Man­i­toba The

Guide to De­light­ful sur­prises Here’s our list of the Top 5 un­ex­pected Man­i­toba gems

ZOOMER Magazine - - SPECIAL TRAVEL FEATURE -

1 RID­ING MOUN­TAIN GLAMP­ING Hik­ers, kayak­ers and moun­tain bik­ers will find lots to ex­plore in Rid­ing Moun­tain Na­tional Park, where com­plex ecosys­tems–in­clud­ing prairie grass­lands, deep as­pen forests, wet­lands and the shores of Clear Lake–are home to elk, moose, bi­son, bears and lynx.

If you want this kind of im­mer­sive wilder­ness ex­pe­ri­ence with some of the rough edges smoothed off, con­sider glamp­ing. The park’s “oTENTik” are roomy A-frame struc­tures that blend the un­der-the-stars feel of a tent with the com­forts of a cabin.

The ameni­ties con­tinue in the town­site of Wasagam­ing. Here you can pick up leg­endary cin­na­mon buns at the White House Bak­ery. Or take in a film at the Park The­atre, built in 1937 and still the largest log-cabin movie-house in North Amer­ica.

2 Assini­boine Park

At Win­nipeg’s Assini­boine Park Zoo, the ir­re­sistible po­lar bears of The Jour­ney to Churchill ex­hibit and their in­no­va­tive, award-win­ning en­vi­ron­ment get a lot of (well-de­served) at­ten­tion.

In ad­di­tion, the park of­fers an ex­pan­sive ur­ban re­treat, its 450 hectares com­bin­ing quiet nat­u­ral beauty with re­cre­ation. You can stroll through the English Gar­den, feed the birds at the duck pond, or take in a leisurely cricket match. Sum­mer out­door en­ter­tain­ment events in­clude jazz in the Leo Mol Sculp­ture Gar­den, movies at the Lyric The­atre band­shell and un­for­get­table open-air per­for­mances by the Royal Win­nipeg Bal­let.

3 win­nipeg eats

With su­per-trendy Se­govia and deer + al­mond re­cently mak­ing the 100 Best Restau­rants list, Cana­di­ans are start­ing to find out about Win­nipeg’s un­der-ther­adar food scene.

The Com­mon, lo­cated in the city’s pop­u­lar Forks Mar­ket, sets a new stan­dard for food halls, with a cool de­sign that ref­er­ences the build­ing’s in­dus­trial roots and an edgy, am­bi­tious wine and beer list over­seen by in­ter­na­tion­ally lauded som­me­lier Véronique Rivest.

For cheap-and-cheer­ful op­tions, Win­nipeg’s thriv­ing food cul­ture also in­cludes hole-in-the-wall eth­nic joints, clas­sic drive-ins serv­ing up messy ham­burg­ers and old favourites like the BDI, an ice cream stand that’s had fans hap­pily lin­ing up for over 60 sum­mers.

4 FLIN FLON

Founded in 1927 as a min­ing cen­tre, the north­ern Man­i­toba city of Flin Flon has an un­ex­pected back story. Le­gend has it that prospec­tor Tom Creighton came across a copy of a 1905 dime-store sci-fi novel on the trail. He later named the town after its cen­tral char­ac­ter, Josiah Flintabat­tey Flonatin, an ad­ven­turer who stubles onto a city where all the usual norms are up­side-down.

With its rich mix of his­tory, cul­ture and na­ture, Flin Flon still takes you by sur­prise. Head to the North­ern Vis­ual Arts Cen­tre, where you can take in an ex­hi­bi­tion or find your in­ner artist with a sun­set paint party. Or fol­low a wooden board­walk to view the city’s spec­tac­u­lar set­ting of vol­canic rocks, bo­real for­est and clear, deep wa­ters.

5 FLY-IN FISH­ING

Whether you’re a mas­ter an­gler or a keen novice, Man­i­toba’s vast north­ern re­gion has an ex­clu­sive f ly-in fish­ing ad­ven­ture crafted just for you.

For­get the GPS. You’ll get a guide whose deep-down knowl­edge of th­ese re­mote lakes will help you land some im­pres­sive tro­phy fish, from com­bat­ive pike to elu­sive trout.

Th­ese lodges spe­cial­ize in per­son­al­ized ser­vice, com­bin­ing rus­tic at­mos­phere and mod­ern com­forts, which might in­clude a mas­sage, Fin­nish saunas or just re­li­able In­ter­net. You’ll en­joy de­li­cious dawn break­fasts and el­e­gant three-course din­ners.

Even bet­ter, though, is the sim­ple sat­is­fac­tion of a shore lunch, with fish just pulled from the lake fried up in a cast-iron pan.

Ex­pect the un­ex­pected in Man­i­toba, from Win­nipeg’s un­pre­ten­tious but ad­ven­tur­ous food scene to the rus­tic-luxe hos­pi­tal­ity of north­ern fly-in fish­ing lodges.

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