After a long week in the office, there's nothing quite like spending time in the great outdoors. Fresh air and sunshine is the perfect recipe for relaxation. Look beyond your favourite restaurant's patio and the long wait for a table. Instead, hit the highway or walk down the street for some peace and quiet - enjoy the dog days of summer by packing a picnic.
Picnics are no longer comprised of just fresh bread and cheese eaten on a checkered blanket. When it comes to picnics the options are plentiful! Sandwiches, fully catered spreads or even last night's leftovers can all be on the menu for your summer spread. Just don't overlook picking the perfect picnic spot! Picnicking is an art, and like all good art, you need a worthy backdrop.
From picturesque waterfront views to the best amenities you and the family could want, here are my the top 5 picnic locations in Manitoba to enjoy the perfect summer smorg!
1. La Barriere Park Eat at one of the many picnic tables scattered throughout the park or choose to lay out on the banks of the La Salle River and watch paddlers, and ducks alike enjoy the flowing waters. With the brand new, gender neutral washrooms this park located only minutes outside of the city, needs to be on everyone's summer must list! Filled with plenty of options for post nosh activities, for those wanting to burn off your meal, try your hand at disc golf or walk the picturesque nature trails.
2. Beaver Creek Provincial Park This little known gem has it all! Beaver Creek provides picnickers with waterfront views of Lake Winnipeg. Each spot boasts a small sandy beach line, table and fire pit as well as centralized washrooms. Better still, this perfect picnic location is all set-up for you to pitch a tent and spend the night on a first come, first serve basis. Don’t forget your Provincial park pass!
3. The Caves at Clearwater Lake Provincial Park Looking for a unique, Instagram worthy spot? Don’t let the short, 1km trail deter you! Located outside of The Pas this picnic location is as majestic as can be with a white sand beach (yes, really), stunning cliffside views and all the cracks and crevices you could want for adventurous exploring. Get creative! Eat your meal on top of a large rock for an unforgettable experience.
4. Crescent Drive Park Great for groups of all ages and abilities, Crescent Drive park is the shaded and well-maintained sister park to St.Vital Park (located just across the banks of the Red.) With public washrooms, picnic shelters and BBQ-style fire pits, this is the perfect place for an impromptu, multi-generational gathering.
5. Little Mountain Park Located near the airport, Little Mountain Park is a great spot for active picnickers. With trails, an off leash dog park and quarry pits to explore, you’ll easily work-up an appetite! When it’s time to dine, choose a pre-bookable site for up to 25 guests or grab a table close to the washrooms. Keep an eye out for wildlife near dusk including owls and deer.
Amanda Bibeau is a Winnipeg-based food blogger who is passionate about affordable food for all and ‘food without judgment.’ Amanda enjoys hiking, exploring Winnipeg's craft beer scene and working her 9 to 5 as a sr. recruiter with RBC.