8 Off-the-Beaten-Path Things to Do in Winnipeg, Manitoba
By AAA Travel Editor Katie Broome | June 01, 2023
Get inspired and discover the best hidden gems and interesting places in Winnipeg, including things to do outdoors and destinations perfect for foodies.
Centered around Old Market Square (Bannatyne Avenue and King Street)
Walk the streets of Winnipeg’s Exchange District to see why people call it the “Chicago of the North.” The roughly 20-block area has one one of the largest collections of early-1900s architecture in North America.
A few spots in the Exchange are worth a look. Tiny Feast (217 McDermot Ave.) has stationary and artsy gifts. You'll find handmade goods from local makers at Tara Davis Studio Boutique (246 McDermot Ave.). For a hipster-cool coffee shop complete with a basement bar, visit Forth (171 McDermot Ave.).
To learn more about the area’s history, take a guided walking tour with the Exchange District BIZ. The non-profit organization offers tours by appointment, May through August; phone (204) 942-6716.
1 Forks Market Rd.You’ll want to spend at least an afternoon exploring The Forks, the 23-hectare (56-acre) site where the Red and Assiniboine rivers meet. With a history dating back 6,000 years, The Forks National Historic Site is one of Winnipeg's most popular meeting places.Today, the site is home to big-name Winnipeg attractions like the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR). You’ll also find some off-the-beaten-path spots here, too.
We recommend taking a waterfront stroll on the River Walk (open in summer) before checking out the restored rail cars near The Forks Market. Browse aboriginal art and gifts in Johnston Terminal, then cross the Historic Rail Bridge to see the “Niimaamaa” sculpture.Read More
The Forks Market
1 Forks Market Rd.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. We recommend sampling items from as many places as your eyes — and stomach — can handle.
Some must-try goodies in the market include cinnamon buns from Tall Grass Prairie, poutine from Skinner’s and fish and chips from Fergie’s. Once you're nourished, head upstairs to browse unique souvenirs and handmade gifts at the Forks Trading Company.Read More
1961 McCreary Rd.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.
Easy-to-follow maps and interpretive signs will guide you through the park to see aspen forests, open prairies, lakes and ponds. You're likely to see birds, prairie dogs, deer and other wildlife as you explore. You’ll also have the chance to observe FortWhyte’s bison herd from a distance, climb to the top of a treehouse and walk across a floating boardwalk 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
Nonsuch Brewing Co.
125 Pacific Ave.
Winnipeg’s craft beer scene is flourishing thanks to a recent relaxation of provincial liquor laws. 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. Look up to snap a picture of the 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 close 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.
630 Des Meurons St.Housed in a converted 1913 train station, Resto Gare is one of the best hidden gem restaurants in Winnipeg. An attached rail car now serves as a dining area for the restaurant. This family-owned spot is a local favorite for French dishes served in a romantic setting.
Plush red upholstery and dark wood beams set the mood for a memorable meal, and the bilingual waitstaff will greet you in French.
On the menu you'll find 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. It's a unique dining experience in Winnipeg, to say the least.Read More
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Royal Canadian Mint
520 Lagimodière Blvd.Did you know that the mint in Winnipeg makes all circulation coins used in Canada? Plus the coins for more than 70 foreign countries? Learn cool facts like these on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Royal Canadian Mint. The mint's production facility can produce 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 steps involved. After your tour, browse the gift shop for nifty collector coins with colorful designs.Read More
Saint Boniface (Winnipeg's French Quarter)
Just east of downtown Winnipeg, across the Red River
Did you know Winnipeg is home to the largest community of people who speak French in Western Canada? Cross the Esplanade Riel footbridge to discover the community of St. Boniface. 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 offers plenty of historic buildings and photo-worthy spots.
You’ll definitely want to pay a visit to the St. Boniface Cathedral on Avenue de la Cathedrale. While most of the 1908 structure was damaged by a 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.