A Perfect Day in Regina

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A warm and welcoming city, Saskatchewan’s capital, with a population just shy of 230,000, is often a surprise for first-time visitors. Regina’s lush Wascana Park is its crowning gem – a sprawling, inner-city paradise where 300,000 trees were planted by hand.

From the city’s downtown, it’s pretty much a 10-minute drive to anywhere you want to go, making it easy to explore to your heart’s content. Regina is also less than a 45-minute drive from some of the region’s most scenic hiking trails and lakes, as well as the picturesque, glacier-carved, Qu’Appelle Valley.

August 7, 2020
The sun shines through the trees of a boarded path in Wascana Park, Regina
Wascana Park.   Photo: Daniel Ince
The front steps of the Holy Rosary Cathedral in Regina
Holy Rosary Cathedral.   Photo: Starr Mercer Photograhy
Shops along the streets of Cathedral Village in Regina
Holy Rosary Cathedral.   Photo: Starr Mercer Photograhy
Cathedral Village.    Photo: Linda Rattray

Morning

Start your day right at downtown healthy hotspot Tangerine with a cup of roasted joe sourced locally from Caliber coffee and a delish sandwich brekkie. Don’t leave without taking a couple of the city’s best scones and prairie-brewed Good Spirit Kombucha to go.

Hop one street over and amble a few blocks down to trendy 13th Avenue. You’ve arrived in the Cathedral Village, the city’s eclectic, canopy-lined neighbourhood centred around the landmark Holy Rosary Cathedral. Partake in boutique shopping for local treasures, stop in to see the latest exhibition at Slate Art Gallery or pick up a unique piece of art from Traditions Hand Craft Gallery.

Hikers and cyclists on the paths of the Wascana Trails in Regina
An exhibition at the Slate Art Gallery of Regina
Wascana Trails.   Photo: Jenn Smith Nelson
Slate Art Gallery.    Photo: Don Hall

Next, weave some activity into your day by heading north 20 minutes outside Regina to hike the impossibly scenic Wascana Trails found in the Qu’Appelle Valley. Pick a trail to match your skill level and follow the well-worn pathways that stretch over gentle rolling hills around a winding creek. Part of the Great Trail, the mountain biking trails were created for the 2005 Canada Summer Games. Now multi-use, they remain a mecca for riders but are also a favourite among hikers.

A black iron garden bench overlooks the vast expanse of land at Over the Hill Orchards
Over the Hill Orchards.

Afternoon

Time to refuel. The perfect pitstop is minutes from the trails at Over the Hill Orchards. Enjoy a sit-down wine sampling or try their newest offering: a ready-to-go picnic lunch overlooking the stunning valley. You’ll have everything you need for the perfect repast, including a bottle of the orchard’s robust fruit-filled wine, along with bread, cheeses and bison jerky. (Pssst, “the Vista” is the top spot for a panoramic valley view.)

Though fruit may not be top of mind when you think of the prairies, the orchard produces a surprising amount, including peaches, pears, apples, haskap berries and “prairie cherries,” aka Carmine jewel dwarf sour cherries. Added recently to the orchard are grape varietals grown in root pouches that are wintered inside (we recommend trying the refreshing Peach Chardonnay).

Four different coloured beers in glasses offered at Warehouse Brewing in Regina
Warehouse Brewing.

If you’re more of a beer connoisseur, head back to the city and follow the Warehouse District’s hop circuit or visit the newest brewery, Warehouse Brewing. From bread to beers, the iconic building that once housed Weston Bakery has been revitalized into a vibrant space that pays homage to its heritage but is balanced with touches of modernity. Featuring both old- and new-world styles that take advantage of rich Saskatchewan hops, the summer go-to is a sunny Loading Dock Lemon Ale or flagship beer Queen City Kölsch.

Artisanal wine cans and a glass of white wine at the Bar Willow Eatery in Regina
Mixologist Christopher Cho prepping cocktails at Avenue's bar
Bar Willow Eatery.   Photos: Amanda Carter
Avenue.    Photo: Alanna Hale

Evening

Find a blend of comfort and sophistication when you arrive for dinner at downtown restaurant, Avenue. Part of the Grassroots Restaurant Group – instrumental in putting Saskatoon’s on-fire food scene on the map – Avenue is the group’s most recent venture. Try locally sourced and lightly smoked Diefenbaker Trout, and don’t miss out on a cocktail (or two). Seasoned mixologist and general manager Christopher Cho creates masterpieces in glasses, like new blends that include a Rhubarb Margarita and Truck Stop Blues (made with fresh blueberries).

If your legs are still willing, it’s worth ending the evening with a 4 km walk around Wascana Lake or hop aboard a boat cruise to take in city views. Found lakeside, a nightcap is in order at Bar Willow Eatery on the city’s biggest patio. Relax and sit back with a summer rosé or glass of sangria – it’s the best seat in the house to witness the sun set over the lake.

The front entrance of Hotel Saskatchewan Autograph Collection in Regina
Hotel Saskatchewan Autograph Collection.   Photo: Courtney Liske
A woman sitting at Hotel Saskatchewan's bar with a cocktail
Hotel Saskatchewan Autograph Collection.   Photo: Courtney Liske
Hotel Saskatchewan Autograph Collection.    Photo: Tourism Regina

Make it a Weekend

Want to linger a little longer? Then a stay at the historic and luxurious Hotel Saskatchewan Autograph Collection is a must. Built in 1927, it’s fit for royalty and is, in fact, The Royal Family’s home away from home when visiting Regina. Centrally located, it makes walking to the Cathedral area or exploring the downtown extra easy.

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