Saskatoon, known as the "Paris of the Prairies," is a city that beautifully combines urban sophistication with rustic charm. It's a place where the energy of a bustling city meets the tranquility of wide-open spaces, where modern art galleries sit alongside lush green parks, and where the culinary scene is as diverse as the people who call this city home.
Whether you're an adventure seeker looking for your next adrenaline rush, a foodie wanting to explore new flavors, or a culture enthusiast eager to soak up local history and art, Saskatoon has something for you. The city's vibrant music scene is a magnet for top talent, and its numerous festivals throughout the year offer a chance to mingle with locals and experience the community's welcoming spirit.
Saskatoon's unique location on the South Saskatchewan River means it's also a haven for water sports enthusiasts. Kayaking, canoeing, and river cruises are popular activities, offering a different perspective of the city. And let's not forget the stunning natural landscapes that surround Saskatoon, from the rolling prairies to the starlit skies, which are a dream for nature lovers and photographers alike.
So, pack your bags and get ready to discover Saskatoon, a city that's sure to surprise and delight you at every turn. Here are a few suggestions to help you plan an unforgettable trip.
Saskatoon is a haven for microbreweries and distilleries, boasting a thriving craft beer scene. One of the top spots to visit is the LB Distillery, renowned for its Prohibition-era ambiance. They also produce whisky, gin, and vodka and provide complimentary tours to learn about the distilling process. And, of course, you'll get the chance to sample the spirits at this popular Saskatoon distillery. It's a fantastic place to learn about the craft of distilling and enjoy some high-quality spirits in a friendly, welcoming environment.
Just a 90-minute drive from Saskatoon, Manitou Lake, also known as Canada's Dead Sea, is a favorite spot for swimming during the summer months. The lake is celebrated for its mineral content and high salinity, which not only has health benefits but also makes floating a breeze due to the buoyancy effect. Keep an eye out for birds and other wildlife attracted to the water. It's a unique experience that combines relaxation, nature, and a bit of science all in one.
The Wheatland Express offers a fantastic way to appreciate Canada's railroad heritage. This award-winning passenger train takes you on a 47-mile journey between Cudworth and Wakaw, traveling at a leisurely 10-15 miles an hour. The journey provides a wonderful opportunity to traverse the prairies and witness the farmland of Saskatchewan. Plus, with musicians providing entertainment and unique railcars to explore, it's a delight for anyone interested in trains or just looking for a unique way to see the countryside.
During the summer, a riverboat cruise on the South Saskatchewan River offers a unique way to see the city of Saskatoon. Riverboats sail along the Meewasin Valley, offering stunning views of the scenery and wildlife, including beavers. You can also dine and cruise on these boats; some trips even include specialist speakers such as a sommelier or nature expert. It's a relaxing and educational experience that offers a different perspective on the city and its natural surroundings.
Broadway is a fantastic place to shop, exuding a bohemian vibe. This five-block district is recognized as the birthplace of the arts scene in Saskatoon. Today, you'll find artisan stores, intriguing places to eat, and a festival atmosphere. Check out Handmade House for authentic Saskatchewan handicrafts, or grab some lunch at Gangsters Italian Sandwiches as you explore this historic shopping district. It's a vibrant and eclectic area that offers a unique shopping experience and a taste of the city's creative spirit.
Saskatoon is a fantastic destination all year round, and one of the must-see attractions is the Meewasin Trail. The trail stretches 105 miles through the Meewasin Valley, winding through beautifully landscaped parks, under bridges, and natural open spaces. You'll find excellent hiking trails; in winter, there are opportunities to ski just a short distance from the city center. You can also use the Meewasin Trail to walk from Saskatoon Farmers Market to the Wanuskewin Heritage Park. It's a great way to experience the area's natural beauty, whether you're a seasoned hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll.
The Saskatoon Zoo is a fantastic place for families and has much to see. You'll find grizzly bears, Arctic wolves, and meerkats, but the small animal house with porcupines and other creatures is also a joy. The Prairie Butterfly House is another excellent experience at the zoo, with hundreds of beautiful insects fluttering around. Look out for zebra longwing, monarchs, and giant swallowtails among the hordes of butterflies. It's a fun and educational experience that offers a chance to see a wide variety of animals up close.
With a city surrounded by farmland, the food in Saskatoon is incredible. The Saskatoon Farmer's Market has been running since 1975 and operates on weekends year-round and Wednesdays during the summer months. You'll find amazing local and seasonal produce here, from rhubarb to garlic, and, of course, you can talk to the producers. Check out the local honey, freeze-dried soups, baked goods, or sample some fresh bread on sale. This is where to stock up on the famous Saskatoon berries, fiddleheads, and tasty local mushrooms. It's a great place to explore the local food scene and pick up some delicious, fresh produce.
One of the best ways to see the spectacular Saskatoon landscape is to take a hot air balloon ride. The experience is available from May through September, and your journey includes viewing places like the South Saskatchewan River from above. A hot air balloon ride is a great choice if you want to celebrate a special event or have a bucket list item. It's a thrilling and unforgettable experience that offers a unique perspective on the beautiful landscape.
There's nothing like ice cream on a hot day, especially homemade gelato. Beppi's Gelato is a Saskatoon institution and a must-do if you visit the city. At Beppi's, the ice cream is made using a traditional gelato method and produced in small batches. You'll find seasonal specialties such as hazelnut gelato and regular favorites in this popular gelato store at 616 10th Street East in Saskatoon. Which one will you choose? It's a sweet treat that's sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Located on the northern edge of Saskatoon, the Wanuskewin Heritage Park is a fascinating complex celebrating the First Nations in this region of Canada. The land has always been a gathering place for people from the Nations of the Northern Plains, and today visitors can learn about the heritage. There are hiking trails, a restaurant and gift shop, traditional dance performances, and more. It's a rich cultural experience that offers a chance to learn about the area's history and the people who have lived here.
Several farms in the Saskatoon area have visitor centers and make a great family day out. You can also learn about the farming lifestyle in Saskatchewan. Some offer animal petting or hay rides, while others have on-site cafes. For example, the Strawberry Ranch Maze has been around for 30 years and has a corn maze in season. Lala's Little Farm is ideal for small kids and has animal petting and other attractions on site. Others offer berry picking during the growing seasons. It's a fun and educational experience that offers a chance to learn about farming and get up close with animals.
Saskatoon is the kind of city where something is always happening. If you plan to visit, check out the annual events and festivals so you can enjoy these in addition to the city's other attractions. The SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival is a popular event, and Food Truck Wars is another festival that attracts crowds. If you love culture, Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan is a summertime festival. It's a great way to experience the local culture and enjoy some unique events.
Saskatoon is an excellent city for mountain biking due to its spectacular countryside and terrain. One of the best places to bike is in Blackstrap Provincial Park. It's a 35-minute drive from downtown Saskatoon and bike rentals are available. You'll find some excellent biking trails for all levels. Blackstrap Provincial Park has camping facilities and watersports, including waterskiing. You can also swim from the beaches in the park during summer. It's a great place for outdoor activities and offers a chance to enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings.
Saskatoon is home to the famous Saskatoon Blades, a junior hockey team who play in the Eastern Division of the Western Hockey League. Hockey is very popular in Canada, and the atmosphere at any game is electrifying, especially when Blades fans are in the stadium. Check out the match schedule and head to the arena for an evening of excitement. Before a match, enjoy the High Five Tunnel with the experience package. It's a thrilling experience that offers a chance to see a popular Canadian sport up close.