Are you looking for a quick trip out of the city? Sometimes we want to pack the family up and take off for the weekend. That allows us to travel a little farther away. But other times, we just need to get away for the day. Now this means we need places to go to that are a lot closer.It isn’t always realistic to take off for more than one day. That is why we came up with a list of 15 places worth checking out that are within a two-hour drive from the city. It is the perfect distance to get away while still packing it into one day.
Narcissi Snake Dens
Like snakes? Then the Narcissi Snake Dens is a place for you to go to for the day. Only about an hour and a half from the city, the Narcissi Snake Dens is known for their abundance of snakes. In this one area, you can see more snakes at one time than anywhere else.
At the Snake Dens, you’ll have the chance to see red-sided garter snakes as they emerge from their winter dens. At different times of the year, you’ll see various aspects of the snake. Early on they will be preparing for their mating season by performing their mating rituals. Narcissi Snake Dens
MordenAlso, an hour southwest of the city is the quaint community of Morden. It is only a few minutes down the high from Winkler. These two towns may be close together, but they are unique in their own ways. Morden is a quiet residential town that is beautiful to drive through.
Stop in at Bella’s Castle for some tasty treats and tea. Drive down the Main Street to see a bit of the town’s history. Grab the kids and check out the dinosaur museum. Morden also has a beautiful golf course with incredible houses overlooking the course. Morden
On a hot summer day, it is worth the drive to go to Grand Beach. This area of Manitoba is like a Caribbean paradise, without having to travel very far. Grand Beach is a popular tourist destination and is known for its white sand beaches to walk around on.
The beach is off the water of Lake Winnipeg. If you can travel to the centre of this massive lake, you wouldn’t be able to see any shoreline. Pack up your bags and take a day to relax on the beach and swim in the water.Grand Beach
Bannock Point PetroformsLocated in the Whiteshell Provincial Park, the Bannock Point Petroforms are a little piece of Manitoba history worth checking out. Not only that, the Whiteshell area is when you make your way into the Canadian Shield, so the scenery around is nothing short of beautiful.
These petroforms are figures on the bedrock in the forms of turtles, humans, snakes and abstract patterns. Fire Nations believe that they were left to benefit all people who visit to receive teaching and healing. These petroforms are sacred areas that were used for ceremonial purposes by First Nations, and still to this day. Bannock Point Petroforms
Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site
Head to an area only about 30 minutes from the city that houses over 300 years of history. The Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site used to be a fur trading post before turning into a historic site for visitors to go back in time to experience what prairie life used to be.
You and the family will be welcomed by large gates witch characters re-enacting what times were like. The Lower Fort Garry site is where historical treaties were made between the First Nations of the area and the Crown to create a settlement in the west. There is tons of history waiting to be told. Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site
Selkirk ParkIf you continue down the same path away from Winnipeg, you will make your way to Selkirk Park. You don’t need to camp for the night to fully appreciate the value this little area of Manitoba has to offer.
Pack a picnic and your walking shoes and hit up the trails to explore. There are areas along the path to stop for a break before continuing on. There is a great observation deck and bird sanctuary to visit, as well as an outdoor swimming pool to cool off in. Selkirk Park
Whether you have already checked it out or waiting for the right day, Gimli is a must-see place in Manitoba that will only take you an hour to get there. Gimli holds tons of history of the Icelandic people. It is considered to be the home for the most abundant Icelandic population outside of Iceland. This little piece of history is worth visiting for the day.
Make your trip during the annual Icelandic Summer Festival for a real treat. Check out the Crown Royal facility to see how one of Canada’s most famous whiskey is made. Or make the trip relaxing and walk the streets for some local shopping. Gimli
Lac du BonnetLac du Bonnet is another one of those quaint community’s that is loaded with things to see and activities to do. If you are an avid golfer, then this trip is for you. The Granite Hills Golf Course is beautiful and challenging all at the same time. If you prefer a more lazy type of trip, the Lac du Bonnet Beach will be waiting for you to come and relax and swim in the water.
There is a district museum in the town to check out. Here you will get a bit of history of the town and surrounding area. Lac du Bonnet
Looking for a place that is great to take the kids without travelling too far? The St. Pierre Joly’s Frog Follies and Agricultural Fair is a one-of-a-kind destination for the whole family. Only about 45 minutes from Winnipeg, the annual summer fair is the National Frog Jumping Championships. The kids can watch frogs race to see who can jump the furthest.
After the competition, the fun continues on strong. There is live entertainment for all ages. Take the kids to the obstacle course or browse through the agriculture show filled with antique machinery and crafts. St. Pierre
Would you take a trip out of the city to find the best cinnamon buns possible? Well now is the time to do it. Beasejour’s Serenity’s Cottage Tea House is known for making homemade cinnamon buns that are described as “ultra gooey, but not too sweet.” You can’t go wrong with that description.
While there, visit the Beausejour Daylily Gardens to view beautiful flowers in full bloom. You can even fill the day by walking around the town to get a feel of the history and to stop in at the local shops. Beausejour
Stony Mountain Ski Area
Looking for a day trip from Winnipeg that you can do in the winter time? Why not pack up for a ski and snowboard trip? Not far from the city is Stony Mountain Ski Area that has six runs groomed daily. It is excellent for those just learning how to ski and snowboard. The ski hill is open for as long as the snow is on the ground. But if you want a unique ski trip, head during April when they host the Slush Cup. They say at Stony Mountain that “Winter is not Over until Someone Gets Wet!” Stony Mountain Ski Area
Although this isn’t a town you would typically think of going to visit; if you go during the right time, it is completely worth it. Every year Morris hosts the Manitoba Stampede during the hot summer month of July.
It is Manitoba’s only Pro-Rodeo, so you know it is going to be a good time. This event draws in lots of people from all over to see bull riding, bareback riding, steer wrestling and so much more. There is also the fair at the same time so the kids can enjoy rides and win some prizes. Or make your way to the beer gardens for refreshments and entertainment. Morris
St. Malo Provincial Park
This day trip is another winter destination for the family. At St. Malo Provincial Park there is the annual Festival of Friends in February. Bundle up in case it is cold because you’ll be outside in the snow to have fun in the winter wonderland. This festival is a culinary experience filled with cultural entertainment that is perfect for the whole family. Over the Louis Riel long weekend, after visiting this festival one time, you’ll be coming back every year. St. Malo Provincial Park
LockportWhether you have been catfishing or not, head out to Lockport that is only 20 minutes outside of Winnipeg. Bring a boat to hit the waters of the Red River where catfishing is in abundance. Bringing in these massive fish take a lot of work but are a lot of fun. This is the place to go where you can consistently cash these monster fish.
Make it a friendly competition and see who can bring in the biggest catfish. Anglers quite often bring in catfish up to 39 inches.Lockport
Take a day and make your way out to the Pembina Valley. There are lots to see by simply driving around. The farmland in the summer makes for great pictures as you drive south to town.
Make a stop in Winkler that is only an hour southwest of the city. This community is thriving and continually growing. The area is filled with Mennonite culture and history. Visit some of the local restaurants for real Mennonite food that will have you wanting to come back every weekend. Make sure to visit the park in the centre of town from where the hospital used to stand. Winkler
For more options (we have tried not to repeat places in our articles) see: