What can you tell me about Winnipeg?

A friend and I will probably be visiting Winnipeg this summer as part of our annual ballpark tour. We’d be driving up from Fargo and staying only one night, probably a Tuesday. Neither of us has ever been there or know much of anything about the place.

  1. What unique local attractions should we make a point to see (given just a couple hours of free time in the afternoon and following morning?)

  2. What is the bar scene like in the neighborhood of the ballpark (roughly Main St. & Portage Ave.)? We’ll be on foot after the game. Any can’t-miss spots?

  3. Any points of interest on the way from Fargo and back (I-29/HWY 75) we should check out?

It’s been a dozen years since I’ve been to Winnipeg, but I remember loving the Manitoba Museum and the Western Canada Aviation Museum. If you have the time to venture outside the city a bit, an hour away is a charming place called Philip’s Magical Paradise.

I don’t know your ultimate itinerary or how experienced you are at road-tripping, but here’s a tip: If you’re considering driving east from Winnipeg along the trans-Canada Highway to get to Toronto or Ottawa or points east of that…be ready for long, long stretches of nothing, and make reservations for where you intend to sleep. When my wife and I did that drive, we figured we’d drive until we got tired and find a motel somewhere to bunk down in. Bad idea - there wasn’t a single vacancy until we had driven all the way through the night into Thunder Bay. We’d been running on fumes (personally, not automotively) for about five hours by that point. Don’t think you can “wing it.”

It is well and truly the armpit of the world. If you’ve never been to any other Canadian city, please be sure to remember that and not think that all of Canada is that much of a shithole.

As far as attractions, please enjoy the roads that haven’t been repaired for at least a decade, the disrepair of all downtown buildings, and the armless, legless, toothless, native people in wheel chairs that have been abandoned all along the streets around the downtown hospital without so much as an umbrella to keep the weather off. I wish I was kidding. *

That being said, Ram Wool is a really fantastic yarn shop if you’re into that sort of thing.

*I assume they are abandoned because a person with no arm, no legs in a non-electric wheelchair isn’t going to get very far on their own.

In winter it’s called Winterpeg and in summer it’s called Bugpeg.

Summer’s a good time to be in Winnipeg.

You’ll find Canwest Park one of the great small ballparks in the continent. The Goldeyes and the Northern League are about as low on the totem pole of professional baseball as you can get. However, the players put on a entertaining show and the ambiance at a game is fantastic.

Within walking distance of the baseball park is The Forks at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers. Many restaurants and a public market as well as a river walk with numerous historical markers make this tourist attraction worth visiting.

The Fort Garry Hotel is just off Main Street on Broadway. A century old grand railway hotel has a nice piano lounge on the main floor.

Portage and Main is Winnipeg’s famously windy intersection. Hy’s is a swanky steak house in the Richardson building at the intersection.

The Manitoba Museum is a short walk north on Main. An interesting way to learn about the evolution of life on the prairie.

Lower Fort Garry is a 30 minute drive north of the city - a well preserved relic of the Hudson Bay Company’s development of the region.

Assiniboine Park along with the Zoo are worth visiting.

Depending on the timing of your visit, there are any number of celebrations and festivals that take place during the summer.

Having made the drive from Fargo to Winnipeg numerous times, I can categorically state there is nothing between Winnipeg and Fargo. Except Grand Forks.

Enjoy your stay. You’ll have a great time.

Make sure you take a picture of that really, really weird Louis Riel statue in the park by the river downtown (I think it is The Forks) and post it here. :slight_smile:

Oh, you’ll need a map for driving in the city, too - they don’t like using any logic for streetnames there (like keeping the same name on the street for more than a couple of blocks).

The Forks Market is pretty awesome. They have some great shops, lots of eateries (many, many different ethnicities and cultures represented there). My husband and I went to Winnipeg a couple years ago and we had a blast the day we spent at The Forks.

There’s lots to do in Winnipeg. We spent a week there, in the midst of frigid, blistering cold… and we still found things to do! It was great.

Please also keep in mind that there is always someone willing to come along and criticize any place in the world. Anywhere is only as good as you are willing to make it - if you come here with the attitude above you will hate it, naturally.

My husband and I liked Winnipeg… and we were there at the end of January, in the frigid cold. And we still loved it. It’s a nice city. We’ve thought about moving there a few times. Not at this point in our lives. There’s a lot to do; we wish we would have had more time to do it.

I lived there for 5 years in the 90s. It was shit then and has only gotten worse.

Be careful where you go downtown. My friend had to quit his job near the forks after being mugged in broad daylight three times in two weeks. They have also have a big gang problem.

One Great City!