SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — There are plenty of popular vacation destinations in Canada, but few people know about the hidden gem, Churchill.
Travel enthusiast Dana Rebmann joined KRON4’s Marty Gonzalez in studio to explain why this fairly unknown locale should be on your must-visit list.
Churchill is an unknown to most Americans. In fact, it’s an unknown even to many Canadians. But that’s okay. Dana says don’t let that dissuade you – It’s just another reason to visit!
Looking for Bears and Belugas in Churchill
In all likelihood, Bay Area travelers are going to fly to Churchill via Winnipeg, in the Canadian province of Manitoba. In the five-minute or so drive into town one of the first things you’ll notice, along with the lack of traffic, is the colorful murals painted on assorted buildings.
With a population of around 900, it’s what you won’t find in Churchill that really ups its charm. No traffic lights. One gas station, one grocery store, four restaurants, and I think three bars.
Set along the shores of the Hudson Bay, it’s picturesque, and the easily accessible arctic is there for the enjoying. This stretch of Hudson Bay and the Churchill River is home to what’s said to be the world’s largest population of beluga whales.
From mid-June to mid-September, thousands of whales flood these waters. You can venture out on a big boat or smaller zodiac boats, you can kayak and even paddle board. Unlike other types of whale watching trips, belugas, tend to be a more social bunch and they seem to be curious about people. They’re typically not shy. Mother Nature is never a sure bet, but if you’re willing to take a chilly plunge you can snorkel with the whales. Water temperatures in July in the 40’s, but if you’re willing to get in, you could be in for a magical experience.
“There’s no guarantee,” Dana says. “I tried twice and only got fleeting glimpses, but Sea North Tours had me in a fantastic wetsuit, and I would jump at the chance to do it again.”
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