Explore Manitoba – Summer

Explore Manitoba – Summer

Beach-a-holics Unite!

When it comes to fun in the sun, escaping the hustle and bustle of Winnipeg, there are two popular summer beach destinations along Highway 59 and into Manitoba’s Interlake region. Close to home, you can enjoy Birds Hill Provincial Park. For something a bit more grand, there’s Grand Beach Provincial Park.

Birds Hill Provincial Park
An easy 20 minute drive away from Winnipeg, Birds Hill Provincial Park is one of Manitoba’s most popular getaways and the perfect place to sit on a beach, fire up the BBQ and enjoy Mother Nature. Crowds of sun worshippers and beach enthusiasts escaped the city during our recent heat wave to have a little fun in the sun.

While most of the summer activities revolve around the man-made beach, Birds Hill has many other summer activities to offer. There are hiking and horseback riding trails throughout the park. Park visitors can try self guided Bur Oak and White-tailed Deer trails as they information signs along the trail.

The paved 7.2km Lakeview Trail is great for walking, jogging, cycling and inline skating. For the active parents, this would be a nice leisurely stroll with a baby cart. Or if you’re looking for something more adult group friendly and different, you can try renting a two or four-person tandem bicycles.

Every summer since 1974, Birds Hill Provincial Park plays host to one of North America’s largest folk music festival, The Winnipeg Folk Festival. The 3-day festival attracted over 70,000 people earlier this month.

In 1984, Birds Hill hosted Pope John Paul II during his papal visit to Manitoba. I recall my journey that day as I heard mass with my family. Pope’s Hill, named in honour of the Pope’s visit still remains today.

Grand Beach Provincial Park
In this record setting heat wave, Grand Beach is one of the best Manitoba day-trips to consider this summer. Located eastern shore of Lake Winnipeg, Grand Beach Provincial Park and Grand Beach is an hour’s drive north of Winnipeg, along Hwy 59.

This beach-a-holic getaway with it’s powder-fine white sand stretches for over 3kms. Once famed in Playboy magazine in the 1980’s as one of the top beaches of the world, Grand Beach remains to be one of the premier summer beach destinations for many Manitobans.

After a savage windstorm in October 2011, Grand Beach now sports a rebuilt boardwalk and is currently undergoing massive renovations and improvements. Over $10.5 million dollars is being used for park improvements and upgrades. It’s going to be grander than ever.

Grand Beach offers much more excitement for the entire family. Planning on staying for more than a day, there are campgrounds, motels, bed & breakfasts and private cottages available for rent.

The area offers an endless list of fun sports and recreational activities to suit every budget and experience. Let’s see how long this list is! ATV, Quad bikes, bird watching, fishing, golfing, hiking, jet skiing, kayaking, kite boarding, mountain biking, sailing, swimming, water skiing, wake boarding, windsurfing and wildlife watching. I’m sure we missed a couple and if I have, please make sure to let me know for next year!

New to Grand Beach is Thunder Mountain water slides, located next to the East Gate entrance to Grand Beach Provincial Park. For all the golfers, the 18-hole 6664 yard, par 72 Grand Pines Golf Course in Traverse Bay, north of Grand Beach has scenic and challenging holes to excite and frustrate every golfer. The 5443 yard, par 71 Beaches Golf Course is also another course to book a tee time. Golf in the morning, relax on the beach in the afternoon. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a hot Manitoba summer day.

Feeling like Lady Luck is on your side? Another attraction along Hwy 59 to consider is South Beach Casino & Resort, located on the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation Reserve. Over 600 slots machines, Blackjack tables and a poker room to satisfy the gambler in you.

Have we mentioned FREE yet? Yes, it’s free to visit all Manitoba Provincial Parks. For the third consecutive year, entry to Manitoba Parks are free to ensure that all families can play in the province’s natural outdoor playground.

About Explore Manitoba Summer Series
Who says there’s nothing to do in Manitoba? We’ve got lakes, parks, festivals and beaches to keep you busy all summer long. Join the Filipino Journal as we travel all across our beautiful province of Manitoba this summer. What time is it? It’s Manitoba Time!