There are moments where I don’t travel. While this may seem odd, I am very much a homebody. I love staying in and watching movies or reading a book. Sometimes I forget about travel even though I love traveling and when I do travel there isn’t anything else I want to do. For long periods of time I don’t travel, and I just live my life at home. But then I’ll get the urge to travel, and come hell or high water or blizzarding snow I want to leave home and go somewhere different. That’s how I felt when I saw I had three days of from my job in March. Winter blues were getting me down, and the idea of a quick road trip sound appealing. So I invited a friend to come along and we went on a road trip to Saskatoon.
I’ve been to Saskatoon several times before. I have family in Saskatoon so I try to go down once a year or so, but I never felt like I’ve really seen Saskatoon. When you go to visit family you’re not really looking to do stuff or explore. At least I’m not, but this trip I wanted to see more of Saskatoon.
As it turns out that’s a little difficult to do in March, at least when it’s -30C. I’m used to -30C spring weather, but it certainly doesn’t make the idea of, “gee I’ll just go out for a nice stroll” easy. And yes, hardcore enthusiasts would probably tell me to bundle up and get out there, but I was sick of winter. So while I was hoping for nicer weather than what we had, we were content to visit some indoor attractions and take it easy.
What We Did
The one day when it was cold we went to the Western Development Museum. It’s an indoor museum showcasing the heritage of Saskatchewan, from early pioneer days up to today. The 1910 Boomtown Street, where you can go inside different replica buildings like a harness shop, fire hall, church, etc. The Western Development Museum has other branches across Saskatchewan, but I believe the one in Saskatoon is the biggest. For family’s and kids this would be a great museum to go to, but even as full grown adults my friend and I still had fun (and we probably learned a little bit too). Admission is $10 and they are open 9am to 5pm most days.
The Western Development Museum is located at 2610 Lorne Avenue.
We took a drive by the University of Saskatchewan campus, and along the river valley. Their University campus is really nice, with great views of the river. The river valley area is quite pretty with walking and biking trails. There was still a lot of snow around, but I’d definitely love to come back in the summer and spend more time here.
We also went to a Saskatoon Blades hockey game. My friend is a fan of our local Western Hockey League (WHL) team The Edmonton Oil Kings, and when I saw they were playing the Saskatoon Blades while we would be in Saskatoon it didn’t take long to convince her that we should go to the game. The game itself was a lot of fun, and the arena itself was much bigger than I expected. Also just to show how nice Saskachacats are (the nickname I made up on our trip for people from Saskatchewan) my friend took a selfie with her standing next to the Blades mascot (Poke Check) despite wearing the opposing team jersey. No taunting or anything at the game. It was a nice friendly match, and a fun night out.
The Blades play at SaskTel Centre located at 3515 Thatcher Avenue.
Where We Ate
I wanted to have lunch at EE Burritos, a Latin America restaurant I’d heard about on the Food Network Canada show You Gotta Eat Here. It’s in a strip mall, in a not so amazing location of the city, but like lots of hole-in-the-wall kind of joints the food was really good. Three different kinds of pupusas, plus rice and beans for $15 (and I wasn’t even able to eat everything).
EE Burritos is located at 102 Avenue P South.
Usually I avoid arena food because it’s never very good, but at The Blades game I splurged and got some gourmet mini donuts. The maple bacon mini donuts we mini donuts with bacon, maple syrup, and whip cream. Like a pancake breakfast with extra sugar. It was sweet, but yummy.
Only a couple of blocks down from where we stayed was a restaurant called Alexander’s Restaurant and Bar and had a pretty good pulled pork sandwich. The restaurant seems to be a University hangout, and I later found out from my family (who lives in Saskatoon) they’re well-known for their cheesecake. Next time I’ll skip lunch and just go for dessert.
Alexander’s Restaurant and Bar is located at 414 Cumberland Avenue North.
Where We Stayed
Usually I stay with family, but this time I booked accommodation for my friend and I at The Inn on College, a really nice guesthouse close to the University of Saskatchewan. Our room had two twin beds, a small tv, and being a guesthouse there was a shared bathroom, as well as a kitchen and living space. There aren’t any hostels or much for budget accommodation in Saskatoon, and The Inn on College fit the bill. Our room was $88/night.
The Inn on College is located at 1020 College Drive.
Road Trip Verdict
I’m not sure if I’d rush back and do another winter road trip anytime soon (luckily now it’s more spring weather than winter weather), but it was fun to get away for a few days and to see some new things. Saskatoon is a nice city, and pretty easy to get around. I’m definitely hoping to get to Saskatoon again, maybe to check out one of their festivals in the summer.
A map of Saskatoon is below.
With the exception of the tickets to The Blades hockey game, which was provided for us by Tourism Saskatoon, my friend and I paid for all other expenses and activities during this trip. All of the opinions within this post are my own.
Have you done a winter road trip?