When you think of the Prairies, the first thing that might come to mind is an endless expanse of fields stretching out as far as the eye can see, but there’s so much more to them than that. In fact, the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta are some of the most beautiful and affordable places to live and visit in Canada.\nFrom unique sightseeing spots to perfect towns to settle down in and set up shop (quite literally, if you’re looking to open up a small business), here’s what makes the Prairies so great.\n1. Visit A Lake That Changes Colours\nIt seems that no matter where you are in Canada, there’s beauty all around — Manitoba included. If you’re looking to introduce a little magic into your life, consider visiting Little Limestone Lake, in Northern Manitoba.\nKeep in mind that this isn’t your average lake: the water actually changes colours, adopting a turquoise hue when it's warm out. It may not be the Caribbean, but it’s certainly the closest you’ll get without boarding a plane.\nView this post on Instagram Limestone Lake at Grand Rapids Manitoba. The water looked tropical! Turquoise and white limestone rocks.. A post shared by Corinne Rice (@misscorinne86) on Jul 28, 2019 at 12:04pm PDT\n2. Get Your Hike On\nHiking in the Prairies? Not exactly what you’d expect, but hear us out. The terrain in the Prairies is actually more varied and mountainous than you’d think, lending itself to both easy and challenging hiking trails throughout Saskatchewan and Manitoba.\nObviously, there are hiking trails around Alberta too, as this province is split between the Prairies and the Rockies. If you’re looking for a super active but completely worthwhile hike, check out the Valley of 1000 Devils Route. This remote-wilderness experience is labelled as "very difficult," so be warned.\nView this post on Instagram david, there's soju in the distance 🏃 second picture: i need to experimentally verify that starring into the sun actually burns your eyes 🌞 got a better caption? let's hear it also, this will be my last grasslands picture, what a great park its been #exploresask #mountainhikers #explorecanada #grasslands #hikingviews #canadalandscape #grasslandsnationalpark #sunsethike #desertlandscapes #martianlandscape #surreallandscape #badlands #mountainsunset #imagesofcanada #canadiannationalparks #earthoutdoors10k A post shared by David Cao (@daviddcao) on Oct 30, 2020 at 8:52am PDT\n3. They're Perfect For Road Trips\nYou’ve heard of road trips across Canada, but what about road trips across the Prairies? Embark on a driving journey quite unlike any other and hit the road all around Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta where you’re sure to be surprised by the sights that you come across.\nFrom golden fields and sand dunes to provincial parks and other natural wonders, there’s lots to explore all across the Prairies. Besides, an exciting and safe road trip is about as wild as adventures can get this year!\nView this post on Instagram Trying to decide if I will do my hiking challenge this year. Last year I had completed 20 hikes at this time, but I have only done 13 this year. We are starting to move into winter and to be honest, I get really lazy and don’t want to do much of anything when it gets super cold out. Going to keep plugging along and hope that our winter is not too cold. Can someone invent a heated snowsuit!? . . #52hikechallenge #alltrails #hikemore #hikingadventures #hikingbangers #wanderingwildwomen #hikersofinstagram #manitoba #exploremb #trailmb #onlyinthepeg #mymanitoba #ridingmountainnationalpark #nationalpark #parkscanada #fall #fallcolors #fallcolors🍁🍂 #🍁 #prairies #Canada #explorecanada #visitcanada #canadasworld #canadaswonderland #livelovecanada A post shared by Kira 🇨🇦 Canada Travel Explore (@kira.canadian.girl) on Oct 30, 2020 at 7:59pm PDT\n4. You Can Live There Affordably — And Even Buy A House\nLooking to lay down some roots in the Prairies? Depending on what you’re looking for, this could be a solid choice. According to research conducted by Macleans in 2019, a number of communities in the Prairies have quite an affordable cost of living and low unemployment rates compared to other areas of the country. For example, Weyburn, Saskatchewan, ranked fifth in Canada in Macleans’ affordability category in 2019, thanks to its unique combination of high average incomes and low housing prices.\nLet's be real: in 2020, during the age of sky-high housing prices and rents in many areas of Canada (both metropolitan and suburban), affordable living and housing is basically enough of a reason to move.\nEmma Bauso | Pexels\n5. There Are Plenty Of Small- And Medium-Sized Businesses, Great For Entrepreneurs\nIf you’ve always dreamed of starting your own business, the Prairies just might be for you. As it turns out, this region is where 23% of Canada's total small- and medium-sized firms are located, coming in second nationally, right after Ontario. At 98.3%, Saskatchewan is one of the top two provinces with the highest rate of individuals employed by small businesses. Though Manitoba has one of the lowest Canadian percentages (97.6%), small businesses are still the main employers in that province.\nTo help you feel a little more secure in setting up shop, invest in some top-quality business insurance to make sure you’re well taken care of.\nKaique Rocha | Pexels\n6. Feeling Like You're In The Middle Of The Sahara\nSkeptical that the Prairies aren’t just flatlands? You’d better buckle up and prepare to explore the incredible landscape of Saskatchewan's Athabasca Sand Dunes.\nYou’ll have to travel there by floatplane or boat, but these active sand dunes will make you feel like you’ve been transported to somewhere far more exotic, that’s for sure.\nView this post on Instagram 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐮𝐧𝐞𝐬 🗺 #sanddunesadventure #athabascasanddunes A post shared by Martha Castaño Herrera (@marthacastanohe) on Sep 9, 2020 at 9:07am PDT\n7. It's An Astronomy-Lover's Paradise\nIf you're a night owl who loves stargazing, Alberta boasts the largest Dark-Sky Preserve in the world, Wood Buffalo National Park. You can camp out and admire the Northern Lights, listen to the howling of wolves, and enjoy the experience of a lifetime.\nLooking for the darkest Dark-Sky Preserve in Canada? Check out the Milky Way in Saskatchewan's Grasslands National Park and reconnect with nature like never before.\nView this post on Instagram SL3 📷 A post shared by Jatin Kumar (@jatinkumar8383) on Oct 20, 2020 at 5:30pm PDT\n8. Get A Little Taste Of Europe In The Middle Of Canada\nThe last place you’d ever expect to find ambiance reminiscent of Europe in the middle of the Prairies. Alas, this is just further proof that the region offers tons of surprises.\nTravel to a little town full of French vibes in Saskatchewan called Gravelbourg to take in some classic architecture (especially churches) that will make you feel like you’re in Old Montreal or Quebec City.\nView this post on Instagram ⛪️ A post shared by ＡＬＹＳＳＡ ＣＡＭＰＢＥＬＬ (@alyssacampbellrealtor) on Oct 27, 2020 at 7:56am PDT\n9. There’s Great Nightlife — Depending On Where You Are\nAnd on the opposite end of the spectrum, there's also plenty of nightlife to check out — so long as you’re close to a larger city. For example, Calgary is home to a bustling nightlife scene.\nWhether you’re in the mood for a pint in a laid back pub or are looking to dance the night away, there’s something for everyone in the downtown sphere (pandemic aside, of course).\nView this post on Instagram downtown calgary A post shared by Valerie Rivera (@valerie_rivera) on Oct 18, 2020 at 6:39pm PDT\nWhether you’re in the market for a little house on the Prairies (sorry, it was too easy) or are looking to pay this part of our beautiful country a visit, make sure that you’re prepared for any and every situation with the proper insurance. It’s important to think ahead!\nAs the largest Canadian-owned independent insurance brokerage in the country, Westland Insurance recently moved into Saskatchewan and Manitoba to help you experience the Prairies and all the wonders the region has to offer.\nLearn more about Westland Insurance by visiting their website and following them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.