Saskatchewan, Canada’s breadbasket, is sandwiched between Manitoba to the east and Alberta to the west, the Northwest Territories to the north, and the U.S. states of Montana and North Dakota to the south. A flight over the landscape unveils an agriculturally rich area—a tapestry of verdant fields, rivers, lakes, and farms— all against the backdrop of a huge, blue sky.
This is, after all, the Land of Living Skies, a slogan adopted and placed on all the province’s license plates. Despite its wide open spaces, this prairie province has plenty of places to explore, and a road trip may be the best way to discover the main cities and small towns, myriad foods and off-the-beaten track adventures.
Constructed during the height of the Great Depression on the banks of the Saskatchewan River, The Bessborough is the perfect place to stay for a night or two. With your choice of city or river views, this iconic landmark hotel offers travelers a luxury experience with elegant rooms and friendly service.
For lunch, Capanna Pizzeria is within walking distance of the museum. With one of the only pizza ovens of its type in Canada, the chef creates his own artistic visions of thin crust pizzas in about 90 seconds. They have many unusual varieties such as their fabulous roasted beet, mascarpone, and arugula pie with white truffle oil.
For dinner, you must try Ayden’s Kitchen & Bar, run by Canada’s Top Chef winner (2011), Dale MacKay. After learning his trade working for the likes of Gordon Ramsey in the U.K., Mackay is wowing customers with dishes created alongside two other chefs. One of many returners, Mackay grew up in Saskatoon but left. Later in life, however, he came back to his roots to start his restaurant and re-discover his revitalized home town.
Comprising fresh, locally sourced, organic ingredients, the menu changes weekly and features items such as grilled asparagus with fingerling potatoes and fried egg, bacon, and shallot vinaigrette. Entrees are varied but the Korean fried chicken with onion waffle is one of the most popular.
If it’s still on that week’s menu and you still have room for dessert, order the drumstick sugar cone with caramel and fudge sauce, cashew praline, and caramel ice cream.
North of Saskatoon
As you make your way further north along Highway 11 and then Highway 2, the topography slowly transitions from flat terrain to rolling hills covered by trees. The 2- to 3-hour ride will take you past some beautiful scenery so enjoy the ride.
Your destination will be the Elk Ridge Resort in Prince Albert National Park. If you’re looking for a bit of luxury in the wilderness, this is it! A four-season resort, Elk Lodge boasts one of the top 27-hole championship golf courses in the province.
The resort is constructed like an upscale mountain lodge with rooms overlooking the golf courses and surrounding forest. They have all the amenities you would expect in a luxury resort and their on-site restaurant, Copper, serves palate- pleasing fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
At the nearby Waskesiu Township, there are shops, restaurants and even a sandy beach. You can stroll around the nearby shops but make sure you stop in at the local bakery for one of their delectable cinnamon buns.