Some of Canada’s top signature experiences, including stunning scenery and unique adventures, are located in Manitoba. Some of the amazing opportunities in this central province are kayaking with beluga whales, spying on polar bears, learning about human rights, breaking the code of mystic codes and Masonic symbols, and admiring the Northern Lights. See our list of top tourist attractions in Manitoba for a more comprehensive look at the highlights.
What is the Best time to visit in Manitoba?
Manitoba can be avoided in winter for travellers accustomed to cold weather, but any who do brave the cold conditions of the province will be rewarded with rock bottom hotel prices. Summer is both the hottest and busiest season in Manitoba, but some individuals can find the heat and high hotel costs too hot to bear. When temperatures rise rapidly to just above freezing, spring is a beautiful, but brief, season. When trees change colours and temperatures are always pleasantly mild instead of unbearably cold, September is another fun season.
How to Reach Manitoba?
By Air: James Armstrong Richardson International Airport in Winnipeg is the main airport in the province of Manitoba and is 8 km west of downtown Winnipeg. The airport has regular direct flights to multiple domestic and international destinations. However, the Province of Manitoba has 22 airports with scheduled services in the less heavily populated areas. Many destinations across the province include airports serving regional airlines, distant destinations without airstrips or catering for floating aircraft. Winnipeg Transit runs buses between the city and the airport for quick access.
By Rail: The major train passenger service in Canada, VIA Rail, arrives and departs from Winnipeg and serves many of the smaller and northern regions in Manitoba, including Churchill. VIA Rail is Manitoba’s sole commuter rail facility. The transcontinental “Canadian” train makes six stops in Manitoba, with Winnipeg as the main centre. On board the Winnipeg-Churchill line, the only dry land link to this remarkable city, you can witness unparalleled northern landscapes.
By Road: There are many bus lines and local businesses providing transportation from and to Winnipeg and hundreds of other destinations in Manitoba. Manitoba is big, much like most of Canada’s provinces, so a car or some other road vehicle is definitely the most practical way to get around Winnipeg and most of the province’s regions. As it is not well connected and some areas can only be reached by plane or train, one can not ride all over the province on the road.
Here are the Best Places to Visit in Manitoba
1. Riding Mountain National Park
An island of wilderness surrounded by a sea of farmland, Riding Mountain National Park boasts rough nature just waiting to be explored. In Riding Mountain, wildlife is abundant, and you are likely to spot a variety of species by just driving through the park. The black bear, elk, moose, and lynx all call the park home, as well as about 30 plain bison living in the Lake Audy enclosure. The best way to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the park is camping, and Riding Mountain has a range of camping options that are sure to suit the needs of campers of all levels of comfort and experience.
Riding Mountain has something to offer everyone, whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation or inspiration. One visit and you will quickly understand why it is considered the province’s jewel. Scenic routes for hiking, biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and birding are provided by an extensive trail system. Plus, to keep you entertained, there are events, like a film festival, and natural wonders.
2. The Forks
One of Winnipeg’s loveliest public spaces and a must see for any visitor. In the heart of downtown Winnipeg, The Forks is an exquisite riverside attraction. Today, framed by the banks of the two rivers, The Forks is the number one tourist destination in Winnipeg with over four million annual visitors. The Forks is a must for a stunning array of dining experiences, unparalleled shopping, a constantly changing slate of entertainment and events, and many unique attractions that include the natural, historic and man-made characteristics of the site.
The Forks Market, which provides a variety of shops for a wide range of specialty items and souvenirs to browse. Downstairs, with everything from gourmet cheeses to meats, organic baked goods and wine, The Market features an irresistible fresh food emporium. Upstairs, shoppers will find products ranging from cigars and aromatherapy products to crafts and artwork produced by some 300 local and Canadian artists and craftsmen in the Market Loft.
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3. Grand Beach
Grand Beach is sitting along the eastern shore of Lake Winnipeg, Canada’s sixth largest lake and next to the historic La Vérendrye Trail, are powdery white sand beaches and grass-topped dunes that make this one of the top beaches in North America. Two excellent self-guided walks: Spirit Rock Trail and the Ancient Beach Trail. An excellent place for swimming, wind surfing or hiking. A campground, outdoor amphitheatre, picnic shelters, and a restaurant are also available at The Park.
Come and sun-bath or build sand castles with your children. Stroll or enjoy water activities along the self-guided trails. Pick the abundant berries in the park or see the avarium and wildlife along the marsh of the Grand Beach. Stock history or see the endangered Piping Plovers along the Boardwalk. Boating, hiking, biking, sailing, fishing, waterskiing, windsurfing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, interpretive tours and swimming are all activities to enjoy. Playground, beach, amphitheatre, tennis court, picnic areas, boat launch.
4. Whiteshell Provincial Park
One of the most impressive provincial parks in Manitoba is Whiteshell Provincial Park, which lies on the eastern boundary of Manitoba. In this beautiful park with sparkling waters and green trees, you will explore the magic of Canadian Shield. On separate trails in the park, explore its wilderness. This park features many attractions that its guests will appreciate, whether it is summer or winter. Cool off the summer heat by diving or enjoying the fun of water sports, or hiking downhill, photographing a black bear, or paddling through tunnels through the Caddy Lake Canoe Path with First Nations persons at the Bannock point petroforms.
