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Why go to Winnipeg? Why not?

TIME magazine declared Winnipeg one of the world's most incredible places in 2021. Don't worry; that doesn't mean it's passed the cool factor for your visit; if anything, heading north has never been more relaxed, so summer visits are encouraged.

The Manitoba Tourism board invited me to experience Winnipeg before heading farther north on this trip. More to be revealed in a later blog!

I wanted to learn about local history, see the sites, and, of course, try some great local places to eat. A few Winnipeg details, it is located in Manitoba, one of the ten provinces of Canada where the Red River and Assiniboine Rivers meet. A culturally diverse area, with an expanding food scene luring many in. Whether you have an appetite for food, hiking, arts & culture, or the historical side of town, Winnipeg is sure to feed all your cravings.

We, travelers, are often motivated by a particular category, food. The cure-all for anyone and a universal language that will bring together a fusion of people. Getting a taste around the city not only shows the physical city but allows you to get a bird's eye view into the locals that work there, their pace of life, and what they bring to the table.

If you roll by yourself or with a picky crowd who might have difficulty agreeing on a mood for food, there are many opportunities to double-dip restaurants through markets and food halls in Winnipeg. The Forks Market is a popular choice for a good reason. Housing over twenty options to eat from, all situated alongside the river. I could not make up my mind as there were many options. I was interested in trying it as it is a popular spot to get a taste of local vendors, including baked goods, a Taste of Sri Lanka, and a Fusion Experience. A must if you are a fellow advocate of fusion fares such as sushi and tacos mashed together. They are fantastic! Bahn-mi, Korean corn dogs, cookies, and milk dessert drinks galore. Jenna Rae Cakes Macaroons were top-notch. Thank me later. Before continuing my journey to explore other parts of Winnipeg, I had a delicious caffeine boost from Fools & Horses Café (also located in the Forks Market).

One of the iconic buildings in Winnipeg, if not the entire province, is the Canadian Human Rights Museum, designed by distinguished architect Antoine Predock. The first museum was solely dedicated to the fight for human rights, with the museum situated on Treaty 1 Territory, ancestral lands. Treaty 1 was the first of the numbered treaties that helped establish Western Canada. I also learned the Treaty was signed by Canada and the Anishinabek and Swampy Cree of southern Manitoba. The Treaty would be in place for "as long as the sun shines, the grass grows, and the river flows." The museum offers powerful messages and stories of the evolution of indigenous people and their refusal to accept the confiscation of land. The stories of human struggles and resilience of other atrocities from around the world provide knowledge with the hope of never experiencing such hard human rights again.

Another great way to absorb much of Winnipeg is the unique local history of the Exchange district. Canada's national site is a great way to see it on foot. I experienced a historical walking tour with The Exchange District Biz, displaying the side of town with buildings from the late 1800s. The knowledgeable tour guide added to the experience, with local knowledge and a craving to pass down some of their stories.

Another excellent food hall I visited offering plenty for all is the Hargrave St. Market. Perfect for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with an array of options. A curious combination should feed the whole table with burgers, tacos, ramen, coffee, and cocktails. I grabbed a local Sultana beer from Lake of the Woods Brewery in Hargrave Market. You can see the large brew kettles right behind the Rose Bare. Dare I share? It's a kettle-to-bar experience. Rose Bar staff was excellent; Frederick, working the night shift, shared about the local beer selections, what it was like to grow up in Winnipeg and why he loves to come home after traveling all over the world. I was starting to get the vibe of why Winnipeg is so great. Just a reminder, I was visiting in late summer.

Not just eating at food halls, I had a more refined meal at one of the fantastic newest restaurants in town, Preservation Hall. You'll find incredible handmade daily desserts, and a great seafood selection here. The owner is a husband-and-wife duo, Tristan and Melaine Foucault. The restaurant has a neighborhood charm with various menu items to excite the most seasoned palates. Chef Tristan is known for his charcuterie, carefully spiced and cured meats are prominent on the French-inspired menu.

My time in Winnipeg had an excellent ending with visiting Thermea by Nordik Spa-Nature. This unique spa offers a wide selection of wellness experiences, thermal experiences, massages, and body treatments, and I soaked in as much as possible. Enjoy pure relaxation in one of the four outdoor baths, saunas, an exfoliation room, and a lounge area. It's a perfect blissful way to relax, recharge and reflect on your time in the north before heading home or on to your next adventure.

We want to hear about your meaningful time in Winnipeg. Tag us #TWMWinnipeg

Pictures provided:

- 1. Canadian Museum for Human Rights Facebook

- 2- Rose Bar Facebook

-3- Preservation Hill Facebook

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