Today, I offer you a take on Regina – my lifelong home, and the capital of Saskatchewan. Recently, a Lonely Planet editor made a trip to Regina and put together a great blog about all the remarkable things to see and do here. I think he might’ve missed a couple things, so here’s my list of must-sees in the capital:
Wascana Centre: whether you’re going to walk, run, longboard, kayak, canoe, paddleboard, cartwheel, or otherwise navigate the nine square kilometres of park around Wascana Lake, you have got to make it down there. Some people I met on my kayak tour ($10 for an hour, book a boat at the marina southwest of the Broad St. bridge) had commandeered a giant inflatable island and were just hanging out – which sounds like a pretty good way to spend a hot summer’s day.
Italian Star Deli: No guide to Regina is complete without a mention of the delicious, delicious panini from this local institution. Head to the deli counter for mild, medium or spicy sandwiches (around $6 each) with a bonus stick of pepperoni – and be sure to stick around for a chat with Carlo, the immensely good-humoured proprietor, or for a sighting of Regina’s mayor (and former boxer!) Pat Fiacco. Located at 1611 Victoria Ave.
Beer, beer, beer: Regina has had a long history of brewing, but in the last couple years, things have really taken off for craft beer. Start at Bushwakker’s on Dewdney – I’d describe them as an English-style brewpub, and that means lots of well-rounded beers without too much crazy hop bitterness going on. They’re a perennial favourite, and are probably best known for their blackberry mead: on the mid-December release day, there’s a line around the block, and they sell out of 4,000 bottles in a matter of hours. After that, take in Brewster’s. They’ve got some great summer beers on offer right now that would make their south-end patio awfully tempting. And if you’re after the best selection I’ve seen anywhere in the prairies, stop in at Beer Bros. Their location on the Scarth St. Mall offers great local fare, too.
Scarth St. Mall: The Globe theatre. The Plains Museum. The aforementioned Beer Bros. The Neutral Ground gallery and the Deli Llama café. And it’s all on the edge of a nearly-completed pedestrian square just north of Victoria Park, so things are about to get that much more exciting. If you want to find a good way to spend a lunch or an evening, a minute or an afternoon, then you could do worse than to kick it off here.
The Saskatchewan Science Centre: I know, you’ve heard of science centres. You’ve probably been to a couple. But have you taken a trip up to the top of an inland terminal? Have you seen the circle of life in progress as it decomposes a prairie dog? Have you climbed a rock wall? For science with a refreshingly Saskatchewanian twist, make a stop here – it’s in the Wascana Centre, so you might just come across it on your travels.
Sports: Are weekly Rider games not satisfying your craving for sports? There are tons of local amateur and professional competitions going on around town this summer and beyond. Right before I wrote this blog, the sepak takraw Canadian championships were finishing up in front of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. There was also a Regina Red Sox game happening today, and in the winter you can always swing down to the Brandt Centre for a Regina Pats game.
Music: Bands from near and far are likely to congregate at the Exchange – a block north of the Dewdney club strip – or at the recently-opened Creative City Centre. Coming up this August 5th to 7th is the Regina Folk Festival, where some huge names will be hunkering down for a weekend of rousing musical prowess. Seriously though: k.d. lang is coming to town, and so is Fred Penner!