This summer if you are looking for hot times in one cool city, head north to the centre of the continent

(BPT) - Winnipeg is one of the coolest, artsiest cities in North America, with an excellent culinary scene, elm canopied neighbourhoods, world-class attractions and all-round good times. Plus, don’t let those Canadian weather stereotypes fool you — our summers here average in the high 70s, while you’ll find more hours of sunshine than almost anywhere else in Canada.

Here are just a few highlights that will make you want to leave the Midwest for the True North this season.

Hip, happening events every week

Festival season is now in full swing in The Peg, and some top draws include:

  • TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival (June 15-24) — where you can catch headliners like The Flaming Lips and tons of free shows in Old Market Square.
  • Winnipeg Folk Festival (July 5-8) — with Sheryl Crow, Elle King, John Butler Trio and tens of thousands of happy fans.
  • Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival (July 18-29) — featuring 180 performing companies from around the world in 30 unique venues.
  • Folklorama (August 5-18) — the world’s largest and longest-running multicultural festival featuring worldly cuisine, dance and culture at venues across the city.

Meet me at The Forks

At The Forks, Winnipeg’s most-visited tourist destination, the action doesn’t stop all summer long.

  • From its port you can take insightful — and often saucy — excursions through the city on the Red and Assiniboine Rivers with Splash Dash River Boat Tours.
  • On its trails you can do everything from renting tandem bikes, to taking leisurely hikes around its tree-lined trails while admiring all the public works of art.
  • Walking tours available onsite from both Parks Canada and Indigenous elders reveal how the whole area is saturated in 6,000 years of history.
  • Inside The Forks Market you’ll find fantastic local shops along with The Common, Canada’s only fully licensed beer and wine kiosk (meaning while you shop throughout the first floor you can also enjoy a glass or flight at the same time), along with numerous excellent food stalls by some of the city’s best restaurants and food trucks.
  • For families, The Forks is home to the Children’s Museum — a fascinating edutainment centre, along with Manitoba Theatre for Young People — which stages whimsical performances for kids of all ages.
  • Parks Canada’s Variety Heritage Park provides kiddies with splash pads and an impressive playground that portrays the history of the area.

World-renowned attractions

Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Also located at The Forks, the world’s only museum dedicated solely to the exploration of human rights, is a true architectural marvel. Inside this international award-winning museum, you’ll journey through human rights stories that span the globe. This summer, a special exhibit on Nelson Mandela will be also be on display, featuring artifacts and interactive multimedia displays on one of the 20th century’s most influential people.

Assiniboine Park and Zoo

An absolute peach of an area in the summer, awash with all the flora and fauna one could ask for. Spend the day in its sublime gardens, catch free performances by Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet (July 25-27), and see the spectacular Journey to Churchill — the world’s most comprehensive Arctic species exhibit — where polar bears and seals swim and play right over your head.

Winnipeg Art Gallery

While it is already home to the world’s largest collection of contemporary Inuit Art, this season it is also staging Summer with the Impressionists, featuring 100 works by some of history’s biggest painters including Matisse, Degas, Monet, Morisot, Pissarro, Cassatt, Renoir, Manet and Cézanne, just to name a few.

So what are you waiting for? Book your summer vacation for Winnipeg now and see how the centre of the continent is becoming the centre of attention. Tourism Winnipeg has great packages and deals on attractions and hotels right now that will be music to your ears (and wallets!).