The 15 finest locations to go to in Canada proper now

Canada is a rustic chock-full of pure websites and concrete delights, the place guests are equally as wowed by the wildlife and wilderness, as they’re by the cultural and culinary choices discovered within the cities that speckle the sprawling nation.

Peruse for polar bears on the open arctic tundra of Churchill or cruise Vancouver’s curvy shoreline in a canoe whereas gawking on the metropolis skyline. Feast on five-star fusion delicacies in Toronto, or absorb a street-side jazz jam session in Montreal. 

Whether or not you’re a first-time customer or returning to expertise one thing new, these are the 15 finest locations to see in Canada. However you’ll want to plan forward, as a result of because the world’s second-largest nation, you simply gained’t be capable of do it multi function journey. 

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Get your thrills with out of doors adventures within the mountains © iStock / Getty Photographs

1. The Canadian Rockies 

Finest for mountain views

The sawtooth, white-topped mountains straddling the British Columbia–Alberta border encourage each awe and motion. 5 nationwide parks – Banff, Yoho, Kootenay, Waterton Lakes and Jasper – provide numerous alternatives to delve into the luxurious wilderness, with ribbons of climbing trails, dashing white water and powdery ski slopes to fulfill vacationers searching for mountain thrills. 

This is without doubt one of the finest locations to go to in Canada within the winter, however out of doors adventures are aplenty through the summer season months too.

Planning Tip: For a unique perspective, take the practice and expertise the grandeur from the consolation of your seat: luminous lakes, jumbles of wildflowers and glistening glaciers glide by because the metal vehicles chug up mountain passes and down river valleys en path to factors east or west.

A crossing at Downtown Vancouver where cars wait at the traffic lights and people cross the road during the day with snow-capped mountains across the strait in the background.
Vancouver is laid-back metropolis on the sting of seashores and rainforest © Aolin Chen / Getty Photographs

2. Vancouver 

Finest for combining metropolis and nature

In Vancouver, sea-to-sky magnificence surrounds the laid-back, cocktail-lovin’ metropolis. With skiable mountains on the outskirts, seashores fringing the coast and Stanley Park’s thick rainforest simply steps from downtown’s glowing skyscrapers, it is a harmonic convergence of metropolis and nature.

For the most effective of each worlds, choose up a plate and chilly brew from an area joint and spend a day picnicking at one of many superb metropolis parks (through the summer season months ingesting is authorized at most metropolis parks). 

Store and stroll by way of the varied and charming neighborhoods – you could even spot a star alongside the way in which. Often known as “Hollywood North”, Vancouver is the filming location for a lot of TV and movie productions shot all year long.

Planning Tip: With its delicate local weather and delightful seashores, Vancouver is unquestionably among the best locations in Canada to go to in summer season.

Two zipliners head down a wire towards a vast cascading waterfall
Get an eyeful of Niagara Falls with a zip-lining expertise © iStockphoto / Getty Photographs

3. Niagara Falls

Finest for an iconic journey expertise

Niagara Falls could also be brief (it doesn’t even crack the highest 500 worldwide for top), however when these nice muscular bands of water arc over the precipice like liquid glass, roaring into the void beneath, and while you sail towards it in a mist-shrouded boat – the falls impress, each time.

When you’re there, prolong your keep and head past the falls with a two-wheel biking journey alongside the Better Niagara Circle Route, or take a go on the Wildplay Zipline to the Falls, a pulse-pounding rush of a experience that provides unparalleled views of the falls beneath as you zoom by way of the sky.

A ski emerges in a plume of white snow between the snow-covered evergreen trees at Whistler ski resort in Canada.
Beautiful Whistler is a prime ski vacation spot, but it surely’s additionally received a thriving cultural scene © stockstudioX / Getty Photographs

4. Whistler 

Finest place to ski in Canada

This alpine village and 2010 Winter Olympics venue is without doubt one of the world’s largest, best-equipped and hottest ski resorts, and it’s solely a 90-minute drive from downtown Vancouver. That includes over 200 marked runs winding down two towering mountains – Whistler and Blackcomb – this vacation spot is paradise for skiers of all ranges.

Snowboarding could also be Whistler’s raison d’être, however summer season guests with their downhill mountain bikes and stand-up paddleboards outnumber their ski-season equivalents, making the resort a year-round sizzling spot for locals and guests alike.

Including extra variety, Whistler has not too long ago developed a thriving arts and tradition scene, with highlights just like the Audain Artwork Museum and Squamish Li’lwat Cultural Centre taking the stage as equally-appealing sights to the famed slopes.

