Author: Kailey Guillemin
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There’s still plenty of summer left before university begins. That means there is still lots of time for you and your friends to check out some amazing places that are waiting for you to come and hang out at. One province that is full of chill-worthy places is Manitoba.

Sometimes it can be the forgotten province since it is squished into the centre of Canada, but the truth is, Manitoba should be (if it isn’t already) on your travel radar. Bonus, even if you’re broke, you can still afford to visit these places.

Don’t believe it? This Manitoban has the top 10 summer chilling spots all students should go to in Manitoba.

Grand Beach

No Canadian summer destination hotspot is complete unless it has Grand Beach on the list. Tucked inside Grand Beach Provincial Park on the shores of the massive Lake Winnipeg, this beach is the closest thing you’ll get to Miami without crossing the border.

Picture Caribbean white sand with a boardwalk you would see along the coast of Los Angeles – welcome to Grand Beach. The water is perfect for swimming, soft sand for catching the rays, and lots of little boutiques for shopping.

My first Grand Beach experience I was in awe of how unique it is. Experience it yourself.

Photo credit: Justin Ladia

Pisew Falls Provincial Park

You're looking at roughly a seven-hour drive north of Winnipeg to get to Pisew Falls Provincial Park. But, this area is worth the trip. It will cost you as little as $5 to see the picturesque 42.7 ft. waterfall.

Make it a camping weekend up north. How often do you get to see waterfalls on the prairies? Pisew Falls is a Manitoba spot not just every student needs to see, but everyone needs to experience.

Photo credit: Travel Manitoba

Little Limestone Lake

Here’s another Caribbean-like destination without leaving the country. Little Limestone Lake is a marl, which means the water changes colour as the water temperature rises. The calcite in the water separates to form tiny crystals, which turns the water into an opaque turquoise colour. Just remember Little Limestone Lake equals greeny-blue water like off the coast of Mexico.

You and your buddies need to take a weekend to hang out at this provincial park. Pack up the tents and stay at this unique spot that makes for incredible pictures.

Photo credit: Travel Manitoba

Pembina Valley

The Pembina Valley covers a vast amount of land in southern Manitoba. What makes the area so neat is all the small towns and villages that are across the land. You don’t have to drive very far to make it to the next town.

There’s a few decent hang out spots depending on the time of the summer. A local favourite (you’re welcome), is the Patterson Pits. It’s roughly five minutes north of Morden and Winkler and is a man-made pit from digging up gravel. The water is so crystal clear you can see all the way down.

Photo credit: Robyn Hanson

If you go to the area in August, plan your visit during the Corn & Apple Festival in Morden. Their downtown turns into one large fair with some excellent entertainment.

Gimli Beach

Is there anything better than hanging out at the beach on a hot summer day? You can never have enough beach locations to relax and let your stresses melt away in the sun. So, add Gimli Beach to your list.

Gimli is a unique town north of Winnipeg with a beautiful beach. You’ll be off the shores of Lake Winnipeg here, perfect for swimming, boating, and whatever else you and your friends can come up with. Plan a Gimli trip when the Icelandic Festival is on (August 3 to 6). It’s a unique treat worth being a part of.

Photo credit: Robert Linsdell

MemeFest

The Manitoba Electronic Music Exhibition of Technology, Innovation, and Creativity (Memetic) hosts the annual MemeFest. This is the perfect hangout spot for all you ravers and EDM lovers. From August 16 to 19, downtown Winnipeg transforms into MemeFest with artists across the globe. Many are from Canada, but DJs come from Berlin and Seattle.

Grab your friends and snatch up early bird tickets while you still can. This summer chilling spot will be bumping all night long.

Whiteshell Provincial Park

If you are in need of the perfect hangout spot to decompress and prepare yourself for university, the Whiteshell Provincial Park will help you out. Located in the Canadian Shield, the Whiteshell is gorgeous at any time of year, but especially during the summer months.

There are over 2,700 km2 of land and water for you to explore. You can relax on the beach, dive into the water, you can do basically anything you can imagine out there. Whiteshell is an absolute must hangout spot you need to check out before school starts.

Photo credit: Lost Hope

The Toad in the Hole

There always needs to be at least one bar that makes it onto a summer chilling spot list. The Toad in the Hole takes the spot for Winnipeg.

This multi-level bar has everything packed into one location – awesome drinks, booths to chill at, floors to dance on, and pool tables for a few games (or a dance stage). It’s located in downtown Osborne Village so even hanging out on the street is intriguing.

Clearwater Lake Provincial Park

If you haven’t picked up on it yet, Manitoba has a ton of provincial parks. However, each park has something to offer that you need to check out, including Clearwater Lake Provincial Park.

As you can imagine from the name, Clearwater Lake is, well, very clear. You can see the bottom of the lake which is 35 ft. below. But there’s more than that. Clearwater Lake has these caves which are a natural phenomenon because rock masses split from the cliffs along the shoreline. You can tour through these caves on your own.

Photo credit: Heather Robertson

Spruce Woods Provincial Park

Manitoba has some pretty wild features that we’ve come across so far. From the Caribbean beach to the colourful lake, and the waterfalls up north, you can now add an eerie pool of blue-green water to the list.

Spruce Woods Provincial Park rounds up our list of hangout spots across the province because of this – the “Devil’s Punch Bowl.” If the name doesn’t entice you to go check it out, I don’t know what will. The large bowl goes down 45 metres deep with creepy water that is continuously moving. The formation occurs because of collapsed hills due to underground streams.

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Kailey Guillemin

Kailey graduated with a degree in Journalism and Religious Studies from the University of Regina, Saskatchewan. Now she lives a double life in Manitoba – writer by day and dance teacher by night. When she’s not at her computer, you’ll find her curled up with a glass of red wine and knitting, or obsessively taking photos of her puppy.🐶🐾

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