Go BIG: Go to Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan is smack dab in the middle of central Canada.  Despite its reputation for being mostly farming country, Saskatchewan has a wide range of attractions, places to go and things to do. Saskatchewan has an area of 566, 276 square kilometers and a population of just over one million. The major cities are Prince Albert, Regina (the capital), North Battleford, Moosejaw, Yorkton, and Swift Current. Saskatchewan got its name from the Cree word for its biggest river, the Saskatchewan River, which means ‘swift flowing river’. 

Saskatchewan History 

The province was first discovered by Europeans in 1690. Henry Kelsey travelled up the Saskatchewan River to trade furs with the First Nation peoples. There were many different tribes at that time including Algonquin, Athabaskan, Sioux, Cree, Atsina and Salteaux.  The first settlement was not established until almost one hundred years later, in 1774, when the Hudson’s Bay Company set up a trading post in the northeast called Cumberland House. In 1803 part of the land was given to the United States by France as part of the Louisiana Purchase and in 1818 it was given to the United Kingdom, but Saskatchewan did not join the Dominion of Canada officially until 1905. 

Saskatchewan or “the land of living skies” as it is called by locals, offers both rural and urban choices for tourists.  Saskatchewan has an astonishing 100, 000 lakes and rivers and that means there is an abundance of fishing and water sports! Swimming, boating, white water fishing, and rafting are just some of the things you can do. Little Manitou Lake offers unique briny waters that have therapeutic qualities. The combination of minerals gives the water a specific gravity that allows the human body to be buoyant, which helps those with joint problems find relief. Little Manitou Lake is one of three such lakes in the world. 

Saskatchewan is at the center of the three prairie provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba) and is distinguished by the fact that it produces over 54% of the wheat grown in all of Canada. In addition, Regina, Saskatchewan’s capital city, is home to Canada’s only training academy for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Saskatchewan also includes the sunshine capital of Canada – the city of Estevan! 

Saskatchewan Tourist Attractions 

Saskatchewan has casinos galore if you like to gamble! In Regina, there is the Casino Regina:  Historic Union Station that has been transformed into a full-service casino. The Dakota Dunes Casino just south of Saskatoon opened in 2007. In Central Saskatchewan there is the Painted Hand Casino (in Yorkton) and in the north be sure and check out Northern Lights Casino in Prince Albert. 

If hunting is your game choose from one of the 200 outfitters who supply and accompany hunters for their excursions. Saskatchewan has a wide range of wild life and some of the best hunting you’ll find anywhere. 

Go big- Go to Saskatchewan! Any time of the year is a good time to go! http://www.sasktourism.com/ 

Things to Do in Saskatchewan 

Saskatchewan offers a variety of family attractions, romantic getaways, golf tours, adventure tours, and art exhibits and excursions. Enjoy Saskatchewan’s wilderness by trying a Fishing/Hunting package; Discover the heritage of Saskatchewan with a guided Heritage Regina Tour; Visit The Hepburn Museum of Wheat located within a refurbished Pool Elevator; Relax at the Pavelich Farm Bed and Breakfast; Check out the bird watcher’s paradise – Luck Lake Heritage Marsh; or enjoy good food, and small-town fun at the Meath Park Polka Festival 

Rosy Alberta

Its emblem is the wild rose: known for its rolling foothills, resorts, fishing and North America’s largest shopping and entertainment complex, West Edmonton Mall, Alberta is the fastest growing of Canada’s Prairie Provinces.  Alberta has vast oil reserves, dinosaur fossils and some of the best skiing in the world. Take your pick of activity: winter, spring, summer or fall, indoors or out of doors. Alberta has it all. 

Jasper, Alberta Tourism Information 

Jasper, Alberta is home to the Athabasca River or ‘where weeds grow’, as the First Nations people call it. Flowing out of the Rocky Mountains near the Columbian Ice Shield, it is 7000 feet above sea level. It plunges downward as it winds its way through the Grand Rapids and flows into Lake Athabasca. Fort McMurray is the main urban center and its town. The area is also rich in oil and gold. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Fort McMurray was important trading center as well as a shipping route. The Athabasca River is one of the most pristine rives in North America and is very popular with both anglers and fishers. 

Jasper National Park is like being in the wild. This is one of the top places to visit in Alberta. Animals wander around freely and mountain sheep will come right up to your vehicle and try and steal your sandwiches! There is skiing galore as well as kayaking and multiple hiking trails.  

Banff, Alberta Tourism Information 

Banff is another world class resort town nearby and Canada’s first national park. Railway workers came across the natural hot springs in 1883 and decided to make to area a park for the public to enjoy. The park is an enormous 6641 kilometers in area and is one of the world’s premier destinations. Glaciers, rivers, forests, meadows as well as the Banff National Arts Centre are what Banff is famous for. Both Jasper and Banff are connected by the Icefields Parkway. 

Things to Do in Alberta 

Five of Canada’s fourteen UNESCO heritage sites are located in Alberta: Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, Wood Buffalo National Park, Dinosaur Provincial Park, and Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump. 

West Edmonton Mall is located in the province’s capital city. If you’re in Edmonton, plan to spend at least one day there. There are hundreds of shops, an indoor amusement park, a water park, an indoor ice rink, and tons of free parking! West Edmonton has it all. Other tourist attractions in Edmonton include: The Fringe Festival, The Works Art and Design Festival, Fort Edmonton Park, The John Walter Museum, The Prince of Wales Museum and the Provincial Legislative Buildings. 

Calgary, a great tourist place to visit, is on the Bow River close to Banff and is known for its yearly Stampede. Other attractions include the Calgary Tower, The Pengrowth Saddledome, the Glenbow Museum, the Expo Latino Festival, Butterfield Acres Children’s Park, the Eau Claire Market, and the Arrata Opera Centre.  For more ideas on places to go in Alberta go to these sites: 
http://www.edmonton.ca/ 
http://www.visitcalgary.com/