Shantel and Bocovina Orkestar perform a live concert during the Montreal Jazz Festival at night and are bathed in red light with a tree to the left of the stage
Montréal Jazz Competition attracts audiences from world wide © joseph s l tan matt / Shutterstock

5. Montréal Jazz Competition 

Finest place for music lovers 

As Canada’s second-largest metropolis and the nation’s cultural coronary heart, Montréal is a marvel for music lovers. Watch the most effective jazz-influenced musicians on the planet amongst over two million, equally-jazzed spectators on the Montréal International Jazz Festival. There are over 500 performances and reveals to get pleasure from (and numerous are free).

BB King, Prince and Astor Piazzolla are amongst those that’ve carried out on the 11-day, late-June music competition. Chances are you’ll even get to hitch in on the enjoyable with free drumming classes and street-side jam periods, as the great occasions roll day and night time.

Planning Tip: Not into jazz? There are many live-music venues and events massive and small discovered all through the town.

Cobblestone roads of a historic neighborhood in Quebec City
The romantic streets of Outdated Québec are in style with {couples} and honeymooners © iStock / Getty Photographs

6. Outdated Québec Metropolis

Finest place to go to in Canada for {couples}

Québec’s capital is greater than 400 years outdated, and its historical stone partitions, glinting spired cathedrals and jazz-filled nook cafes suffuse it with environment, romance, melancholy, eccentricity and intrigue on par with any European metropolis. One of the simplest ways to soak all of it up is to stroll the outdated city’s labyrinth of lanes and get misplaced amid the road performers and comfortable inns, stopping from time to time for a café au lait and flaky pastry.

The town can be house to Québec’s honeymoon freeway, Rte 132. Circling the Gaspé Peninsula, this street whisks puppy-eyed {couples} previous the ocean and the mountain with joie de vivre (enjoyment of life); greater than 700,000 folks tear down the tarmac every summer season. 

In fact, it has but to method the romantic recognition of Canada’s “Honeymoon Capital,” Niagara Falls, a area that pulls greater than 14 million annual guests. However head for the La Gaspésie, as an alternative, younger lovers. As a result of if you happen to’re in your honeymoon, you don’t want 14 million different folks hanging round.

Cyclists ride bikes on an empty street in a large city
Toronto is a cool and culturally numerous metropolis © iStock / Getty Photographs

7. Toronto 

Finest for multicultural experiences

A hyperactive stew of cultures and neighborhoods, Toronto strikes you with sheer city awe and cultural variety. Will you will have dinner in Chinatown or Greektown? 5-star fusion or a peameal bacon sandwich?

In Ontario’s coolest metropolis, designer footwear from Bloor-Yorkville are accessorized with tattoos in Queen West, whereas mod-art galleries, theater par excellence, rockin’ band rooms and hockey mania add to the megalopolis. It’s far and away Canada’s largest metropolis, in addition to its most numerous – about half of the town’s residents have been born out of the country. 

Remember to snap a photograph of CN Tower, thought-about among the best locations to go to in Toronto, and for an added thrill, take a attempt on the Edgewalk, the place you’ll be able to stroll round its perimeter whereas taking in unparalleled metropolis views.

Waves softly roll onto a deserted Tofino Beach at Vancouver Island with the evergreen trees soft-focused in the background.
Discover the pure wonders of Vancouver Island © Kate_N / Shutterstock

8. Vancouver Island 

Finest for nature lovers

Image-postcard Victoria is the center of Vancouver Island, beating with bohemian outlets, wood-floored espresso bars and a tea-soaked English previous steeped in tea tradition for the reason that 1840s. 

British Columbia’s capital metropolis is stuffed with allure, but it surely’s solely the kick-off level to an island that boasts a bounty of pure wonders to discover.

Brooding Pacific Rim National Park Reserve sports activities the West Coast Path, the place the wind-bashed ocean meets a mist-shrouded wilderness, and surfers line up for Tofino’s waves. With so many out of doors adventures to attempt, this is without doubt one of the finest locations in Canada for nature lovers.

Planning Tip: Wandering foodies will need to head to the Cowichan Valley, studded with welcoming little farms and boutique wineries.

Two people on a frozen canal holding hands; one is on ice-skates, the other is in a wheelchair
When frozen, the Rideau Canal in Canada turns into the world’s greatest ice rink © Preappy / Stocksy United

9. Rideau Canal

Finest for ice skating

This 185-year-old, 200km-long (124 miles) waterway – consisting of canals, rivers and lakes – connects Ottawa and Kingston by way of 47 locks. The Rideau Canal is at its most interesting in wintry Ottawa, the place a stretch of its waters change into the Rideau Canal Skateway – the world’s largest skating rink.

Folks swoosh by on the 7.8km (4.8 miles) of groomed ice, pausing for warm chocolate and delicious slabs of fried dough referred to as beavertails (a quintessentially Canadian deal with). February’s Winterlude competition kicks it up a notch when townsfolk construct large ice sculptures.

Planning Tip: As soon as the canal thaws, it turns into a boater’s paradise, which means you’ll be able to admire it no matter time of 12 months you go to.

