Travel is something many of us cannot enjoy at the moment due to the restrictions surrounding Covid-19, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t something we can look forward to in the coming year. Many of us are already planning for our holidays for when it is safe to do so again, so why not make it one of the most amazing trips to some of Canada’s most outstanding locations?
Whether you have travelled to Canada before or not, there are so many inspiring ways to explore its beauty, from fly drive Canada exploration journeys to family holidays in Canada. This guide will look at some of the places us and renowned travel bloggers recommend you add to your ‘must visit’ list post lockdown. Be careful though, this article might make you want to go on a holiday to Canada more than ever before!
One of the world’s most famous natural attractions, Niagara Falls sits pretty on the river between the United States and Canada and attracts millions of visitors every year, and quite rightly so. The falls themselves sit within the Niagara Falls State Park, a wonderful location in itself. A walk around these wonderful grounds offers stunning greenery and open spaces, as well as breathtaking views of the crashing falls from the various lookout points, but don’t forget to take your coat, it can get a little wet at times.
Niagara Falls is undoubtedly one of the most outstanding places in Canada and every visitor should make time to witness its magnificence. There are a number of ways you can see the falls, from the viewpoints, the deck of a boat or from a helicopter flying above the park and waterfalls.
Family Travel Times has been to Niagara Falls with her family and reported about it on her blog, saying: “It certainly didn’t disappoint and is something none of us will ever forget. The Falls – which are made up of the American Falls and the even more spectacular Horseshoe ones are truly magnificent, an absolute wonder and truly beautiful.”
Just north of Niagara Falls, Ottawa is the capital of Canada and therefore offers plenty of fantastic opportunities for visitors looking to experience a true piece of Canadian culture. Being one of the most popular cities in the country, people may think to look elsewhere for places to visit post-lockdown but Ottawa has everything to offer every type of traveller and more.
Rideau Canal runs through the centre of the city and connects Ottawa to Lake Ontario. In the summer months boat tours run up and down the Canal to offer visitors a unique view of the city from down below, offering picturesque views of Parliament Hill.
Sitting on the south side of Ottawa and the canal, Parliament Hill, or as it is also known, ‘Hill’ is crown land and is home to the Parliament of Canada.
Helen from Not Without My Passport talks about Ottawa and Parliament Hill in a recent blog post: “Ottawa, for me, was such a pleasant surprise. A 4.5-hour drive from Toronto, Canada’s capital city isn’t the boring urban centre as I thought it would be. It’s walkable and picturesque, with the Parliament Buildings dominating the city skyline. It took me on a journey through Canadian history as I admired the gothic architecture and world-class art.”
Canadian Museum of History
One of Canadas most visited museums, The Canadian Museum of History welcomes over a million visitors every year and offers an insight into the deep history of Canada and its indigenous people. With more than 218,000 artefacts to discover consisting of specimens, artwork, ancient documents and sound and visual recordings you’ll leave feeling knowledgeable and insightful.
Banff National Park
One of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring locations on the globe, Banff National Park is among the most popular locations in Canada and quite rightly so! Sitting beneath the Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park is home to Lake Louise, picturesque towns and three stunning ski resorts. A visit to Banff requires a trip alone as there is too much to see in just a couple of days. After being in our homes through the pandemic, there really is no better place to come and explore.
The duo at Nomadasaurus have visited Banff and have spoken about their experience on their website: “The town of Banff, as well as the surrounding national park, is one of the most precious jewels in all of Canada. The jagged peaks of the Rockies rise up in all directions, creating an awe-inspiring scene that beckons all who visit to get outdoors. With Cascade Mountain rising above the town at one end and a number of quaint timber stores lining the streets, Banff is as close to a living fairy tale destination that you can find.”
To experience Banff in all its glory, there are some activities you must experience whilst under the Rockies:
A trip to Lake Louise
Lake Louise is known for its deep blue, glacier-fed waters and that makes it an amazing location for activities. Whether you enjoy kayaking, paddle-boarding or canoeing, a trip onto the lake is a must for all visitors. The lake is big enough that you can spend a few hours and explore the shoreline under the intimidating mountains, keeping an eye out for wildlife on your way.
A Rockies hike
As the Rockies sits in Banff National Park, there is no doubt that a hike has to be on the cards when visiting. The mountains offer some stunning walks and hikes for all abilities, some of the most popular walks include the Icefield Parkway walk and Parker Ridge.
A day wildlife watching
Canada and Banff, in particular, is home to some amazing wildlife that can easily be sighted for those who are looking. A walk or hike can be accompanied by a quiet and stealthy wildlife watching session. Expect to see grizzly bears, Bighorn sheep, Elk, mountain goats and much more.
For those who love the hustle and bustle of city life as opposed to the open and wild spaces of the national parks, Vancouver is a great choice. Sitting on the west coast of Canada, Vancouver is a pleasant mix of city, water and greenery – making it perfect for those who love a little variation when on holiday.
“Vancouver is perfectly positioned between the ocean and the mountains. With that being said, this lends itself to many wonderful outdoor things to do in Vancouver – any nature lovers delight”, A Passion and Passport mentions on her blog.
One of the most famous and most important landmarks and attractions in Vancouver, Stanley Park is a huge urban park connected to Vancouver by a small piece of land from downtown in Vancouver’s West End. The park covers nearly 400-hectares of space and is almost completely surrounded by water, giving it some great beaches and coastal views. Canada’s largest aquarium also calls the island home, meaning a whole day can be spent exploring its attractions.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is often one of the most visited attractions in Vancouver and is a large suspension bridge that crosses the Capilano River down below. The site has since been turned into a visitor attraction and those who don’t mind heights can experience a selection of adrenaline-filled treetop experiences and clifftop walks.
One of the oldest parts of Vancouver, Gastown is an area filled with retro restaurants, independent shops and cafes and quaint galleries and shops. With architecture depicting an age almost forgotten, this area is great for a day exploring and tasting some delicious food and enjoying great shopping.
Enjoy a roadtrip
If you really can’t decide on one location to visit, why not visit multiple? A road trip through the Canadian countryside and to some of your favourite locations is one of the best ways to fill your holiday with variety and diversity. Car hire in Canada is readily available and there are so many routes to enjoy. If you want to experience two or three of your favourite cities or you want to explore some of the top coastal drives in Canada then a road trip or motorhome holiday is a great option.
Carol, the face behind the travel blog Wandering Carol highly recommends a road trip to anyone looking to visit Canada and loves the Montréal to Québec route: “Getting off the beaten track in the province of Québec offers a wealth of nature, spas, heritage architecture and food with flair. Road trips have gained huge popularity over the last year due to the ability to maintain your own space, and space is what Québec has in spades.
She continues to explain a little more about why she would recommend Montréal and Québec City.
“A road trip from Montréal to Québec City into the gorgeous regions of Lanaudière and Mauricie offers no less than 30,000 lakes to visit and 15 regional parks. Also on the menu are cosy lodges where both winter and summer activities provide plenty of chances to get out and explore. One of the top resorts in the area is Le Baluchon Eco-Resort, where you can ride horses, soak in the outdoor Nordic spa and wander trails along the scenic Rivière du Loup, the River of the Wolf.”
Canada is a country that everyone should visit at least once, with the perfect mix of beautiful and bustling cities to remote and gorgeous natural parks, there isn’t more you could ask for. Why not start planning your next Canadian adventure post-lockdown and perhaps add some of these wonderful locations to your list?