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Manitoba derives its name from the Indian word “manitou,” meaning “spirit.” Those who named this magnificent province obviously had great foresight, as Manitoba embodies the spirit of Canada, with clean and friendly cities offering every metropolitan amenity, but also possessing rugged, unspoiled, and untamed wilderness that stretches for hundreds of miles. There’s so much land available for fishing and hunting that the hard part won’t be finding a place to set up camp, but deciding on which site among many is the best.
The capital city of Winnipeg makes a fine starting point, with plenty to keep you occupied during your visit. Among the plethora of attractions, one of the most interesting is Fort Gibraltar and the Maison de Bourgeois, which is situated on the banks of the red River and dates back two centuries to the fur trapper days. It provides a fascinating look back into the days of early Canadian history. There are several botanical gardens within the city limits for the flower enthusiast, and Assiniboia Downs showcases thoroughbred racing from May to September. For outdoor activities, nearby Lake Winnipeg can’t be rivaled for camping and waterborne activities such as boating, fishing, swimming, and water skiing.
Out on the road, our next stop of Arnes lies nearly 70 miles to the north, accessed via Route 8. This is a prime place to escape to the wild country, as the Arnes area is a favorite among campers, hunters, and fishermen who want to experience a true get-away-from-it-all experience. The beauty of it is that even though it seems remote, it’s very close to all necessities and amenities you might need. It’s a very RV-friendly location, with plenty of hookups and campsites and is definitely worth the drive.
Once you’re ready to return to civilization, retrace your route south on Route 8 until you come to the junction of Route 8 and the southbound Route 9. Take Route 9 for 25 miles, then merge with Highway 59-N and follow it for 40 miles until you reach Victoria Beach.
Victoria Beach is a quiet development, a cottage community on the shore of Lake Winnipeg, and much of its quietude is due to the fact that the town is closed off to all vehicular traffic. There are miles of hiking trails and beaches to explore, and with a population of less than 300 people, you’ll have all the outdoor recreation to yourself in the off-season. During the summer, a few thousand people make Victoria Beach their vacation destination, despite the lack of featured tourist attractions. The main attraction of Victoria Beach is the abundance of peace and quiet, coupled with the magnificent natural beauty of the region.
Eighty miles to the southeast via Highway 11 lies our final destination, Seven Sisters Falls. As you travel down the highway, keep your eyes peeled and have your camera ready for wildlife that grazes at the roadside. Seven Sisters is another excellent getaway spot, with several outfitters in the region ready to equip you with everything you’ll need to get the most out of Betula Lake, be it fishing tackle, boats, or canoes. The hiking and hunting opportunities are without peer; the water in Betula Lake is generally calm and warmish, so you don’t have to be a polar bear to enjoy a swim.
As you can see, Manitoba truly offers the best outdoor activities, and one can easily make that the focus of many return trips without ever seeing the same region twice. Just driving around the circumference of Lake Winnipeg offers travelers the chance to experience a variety of vacation experiences and still remain within an easy drive of metropolitan Manitoba. With all these chances for varied types of vacation fun, it’s not difficult to see why thousands of people make this their featured travel destination year after year.