Canada has everything. Literally. The world’s second-largest country is home to steep mountains, lakes the size of states, an arctic island, a vast network of national parks, and even Australia’s deserts. It is he.
So, what should I look at? Elk, whales, and polar bears? Choice musicians, culinary magicians, indigenous settlements, Inuit art? The possibilities are limitless, but that’s why we’re here. The following are the top ten places to visit in Canada.
The Rockies – top places in Canada
White-topped mountains on the BC-Alberta boundary inspire wonder and action. Banff, Yoho, Kootenay, Waterton Lakes, and Jasper offer hiking paths, rapids, and snowy slopes.
The railway is another popular way to enjoy the grandeur: lakes, wildflowers, and glaciers glide by as steel wagons fly across mountain passes and down valley rivers.
Downtown Vancouver traffic light intersection with snow-capped mountains across the strait.
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Who can argue with Vancouver topping “best places to live” lists? The laidback, cocktail-loving city is surrounded by beauty. With skiable mountains in the suburbs, beaches surrounding the core, and Stanley Park’s rainforest only blocks from downtown, it’s a meeting place. City-nature harmony.
It blends Hollywood grandeur, liberal counterculture (there’s a naked beach), and multicultural populations.
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Aerial image of Horseshoe Falls at Niagara Falls, where water rushes towards the cliff and down a red boat in the waterfall lake below.
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Niagara – top places in Canada
Winter? Stylish? True Niagara Falls doesn’t even make the top 500 for height. Niagara Falls creates a dramatic impression as its muscular waters swirl over the precipice like liquid glass and rumble into the nothingness below.
Nowhere in North America can match its thunderous cascades, which pour a million tubs of water per second.
A snowmobile appears in a cloud of snow at Whistler, Canada.
This mountain town and 2010 Olympics location is named for feathery beetles that whistle like deflated balloons. largest, most famous, and well-equipped. The Village, which dates to the late 1970s and is situated 90 minutes north of Vancouver, is a poster child for its fascinating design with unsightly architecture. A toilet or rubbish can ruin the scenery.
Whistler is known for skiing, yet summer visitors with BMX and SUP outnumber skiers. The resort lately acquired a tiny European city-worthy art scene. Warning? Whistler is pricey and busy (2.3 million visitors annually). Be picky about dates for a calmer, cheaper experience.
Québec’s capital is more than 400 years old, and its stone walls, tiled cathedrals, and jazz-filled cafés make it as romantic, eccentric, and fascinating as any European city. The easiest way to see everything is to get lost in the maze of old town lanes, stopping for coffee and cake.
Québec’s honeymoon highway, Rte 132, is there. This route loops across the Gaspé Peninsula, taking dog-eyed couples through oceans and mountains every summer. Niagara Falls, Canada’s “Honeymoon Capital,” receives 14 million visitors annually. Instead, young lovers, visit Gaspésie. Because 14 million people aren’t needed on a honeymoon.
Toronto – top places in Canada
Toronto’s cultures and communities leave you awestruck. Chinese or Greek? Fusion or pea-bacon burger?
In Ontario’s fashionable capital, Bloor-Yorkville designer shoes are tattooed in Queen West, and mod art galleries, theatrical brilliance, rockin’ band spaces, and swag abound. Passion for hockey boosts the Giants’ appeal. Half of its citizens were born in another country, making it Canada’s most diverse city.
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“Everything” in one place? Vancouver Island. Victorian postcards pulsate with bohemian stores, parquet cafes, and English tea.
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve has the West Coast Trail, where the ocean meets a misty wilderness and surfers ride Tofino’s waves. Cowichan Valley’s tiny farms and wineries are perfect for foodies.
This 200-kilometer (124-mile) waterway connects Ottawa and Kingston via 47 locks. In winter, it becomes the world’s largest ice rink.
People ice skate 7.8 kilometers (4.8 miles) and stop for hot chocolate and beavers. The February Winterlude festival features gigantic ice sculptures. When the canal thaws, boaters rejoice.
Manitoulin, the world’s largest freshwater island, floats in Lake Huron and has beaches and villas. White quartz and granite outcrops lead to sparkling panoramas.
Eight island towns provide local delights (wild rice, corn soup) and eco-adventures (boating, horseback riding, hiking). Powwows include dancing, drumming, and storytelling.