Family getaways provide amazing opportunities to introduce your kids to the world around them–but every once in awhile it’s time for parents to get away and do some grown up “stuff” on their own and relax!
If your idea of paradise is some rolling hills, a clipped green grass carpet, blue skies overhead and a golf club in your hand, then Saskatchewan is the place for you. While it’s a little known fact, Saskatchewan has more golf courses per capita than anywhere else in the world–in fact there are nearly 300 golf courses in the province!
But when the sun goes down, there’s still plenty to do if you combine your golf time with one of Saskatchewan’s casino destinations.
Saskatchewan has eight casinos with six operated by the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA), providing economic development and employment for First Nations People. There are also two casinos, Casino Regina and Casino Moose Jaw, operated by the Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation (SGC).
But, which one to choose? Well, all three offer distinctively different experiences, so it all depends…
Casino Moose Jaw and Deer Ridge Golf & Country Club
My writers’ group gets to Casino Moose Jaw every three or four years for one of our retreats–mind you, we’re anything but quiet in Moose Jaw! Here, the Casino is attached to the Temple Gardens Mineral Spa by an overhead walkway, so you can soak in the soothing waters, have a massage, and try your luck at the slots.
The casino, in keeping with Moose Jaw’s historic past, has a roaring 20s interior design–it was, after all, the era of Chicago gangster Al Capone, who many believe ran his liquor bootlegging business all the way to Moose Jaw. If you take the tour of the Moose Jaw tunnels you can even get in on the action yourself!
Moose Jaw has several golf courses, with the Deer Ridge Golf & Country Club right beside the Manitoba Expressway East as you drive in off of the Trans-Canada Highway. Locally known as the River Course, this 18-hole, grass green course is rated 57 for men and 56 for women. It’s an executive length course with 2,985 yards off the tips.
Northern Lights Casino and Cooke Municipal Golf Course
The Northern Lights Casino was one of the first four casinos opened in Saskatchewan by SIGA in 1996. It, like Casino Moose Jaw, is in one of the province’s larger centers, the city of Prince Albert, often called the “gateway to the north.”
Easy to find on the edge of the city, just off of Highway #2, the Northern Lights Casino is linked to the Prince Albert Inn with a skywalk. Recently renovated, the casino welcomes over a million guests annually, providing 520 slot machines and 11 live tables.
There’s lots to explore outside the casino too. Prince Albert is situated on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River in one of the province’s oldest historic areas. First explored by Henry Kelsey in 1692, the region soon became important to the fur trade. The community itself was founded in 1866–today this rich history is collected and celebrated by the Prince Albert Historical Society, local museums and historical sites.
Cooke Municipal Golf Course is one of these sites, being over a century old. The 18 hole golf course is a par 71 and covers a 6,509 yard design with challenges to suit all levels of golfers!
Dakota Dunes Casino & Dakota Dunes Golf Links
The world class Dakota Dunes Casino and golf course facility are less than half an hour outside Saskatchewan’s largest city, Saskatoon, in the Whitecap First Nation. Here, you’ll find rolling hills, stands of trees, and the big open skies that the province is famous for!
Dakota Dunes provides shuttle service from a number of hotels in Saskatoon as well as the downtown Market Mall, or, if you prefer to drive, casino players receive free valet parking.
A Vegas style facility, the Dunes has over 500 slot machines and 14 gaming tables.
Right next to the casino, the golf course is links style, meandering through dunes and natural prairie grasses. With 18 holes, five tee decks, and spacious fairways, it’s one of Saskatchewan’s top courses.
Indeed, Dakota Dunes was recently ranked the 15th top golf course in Canada by Score Golf magazine. The course is on Canada’s PGA Tour as the Dakota Dunes Open presented by SaskTel.
So, which weekend getaway is for you?
While all three weekend getaways provide great gaming and golfing opportunities, I do have some recommendations!
If you’re interested in a pro golf experience, then Dakota Dunes is your best option–especially if your significant other either loves the casino or is more interested in all that Saskatoon has to offer in terms of shopping, art galleries, and other city highlights.
Take a swing yourself at the Dakota Dunes course with this YouTube video:
For couples who just want to kick back and relax, Moose Jaw is the perfect destination. Just half an hour’s drive from the province’s capital city, Regina, and largest airport, Moose Jaw’s historical attractions and spa, along with the casino and golf course, are perfect for flying or driving weekends.
And finally, for those who’d like to sample northern culture and attractions–maybe even see some Northern Lights–the Northern Lights Casino and Cooke Municipal Golf course in Prince Albert are a great weekend getaway.
Golf Saskatchewan or Visit a Casino
- Information about Saskatchewan’s Golf courses – http://www.saskgolfer.com/ and http://www.sasktourism.com/things-to-do/saskatchewan-golf
- Casinos in Saskatchewan – http://www.sasktourism.com/things-to-do/casinos