10. Manitoulin Island 

Finest place in Canada to have a good time First Nations tradition

The most important freshwater island on the planet, floating proper in Lake Huron’s midst, Manitoulin is a slowpoke place of seashores and summery cottages. Jagged expanses of white quartzite and granite outcroppings edge the shoreline and result in shimmering vistas.

First Nations culture pervades, and the island’s eight communities collaborate to supply native meals (wild rice, corn soup) and eco-adventures (canoeing, horseback using, climbing). Powwows add drumming, dancing and storytelling to the combo for cultural-immersive experiences that join you with the folks and the land of the nation that we now know as Canada.

A grain elevator and bin stand amongst the golden wheat of a field in the Canadian Prairies, Saskatchewan.
Discover solitude within the Prairies in Saskatchewan © jameslee999 / Getty Photographs

11. The Prairies

Finest place for street journeys

Solitude reigns in Canada’s center floor. Driving by way of the flatlands of Manitoba and Saskatchewan turns up uninterrupted fields of golden wheat that stretch to the horizon, ultimately melting into the sunshine. When the wind blows, the wheat sways like waves on the ocean, punctuated by the occasional grain elevator rising up like a tall ship.

Large skies imply massive storms that drop like an anvil, seen on the skyline for miles. Far-flung cities embrace arty Winnipeg, boozy Moose Jaw and Mountie-filled Regina, interspersed with Ukrainian and Scandinavian villages.

Sea eroded 'flowerpot edifices' stand at low tide at Hopewell Rocks on the Bay of Fundy, Canada.
Whales are drawn to the feeding grounds within the Bay of Fundy © Justin Foulkes / Lonely Planet

12. Bay of Fundy

Finest place to identify whales

Not your common Canadian bay, although lighthouses, boats and trawlers, fishing villages and different maritime surroundings encompass it, with frequent landward sightings of deer and moose. The distinctive geography of Fundy ends in probably the most excessive tides on the planet, reaching 16m (56ft), in regards to the top of a five-story constructing.

They fire up severe whale meals, with krill and different plankton attracting fin, humpback and blue whales right here to feast, in addition to endangered North Atlantic proper whales, making a whale watch right here a rare must-do.

Geological wind-sculptured rock formations stand against a blue sky in the Drumheller badlands, Canada.
Drumheller in Canada is all about mud, dinosaurs and dizzying geology © Barna Tanko / Getty Photographs

13. Drumheller

Finest for dinosaur lovers

Dinosaur lovers get weak-kneed in dust-blown Drumheller, the place paleontological civic satisfaction runs excessive because of the Royal Tyrrell Museum, one of many planet’s pre-eminent fossil collections. The realm’s deal with dinosaur fossils positively makes this one of the vital distinctive locations to go to in Canada.

The world’s largest dinosaur is right here, too – an enormous, scary, fiberglass T-rex that guests can climb and peer out of (by way of its mouth). Past the dino-hoopla, the world provides basic Badlands surroundings and eerie, mushroom-like rock columns referred to as hoodoos.

Planning Tip: Observe the scenic driving loops that take you previous all the great things.

A solitary polar bear stalks the ice along the Hudson Bay coast in Canada at sunset.
Churchill is true on the migration path of polar bears © Robert Postma / Getty Photographs

14. Churchill

One of the best place for polar bear encounters

The primary polar bear you see up shut will take your breath away, and there’s no higher place for an encounter than the open arctic tundra of Churchill, Manitoba, which occurs to be proper on the bears’ migration path.

Planning Tip: From late September to early November, tundra automobiles head out seeking the razor-clawed beasts, typically getting you shut sufficient to lock eyes with the attractive bears. Summer time permits you to kayak or stand-up paddleboard with beluga whales.

Picture of an Inuit woman standing on a tundra in Baffin Island, Canada. The woman is wearing a thick fur hood over thick white traditional clothing. The woman is wearing a necklace decorated in white and purple. The sky above the tundra is filled with cotton white clouds.
Baffin’s small cities are house to Inuit artwork studios with high-quality artworks © RyersonClark / Getty Photographs

15. Baffin

Finest for Inuit artwork and unimaginable landscapes

The forlorn, rugged panorama of Baffin Island is house to cloud-scraping mountains and a 3rd of Nunavut’s human inhabitants. It’s Canada’s largest island (the fifth greatest on the planet), and the perfect place for an arctic safari, the place you’ll be able to spot narwhals, belugas and bears of their pure habitat.

The island’s crown jewel is Auyuittuq Nationwide Park – its title means “the land that by no means melts” – and certainly glaciers, fjords and vertiginous cliffs fill the jap expanse. The park is a siren name for hardcore hikers and climbers, and various polar bears.

Baffin can be a middle for Inuit artwork; studios for high-quality carving, printmaking and weaving pop up in lots of small cities that speckle the world.