Top Things to Do in Winnipeg!

This was our first ever adventure together, so we did not travel too far since both of us were still getting to know each other! We had already driven up to northern Minnesota for a wedding and figured we might as well keep going! So, Winnipeg became a logical answer as it could still be deemed an international trip. But we had absolutely no idea what this city had in store for us. Off we went to discover the top things to do in Winnipeg!

Fort Garry Hotel

Somehow in the heart of downtown Winnipeg I stumbled upon a great deal for Fort Garry Hotel, one of the city’s more upscale hotel options. We also came to find out it was incredibly old and very haunted! On our first elevator ride up to our room instead of stopping at our correct floor the elevator shot us up all the way to the top floor and proceeded to open the doors to a dark and quiet penthouse. After freezing for a moment and staring at each other, Megan and I slammed the correct floor button again to descend safely to our room. Also, ask about the haunted room on floor 3 – I believe it is. We will never go back. We would stay in a normal room here again! But not on that floor.

Welcome to Hotel Fort Garry!

It’s style really sticks out in downtown Winnipeg.

A glimpse of the inside from the 2nd level!

Welcome to Hotel Fort Garry!

It’s style really sticks out in downtown Winnipeg.

A glimpse of the inside from the 2nd level!

Esplanade Riel

Following our exhilarating check-in, we went on an afternoon self-guided walking tour! Our first stop- the obvious and intriguing Esplanade Riel. This is one of Winnipeg’s main attractions, and it is a bridge. It’s a sweet looking bridge though. Definitely walk over it. Also, it is the only bridge in North America that has a restaurant in the middle of it! We lingered here a bit and had an order of duck-fat poutine which was mouth-watering. Later on, we learned that this suspended bridge restaurant turns into an awesome nightclub with live DJs on select nights!

Esplanade Riel- Winnipeg’s awesome bridge!

The Pavilion at Assiniboine Park

The first day ended with exploring the tremendously large Assiniboine Park. We came across beautiful gardens, the Assiniboine River, and The Pavilion. The Pavilion had a cafeteria style restaurant and a good-sized performance stage for plays and live music to take place in front of a huge green space full of people.

Gardens in Assiniboine Park!

The Pavilion!

Gardens in Assiniboine Park!

The Pavilion!

Thermëa by Nordik Spa-Nature

On day two I surprised Megan with a full back massage session and full access pass at Thermëa by Nordik Spa-Nature. Of course, I also bought myself a full access pass for the day so that I could partake in most of the relaxation as well. This oasis was a wonderful spot to totally let your stress fall by the wayside. It was so peaceful I think we both fell asleep three times each. The main focus of this spa is to incorporate relaxation through switching between cold and hot temperatures, completely rejuvenating the body and mind.

Relaxing at Thermëa!

FortWhyte Alive

For the early afternoon we went out to FortWhyte Alive. This is a giant environmental and recreational area meant to bring you closer to the wildlife that calls the surrounding Winnipeg area home. Mostly we saw bison, owls, and a billion prairie dogs. This park also has floating boardwalks you can take brief strolls along!

Found a prairie dog at FortWhyte Alive!

And a bison bigger than me!

Found a prairie dog at FortWhyte Alive!

And a bison bigger than me!

The Forks

We next made our way back into the city to wander around The Forks area, a large green space nestled into downtown. Here the Assiniboine and Red Rivers connect to form the fork point. The space is filled with people enjoying any sort of activity you could think of- from biking to face painting. We were mainly intrigued by the tower in the center of the park, which we promptly climbed up in order to get a pretty nice view of the surrounding landscape.

View from The Forks tower!

Saint Boniface Cathedral

Late that night we walked across the Esplanade Riel again in order to gaze upon the Saint Boniface Cathedral. It is a pretty spectacular building that is still very prominent from across the river. No one else was around the Cathedral as night fell so it made it kind of spooky and we left rather quickly.

Saint Boniface Cathedral

Royal Canadian Mint

Our third day was all about museums- kicking it off with a tour of the Royal Canadian Mint! This stop was much better than I had imagined! They really put together a good experience. We were able to tour most of the facility and learn how Canadian currency was created. Our guide even led us through the history of Canadian currency up to present day. Near the end we even got to handle a solid gold brick (which was heavily guarded and chained to its pedestal).

The Royal Canadian Mint

We got our brick on!

The Royal Canadian Mint

We got our brick on!

Canadian Museum for Human Rights

The afternoon was then filled with at least five hours of stellar exhibits at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Multiple human rights historical events are covered throughout the museum, even if they are not related to Canada. Many of the exhibits are very interactive and make you lose track of time. It is a relatively new building, opened in 2014, and its unique formations and modern design really put an imprint into your mind that is not soon forgotten. As far as the meaning of the outside structure of the museum you will need to ask your tour guide for that information!

Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

They welcomed us in all different languages!

Hanging out inside the museum!

Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

They welcomed us in all different languages!

Hanging out inside the museum!

Winnipeg Square

After a day of cramming our heads with knowledge we wound down by strolling around the Winnipeg Square mall area and hitting up some of the surrounding bars and restaurants. We found more delicious poutine and even experienced a boozy bomb pop drink prepared in a mini boot!

Winnipeg Square

Das Boot!

Winnipeg Square

Das Boot!

Old Market Square

On the last morning before crossing back over the border for a while we made our way to the Old Market Square. This was a hip little park circled by multiple coffee shops, restaurants, and bars. Many people were hanging out on the grass or the benches waiting for the live music to start up from the unique silver box stage planted in the heart of the action. We did a walking tour starting from this area through The Exchange District Biz and learned a lot more about Winnipeg!

Old Market Square Stage!

Winnipeg Beach

Our furthest drive out of the city came this afternoon when we decided to chill out at Winnipeg Beach! Mostly we just wandered around and relaxed on the beach. This is a pretty popular area as it is probably the closest beach access to the city sitting right on enormous Lake Winnipeg. There are most likely better places to escape.

Winnipeg Beach area!

Welcome to the beach!

Where we found amazing sand castles being created!

And where we took one last picture of our young selves!

Winnipeg Beach area!

Welcome to the beach!

Where we found amazing sand castles being created!

And where we took one last picture of our young selves!

Prairie 360

Before ending our time with our neighbor to the north, we splurged a little and had dinner at Prairie 360! This somewhat fancy downtown restaurant is basically connected to Hotel Fort Garry which made it very convenient. The restaurant itself is a revolving observation deck that is thirty stories high so you can snag phenomenal views of the city skyline and everywhere else you just explored! The food and drinks were great. It was the perfect send off for our Winnipeg adventure!

Prairie 360 for our last hurrah!

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