Besides spending part of the summer visiting my home province of Nova Scotia, I intend to travel around Manitoba and see more of new home province. In my experience Manitoba doesn't really have much of a presence in the travel industry and tourism, but it could, it has the potential.
One of my conversation starters when I meet someone new here in Manitoba is to ask them where they like to go in Manitoba for a day trip or a night away. I have discovered that many Manitobans don't really explore or enjoy their home province to its full potential, and I find that quite sad. Most answer "Winnipeg" and even though I agree that Winnipeg does have things to do and see, it really is only a very small part of this large province, there is much more to Manitoba than just Winnipeg. I usually then share stories about some of the Manitoba attractions I had visited since living in Manitoba and many Manitobans are surprised at some of the places I have been - places they had never heard about or hadn't been to in years. At times I chuckle because someone who has only lived in this province for four years has seen and explored more than people that have been living here their entire lives. Don't they realize what they are missing out on? Don't they want to see what their province has to offer?
Growing up in Nova Scotia my family routinely got in the car and took off for day trips or quick overnight adventures. They didn't necessarily cost a lot of money, and we didn't always have a plan, but I look back on them with fond memories and I really enjoyed our family drives and adventures exploring Nova Scotia. It was a great way for my parents to educate me about my home province and to see all the beauty our province had to offer. My husband grew up with a similar family dynamic and also spent lots of time exploring Nova Scotia with his family in his childhood.
When my husband and I moved to Manitoba four years ago we set out to see as much of this province as possible. We would look at tourist phamplets and every time we drove past a new community we would take a detour in to explore. We have discovered quite a few neat places and I think exploring Manitoba is probably our favourite activity here in Manitoba. Our explorations have taken us to a yurt, to a swinging bridge, to Riding Mountain National Park, to provincial parks, to a desert, to a zoo, and tons of little communities all over, each with their own little attractions and sights. We have enjoyed some of these attractions so much that they have now become a yearly event, and we return time after time. Every year we live in Manitoba we look for new adventures and things we can see. We want to see it all.
This winter I was extremely pleased to discover the book A Daytripper's Guide to Manitoba: Exploring Canada's Undiscovered Province by Bartley Kives for sale on Amazon. I knew I had to buy it. I had yet to come across a complete, up to date book that focused solely on exploring Manitoba. This book does not disapoint. It is a very well written, comphrensive overview of all areas of the province. It offers great tips and ideas on places to visit and see. I have already read it cover to cover and we are in the process of picking out new places to discover. If you are someone who wants to explore Manitoba and doesn't know where to start - then this is a great book for you.
Another great tool for exploring Manitoba is the Travel Manitoba website. It offers many places to see and things to do under their new slogan "It's Manitoba Time". The website has links and information and pretty much anything available in the province. It is probably the best website to visit if you want to visit Manitoba for the first time, or get re-acquainted with your home province of Manitoba.
I strongly encourage you to take the time to get to know Manitoba. Explore it. Get to know the different attractions and communities. What are you waiting for? You might really enjoy what you find!