Either coming or going, you might need to spend a night, or a day and a night or two, in Winnipeg.
Winnipeg a lovely, clean, safe and interesting city that combines a rather cosmopolitan classy ambience with a solid midwestern feeling. Compared to Los Angeles, crime is non-existent and relatively minor. I saw no beggers, street people or graffiti. Lodging ranges from ultra-el-cheapo to very elegant, although even the finest places are reasonably priced, at least by Los Angeles and NYC and probably Toronto and Montreal standards. You can also find good ethnic and home-style restaurants.
Cultural and entertainment activities
Places to see
Where to buy groceries
Manitoba Travel Guide The phone number listed at the very beginning can get you a booklet devoted to accommodations, including the phones/faxes of every hotel in Winnipeg, in case the choices I offer aren't adequate to your needs. Winnipeg has many hotels. I am too lazy to include them all here. This entire website is heavy weighted toward Winnipeg, and should give you a pretty good idea of what is available.
If you are traveling due north at the right time of year, you may be able to catch a performance of the Winnipeg Ballet. The town is also rich in blues clubs, bookstores, etc. Winnipeg is home to University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba. The latter I have visited and recall fondly for its fine new and used bookstores, and its excellent offering of logo sweat shirts. East of the Assiniboine River and The Forks is Winnipeg's French Quarter.
Some of the most interesting areas include:
Just off Osborne Avenue, near Ozzie's is a supermarket. If you plan to take the train north after lingering in Winnipeg for a day or two, you are strongly advised to stop there (or elsewhere--this is the only one I know about) and buy some bread, cheese, peanut butter, fruit juice, fresh fruit and bottled water to take with you on the train. The dining car is nice, but costs can add up. It's also nice to have along an alternative source of sustenance in case you are hungry when the dining car is closed.
Take along a plastic drinking glass or cup, too. The paper drinking water cups provided by Via Rail Canada are horrid things with pointy bottoms you can't set down.
If you are already at the train station, walk outside to Main Street, about half a block east. You will see a train overpass. Walk under it. Beyond, is The Forks, where you can - if you get there before about 5:30-6:00 pm - pick up some cheese and produce and other misc. food at one of several produce stalls. It is a lovely old building attached to a very modern verdigris/glass structure.
I discuss reasons in taking the train, but be advised that you will be glad you brought along juice and bottled water. Revised 11/30/96
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