The Whiteshell is a haven for nature lovers, distinguished by spectacular streams, ponds, boreal forest and, of course, the rugged Precambrian Shield. Sports such as canoeing, children’s activities, surfing, camping, horseback riding, golf, bird watching, boating, fishing, snowshoeing and swimming, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, ice-fishing, skating, sledging and more can be enjoyed.
5. Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site
Canada’s National Historic Site of Lower Fort Garry is a former fur trading post, once the most extensive one in western Canada. At this reconstructed 19th-century fort, where costumed workers replicate the 1850s in the Red River Gorge, history unfolds before your eyes. Come and meet the Hudson’s Bay Company governor as he strolls through his yard, barter with the company clerk, sit down in a teepee and listen to ancient legend whispers. In its entirety, the designation applies to this cultural landscape. Parks Canada now maintains it as a heritage site open for public visitation.
In 1951, the Hudson’s Bay Company gave the complex and its related property to Parks Canada, and many of its buildings have since been restored and interpreted for public visitation in the 1850-1860 era. For their assembly, architecture, materials, construction technology, functional and spatial disposition, the buildings of the fort are of special significance.
6. Pinawa Dam Provincial Park
The Pinawa Dam Provincial Park commemorates the first, year-round hydropower generating station in Manitoba, the Pinawa Dam. In 1951, the Dam was closed and designated in 1985 as a Provincial Park. The Regional Park and Suspension Bridge of Pinawa Dam are both perfect places to spend a day or half-day enjoying and admiring the beautiful natural environment in eastern Manitoba. It is a peaceful park with wide open areas, lots of shelter, the tranquilly of flowing water and the birds’ calming songs. This is a perfect spot to picnic, to hike the paths of nature, to rediscover its history.
The park is a popular destination in the summer months for families tubing down the raging rapids above the dam, picnicking along the shoreline, walking the trails in the trees, where wildlife is also seen, or paddling the waters below the dam. Families meet to walk the trails and snowshoe through the park in the winter months, soaking in the beautiful scenery and animals that can be seen only in the quiet of winter.
7. Canadian Fossil Discovery Center
The Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre houses an all-Manitoba range and is Manitoba’s most unique tourism attraction. The CFDC has attained many critical achievements during the past year, which we are proud to include winning a Guinness World Record for the highest publicly exhibited Mosasaur (Bruce) on Earth. The CFDC, located in the charming city of Morden, has helped to draw tourists and scientists from around the world and to give visitors and members of our community special opportunities.
In Canada, the CFDC has the largest collection of extinct aquatic reptiles. During the Cretaceous Period, 80 million years ago, the region was packed with aquatic reptiles, so it was a fertile land that made it possible to explore the local fauna. Excavated from the Escarpment, fossils of plesiosaurs, mosasaurs, sharks, squid, whales, birds and turtles are seen in the museum showcasing complete skeletons.
8. Mennonite Village in Steinbach
At the Mennonite Heritage Village, a special experience awaits visitors. Located in Steinbach, this 40-acre complex stretches out from a street reminiscent of the Mennonite settlements found during the late 1800s in southern Manitoba. On our 40 acre site, visit a turn-of-the-century Russian Mennonite Street Settlement. During our summer season, sample traditional ethnic food at the Livery Barn Restaurant of the museum and visit a classic Mennonite housebarn and a fully working Dutch windmill. See historical and heirloom jewels from Poland and Russia to Canada, exhibited in the galleries of Main and Gerhard Ens, and find the right souvenir at the Village Books & Gifts in the Village Centre.
Everything new is still there to learn. The evolving annual themes and temporary displays celebrate the history and culture of the Mennonites, along with new items donated each year. A large array of events and exhibits, from waggon drives to bread baking, on festival days during the season. In this busy village, all of these features combine to give a fresh experience with every visit.
9. Hecla-Grindstone Provincial Park
The Hecla/Grindstone Regional Park, known as a natural park, consists of a collection of islands along Lake Winnipeg’s east and west coasts. There are many habitats to discover in the park, with regions of coniferous and mixed woodland, limestone cliffs, and silica sand beaches, as well as marshes, bogs, fens, and wet meadows. The Grassy Narrows Marsh, a significant Canada Geese breeding area, is one of the key attractions of the provincial park.
Hecla Village has a 1-km self-guided path around the reclaimed village, which follows the past of the area’s Icelandic settlement. A church, community hall, 1920s school, Icelandic home and a village store still in service are restored buildings. Hecla Island is named after a volcano in Iceland. In summer, guided walks by a park interpreter are available.
10. Canadian Museum of Human Rights
If you’re interested in exploring important stories or awesome architecture, this museum is not to be overlooked. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is for everybody. Its galleries are designed around themes of human rights. The hundreds of stories featured here relay the value of rights for everyone, using the new technology, the ancient ways of storytelling and the enduring influence of art. The diversity of content and programming ensures that for tourists of all ages there is something of interest.
Inclusive architecture offers a journey for visitors which sets new world standards for universal accessibility. Bilingual exhibitions and services mean trips in any of the official languages of Canada can be enjoyed. The interior is also designed to carry you on a kind of ride. Visitors continue to the Great Hall after going through the dark stone entranceway, built to invoke memories of ancient gatherings. Then, before completing their voyage with an ascent of the Tower of Hope, which provides panoramic views of the city and the natural surroundings beyond, from the Garden of Contemplation.