Do you have a driving trip planned across Canada? Or perhaps between Winnipeg and Vancouver? If you do and you’re looking for a great stop for the night or even longer, make the short detour off the Trans-Canada Highway and check out Maple Creek, Saskatchewan. Home to a 5 Million star B&B, a restaurant with a Jamie Oliver trained chef and within striking distance of Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, it’s got way more to offer than you’d think driving the Trans-Canada.
Where is Maple Creek?
Maple Creek, home to just over 2,000 people, is located eight kilometres south of the Trans-Canada Highway, and about 104 kilometres east of Medicine Hat, Alberta. Although you can drive through the town in a flash (which I did the first time on my way to Grasslands National Park), it also makes a great place to base yourself for a visit to Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, just 40 kilometres away.
Where to Stay in Maple Creek
We only spent one night at the Ghostown Blues B&B but it would be easy to stay for several nights just to soak up the atmosphere. Billing themselves as a 5 Million Star B&B, you’ll see what that means if you step outside your room in the dead of night – which you’ll have to do if you need to use the bathroom. The starry skies on a clear night are a sight to behold.
This is an exceptional B&B for an authentic western experience. Every cabin or stagecoach is decorated with beautiful antiques, artwork, rugs and cowboy paraphernalia. Outside of each cabin you can read about the history of the area – and it’s far more vibrant than anything I was ever taught in school. The building where breakfast is served harkens to a different era – and it’s my nose that tells me that, with the smell of old wood. Should you happen to be cycling across Canada this place is also a great choice. Take a break from putting up your tent and sleep in an oversized, stand-up tent complete with cots – and treat yourself to a shower and hot breakfast the next morning.
Don’t go expecting luxury. There are shared bathrooms – though we were the only people at the time. But do visit if you like the idea of living like a pioneer. The sunsets are magnificent. It’s peaceful. The dogs and cats are a delight. And there are weekends where live music and dancing takes place.
Where to Eat in Maple Creek
When I heard there was a Jamie Oliver trained chef in town, I knew John and I had to try The Star Cafe and Grill. The restaurant is accommodated in a beautifully restored 19th century building, in the old part of town. Featuring an eclectic menu with dishes offered from the diverse backgrounds of the chefs (think Mauritius and Guyana) its got something for everyone. Prime rib is popular but I recommend the samosas. It’s casual and friendly.
Another recommendation from the owners of Ghostown Blues includes The Rockin’ Horse Cookhouse & Bar.
What to do in the Maple Creek Area
You could go and play in the Great Sand Hills for a day as they’re only about an hour’s drive away – if you don’t get lost. The Cypress Hills Vineyard and Winery, in existence since 2007 is a 20 kilometre drive away – and en route to the West Block of Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. True entrepreneurs, these are the types of people you want to support in a community. Try their cherry wine – a double gold winner in the dry fruit wine category.
Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park can keep you busy for several days. Offering camping, a resort complex and lots of hiking and equestrian trails, plus swimming in the summer, there’s a lot to discover.
For a dot on the map in what looks like the middle of nowhere, Maple Creek has a surprising amount to offer the adventurous traveler. Don’t miss a stop here on your next drive through the area.
For more information about Maple Creek visit their website.
Thank you to Tourism Saskatchewan for the assistance with this trip. It was my idea to visit and all thoughts and opinions are mine.