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Manitoba: Take a trip that starts in a garden shared between nations

Find peace on the prairie and scale majestic mountains in this compelling province. The lush landscapes and cultural touchstones found here make Manitoba a once-in-a-lifetime destination.

Drive 166.3 miles, 4 hours, 29 minutes


1. Turtle Mountain Provincial Park/International Peace Garden

Starting Point

Turtle Mountain Provincial Park, named after numerous painted turtles found here, is at the international border between Canada and the United States, and adjacent to the International Peace Garden. Turtle Mountain rises 800 feet, providing thrilling prospects for mountain biking fans, and an abundance of wildlife that encourages nature lovers to grab binoculars and take a hike. The International Peace Garden is an entity unto itself; neither Canadian nor American, it straddles the line into both countries. The garden’s Conservatory features more than 6,000 plant specimens and includes an 18-foot floral clock.


2. Brandon

73.5 miles, 1 hour, 45 minutes

Brandon has several museums that offer insights into the local culture, history and heritage of Manitoba. It’s also home to one of six Manitoba Signature Museums: the Commonwealth Air Training Plane Museum, Canada’s only air museum dedicated to those who trained and fought for the British Commonwealth. You can wander through hangers and see the vintage aircraft and vehicles used to train thousands during WWII. Enjoy a guided tour of the Daly House Museum, a stunning Victorian home built for Brandon’s first mayor, and then land at the RCA Museum, Canada’s National Artillery Museum, to see the largest collection of artillery in the country.

Getty Images/Hemera

Getty Images/Hemera

3. Sandy Lake

60.8 miles, 1 hour, 23 minutes

This little resort town is all about the water. Relax on clean sandy beaches and cast your line for perch, northern pike and walleye, or take to the lake for swimming and pleasure boating to round out your stay. Landlubbers can visit the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Museum for a glimpse into the village’s past and learn more about the Ukrainian pioneers who settled here. Sandy Lake has several dazzling, historical churches, including Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church, St. Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church and St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

4. Riding Mountain National Park

31.9 miles, 1 hour, 21 minutes

This forested parkland is home to animals and plants from three ecological zones: grasslands, upland boreal and eastern deciduous forests, which means a chance to see moose, elk, black bears (one of the largest populations in North America), wolves, cougars and bison. There are over 250 miles of trails meandering through evergreen forests, craggy gorges, breezy grasslands and serene meadows, making it perfect for hiking, biking, horseback riding, cross country skiing and snowmobiling. Choose from three lakes for boating, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, swimming scuba diving and fishing. Sign up for an all-inclusive experience like First Light Wildlife Watch and learn how to photograph nature.