Summer Staycation in Manitoba

Provincial borders have opened back up, but some people are preferring to spend their summer exploring the beautiful sites in Manitoba. Here are some popular places to visit with friends or family before the summer season ends.

Provincial Parks

Experience Manitoba’s many beautiful provincial parks. Pack a picnic lunch and hike through the forest at Birds Hill. Travel to Hecla just past Riverton and take in the scenic beaches, lush forest, and hiking trails or enjoy a round at the 18-hole golf course.

Stay overnight in a vacation cabin, bed and breakfast, or the famous Lakeview Hecla Resort. St. Malo is south of Winnipeg in Steinbach and is the perfect spot to camp with the family for the weekend. It has a man-made lake with sandy beaches and watercraft rentals are available for recreation.

Pinawa Dam

Located on the Winnipeg River just northwest of Pinawa or northeast of Lac du Bonnet, is the historic Pinawa Dam. Back in 1906, the Dam was created to provide hydroelectric power for Winnipeg. The dam closed in 1951 so water can flow through from the Winnipeg River into the Seven Sisters hydro station and then was later destroyed for demolition practice by the Canadian Armed Forces.

Today there are rapids and waterfalls flowing through the old ruins, making for beautiful sites with picnic areas, a walking bridge, and a nature trail. Pinawa Channel Float and Paddle is a fun outing perfect for hot days. Rent some tubes and take in the scenery floating down the River with your friends. The float takes approximately 3 hours so be sure to pack sunscreen and water, especially on hot, humid afternoons.

Lakes and Beaches  

Manitoba is known for its many lakes and beaches. Whether it’s renting a cabin for a week or heading to the beach for the day, it’s nice to just get out of the city to relax and unwind from our busy everyday lives.

The largest lake in Manitoba, Lake Winnipeg is home to popular well-known beaches including Grand Beach, Victoria Beach and Gimli. Falcon and West Hawk are both popular lakes in the Whiteshell and both have plenty of options for restaurants, shops, and campgrounds. Enjoy a canoe or kayak adventure at Little Limestone Lake, located at the top end of Lake Winnipeg well known for its beautiful turquoise-coloured water.

Assiniboine Zoo

Plan a day to tour the Assiniboine Zoo. Have lunch at the Tundra Grill, browse the gift shops, and see the polar bears at Journey to Churchill. Check out the new Aunt Sally’s Farm that originally opened in 1959.

Available only this summer is Dinosaurs Uncovered where you can see 17 life-size dinosaurs along the outdoor trail and skeletons and fossils at the indoor museum. The Shirley Richardson Butterfly Garden has many species of butterflies in a beautiful garden filled with flowers and plants. The zoo is sure to be fun for all ages.

The Leaf

Now open in Winnipeg, the outdoor Gardens at The Leaf of Assiniboine Park beautifully showcase plants from here and across the world. The plants represent diversity and cultures living in harmony together. The Leaf indoors is still currently under construction and once complete will be a year-round attraction. It will feature the tallest indoor waterfall in Canada.

The Forks

The options are endless at the Forks. Whether you’re in the mood to shop at all the unique stores inside The Forks Market, eat delicious food on the large patio area on the waterfront, or a walk along the river trail. Learn at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and The Children’s Museum. Stay the night at the luxurious Inn at the Forks, dinner at SMITH restaurant and a massage at Riverstone Spa. There’s something for everyone.


Take a day trip to Gimli, approximately a one-hour drive from Winnipeg. Relax and take in the sun at Gimli beach, order fish and chips and enjoy the lake views at Seagulls Restaurant, take a walk down the board walk or check out the unique shops.

The Icelandic Festival of Manitoba is a popular event in Gimli held once a year that connects locals and tourists to Icelandic culture. Due to Covid, this year’s event will not host a large in-person festival but a more virtual experience.

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