Last year, I flew to Friendly Manitoba to see the City of Opportunity! I spent 3 days meeting great locals, trying delicious food, and seeing beautiful places. I soon found out, 3 days was not enough! So not 5 months later, I have returned to Winnipeg to revisit some old friends and visit some new ones! Join me as I discover The Best Places to Stay, Shop, and Eat in Winnipeg.
The Best Places to Stay, Shop, and Eat in Winnipeg
HOW TO GET THERE
I made the trip to Winnipeg with Flair Airlines, Canada’s ultra low cost air travel company. It’s low cost because customers can add what they want a la carte style! It’s a great choice for Canadians who are looking to travel to Canada’s smaller airports without tedious layovers. And their laid back atmosphere, cheaper parking, and awesome baggage handling are all included in the low fare!
PLACES TO STAY
The Inn at the Forks is located in downtown Winnipeg which means it’s the ideal place for anyone looking to stay in a luxury room in the centre of the city. The boutique hotel has modern rooms with access to the newly renovated Riverstone Spa and the SMITH Restaurant that’s a stunning culinary experience. It’s truly a get away from your getaway!
Or try the boutique Mere Hotel located in the Exchange District. Their motto of simplicity means you’ll have all the essentials you’ll need without paying for unnecessary extras. One of my favourite parts? Their Mediterranean inspired restaurant, the Cibo Waterfront Café. It sits right a the bank of the Red River!
THINGS TO DO
Therma Spa is a wonderful place to go if you’re looking to experience a slice of luxury. With facial treatments that are catered to your skin’s needs and a complimentary hand, foot, AND scalp massage, Therma Spa is all you need to relax after a long day. If that isn’t enough, head out to the springs for a thermal experience!
This time around, I made sure to drop by the Royal Canadian Mint where all the coins in Canada are made! I learned a fun fact: The loonie didn’t originally feature a loon. It was actually supposed to be a voyageur, but the master dye was stolen and the second place winner, the loon was put on the coin! How cool is that?
Looking for something fun? Epic Escape is a classic example of an escape room game but with a twist. They started with 2 New York theme rooms but now they have expanded to include 2 Flight rooms AND their newest room in progress, Escape from the Serial Killers Lair. Definitely a must-see if you’re looking for fun with friends!
PLACES TO SEE
Did you know that Parks Canada has a national historic site at the Forks? It has actually been a meeting place for indigenous groups to trade for over 6,000 years! There, you can find the Oodena Celebration Circle, a naked eye star observatory, which celebrates peoples’ connection to the land. Not only that but you’ll also find the famous big red chairs from the #SharetheChair movement!
I met Liz at the Winnipeg suburb Norwood Grove just a 5 minute bike ride over the river. Largely a Francophone community, I was amazed by the market streets which were full of old architecture. One of my favourites? The beautiful church, the Church of the Precious Blood. You’ll also notice the expansion of green space, like the Canada 150 Art Walk which the city launched this year!
And it would be a rookie tourists’ mistake to miss out on Winnipeg’s thriving art scene. The Gurevich Fine Art Gallery is a fine example. It features contemporary art from emerging and established artists with an emphasis on the craft. In fact, there is nothing in the gallery that Gurevich himself wouldn’t hand in his own home!
WHERE TO SHOP
Toad Hall Toys is turning 40 this August! That’s 40 years of providing parents with options other than those available on the mass market. It’s all the toys you remember from your childhood and more! They say it and it’s true, “You have to come here to see it!”
Sutton Smithworks is the most high tech goldsmith shop in Manitoba. Among their collection are engagement rings with purple sapphires and black diamonds. Even better, they do everything on site including the milling of the wax, casting, and finishing. Worth a visit if you’re looking for high quality, locally made jewellery.
I stopped by United Nations Luggage during their Annual Purse Party! I soon found out that they carry every bag you could ever need, from travelling the world to overnighting in Toronto! (Perfect for travellers like me). They even have a bag which is actually an aluminum trunk!
WHAT TO EAT
Of course—I revisited my favourite chocolate store in Winnipeg, Constance Popp Chocolates! They are Manitoba’s first bean-to-bar maker so their chocolate is made from beans from all over the world. Among their stellar chocolate selection, I found chocolate shaped like the Human Rights Museum!
I returned to the original Inferno’s Bistro after my last trip to Inferno’s on Academy. They serve French cuisine which is Asian inspired—which means a lot of butter and desserts made in house. The staff favourite? The penne with chicken in a spicy chili cream sauce. When you drop by don’t miss their patio covered in lilac bushes!
Where else but The Forks Market could you find a flight of ice cream made of espresso flake, carrot cake, Manitoba honey and lavender, and strawberry rhubarb crumble? After filling up on ice cream make sure to visit the local eateries and shops in the market. You can even buy food for a picnic and stroll by the river located right next to the market!
I found the best pasta in Winnipeg! Mitchell Block Restaurant is famous for their small batch pastas. The most popular item on their menu is the agnolotti, a stuffed pasta made fresh with roasted sweet potatoes, walnuts, and brown butter—mmm! While you’re there don’t forget to visit their lounge on the second floor. It’s located right in downtown Winnipeg in the busy Exchange District so it’s a great place to grab a bite to eat before seeing a show or after shopping!
Thank you for following me through a busy 3 days in Winnipeg! For more information on what to see and do in Winnipeg you can visit the Winnipeg tourism website.
Your suggestions are always welcome, as I continue on my journey to live life to the fullest. Let’s explore some wonderful places and have the very best 2017!