The International Peace Garden has helped to celebrate the peace and friendship between the people of Canada and the United States of America for more than 80 years and it is located right by the Canada/US border crossing on the #10 hwy (south of Brandon, or 3 hours from Winnipeg).
Let’s just start off by saying that this place is huge. Enormous. There are 2,339 acres to explore. There are ponds and gardens and an interpretive centre and a 911 Memorial. There is a bell tower that plays the Westminster Chimes every 15 minutes 😘, a peace chapel, a LOT of flowers and there are 6,000 or so cactuses in their interpretive centre! (Yes, we know that the plural of cactus is cacti but this is our blog and we like to say cactuses because it sounds funny and we like to laugh. We would also like to encourage anyone who goes there after reading this post to walk around commenting on how many “cactuses” there are.)
What you need to know before visiting this beautiful place:
- Take a passport. You may turn the wrong way when you’re leaving and need a passport to get back into Canada, OR you may read to the verrryyyy bottom of this post and see a BONUS adventure suggestion that requires your passport!
- There is an admission fee of $20/vehicle. This means that it’s cheaper for us Canadians to get in, but we are Canadians so we don’t brag about things like that.
- Pack a lunch. There are lots of pretty little picnic areas. Alternatively, you could also visit their restaurant, or you could skip eating there all together.
- Take your camera. Or take that thing that makes a funny ring tone sometimes and use IT to take pictures.
BONUS ADVENTURE time!
We can’t make a separate post for this one because it’s not in the 204, but we went on a fun little adventure after visiting the Peace Gardens, and that adventure took us down into the States. If you are like us, and enjoy finding giant statues and weird things and mystical places, then this is a trip for you. If you want to go shopping then you’ll have to plan your own trip out 🙂
Turn right when you leave the International Peace Gardens, cross the border and continue to Dunseith (about 15 minutes) to see a “Wheely” big turtle
From there continue south, crossing over onto the #3 to head to Rugby ND (less than an hour from the border). Here you will see a Northern Lights tower, a bell tower, the Geographical centre of North America monument and a cute little prairie village museum. There is also a restaurant called Rockin’ Relics that has an authentic 1940’s soda fountain, but they close at 5pm.
From Rugby, head back north to Dunseith but then then head West on #5, just past Bottineau and turn right (north) on #14. Turn right (East) on scenic byway 43. This is a really pretty route back to the 281 that will take you back to the border. About a mile into the 43, you will see a sign for Mystical Horizons. This is a really neat 21st century version of Stonehenge. Who knew that a mini Stonehenge was so close to the Manitoba border? The rest of the scenic bypass back to 281 is very… scenic. You may want to stop at some of the ponds and lakes to explore some more. Have fun!