Looking for something out of the ordinary in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan
Moose Jaw Saskatchewan is only a 45-minute drive from Regina, but it once you are there, it feels like you are in a different world. The pace is slower and the scenery is different. Moose Jaw has a rich history of rum running and bootlegging, but you can’t tell by looking at the beautifully preserved buildings and homes.
I went to Moose Jaw seeking the unusual. I didn’t want to do the activities I’ve done a bunch of times before, so I went looking for some things you might not even know exist.
Grant Hall Hotel
We stayed at the historic Grant Hall Hotel. Located on Main Street, the Grant Hall Hotel is a boutique hotel that is finishing up a complete renovation. With amenities such as antique furniture, amazingly comfortable bed, excellent location, and fantastic dining, it’s the perfect place for your weekend in Moose Jaw! I loved the Grant Hall Hotel so much, I did a whole blog post on it.
Hiking in Wakamow Valley
Wakamow Valley is a park on the south end of Moose Jaw with almost 500 acres of parkland. We hiked Saturday and Sunday throughout some of the 20 km of trails and enjoyed seeing rivers, bridges, and scenic picnic settings. Wakamow Valley is home to a few homes, a picturesque campground, and a single restaurant, the Burger Cabin – which I didn’t get to this time, but it’s on my list for next time.
We crossed at least 6 different bridges in our hikes, all of them crossing the aptly named Moose Jaw River. They ranged from the suspension bridge on the Trans-Canada Trail to a pedestrian bridge that used to be strong enough for cars.
The Moose Jaw River is beautiful from any angle. It has high cliffs on some sides, where the river dug out its place. We saw kayakers paddling down the river and people fishing. The campground seemed full despite the early June dates.
One of the many bridges we saw in Moose Jaw – this one isn’t in use anymore
Trans Canada Trail
I try to make a point of checking out the Trans Canada Trail whenever I can, so I was excited to see that a portion of it is in Moose Jaw. The Trans Canada Trail winds its way through Wakamow Park. The final segment of the Saskatchewan portion of the Trans Canada Trail was this suspension bridge that opened last fall. It seems to be an engineering marvel – I’m pretty sure it would take something major to make it fall down.
Moose Jaw River
We also wandered around Crescent Park in Moose Jaw since it’s right behind the Grant Hall Hotel. Crescent Park is 28 acres right in the heart of Moose Jaw. It houses an outdoor pool, art gallery, amphitheater, and library, among others.
One of the residents of Crescent Park
Moose Jaw History is Scary!
We went on the Moose Jaw Ghost Tour – Tales of Mystery and Murder on Saturday night. It takes place on the Moose Jaw Trolley, winding through Moose Jaw streets. An announcer tells about Moose Jaw folklore and tall tales. Some of it was spooky enough to make you jump. I’m not sure how many of the tales were true, but they were told with an award winning enthusiasm that was contagious. The ghost tour lasts about an hour and it goes through many of Moose Jaw’s older streets. Plus it was fun to go on the trolley – I think that would be fun during the day when they go on scenic tours of Moose Jaw.
Dining in Moose Jaw
We take eating seriously! We always like to find somewhere that will knock our socks off when we travel and we had some excellent meals in Moose Jaw. Whenever possible, we avoid chain restaurants in order to really enjoy the local flavour.
Grant Hall Hotel Dining Room
The Dining Room in the Grant Hall Hotel is excellent. With options such as a perfectly cooked steak (my personal favourite) to tasty seafood (Dave’s fave), you can’t go wrong here. The food is fantastic and the atmosphere is also wonderful. High ceilings, wood accents, and gorgeous lighting create an ambiance that is second to none.
Bobby’s Place in Moose Jaw is home style pub food. We usually eat here because the food is really good and it’s fun. They often have live music playing. Plus the drinks are cold and the food is homemade, so you can’t beat that! I like that sometimes you get a visit from one of the owners since it shows they care about their customers.
Deja Vu has some of the best milkshakes in Moose Jaw! It’s my favorite thing to order. Thick and creamy, with a ton of flavour choices, you can’t go wrong with an afternoon trip to Deja Vu.
Veroba’s Restaurant is a local favourite. We went for breakfast on Sunday morning and got a home cooked breakfast for under $10! Plus we got to chat with locals which we enjoyed.
On the south end of Main Street is Cornerstone Pub. We ate there after one of our hikes and it was very good. In the basement, there is a reproduction of one of the tunnels, which is fun to visit. Just be careful…
Moose Jaw River
I love the shopping in Moose Jaw and this trip was no different! I didn’t shop that much since I was too busy hiking, but I did find time to go to Olive, which is conveniently located in the Grant Hall Hotel. What was supposed to be a quick trip for a bottle of balsamic vinegar ended up as an hour long taste testing. By the end of the hour, I was full from trying a ton of different pairings, and I had six bottles of oil and vinegar to take out to my car. They have a deal that if you buy five, you get a sixth free, so I had to do it! Plus it made me excited to try some new recipes, so it’s a win!
As it is everywhere, the people in Moose Jaw are what make it a great place to visit. We find that asking locals what we should do in their town or city gives us the very best adventures. We went to Veroba’s Restaurant on Sunday for what was supposed to be our last stop before going home. Dave started chatting with the gentlemen beside us – as he often does – and we asked them about where we should go hiking. Kenny and Rick were gracious enough to tell us about a bridge we had to check out. Plus they shared some Moose Jaw tall tales. I don’t know how many of the stories were true, but we sure enjoyed hearing them and visiting with Rick and Ken! We have to go back to Veroba’s one Sunday morning.
Canoers under one of Moose Jaw’s many bridges
Coming Up in Moose Jaw
Any weekend is a good time to enjoy a couple of days in Moose Jaw, but if you have time, July 6, 7, and 8 is the Moose Jaw Sidewalk Days. They block off Main Street and you can wander around, buying, eating, and being entertained. They have the main stage with live music, plus there is a children’s village with fun things like bouncy things and entertainment for kids.
There’s also Christmas in October Moose Jaw style when the city hosts a kick-off event. I’ve never been but I’ve wanted to go for years. Maybe this year it will happen!
Have you been to Moose Jaw lately? Did I miss anything that has to be on my list for next time?
Special thanks to Shannon WarkWright from Grant Hall Hotel, Rob Clark from the Moose Jaw Chamber of Commerce, and Jacki L’Heureux from Tourism Moose Jaw for their help with this post!