The Manitoba community named one of Condé Nast Traveler’s Most Charming Towns

Built in 1967, the Viking statue was designed by Gissur Eliasson.

The secret that many Manitobans already know is out; Gimli is one of Canada’s most charming towns, according to an American travel magazine.

With tourists south of the border lining up to enter Canada after a months-long border closure, Condé Nast Traveler made a list of off-the-beaten-path Canadian destinations they said are worth planning a trip around.

“It’s not surprising to me at all,” said Melissa Van Soelen of the Interlake Tourism Association. “Gimli is one of the most trafficked and visited (area) in probably our region.”

The article cites the town’s Icelandic Heritage, celebrated each year with battle re-enactments during the Icelandic Festival as one reason to visit, but also touts its location on the shores of Lake Winnipeg.

“It’s a lakeside town, right, and it’s only an hour from Winnipeg so it’s a great summer or winter destination cause it has so much history, arts, culture, and outdoor discoveries,” said Van Soelen.

The push to draw American tourists north has been ongoing, according to Van Soelen, and continues long past the summer draws to a finish.

Active marketing campaigns target the shoulder tourist seasons with things like ice fishing in the winter.

“It’s a huge draw. It’s like a community out there. It’s amazing to see all of the shacks throughout and all the rows they create,” said Van Soelen.

Lake View Gimli Resort was named the place to stay, but Van Soelen said their town is full of resorts and with a plethora of activities year-round to cater to the needs of any visitors.

Gimli is the only Manitoba town to make the list. British Columbia’s Tofino, Saskatchewan’s Maple Creek, and Dawson City in the Yukon are a few of the others.