From its tranquil lakeside retreats to the excitement of busy urban spots, Canada is a land of myriad landscapes, attractions and experiences.
In a country as varied as this it just goes to show that there’s a Canada for everyone. Discover your next holiday in Canada as we ask popular bloggers and native Canadians to share their pick of the must-see sights in this medley of adventure and recuperation.
Oh Canada – covering over 3.8 million square miles and with ten provinces to choose from, deciding where to go first is likely to be a challenge for even the most discerning of travellers.
Straddling a well-carved career as a travel writer with a passion for anthropological dance, blogger Lori hails from North Vancouver where she updates the ever-informative Lori’s List: More than travel. Suggesting her top place to visit in Canada, Lori says:
“I would choose the whole northern territory of Nunavut.
“I’ve been twice, once on a small adventure ship (highly recommended, as you get to visit many of the small air/boat access-only communities) and the second time to the capital, Iqaluit, when I was researching my book: Dancing Through History: In Search of the Stories That Define Canada.
“The Inuit are welcoming to their spectacular land and the landscape is breathtaking. This is one of the least populated areas in the world: there are 32,000 people on land the size of Mexico.”
Moving south, the Canadian mastermind behind The Wanderfull Traveller, Murissa, has found the focus of her blog migrated towards her home in the stunning Okanagan wine valley in British Columbia. In the last few years it has been booming with both new travellers and those in the know from all over the world and, naturally, Murissa has been inundated with questions about the region. Her new website redesign hopes to answer all these queries very shortly but in the meantime it’s hardly surprising that she finds inspiration in this area’s beautiful surroundings.
“It’s my favourite province and perfect for a road trip. In the North you can visit Haida Gwaii or Prince George and the surrounding area. But in my mind, all roads lead to the Okanagan – so many lakes, wineries, hiking trails, water sports, historical centres and home to Canada’s only desert! It’s classic Canada with a twist of the unexpected.
“With over 200 wineries and multiple microclimates specializing in different grape varietals it is a true hidden gem of Canada. If you’re short on time I’d plan a trip to the Naramata Bench where you can bike from vineyard to vineyard and end your day on the picturesque lake on a hot summer’s day (35˚C – 40˚C at the peak of summer). But Kelowna, the heart of the valley, provides more city amenities paired with an expertly curated Distinctly Kelowna Wine Tour. You can relax and enjoy the ride…or do both!”
Neighbouring British Columbia, the province of Alberta never fails to draw in visitors to the country, being home to one of its greatest national treasures – the Canadian Rockies.
It’s certainly struck a chord with global bloggers Dave and Deb of the highly acclaimed website The Planet D, who agree:
“If we could only choose one destination to visit in Canada it would be Banff Alberta. It really has something for everyone. The setting is breathtaking surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. There’s wildlife, glaciers, beautiful scenery, spas, great dining and it’s a super adventure destination. It’s our favourite spot in Canada.“
Once you’ve caught your breath after seeing the awe-inspiring view, it’s time to participate in one of Banff’s much beloved pastimes – skiing. Settled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains and with lift access to both Lake Louise and Mount Norquay, it’s no wonder this resort has made ski holidays in Canada so popular.
Interested in visiting multiple places in Canada but not sure where to begin? Solo Traveller has your Canadian curiosities covered with 60+ tips you need to know before heading anywhere in the country. Featuring quick snippets of advice from Newfoundland to British Columbia, these handy lists should be on every visitor’s mind, especially when venturing around Canada alone.
As diverse as the provinces themselves, Canada offers a range of one-off opportunities and experiences sure to awaken your sense of wanderlust. Whether it’s a few days soaking in the culture on a city escape or a scenic road trip though rural stretches, Canada car rental makes it possible to explore multiple must-see sights on your holiday.
Lori can relate, saying: “I’m more of an ‘experiences’ person than a ‘places’ person. My favourite experiences in Canada: snorkelling with beluga whales in Churchill, Manitoba; square dancing at a summer dance on Cape Breton Island or hiking along the hundreds of remote trails in British Columbia’s dense forest – start in North Vancouver and work out from there, the trails are endless.
Likewise, Dave and Deb have explored the length of Canada and know that no one experience is the same. For visitors they suggest:
“People from the UK will love Canada’s East Coast. It reminds us of Northern Ireland or Wales. There’s a unique culture to the rest of Canada with strong maritime roots. The coast is ever changing and locals are friendly and welcoming. If you go to the East Coast, be sure to visit Lunenburg.
“We also love Manitoulin Island. It’s the world’s largest fresh water island and it’s beautiful. There’s hiking, waterfalls and the Great Spirit Circle Trail. We loved learning about Aboriginal history where we were immersed in Canada’s First Nations Culture.”
Still struggling to pick and choose your ideal adventure itinerary? Murissa recommends researching locations based on your interests. She explains:
“Canada is such a large country! The landscape and culture varies with each province and coast. If you’re into culture and history I’d check out Montreal, Quebec. If you’re looking to get the best of both Canadian landscapes with city amenities I suggest Vancouver and a Whistler combination.”
Wherever you decide to visit and whatever you decide to do, give yourself time. Canada is huge and to really make the most of your adventure, you’ll want to savour every moment. Travelling across the country alone can take time and this may well determine where you choose to visit.
A good tip is to decide on the kind of landscape you’re interested in first – be it mountainous, close to the water or a city centre destination – then really do your research on what attractions, landmarks and tourist spots appeal in the area.
Once you arrive, you can benefit from some local insight by asking the natives. Canadians are very hospitable people and, as a general rule, will be only too pleased to share their knowledge of the area and the must-see sights in it.