The Prairie’s Gem: Winnipeg

Several people avoid traveling to central Canada because they think it’s only filled with farms and flat land; This is not true! There are many great tourist attractions here that are affordable. One of these places is Winnipeg; They have many different unique attractions that cannot be found anywhere else in Canada! Here is the plan to a 5 day vacation to my hometown:

Day 1:

After arriving to Winnipeg’s International Airport, check in at Place Louis Riel. This hotel is affordable with only an average price of 150 CAD. Place Louis Riel is also located in the heart of downtown, so you will be foot steps away from great restaurants and shops!

The first place you should check out downtown is Portage Place. It is a small friendly mall filled with interesting stores such as Orientals. Orientals sells several anime and imported Japanese Chinese products! This store is highly addictive to anime crazed fans in Winnipeg since it is only one of the few stores that offer a lot of anime products. Another store to check out is a booth on the second level. There isn’t a name attached to this booth, but it is very noticeable since it’s the only one located on the second level. This booth sells several hand made braided bracelets and necklaces. The styles can range from colorful kid friendly styles to more sophisticated tribal/ethnic styles. The staff are highly friendly there, so you can feel free to ask them questions about the productions since they create them right in front of your eyes! Don’t forget to check out the 3 for $10 bracelet deals! It’s the cheapest I’ve found in the city.

Day 2:

After spending a day at Portage Place, I’m sure you’re ready to check out larger tourist attractions! My next suggestion is to visit The Forks. The Forks is a friendly area filled with handmade crafts, souvenirs, restaurants, snack bars and more! When you arrive at The Forks here are the first places you should check out: 1) Johnson’s Terminal: you can purchase several unique souvenirs here. If you have time, you can go to the basement level to view or purchase antiques. 2) The Forks Main Building: Enter the main building around lunch time, you can purchase your lunch here. With a large selection of choice from sushi to Chilean food, your taste buds will be satisfied! After lunch, try walking up the tower located near the main entrance of the building. On top, there is a beautiful view of the Red River and the city skyscrapers. Don’t forget to bring your camera! 3) Walk around the Forks and the Red River, there are several street entertainers during the weekends!

Note: For updates on events happening at The Forks, you can visit their site at:

Day 3:

St. Boniface is the next place to visit during your trip to Winnipeg. This is a small French community located near The Forks. Before you enter the St. Boniface area, you will need to cross the Provenche Bridge. Get your camera ready because there is a unique architecture structure built on the bridge. It looks like a huge pointy pole sticking upwards out of the bridge with several thin polls branching off the pole onto the cement of the bridge. It is truly unique! If it’s around lunch time, you might want to stop by the Salisbury House located on the bridge! After crossing the bridge, you are only 15 minutes away from the St. Boniface and Cemetery. You may visit buried historical icons such as Louis Riel here. If you are more interested in the history of Manitoba, you can drop by the Grey Nun’s museum to view several vintage historical items and customs.

Day 4:

Three days of shopping, tasting food, taking pictures must be tiring. Take your fourth day visit here to relax at Assinaboin Park. You can walk on the long pathway around the park and enjoy the nice cool breezy air. After a long relaxing break, you can also drop by the Zoo (which is located in the park). If you have children, this is a must! They have many activities for children available in the Zoo, not just visiting animals. Don’t forget to say hi to the polar bears!

Day 5:

The last and final place that is a must to visit is The Mint. The Mint is the only place in Canada where they produce money! Grab your rented car and head out to the edge of the city to the Mint. Once you arrive, you will see an awesome triangle shaped mirrored building; Take out your camera because this is a perfect picture opportunity. Once you enter the building, you have the choice to tour around and purchase souvenirs. Take the tour and see how money is made, it’s very entertaining, especially to curious children.

Well, I hope you enjoy a nice trip to Winnipeg. This is the ideal city to visit in central Canada because it is not too overwhelming (like other large metropolitan cities in Canada) and there is always a friendly feel when you are here that cannot be experienced in any other city in Canada!

Myra Phan

Filed Under: 2006-2007 winter vacation plan contest entries

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Comments (2)

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  1. Giuseppe says:

    I would have to agree with most of your comments, however, we found the plains of Canada more beautiful than those of the States. The unique combination of flax and canola flowers in the fields was inspiring. I shot 2 rolls of film. In addition, Riding Mountain National Park was beautiful, as well as the beach at Lake Winnipeg. The city is nice, but the country…particularly the Manitoba province is awesomely beautiful.

  2. James S. - Livonia, MI says:

    I have been thinking about travelling to Winnipeg somday. Your info. was very helpful. I will print out these pages with your ideas. Hopefully, I can get there soon someday. I have only been to Ontario and B.C. in Canada and would like to check out some of the central interior provinces.

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