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Best Road Trips in Manitoba
Hit the road in Manitoba this summer, have a scenic adventure this winter, and just plain enjoy yourself any time in between.
Why not start with metropolitan Manitoba? From Wheat City to The Peg and possibly the Hub of the North – that’s Brandon to Winnipeg with a side trip to Thompson for you out-of-provincers. Get ready for unforgettable attractions like the Spruce Woods dunes, vintage gas stations, The Forks, and Manitoba’s largest waterfall.
Manitoba’s second largest city, Brandon is known as the Wheat City, and offers plenty of local sports, annual festivals, and outdoor activities. Found on the Assiniboine River in southwestern Manitoba, Brandon features the Brandon University, Brandon Curling Club, and the B.J. Hales Museum of Natural History.
Make your way to the 5,100-seat Keystone Centre for an action-packed game with the WHL Brandon Wheat Kings.
And for those who may not know, the Keystone Centre is also home to the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba – hosts of many annual events like the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair, Manitoba Summer Fair, Manitoba Livestock Expo, AgDays, and the Brandon Folk Music & Arts Festival.
The Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum is dedicated to World War II aviators and history. The museum is located at the Brandon Municipal Airport, and found on the Canadian Register of Historic Places.
Set just east of Brandon on the Trans Canada Highway, Spruce Woods Provincial Park is a natural park covering 269 square kilometres. The park features the Spirit Sands, Assiniboine River, plus horseback trails, canoeing, and mini-golf.
Enjoy hiking and biking on the Epinette Creek Hiking Trail System, swimming and beach lounging on the Kiche Manitou Lake, and getting a good look at the next leg of your road trip from the Steels Ferry Overlook.
About two hours east of Brandon along the Trans Canada Highway we’ll find Headingley. – officially the Rural Municipality of Headingley.
First stop is Jim's Vintage Garages, found in the Headingley Heritage Centre. The museum is a quirky yet impressive collection of vintage vehicles and motorcycle, gas pumps, road signs, and more from the early to mid-1900s.
Browse through Marilyn's General Store, and check out some old-fashioned toys, license plates, and décor.
Five Attractions Along the Way
- Spruce Woods Provincial Park
- Jim's Vintage Garages
- The Forks
- Assiniboine Park
- Pisew Falls Provincial Park
Whether you’re traveling with the family, or just looking to get goofy, stop by the Thunder Rapids Fun Park. Get out of the car, stretch your legs and twist, and get right back behind the wheel of a go-kart. Other Thunder Rapids attractions include an arcade, mini-golf, bumper boats, and batting cages.
Golf. Check out the 18-hole John Blumberg Golf Course, or the 18-hole Breezy Bend Country Club – this one open to the public.
Headingley is actually a western suburb of Winnipeg – Manitoba’s largest and capital city. Set at the confluence of Red and Assiniboine rivers, The Peg is known as the Gateway to the West – and features University of Manitoba, the Manitoba Legislative Building, and the Royal Canadian Mint.
A National Historic Site of Canada, The Forks is a 5.5-hectare historic meeting space known for its 6,000-year-old history. A major entertainment, shopping, cultural, and historic district, the Forks features attractions like The Forks Market, the Manitoba Children's Museum, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and much more.
Winnipeg’s largest museum, the Manitoba Museum is a natural history center featuring over 2.6 million artifacts. The museum also hosts Canada’s first planetarium, a digital underwater observatory, and the Science Gallery hall.
Covering 450 hectares, Assiniboine Park was established in 1904 and neighbours the Assiniboine Forest. Park attractions include the Assiniboine Park Zoo, the Assiniboine Park Conservatory, and the historic Assiniboine Park Pavilion.
Known as the Hub of the North, Thompson is roughly 760 kilometres north of Winnipeg in north-central Manitoba. This scenic trip through central Manitoba takes you past Lake Manitoba, Chitek Lake Park Reserve, and Lake Winnipeg.
Set on the way from Winnipeg to Thompson, the Pisew Falls Provincial Park hosts the second largest set of waterfalls in the province. The park features a viewing platform, and outdoor recreation like hiking, canoeing and kayaking, and an 11-kilometre hiking trail leading to Kwasitchewan Falls – Manitoba's highest falls.
Be sure to get a photo in front of the King Miner Monument. The four-meter icon is found at Thompson’s southern entrance – the site of the yearly Nickel Days Festival.
Spirit Way is an impressive, 2.5-kilometre hiking and biking pathway touching 16 points of interest throughout Thompson. The award-winning trail spans from the Heritage North Museum to the Miles Hart Bridge, and is spotted with decorated wolf statues, wayside signs, murals, and more.