257km (160 miles) SE of Saskatoon, 572km (355 miles) W of Winnipeg, 788km (490 miles) E of Calgary

Originally named "Pile O' Bones" after the heap of buffalo skeletons the first settlers found (Native Canadians had amassed the bones in the belief they would lure the vanished buffalo back again), the city of Regina (pronounced Re-jeye-na) has Princess Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria, to thank for its more regal name. She named the city in her mother's honor in 1882 when it became the capital of the Northwest Territories. Despite the barren prairie landscape and the infamous Regina mud, the town grew.

Today, the provincial capital of Saskatchewan has a population of about 200,000 and remains true to its agrarian roots, but has developed a sophisticated veneer, with creative restaurants, interesting attractions, and a sprawling urban park.