Sunday, December 15, 2013

Saskatoon

5:32 AM

Surrounded by endless fields of shimmering wheat today's Saskatoon is a pocket of Saskatchewan's culture, vitality and welxoming praiarie spirit. These days city streets are buzzing with an infusion of new restaurants and residents breweriese and bras, marking Saskatoon one of Canada's fastest growing cities. Downtown has gone from a pretty lazy place most evenings to a place where you can't find a parking spot, says Chris Kirkland editor of the city magazine Planet S. With the South Saskatchewan flowing through the minddle of town river life is integral to the heart of the city, says Patti McGillivray, vice president of the Saskatoon Heritage Society. Almost half of the city is on each side of the river, so crossing east and west over the bridges, seeing the river and walking the riverbank trails all are part of daily life here.

When to Go: With more sunlight per year than any other Canadian city, Saskatoon comes alive in summer, with celebrations like jazz, theater and folk festivals held June to August. New to town: MoSoFest which prides itself on being Saskatoon's most diverse festival and this year featured 60 bands in seven venues. During winter kickseldding and cross country skiing are popular in Meewasin. The Potash Corp Wintershines festival takes place late January early February with an ice park ice carving competitions and soup cook-offs. Christmas lights add a festive glow to the outdoor skating rink beside the Delta Bessborough hotel.

How to Get Around: The city is easy to explore by foot vehicle or bike. Rent a cruiser tander or longboard ar Saskatoon Bicycle Rentals or plan your bus route online. In Meewasin Park bike or hike trails alongside the water or rent a kayak to paddle under the seven bridges that connect the east and west sides of the city. Discover 6,000 years of First Nation history at Wanuskewin Heritage Park a regional highlight anda National Heritage site that is a 20 minute drive northeast of downtown About two hours south, catch a free ride on Saskatchewan's largest ferry, the Riverhurst running 24 hours a day across Lake Diefenbaker.

Where to stay: The Delta Bessborough is the city's most iconic hotel a historical landmark opened opened by the Canadian National Railway in 1932 Overlooking the river the Bess's distinctive turrets add credence to a city that has been called the Paris of the prairies. A block away is the modern James Hotel a high end boutique hotel with 59 guest rooms and suites and live music most weekend nights in the casual lobby bar. Travelodge and Sandman are mid-level options.

What to buy: A wide range of products from local farmers and arisans can be found at Sask Made Marketplace. It's a one stop shop for candles, chocolate condiments, books, salts, and soaps. Lucky Bastard is a boutique distillery praised for its organic saskatoon and sea buckthorn berry liqueurs.

Fun Fact: An hour and a half drive southeast of saskatoon is little manitou Lake. Saltier than the ocean bathers float effortlessly while engoying the purported healing benefits of the warm mineral rich waters. This rare saline lake has been called "Cabada's Dead Sea."






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1 comments:

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