When Vancouverites imagine Winnipeg, chances are images of freezing-cold weather come to mind…
For some reason, we tend to be a little negative when it comes to the “heart of Canada”. In reality, Winnipeg is a gorgeous city brimming with culinary trendsetters, masterful architecture and absolutely incredible art and culture. Combine that with beautiful summer weather and you get a must-visit for any Canadian seeking a memorable summer getaway.
With Swoop offering a new, low-cost way to fly throughout Canada, there’s never been a better time to explore. Off to Winnipeg we go, here are some highlights to check out during your stay.
BIG MEALS AND LIGHT BITES
Home to more than 1,100 restaurants, Winnipeg’s restaurant scene is reason enough to warrant a week-long visit.
Ranked one of the best restaurants in Canada, Segovia serves modern Spanish tapas in a chic, rustic space that’s perfect for groups or those seeking a late dinner paired with an excellent wine list. Named after a historic city northwest of Madrid, Segovia’s food is simple, elegant and endlessly satisfying. An absolute highlight not just in Winnipeg, but in the country as a whole.
Also featured on many of this year’s “best of” lists, Deer + Almond specializes in elevated homestyle cooking, which includes everything from Sesame Glazed Fried Chicken to Spinach Farfalle with Smoked Cream.
Situated in colourful communal space next to one of the city’s best independent music venues (more on that later), Have a Nice Day serves internationally inspired street food (tacos, currywurst, falafel) in colourful space that’s as casual as it is on-trend. Aesthetics aside, the highlight is still the menu, which provides the perfect fuel for a night out or late-night snack.
COFFEE, TEA AND SWEET TREATS
Thom Bargen Coffee & TeaThere’s not much to say about other than that it’s an espresso-lovers dream. If you’re a fan of excellent specialty coffee and tea and minimalist sensibilities, than it’s an absolute must for anyone in need of a midday pick-me-up.
What’s a vacation with indulging your sweet tooth?! Oh Doughnuts is gourmet doughnut shop that serves everything from whimsical classics (Homer Simpson Vanilla) to experimental doughnut breeds like Everything Bagel and Chicago Mix. They’re fun, adventurous and totally delicious. They sell-out regularly, so be sure to call ahead.
MUSEUMS AND ARCHITECTURE
Unlike Vancouver, Winnipeg has preserved most of its illustrious architecture, some of which dates back to the early 19th century. From ornate churches to award-winning contemporary designs, the city is ripe with fascinating cornerstones that touch on multiple eras of Canadian history.
Another feature unique to Winnipeg are the city’s award-winning museums and galleries. Established in 2008, the Canadian Museum of Human Rights includes ten galleries that explore powerful themes such as reconciliation and women’s rights. Their new exhibit Mandela: Struggle for Freedom, opens this month.
Located in the Assiniboine Park Zoo, the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden features the creations of master sculptor set against a backdrop of beautiful blooming flowers and water features. The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada pays tribute to Canada’s legendary aviation pioneers, their stories and their aircrafts, while the Manitoba Children’s Museum offers families the opportunity to learn, get creative and play. Built in 1889, the museum is housed in the oldest surviving train repair facility in Western Canada.
LATE NIGHTS AND LIVE MUSIC
There must be something in the air, because Winnipeg is home to a seemingly endless number of live music venues and fantastic independent bands. Highlighted by major festivals like the Winnipeg Jazz Festival (June 14 – 24), and Winnipeg Folk Fest (July 5 – 8), there’s guaranteed to be live music happening in Winnipeg almost every night of the week, especially in the summertime.
If you’re looking for discover your new favorite band, be sure to check out the Good Will Social Club and the Handsome Daughter, who also serve drinks, late-night bites and regularly host DJ nights, trivia, parties and Karaoke. Once you get off the plan, be sure to check out what Real Love Winnipeg has going on while you’re there.
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