Home / Travel Guides - Winnipeg / 8 Off-the-Beaten-Path Things to Do in Winnipeg, Manitoba

8 Off-the-Beaten-Path Things to Do in Winnipeg, Manitoba

AAA/Katie Broome
By AAA Travel Editor Katie Broome
July 05, 2019
Whether you’re into historic districts or urban nature parks, there are plenty of interesting places in Winnipeg, Manitoba, that aren’t your typical tourist hotspots. Find the best hidden gems in Winnipeg with this handy list.
AAA/Katie Broome

Exchange District

Centered around Old Market Square (Bannatyne Avenue and King Street)
(204) 942-6716
Walk the streets of Winnipeg’s Exchange District to see why it has been called the “Chicago of the North.” The roughly 20-block area is said to have one of the largest intact collections of turn-of-the-20th-century architecture in North America. A few spots in the Exchange are worth a look: Tiny Feast (217 McDermot Ave.) has stationary and artsy gifts; Tara Davis Studio Boutique (246 McDermot Ave.) features handmade goods from local makers; and Forth (171 McDermot Ave.) is a hipster-cool coffee shop with a basement bar. To learn more about the area’s history, take a guided walking tour with the Exchange District BIZ (offered by appointment May-August; phone (204) 942-6716).
AAA/Katie Broome

The Forks

1 Forks Market Rd.
(204) 947-9236
You’ll want to spend at least an afternoon exploring The Forks, the 23-hectare (56-acre) site located where the Red and Assiniboine rivers meet. With a history dating back 6,000 years, The Forks has long been a favorite meeting place for locals and visitors alike. Today the site is home to big-name Winnipeg attractions like the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR), but you’ll also find some off-the-beaten-path spots. For starters, we recommend taking a waterfront stroll on the River Walk (open in summer), checking out the restored rail cars near The Forks Market food hall, browsing aboriginal art and gifts in Johnston Terminal and crossing the Historic Rail Bridge to see a colorful mural and the “Niimaamaa” sculpture.
Read More
AAA/Katie Broome

The Forks Market

1 Forks Market Rd.
(204) 957-9236
When hunger hits, the best place to go for sweet treats and local eats in Winnipeg is The Forks Market. The sheer number of vendors inside the two-story market can be overwhelming, but we recommend sampling items from as many places as your eyes—and stomach—can handle. Some must-try goodies: cinnamon buns from Tall Grass Prairie, hot dogs and poutine at Skinner’s, fish and chips from Fergie’s, grab-and-go Indian food at Taste of Sri Lanka and colorful macarons from Jenna Rae Cakes. Once adequately nourished, head upstairs to browse unique souvenirs and handmade gifts at the Forks Trading Company and other stores.
Read More
AAA/Katie Broome

FortWhyte Alive

1961 McCreary Rd.
(204) 989-8355
Lace up your walking shoes and hit the trails at FortWhyte Alive for a one-of-a-kind nature experience just 30 minutes from downtown Winnipeg. Easy-to-follow maps and interpretive signs will guide you through aspen forests, past open prairies and around lakes and ponds to see birds, prairie dogs, deer and other wildlife. You’ll also have the chance to observe FortWhyte’s bison herd from a distance, step inside a tepee, climb to the top of a treehouse and walk across floating boardwalks in a marshy wetland. Check the FortWhyte Alive event calendar before your visit, as they offer guided walks and workshops throughout the year.
Read More
AAA/Katie Broome

Nonsuch Brewing Co.

125 Pacific Ave.
(204) 666-7824
Winnipeg’s craft beer scene is flourishing thanks to a recent relaxation of provincial liquor laws, so partake in the bounty with a stop at one of the city’s popular microbreweries. Nonsuch Brewing Co. serves Belgian-style beers in an Instagram-worthy taproom complete with gold-painted umbrellas on the ceiling. You can raise a glass with the locals and then pick up a souvenir sweater or gold-rimmed beer glass to remember your trip. (Keep in mind that many Winnipeg breweries are closed on Sundays and Mondays. If you’re visiting Winnipeg on those days, head to The Common at The Forks Market for a great selection of local brews available daily.)
AAA/Katie Broome

Resto Gare

630 Des Meurons St.
(204) 237-7072
Housed in a converted 1913 train station—complete with an attached rail car that now serves as a dining area— Resto Gare is one of the best hidden gem restaurants in Winnipeg. The family-owned spot is a local favorite for French bistro cuisine served in a romantic setting. Plush red upholstery, dark wood beams, live jazz on Thursday nights and bilingual service (the waitstaff will greet you in French) set the mood for a memorable meal of foie gras, filet mignon, beef bourguignonne, seafood crepes and other classics. When the server rolls the dessert cart over to your table at meal’s end, be sure to try the maple sugar pie, a popular French-Canadian treat.
Read More
AAA/Katie Broome

Royal Canadian Mint

520 Lagimodière Blvd.
(204) 984-1144
Did you know that all circulation coins in Canada—plus the coins for more than 70 foreign countries—are made in Winnipeg? Learn about facts like this one on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Royal Canadian Mint, where the production facility can mint up to 20 million Canadian coins in a single day. The 45-minute tour will give you a peek into the manufacturing process and the many steps involved, and afterward you can browse the gift shop for collector coins with colorful designs.
Read More
AAA/Katie Broome

St. Boniface (Winnipeg's French Quarter)

Just east of downtown Winnipeg, across the Red River
(204) 233-8343 (Tourisme Riel)
Cross the Esplanade Riel footbridge to discover St. Boniface, the largest francophone (French-speaking) community in Western Canada. Stop by the Tourisme Riel tourist information center (219 Provencher Blvd.) to join a guided walking tour or explore the neighborhood on your own—the district is filled with historic buildings and photo-worthy spots. You’ll definitely want to visit the St. Boniface Cathedral (180 Avenue de la Cathedrale) to see what’s left of the 1908 basilica; while most of the structure was damaged by fire in 1968, the beautiful limestone façade and a few walls remain. In the churchyard is another landmark—the tombstone of Louis Riel, the Métis leader celebrated as Winnipeg’s founder.

Start Your Next Vacation with AAA

AAA Travel provides peace of mind when you travel—before, during and after your vacation! Members enjoy the advantages of membership including exclusive benefits, savings, map routing and travel planning, plus additional travel needs such as AAA Travel Guides, TourBook® guides, passport photos, International Driving Permits and travel insurance. Your next vacation starts with AAA—your complete travel solution. Visit AAA.com/Travel.