Spanning the banks of the sweeping South Saskatchewan River, Saskatoon is an urban oasis in the midst of the vast Canadian Prairies. With a lively cultural scene and a wealth of elegant Art Nouveau-style architecture, Saskatoon has become known to many as the "Paris of the Prairies" – and it's well worth taking the time to uncover this cosmopolitan city's many delights.
Saskatoon's city centre is compact and easily explored, and most central hotels will put you within easy reach of many local landmarks. To start, admire the graceful lines of the Delta Bessborough Hotel, a grand old Canadian railway hotel that resembles a castle, then spot the seven bridges that cross the glittering river.
History buffs can experience Saskatoon's early days at the Western Development Museum, which features a recreated 1910 street, complete with vintage vehicles, along with other exhibits, or find out more about transportation on the Prairies at the Saskatchewan Railway Museum. The Wanuskewin Heritage Park, meanwhile, is a National Historic Site depicting over 6,000 years of North Plains Indian culture.
Learn about the province's thriving Ukrainian community at the Ukrainian Museum of Canada, or discover the legacy of former Prime Minister John G. Diefenbaker – and his emphasis on diversity, citizenship and human rights – at the Diefenbaker Canada Centre at the University of Saskatchewan.
Saskatoon is also a brilliant destination for those who want to enjoy the great outdoors, with the beautiful Meewasin Valley cutting a gentle green swathe through the centre of the city. There are plenty of leafy riverside trails ideal for walking, jogging or cycling, as well as an interpretive centre with information on the local history and nature.
For a close-up look at local and exotic wildlife, pay a visit to the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo, which houses everything from alpacas, bison and cougars to owls, red pandas and wolves within a peaceful parkland setting. Or, visit the Beaver Creek Conservation Area to catch a glimpse of a family of beavers at work on their dams and learn more about this fascinating ecosystem.
Arts lovers, meanwhile, are spoilt for choice, with the stunning new Remai Modern Art Gallery set to become a leading centre for arts programming and education, and a host of festivals held throughout the summer months. These cover everything from jazz and fringe theatre, to folk traditions and children's entertainment – so be sure to check what's on before your visit.
The city also boasts a vibrant live music and theatre scene – perfect for passing the time when the sun goes down. Also be sure to check out the rich dining scene, with plenty of restaurants specialising in Western Canadian farm produce, as well as a variety of international cuisines.
Ready to embark on your Prairie adventure? Choose from a selection of Saskatoon hotels by Marriott to make the most of your stay.