Billing itself as the “Dead Sea of Canada”, Manitou Beach is a resort town built on the shores of the mineral-heavy waters of Little Manitou Lake. Located roughly midway between Regina and Saskatoon, and only a few minutes from the town of Watrous, Manitou Beach is the perfect place for a relaxing beachside afternoon or therapeutic weekend getaway.
According to legend, the lake’s reputed healing properties were discovered by a group of Indigenous people travelling through the area. Some of the members of the group, suffering from smallpox and fever, stopped at the lake and discovered that the water relieved their symptoms and restored them to full health.
Today, Little Manitou Lake is renowned for its ability to soothe and rejuvenate bathers. Unlike any other water body in North America, Little Manitou Lake draws people from around the world for its intense mineral concentration and remarkable buoyancy – it is impossible to sink in this water. Take a dip and try it for yourself.
To experience the healing waters in an indoor setting, visit Manitou Springs Resort & Mineral Spa. Relax and unwind as you soak in the heated mineral pool. Next stop: Serenity Massage & Esthetics, the resort’s full-service spa. The 105-room hotel also has a gift shop, fitness centre, and a few dining options, including a poolside café and expansive outdoor patio, along with Water’s Edge Restaurant and Lounge, which has panoramic views of the lake.
Only four blocks from the spa is Danceland, a little piece of history in the modern world. Built in 1928, the old-fashioned dance hall was a popular attraction for Saskatchewanians looking for an evening of fun. It’s one of the few remaining dance floors built on a cushion of horsehair, which is said to give an unparalleled dance experience. Kick up your heels at one of the weekend events featuring polka, Latin and big band performances.
These attractions are only a start. Spend an afternoon exploring the resort village, including its unique beachfront eateries and shops. The Little Manitou Art Gallery displays the work of more than 100 Saskatchewan artists in five pavilion galleries – all in a garden setting. The gallery also hosts live music performances every Saturday in July and August.
With its eclectic cultural attractions and nostalgic hidden gems that reflect the spirit of a time when excursion trains brought vacationers to the area for relaxation and entertainment, Manitou Beach is sure to provide you with a getaway that will restore and recharge your mind and body.
Salty Cinema Drive-In Theater (formerly Jubilee Drive-in Theatre) has been screening blockbusters since the 1950s. One of the last drive-in theatres left in Saskatchewan, it’s an experience straight out of an earlier time – but with the pristine quality of digital projection. The theatre also has a 24-seat indoor facility.
Further information can be found at www.tourismsaskatchewan.com.