considering picking up. Local organizations are coming together to provide Manitobans with tons of unique opportunities from the comfort of our couches.
This year’s Teddy Bear’s Picnic will be virtual and will include live performances, science experiments, and tips on how to set up your perfect picnic space at home.
Canada’s Largest Zoom Live Stream Party will take place on May 30, 2020 and has tons of fun events and prizes planned for attendees. Guests are encouraged to dress up their rooms, and their selves, and log on for a fun chance to meet new people and blow off some steam.
WE ARE ONE: A Global Film Festival is a new event created specifically to help fund COVID relief initiatives. This first-ever 10-day global film festival is curated by over 20 film festivals around the world and will feature short films, documentaries, music, comedies and more. The event starts today (May 29) and runs until June 7.
It might be our first instinct to feel down about some of the things we love about summer being out of commission this year. But remember that there is always a bright side to any setback. Maybe the bright side here is that this summer, you’ll get to see a new side of our region that you may not have if you’d stuck with your usual summer go-tos.