A bracing climate, untouched wilderness, and cities with a thriving art and culture scene – Canada offers the intrepid explorer a wealth of attractions. Whether you are visiting to experience the dramatic beauty of the famed Rocky Mountains or want to immerse yourself in history through well-maintained ports and forts, you get the full spectrum of excitement.
Explore wild beauty
It’s impossible to condense everything you should do and see in Canada in just a few paragraphs but there are certain attractions you will not forgive yourself for missing.
First up is Yukon, home to Kluane National Park and Reserve, which itself is home to the country’s highest mountain, Mount Logan. If you are an avid mountain climber, be sure to add it to your list of must-summits. For those who prefer lower ground, there are camping spots and trails that traverse the reserve. Be sure to watch out for grizzlies!
Try to visit Yukon from September to April when the mesmerizing Northern Lights dance across the sky. Parks Canada and the Yukon Astronomical Society organize the Northern Lights Festival in September and hold workshops, traditional story-telling, and star-gazing among other fun activities.
You can’t visit Canada and not make your way to the famed Rocky Mountains where spectacular snow-capped peaks BECKON you. You can explore the landscape by renting a car. Must-visits include Banff National Park – Canada’s oldest –, Jasper National Park and the Athabasca Glacier.
No trip to the Canadian Rockies is complete without taking in the scenery on the Rocky Mountaineer. The train takes you to otherwise inaccessible terrain. The package tour gives you several route options, each as great as the next.
For those not in the know, the mighty Niagara Falls is made up of three waterfalls. The largest, Horseshoe Falls, lies mainly in Ontario. While falls-watching is undoubtedly the thing to do, there is plenty else to explore, including the fabulous food scene and the wineries. You can also head up to Skylon Tower for expansive views of the falls. The revolving dining room within gives visitors a chance to dine on mouthwatering dishes. Try to go at night when the falls are illuminated and the city lights sparkle below.
Breathe in culture
The vibrant city of Quebec is a culture vulture’s paradise. The city of Montreal exudes character and is one of the best places to witness art and culture. Catch the Jazz Fest, the Le Mondial de la Bière (beer fest) and, of course, a show by the city’s own Cirque du Soleil. Art aficionados will love Parisian Laundry that boasts Canadian and international art. La Guilde is another gallery to visit with its focus on Inuit and First Nations art.
Montreal’s Old Port was used as a trading post and although much has changed to accommodate modernization, the riverfront invites visitors to take a walk or cycle its length. Get tickets to the La Grande Roue de Montréal, a huge Ferris wheel that gives you a sweeping view of the picturesque surroundings.
While in Quebec, be sure to head to Quebec City where the Citadelle of Quebec and Old Quebec showcase hints of the city’s past. You can shop and dine at Petit Champlain and take in a show at the Petit Champlain Theater.
Those looking for a mix of city and outdoor experience will find Vancouver ideal. Grouse Mountain and Cypress Mountain have terrific outdoor activities like hiking, skiing and snowboarding. In the city, neighbourhoods like Gastown and Main Street are dotted with trendy restaurants, bars and shopping centres. Go in the evening when the lights come on and bathe the streets in an enticing glow.
A large part of Canada is uninhabitable and this means you get to witness some of the best unspoiled beauty. It’s no wonder that many come here to get lost in nature. Those who prefer the lights and buzz of cities need only make their way to cities like Vancouver and Quebec. No matter what your holiday flavour, Canada will make sure you have it.