The capital of Saskatchewan, Regina’s beautiful historic buildings and leafy parks make it a delightful place to stay. With excellent shopping and dining, entertainment throughout the year and scenic landscapes just a short drive away, you couldn’t ask for much more.
Regina’s main downtown area sits between Saskatchewan Drive and Victoria Avenue and is home to the Cornwall Shopping Centre, which has a good range of mainstream stores and eateries as well as all the usual downtown amenities. In the centre of this area lies Victoria Park, which is the site of many festivals and events throughout the year and is a pleasant place to relax. Regina has a great farmers’ market during the spring and summer months just north of the park, where you can pick up some fresh produce, tasty homemade goodies and local crafts. Just west of downtown, on and around 13th Street, is the Cathedral Village district which has some quirky boutiques and craft stores as well as cafés and restaurants. For those who enjoy exploring on foot, there are many heritage trail maps you can follow around the historical districts of the city, and during the summer months, there are spray parks scattered throughout the city, perfect to cool off the children!
Regina is the country’s training centre for the iconic Royal Canadian Mounted Police – or ‘Mounties’ – and there is a fascinating heritage centre just north of the airport. Here you can discover the history of the force, from the original North West Mounted Police to the modern day, and see the officers in action in parades and ceremonies. In the same area you can visit Government House - a grand building built in 1891 - which you can tour to see the restored rooms, find out a little about Canadian law and enjoy the lovely gardens.
In the centre of Regina is the vast Wascana Centre - the jewel in the city’s crown. A beautifully kept urban park spread over hundreds of acres around Wascana Lake, it is also home to some of the city’s best attractions, including the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, the Science Centre and the MacKenzie Art Gallery. Also in the park is the beautifully architected Legislative Building. There are some pretty trails and lakes to explore and a host of festivals and events held throughout the year, from dragon boat racing to ice skating.
A short drive out of the busy city brings you straight into the heart of the rolling Saskatchewan prairies, with plenty of beautiful places to explore nearby. The popular village of Lumsden is just half an hours’ drive away, with many quaint little boutiques and charming vintage shops to browse, plenty of bistro-style restaurants to refuel at and some pretty parks to wander. The Last Mountain Distillery in the village is famous for its vodkas and whiskys and you can take a tour around the factory to see this interesting process in action. The best part is getting to sample some of the flavours – don’t miss the honey cinnamon liqueur and the more unusual dill pickle vodka!
Buffalo Pound Provincial Park is under ninety minutes from Regina and is a fantastic place to spend time, with some lovely hiking trails including the Bison View Interpretive trail which boasts great views of the buffalo on the prairie, and the Nicolle Flats where you will see a wide range of wildlife from impressive great blue herons in summer to white tailed deer in winter. You can also take boats and canoes out on the lake.
Regina is a lovely city to explore: its size and its many urban parks make it pleasant to wander on foot, while its handsome historic buildings provide great backdrops when you decide to take a break. With many entertaining festivals, plenty of great restaurants and bars, a wide variety of shopping, and the scenic Saskatchewan prairies on your doorstep, the city really is the full package.
Things to do
Top tips for visiting Regina
Top Tip 1
• One of the city’s top attractions is the RCMP Heritage Centre. Visit on a weekday lunchtime to watch the meticulous sergeant major’s parade, or on a Tuesday evening during July and August to see the colourful Sunset Retreat Ceremony.
Top Tip 2
• Victoria Park, in the centre of downtown, is a lovely place to relax. Pop by on a summer’s evening and enjoy free ‘Cinema under the Stars’ showings on a big screen.
Top Tip 3
• There are several galleries in the city, the largest being MacKenzie Art Gallery, which has an excellent collection of art from a wide range of international artists. If you are travelling with children, Family Studio Sundays offers great art-making activities, storytelling and guest artists to keep them entertained.
Top Tip 4
• Enjoy wandering around some of the city’s historic sites such as the Legislative Building and Government House, where on a sunny summer’s afternoon you can book a picnic basket from Butler’s Pantry and take lunch on the pristine lawns.
Top Tip 5
• Regina has a great range of pubs and restaurants. Head to the popular Warehouse District where you’ll find live music venues, clubs, pubs and some of the best cuisine in the city.
Top Tip 6
• For a day out, visit the charming town of Lumsden, wander its quirky stores and cafés, and take a hayride at Beaver Creek Ranch. Don’t miss a stop-off on your way back at Over the Hill Orchards, where you can sample some of the delicious fruits and perhaps enjoy a cup of tea with a slice of cherry pie.
Top Tip 7
• During the warm summer take a trip to Regina Beach, just north of Lumsden. A lovely, natural-sand beach with a sheltered swimming area on the south shore of Last Mountain Lake, it is the perfect place to cool off.
Top Tip 8
• Winter in Regina is celebrated with lively festivals, events and plenty of winter sports including ice skating, tobogganing and cross country skiing. For a different way to warm up, visit the Floral Conservatory, a tranquil indoor garden with lush greenery and colourful tropical plants.
Top Tip 9
• If you are looking for relaxation there are a number of spas in town, and for a truly magical experience, visit Temple Gardens Mineral Spa on a frosty winter’s day to soak in the warm waters of the outdoor mineral pool.