I love summer. I love the longer days of sunshine, the road trips to the lake, the dresses and sandals I get to wear. I don’t love the mosquitos, but I put up with them because the benefits of summer outweigh those annoying little biters.
Summers in Saskatchewan seem so short, so I feel like I have to take advantage of everything that summer has to offer. If we get six solid weeks of summer weather, that is pretty much the best we can hope for, so I tend to go hard all summer long — eating out and doing all of the fun things that I can manage.
As the days begin to get shorter and the nights cooler, I am reminded that summer, too must come to an end. To celebrate what can only be described as an unforgettable summer, here are my favorite ways to summer in Regina:
Eat and drink outside
Hands down my favorite thing to do on warm and calm summer evenings. I love how the sun slowly lowers into the horizon, bathing us with glowing orange color. Somehow, food always tastes better and drinks are more refreshing when consumed outside.
Two of my regular stops are: 13th Avenue Coffee House, which offers the opportunity to enjoy a beverage and a mostly-vegetarian meal on a quiet, shaded patio with an unbeatable view of the majestic Holy Rosary Cathedral; and, The Rooftop Bar and Grill, which offers a calm and breezy escape from the downtown street-level hustle, a variety of comfy and intimate seating, and drink and appy specials that are well worth the trip.
Though I am sad to see summer go I am sure my waistband appreciates it…
Now that I am no longer young (a enjoy indulging during the odd patio hangout), I have to work extra hard at keeping the extra pounds off. I recently began working out with Ryan Barker at Strength Effect, who is kicking my ass once a week. He advocates a high intensity workout that you do only once a week or so, pushing you to fatigue your muscles completely and then allowing time for them to fully recover. The science behind this resistance workout has you getting better results with fewer injuries. Plus who wants to spend an hour a day at the gym when you could be sitting on a patio having a few beverages?
I tested out my progress on a whitewater rafting trip in Kimberley BC a few weeks ago and paddled like a boss! My arms — formerly a couple of scrawny matchsticks — held up admirably as we ventured through class 1, 2 and 3 rapids. The most impressive thing for me was that I wasn’t even sore the next day!
I definitely advocate a balanced lifestyle, even in the summer. I can enjoy eating and drinking because I am also hitting the gym. It’s a win all around.
Market under the Stars (organized by the Regina Farmer’s Market) is a true celebration of Saskatchewan food and culture. This all out night of food and beverage tasting, free yoga, a pie eating contest and salsa dancing, happens three times each summer and feels like a massive street dance under the shade of the glass-fronted office towers that line City Plaza. Do yourself a favour and purchase a Tasting Card ($20 gets you three to six food and drink items) before hitting the other food trucks for their usual (and always delicious) fair.
The regular market is a pretty great way to spend a Wednesday or Saturday morning if you are more interested in shopping than eating and drinking. The fresh produce always seems more colorful when it is fresh and local, and it definitely tastes way better when it is picked ripe rather than picked green and gassed with some crazy sounding ripening chemicals.
Living in Saskatchewan it isn’t always possible to eat fresh and local food, but I definitely do so whenever possible. Fresh really is better. There is plenty of time to eat the California produce in February.
A Regina summer isn’t complete without a trip to the Qu’Appelle Valley. This year, we went east of Regina to the Fort Qu’Appelle/Lebret/Katepwa area. The ride is pretty if you turn off just past Edgeley, going into the valley at Echo Lake. We drove past the beaches and houses that line the series of lakes, stopping in Lebret to climb to the church high up on the hill. As I climbed up the steep hill to the little old church, I couldn’t help but imagine how devout the parishioners must have been to do that climb every Sunday.
We stopped for lunch at the Katepwa Bar and Grill — across from the main beach — and were pleasantly surprised! Our service was excellent, the beer ice-cold, and the freshly-prepared food was far better than the stale burgers I remember from when I was younger.
After a delicious lunch we tackled Katepwa’s Pimple Hill, which offers an amazing view that it well worth the laborious climb! There is even a little gazebo at the top so you can rest comfortably before making the trek down to the bottom.
A drive through the Qu’Appelle Valley is full of little tracks and inroads waiting for you to explore. Allow yourself a day without a schedule and see where your adventure takes you!
Saskatchewan summers are short, but there is no shortage of things to do. My personal philosophy is that I can rest in January when it is dark and freezing cold and I don’t want to get out of my pajamas!
Patti Haus has always lived in the Regina area. She is a lover of all things Regina related – the people, food, drinks, shopping and attractions. She even enjoys the construction. Ok, that’s a lie – nobody enjoys the construction, but she does like smooth roads.
She is the creator of a blog called I Heart Regina, which is about all things Regina (and sometimes outside of Regina because what is the point of having your own blog if you don’t color outside the lines sometimes). For fun she loves to eat, shop, write and take photos. She is the mom of 2 teenagers and one neurotic dog. Some of her very favorite things to do involve visiting new and favorite restaurants with her hubby, Dave. You can email here at firstname.lastname@example.org.