I know what you’re thinking. When you think of bananas you always think of Melita Manitoba. Obviously, right? Or is it just me?
Melita is a small town of around 1,000 people in the deep southwest of Manitoba. Melita is only a short 35km (22 miles) ride from the US Border and sitting on the crossroads of highway 3 and highway 83. You know, right on Manitoba’s banana belt of course.
There are no bananas growing in Melita, sadly. The “banana belt” name came about as Melita has slightly warmer temperatures than the rest of Manitoba. Which, I suppose, is as good a reason as any to give an area a nickname. The town tourism crew worked to come up with a fun and creative way to bring people into the dow and ultimately decided to build a giant banana statue to get the job done right. The town even created a banana festival to help celebrate!
Sunny the Banana is a unique 30-foot tall statue in the middle of town, used to promote the town’s “a-peel” (not my joke but I like it) to tourists. Sunny hangs out with his little statue buddy Breezy the Bluejay. Breezy was created to highlight the area’s excellent birding.
Come for the banana, stay for the community.
Spend an hour, a day, a weekend, or the whole week and connect with the Melita community. Immerse yourself in the area’s history at one of the many historical exhibits and sites. Stop at the Antler River Historical Society Museum (when Covid restrictions permit it) to learn about the history of the area. Visit the Fred Jensen Trophy Room to marvel at big game hunters’ global trophies, from elephants to marlin and more.
Relax in recreation from the cool waters of an outdoor pool or enjoy the cool breeze off of the top of the second tee while enjoying a round of golf at the Townsend Valley Golf Course. You can fit golf clubs in your tour pack, right?
Need more? Check out the Boundary Commission Trail, Captain Large, and some archaeological sites in the area. Go geocaching (someday I’ll actually find a cache!), get some grub at the local eateries, or camp out under the stars in the campground after snapping bluejay photos all day long on the walking trails.