At the longitudinal heart of the continent and just over an hour north of the US border, Winnipeg might be known for its particularly cold winters, but the locals rarely hibernate. On the contrary, Manitoba’s capital has embraced its climate and the winter months provide limitless opportunities to experience local culture, from taking in a Winnipeg Jets NHL hockey game to skating down the Red River Mutual Trail – one of the longest naturally frozen skating trails in the world – at The Forks, one of Winnipeg’s best shopping, dining, and entertainment spots for tourists and locals alike, which draws more than four million visitors annually. If you think winter sounds busy, just wait until temperatures warm up and festival season kicks off. June welcomes the Winnipeg International Jazz Festival, July hosts the Winnipeg Folk Festival and Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival, and August brings Folklorama – Canada’s largest and longest-running multicultural festival, which takes over the city for two full weeks.

And no visit to Winnipeg is complete without a trip to the stunning Exchange District, a National Historic Site with one of the continent’s largest and best-preserved collections of heritage buildings. The 20 city blocks that make up the Exchange District house dozens of unique boutiques, entertainment venues, restaurants, and pubs (and Winnipeg’s City Hall), making it a popular meeting place both day and night.

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