Whether you want to spot polar bears along the arctic tundra biome, revel in 5-star culinary delights, or ski the mountainous slopes, Canada has something for everyone. As the world’s second-largest country – after Russia – there is much to do and see!
Here we explore 8 of the best places to visit.
Table of Contents
- 1. Vancouver – Mixing cosmopolitan chic and nature
- 2. Quebec City – For quaint European charm
- 3. Montreal – For music lovers and those with a penchant for the arts
- 4. Toronto – For foodies and urban aficionados
- 5. Niagara Falls – for those wanting to explore natural wonders of the world
- 6. Churchill – For those wanting to spot a Polar Bear
- 7. The Canadian Rockies – For gorgeous mountain views and mountain sports
- 8. Whistler – If you love to ski and other snow sports
- The Takeaway
1. Vancouver – Mixing cosmopolitan chic and nature
Vancouver is a must-visit spot if you want to amalgamate city chic with an abundance of nature. Spend your time exploring the outskirts and reveling in many outdoor activities. Here you can ski Grouse Mountain, stroll around Stanley Park with its gorgeous sea wall, or splash in the waves at Kitsilano Beach. There are also so many vibey restaurants and bars to visit as well as many cultural attractions.
Explore the artistic hub of Granville Island, get lost in the treetops when you cross the Capilano Suspension Bridge, or check out the Vancouver Art Gallery. This city is the perfect balance of urban and outdoor.
2. Quebec City – For quaint European charm
This charming, fortified city boasts fairy-tale charisma. The mostly French-speaking province is characterized by centuries old-buildings, narrow cobblestone streets, and majestic heritage sites. If you’re looking for European charm and you’re ready to enjoy a Pain au chocolat or two, this is the place to be.
It’s also a superb spot for nature lovers, with an abundance of mountains, lakes, and rivers nearby. Visit Jacques-Cartier National Park and spot an array of wildlife, including moose, gray wolves, black bears, and river otters. Quebec is also a delicious destination for foodies. Here you will find gorgeous farmers’ markets and an eclectic array of restaurants offering all types of cuisine.
3. Montreal – For music lovers and those with a penchant for the arts
Sometimes known as the cultural heart of the country, Montreal has so much to offer for those interested in the arts. It’s the largest city in Quebec province, offering a melting pot of culture and appeal. The Centre-Ville downtown area near the St. Lawrence River has much to see, including a plethora of museums and restaurants and the Montreal Botanical Gardens. Top attractions in the city include the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and Mount Royal.
Foodies will love the Jean-Talon Farmers Market, and music fundis’ will delight in the Montreal International Jazz Festival, which is ranked as the largest jazz festival in the world. Famed artists like Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and Ella Fitzgerald have graced its stages, making it a must-do for music lovers.
4. Toronto – For foodies and urban aficionados
Toronto is Canada’s largest city and is definitely worth exploring if you love the Urban bustle. This Ontario city is definitely one of the coolest kids on the block, offering a plenitude of options for those who love shopping or dancing till the sun comes up. It’s also a cultural hub and will delight foodies with its huge array of culinary options. From Egyptian street food stalls and Italian wine bars to Mexican tapas locales and Japanese fusion restaurants, there is so much YUM in this city.
The CN Tower is also a must-see for those wanting to take in enthralling views. On a super clear day, you can even see Niagra Falls! If you are feeling extra courageous and don’t mind heights, try out the Edge Walk and brave the perimeter.
5. Niagara Falls – for those wanting to explore natural wonders of the world
Niagara Falls is arguably one of Canada’s – and even the world’s – most iconic sites. Comprised of three waterfalls that span Ontario and the State of New York, it’s a serious bucket list destination. Unlike many of the world’s largest waterfalls, Nigra Falls boasts a vast amount of flowing water, making it a truly thrilling experience. The height and volume of the falls will astound visitors. Grab a coffee and stroll along the promenade as you take in its wonder and the largest of the three falls, Horseshoe Fall.
Visitors can also enjoy fast rapids along the White-Water Walk and an abundance of eateries. Be sure to also visit one of the nearby ice wineries that specialize in dessert wines made from frozen grapes on the vine.
6. Churchill – For those wanting to spot a Polar Bear
If you love the Great Outdoors and delight in spotting incredible creatures, Churchill, Manitoba, is the place to be. In fact, it’s known as the “polar bear capital of the world.” Many polar bears cross through Churchill as they migrate from inland to Hudson Bay. Late September to early November is the best time to catch this migration. Visitors can hop on an arctic tundra vehicle and traverse the ice whilst spotting polar bears.
7. The Canadian Rockies – For gorgeous mountain views and mountain sports
The snow-capped mountains inspire excitement and awe in travelers. The range spans British Columbia and Alberta and is characterized by jagged icy peaks, alpine lakes, glacial rivers, and a wide variety of wildlife. There is so much for visitors to explore here, including hiking trails, mountain climbing, horse riding, canoeing and rafting, and gorgeous national parks like Banff and Yoho. If you love camping, this is a must!
If you love national parks, Yosemite National Park in California, is also worth a quiz. You might also enjoy our top 10 list of must-see National Parks in the US.
8. Whistler – If you love to ski and other snow sports
If you’re a ski master – or enthusiast – then Whistler is worth more than a whistle-stop. This alpine ski town houses one of the most popular Ski resorts in North America – The Whistler Blackcomb. Alongside skiing, visitors can partake in other ice sports, too, including tobogganing, ski jumping, snowshoeing, and snowboarding. The summer months offer the chance to paddleboard or mountain bike, and the village has a thriving arts and culture scene, including the Audain Art Museum.
Canada boasts brilliant diversity, making it a great destination for all types of travelers. Since it’s such a vast country, you’ll likely need to pick one or two destinations to visit or plan an epic road trip where you can traverse it all. What were your favorite destinations in Canada? We’d love to hear from you