Manitou Beach/Watrous, Saskatchewan

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manitou sunset
By: Bob Kenyon

A lot of travelers will avoid the western Canadian province of Saskatchewan, however the province is quickly becoming Canada’s best kept secret!

One tourist destination, that needs to be recognized is Manitou Beach,  a resort village in central Saskatchewan. Located on the shores of Little Manitou Lake, approximately 100 km east of Saskatoon, and 5 km north of the town of Watrous.

Some of the great attraction of the area are:

  • High saline (salt) level in the the lake, that will make you float
  • Historical dance hall, from the 1930’s
  • A drive in theatre
  • Mineral spa
  • Chainsaw carving competition
  • Historic church windows
  • The first Federal bird sanctuary, in North America
  • Annual car show

As the local travel website says Manitou Beach and Watrous are; two great communities – one fantastic travel destination! Located in the heart of Saskatchewan.

It’s great destination, for families, singles as well as the young and old. There are also, as any good destination should have, lots of great and diverse activities!

Manitou Beach

floating in manitou

The waters Little Manitou Lake are known for their high salinity and resulting buoyancy. The salt levels are such that one can even lie back and read a book while floating in suspension.

Danceland Dance Hall


Danceland – Dance Hall (1)

Danceland is an amazing building with a rich history. Its world famous dance floor has coils of horse hair under it, which allows it to “float” and move with large groups of people on it. It continues to be a very popular dance hall, as well as a facility that is highly sought after to host weddings and events.

jubilee drive in
Jubilee Drive In Theatre

Depending on when you grew up, take a trip back in time to the days of kids in the back seat (in their pajamas) or dating at the drive in and always the smell of popcorn in your car.

At Watrous, Saskatchewan the Jubilee Drive In Theatre, is one of a small handful of drive in movie theatres still in existence.

riding in the trunk

On there website, they say “Please plan to visit our concession. Without your support we will be unable to keep this drive in open and strong…Popcorn, candy, drinks, hotdogs, fries, onion rings, mozza sticks, deep fried pickles, and much more!”

They also tell you to bring cash, because like the old days…There is no debit or ATM.

manitou springs

Manitou Springs Resort and Mineral Spa (2)

Manitou Springs Mineral Spa

Indulge in the luxurious pleasures of Manitou Springs Resort and Mineral Spa at beautiful Manitou Beach. Often compared to the Dead Sea of Israel, the mysterious waters of Manitou is legendary for its natural buoyancy, mineral-rich properties, and curative powers. The water is so buoyant, it’s impossible to sink! You simply float effortlessly all day long.

A European-style spa and hotel in the heart of Canada’s prairies, it’s the only one of its kind in Canada.

maple carver

Chainsaw Carving Competition

A rare event for a prairie province, the Manitou Maple Madness Chainsaw Carving Competition, is a bi-annual event is the only professional carving competition of this nature in Saskatchewan and our objective is to make it a marquis event for the province.

Click Hear to watch a SaskTel MaxTV video, about the competition.

watrous window

All Saints Anglican Church Historic Church Windows

The All Saints Anglican Church, provides English historical view of a stained glass windows from the second half of the 19th century. The church  was established in 1910. The first Vicar (Rev. King) of the church, brought with him the stained glass window. It was removed from the Church of St. John the Baptist in England and buried to protect against Puritan vandalism. It was placed back in the church after the restoration, but then replaced to make way for another memorial window. The window was presented to Rev. King and transportation was paid to Watrous.

last mountain whooping crane

Whooping Crane (3)

Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area

A birding paradise, the Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area, the first federal bird sanctuary in North America, was established here in 1887. As the first such wildlife reserve of this kind on the continent, it was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1987.[5] Over 280 bird species have been recorded.

The lake contains appropriate habitat for 9 of Canada’s 36 species of vulnerable, threatened and endangered bird, such as the peregrine falcon, piping plover, burrowing owl and whooping crane. The northern end of the lake is very shallow and contains wetlands. Part of this area of the lake and surrounding area has been set aside as the Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area, which is a site of regional importance in the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network

watrous car show

Watrous Fun Run Car Show

The Watrous Fun Run Car Show, is largest car show in rural Saskatchewan is not only a showcase for car aficionados but also a full day of family-oriented events. Classic cars, trucks, motorcycles, hot rods and customs with specialty cars and antique tractors draw a huge crowd of visitors to town. Entries for this very popular show come from across Western Canada with the occasional American entry. Distance is not a barrier to these proud vehicle owners who love to share their entry’s story with all who are willing to listen. Another crowd pleaser is Kevin Therris and Prairieland Motorsports with their Bio Diesel Jet Car.

More Activities & Amenities

Manitou/Watrous also offers; antiques, arts and culture, disc golf, flea markets, geocaching and golf. There are also campgrounds and hotels at this prairie wonderland!

Photo Credits
  1. Tourism Saskatchewan/Gary Bergen
  2. Tourism Saskatchewan/Manitou Springs Resort & Mineral Spa
  3. Tourism Saskatchewan/Brian Wolitski

If you enjoyed this article about Manitou/Watrous on Ya’Gotta, you may also like these Saskatchewan travel destination articles:

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