This article was originally published on the Travel Manitoba blog.
How does Manitoba stand out from the rest of Canada? We came up with our very own (unofficial) list of the amazing travel moments that can only be found in our beautiful province.
Little Limestone Lake
Not only is it Instagrammable, it's also the largest and most dramatically color-changing marl lake in the world. Little Limestone Lake can be found at the northern end of Lake Winnipeg, along a long stretch of highway that runs through the traditional territory of the Mosakahiken Cree Nation. A marl lake is a lake that changes color throughout the day due to its limestone bottom. Travelers who venture to this robin's egg blue body of water need to be resourceful and adventurous, as there are limited services and amenities along the way.
SUP with goats
Head to Steep Rock on a glorious day trip from Winnipeg up the eastern side of Lake Manitoba and you'll find clear waters and limestone cliffs that are certainly photo-worthy. Peter of Steep Rock Kayak & Canoe has two pet goats Gonzo and Hopper who live in a nearby island where paddle boarders can journey to for a visit. Don't be surprised if the goats hop on for a ride!
Winnipeg winters just wouldn't be the same without our beloved skating trail, and the warming huts that come along with it. The tradition began in 2009 when the Manitoba Architecture Association and The Forks (the city's popular public space and dining, recreation, and shopping hub) launched an international design competition. The competition called for high-design structures for the dual purpose of decorating and providing shelter along the Red River Mutual Trail. Renowned names like architect Frank Gehry and sculptor Anish Kapoor have designed warming huts for millions of skaters to enjoy in the winter months.
The Tundra Buggy
When it comes to wildlife tourism in the subarctic town of Churchill (ie; the polar bear capital of the world), the Tundra Buggy is a household name. This customized vehicle treks delicately over the fragile, uneven terrain so that it can bring tourists up close to view and photograph polar bears in their natural habitat. With 6-foot-high tires, the Tundra Buggy is massive and keeps tourists out of reach for curious bears. The vehicle was invented in 1979 by Churchill resident Len Smith, who built the all-terrain vehicle in order to take a documentary crew from National Geographic to Cape Churchill in present-day Wapusk National Park. Today, local tour company Frontiers North Adventures owns the Tundra Buggy fleet.
The Manitoba Legislative Building
The fact that the Manitoba Legislative Building may just be one of the most unique buildings in the world is still a mystery even to locals, but Dr. Frank Albo is making it his mission to spread the word. This architectural historian is the brain behind the mind-bending Hermetic Code walking tour, where he guides curious visitors through the Legislature to point out hidden hieroglyphic inscriptions, numerological codes, Freemasonic symbols, and references to alchemy and ancient religion, all of which, he theorizes, reveal the building's real purpose (hint: it's not to house government). In other words, you won't look at architecture the same way after this eye-opening tour.
Narcisse Snake Dens
Believe it or not, Manitoba has the largest gathering of snakes in the world. This natural phenomenon happens near the small Interlake town of Narcisse, when thousands of harmless red-sided garter snakes emerge from their limestone dens for the mating spring season. Not for the faint of heart!
Bruce the Mosasaur
Where can you find one of the most impressive collections of marine reptile fossils in the country? Morden, Manitoba! The Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre is the place to go to see this incredible collection which includes Bruce, a mosasaur fossil that reaches an impressive 42.5 feet from tail tip to snout. He's also the largest publicly displayed mosasaur in the world.