If you tell a travel guide, “I want to see Manitoba,” they might reply, “Check your pockets.” That’s because the Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg, Manitoba's capital, manufactures every single one of Canada's coins. Watching all of Canada's currency being made during a Mint tour can be quite a spectacle, but so is staring up at the pyramid-shaped glass building.
You won't need much coin to enjoy The Forks National Historic Site, a park where exhibits and sculptures mark the location of the area's first European settlement and modern Winnipeg's bustling nucleus. Visitors looking for something to do can watch the Red and Assiniboine Rivers collide from the Riverwalk, see skaters soar at The Plaza skate park, and set the kids loose at Variety Heritage Adventure Playground, where they can trade fur, board a replica steamboat, and splash around in the water park. At The Forks Market, more than 300 artisans display their food and wares.
For a taste of culture, head over to the Winnipeg Art Gallery, which hosts 25,000 works of Canadian and Inuit art, or the Graffiti Gallery, a visual celebration of urban street culture. For nightlife, hit up Whiskey Dix, where thrumming DJ beats fill a loft-like interior. Hockey fans provide the raucous soundtrack at the MTS Centre, home of the Winnipeg Jets.
But you have to leave the city to see all that Manitoba has to offer. In Manitoba's southwest corner, Riding Mountain National Park boasts 3,000 kilometres of open aspen parkland and boreal forest great for hiking, sailing, and fishing. In the winter, skiers and snowboarders migrate further south to Holiday Mountain Ski & Golf Resort's powdery slopes. A trek to Manitoba's northern tip, at the western shore of the Hudson Bay, is worth it just to spot polar bears during a Tundra Buggy Adventure.