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1. Thermëa

If there was ever a city to open a thermal spa in, it’s Winterpeg – we mean, Winnipeg. The second location for the Nordik Group, Thermëa opened in 2015 with three outdoor baths, four saunas, an exfoliation room with help-yourself bowls of lavender or eucalyptus salts and multiple relaxation zones. Take your time completing the thermal cycle (hot, cold, rest, repeat) but don’t miss the Aufguss Rituals, which take place five times a day in the Finlandia and Vaporo saunas. Listen for the gong – it’s the sign the ritual is about to begin – and take a seat as a towelled Aufguss master tosses essential-oil-infused snowballs onto the burning rocks to a soundtrack of remixed spa beats.

775 Crescent Dr., 855-284-6868, thermea.ca

2. FortWhyte Alive

Get a sense of what Manitoba is like beyond the capital at this wilderness area and education centre that’s home to a herd of bison, seven kilometres of trails and five lakes half an hour from the city. Take a guided Ecotour, like Canadian Prairie Past, where you’ll wander through a pioneer sod house and learn about the buffalo hunt, or rent a bike to explore on your own – if you’re lucky, you’ll spot a white-tailed deer or eagle.

1961 McCreary Rd., 204-989-8355, fortwhyte.org

Alt Hotel Winnipeg

Photo: Groupe Germain Hôtels

3. Alt Hotel Winnipeg

This downtown hotel is the perfect spot from which to explore the city. Located across the street from Bell MTS Place, home of the Winnipeg Jets, it’s just a 10-minute walk to the historic Exchange District, and under 20 minutes to the Forks and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. That’s if you can get out of your room: No check-out time means more minutes under the goose-down duvet or in the rain shower.

310 Donald St., 431-800-4279, althotels.com/winnipeg

4. Clementine Café

Brunch is the main event at this Exchange District eatery – a contender for this year’s Canada’s Best New Restaurants – but we’re not talking about your standard Benedicts and pancakes. Thick strips of bacon are maple-braised; soft-poached eggs arrive atop smooth hummus; and prosecco is capped with lychee rosewater. Watch it come together through the windows into the kitchen, where hip young chefs plate to an Arcade Fire-heavy playlist.

123 Princess St., 204-942-9497, clementinewinnipeg.com

5. Hermetic Code Tour

The Manitoba Legislative Building is known as one of the country’s most striking – and it goes well beyond the Golden Boy statue that’s perched on its dome. In his 10 years studying the structure, architectural historian Frank Albo uncovered hieroglyphic inscriptions, numeric symbols and other masonic characteristics “hidden in plain sight.” Go full-on Da Vinci Code on the 90-minute tour with Albo himself.

204-989-9630, heartlandtravel.ca

Jeanne's Bakery

3 spots for a true taste of the Peg

Wood-panelled walls, vinyl swivel chairs, plush red carpet: The only thing more retro than the decor at Rae and Jerry’s Steakhouse is the chilled tomato juice that arrives before your entrée.

1405 Portage Ave., 204-783-6155, raeandjerrys.com

 

The shortbread-bottom cakes that come out of Jeanne’s Bakery in white-and-blue boxes have been a Winnipeg staple since the 1930s. Go for the traditional chocolate log, covered in pastel-icing flowers.

931 Notre Dame Ave., 204-774-2554, jeannesbakery.com

 

Order the VJ’s Special – a burger loaded with cheese, chili and all of the fixings – from VJ’s Drive Inn, a blink-and-you-miss-it takeout window open all year round.

170 Main St., 204-943-2655

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