The ‘Toon, as we call it but better known as Saskatoon, is a city in the province of Saskatchewan. While Saskatoon might not be on your radar as a vacation destination, this small prairie city of about 275,000 residents has many things to do for a fun weekend getaway. In this post, we share information and tips to help you plan a trip to Saskatoon!
Unless you are planning a road trip cross Canada or live nearby, you will mostly likely fly to Saskatoon like we did. YXE – Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport is serviced by Air Canada, WestJet and Flair from select Canadian cities (Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, etc.) and some summer seasonal routes (Victoria).
When to Visit:
We decided to visit during the summer when the weather is nice, sunny and warm. Unless you like snow and cold, visiting during the winter is a safe bet.
We decided to take an Uber from the airport to downtown where we stayed.
If you are just planning on staying downtown and exploring the city itself, you can get by just waking, biking, or using Uber/taxi/bus.
Saskatoon is very bike friendly city but it is difficult to find a bike to rent; there were no bike rental options during our visit. Thankfully, some of the hotels have partnered with DTNYXE (Downtown Saskatoon) to offer free bike rentals to guests.
Where to Stay:
We stayed at 2 hotels in downtown Sasaktoon and recommend them both for different reasons.
- Alt Hotel Saskatoon: The Alt Hotel in Sasaktoon is newer and has a modern design. It has a nice lobby area, a small and functional gym, and comfortable rooms. It is also conveniently located near the river path and the Remai Modern Museum. Biggest downside to staying here is that the hotel chain does not have a loyalty program but we like the brand and hotel enough to forego those perks sometimes.
- Delta Hotels Bessborough: The Delta Hotel Bessborough is an iconic historical landmark as it used to be one of the CN hotels built around 1930. It is a full service hotel with standard rooms, suites, and amenities like a spa, indoor pool, gym and a few dining options. The hotel has a great location by the river. We did enjoy our stay; the service was excellent but we found the hotel a little run down and in need of a renovation. We stayed here to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and to use the bikes they have for guests as they participate in the DTNYXE free bike rental.
What to Do:
Saskatoon has a few attractions for all ages. Here are a few:
- Remai Modern: We enjoyed our visit to the Remai Modern so much! Remai Modern is a new museum of modern and contemporary art that opened in October 2017. They provide a Canadian and Saskatchewan perspective on global modern and contemporary art movements through a mix of regional, national and international programs.
- Wanuskewin Heritage Park: Wanuskewin Heritage Park is a historical and archaeological site with cultural events to learn more about the history and culture of Indigenous people.
- Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo: The Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo offers all generations opportunities to explore a beautiful park landscape. You will discover intimate gardens, historic buildings and a variety of western Canadian animals and exotic species at Saskatchewan’s only accredited zoo.
Where to Eat/Drink:
Here are a few of our favorite places to eat and drink at in Saskatoon:
- Picaro: Picaro is a small restaurant that serves Latin-inspired dishes and good cocktails. We enjoyed everything we ordered; smoked trout tostadas, green papaya salad, and chorizo empenadas. The smoked trout tostadas might be the best thing we’ve eaten this summer so far at a restaurant!
- Shelter Brewing Co: Excellent beers on tap and delicious tacos.
- Darkside Donuts: Amazing donuts that bring back childhood memories of dunkaroos!
- Fable Ice Cream: Don’t eat too many donuts because you need to save room for ice cream as Fable is located right beside Darkside.
- Shift Restaurant: Shift is the restaurant part of Remai Modern and offers brunch, lunch, dinner, and happy hour food and drinks. Great patio and food!
- High Key Brewing: Friendly service beer! If you’re stopping here, make sure to also checkout Stumbletown Distillery for a cocktail.
- Una Pizza and Wine: We enjoyed a lovely meal here on the patio; excellent kale caesar, pizza and their feature cocktail that had haskap liqueur in it.
- Prairie Sun Brewery: Lively and fun place to enjoy a beer and food, including their famous pickled eggs! They also have a bottle shop with many craft beers from all over Saskatchewan.
- Ace Burger: Local burger joint serving up burgers and chicken with a nice patio.
As you can see, there is enough to do to enjoy a weekend in Saskatoon! Due to size of the city, it was easy to get around and also to relax. We were surprised by how good the food was and appreciated the friendly service we received everywhere. We will definitely visit again when we get the chance.