Are you tired of going on vacation to the warm tropics only to have to deal with a lot of tourists and jacked up prices?
The drawback of vacationing in warmer climates can be a lot of added stress and anxiety. So much for a relaxing vacation!
Have you considered heading north to Canada instead? Depending on when you go, some of the best destinations in Canada do offer beaches, lakes, and oceans.
But there is so much more to see and do there.
What Are the Best Destinations in Canada?
There may not be palm trees and trade winds.
But at most of the places we’ve listed below, you won’t be dealing with crowds, tourists and outrageously high prices either. In fact, if you’re coming from America, your dollar will stretch even farther in Canada.
Just take a gander at what’s north of the border.
Far to the west in Canada and nestled between the Coast Mountains and the Pacific Ocean is Vancouver.
This bustling city in British Columbia boasts gorgeous landscapes and offers everything from skiing in the mountains to swimming in the ocean to strolling through scenic parks.
One of the most popular of those parks is Stanley Park. This vast swath of land contains lush woodlands, beautiful gardens, and rich green spaces.
Head out to Granville Island to wander through their amazing food market. Then head back into the city and spend some time in Chinatown’s lively array of shops and restaurants.
Vancouver has it all.
2. Cape Breton
Are you drawn to all things Celtic?
Well, if the Emerald Isle is a bit too far to travel, take a journey to the island of Cape Breton instead. Located off the tip of Nova Scotia, the island has a distinct identity that differs from the rest of this maritime province.
Cape Breton is rich with Celtic heritage. And it’s easy to find it in their music, cuisine, and even in the spirit of the island’s residents. You’ll be so taken by its rustic charm, you may want to come home and do a rustic redesign to your home.
Even if you’re not particularly moved by the Celtic, you might enjoy traveling the Cabot Trail on the island. It is considered one of the world’s most beautiful drives.
If you’re looking for a taste of the Old West instead, then make your way to Calgary in Alberta.
This mellow city is just an hour from the heart of the Canadian Rockies and it’s a town where line dancing and cowboy hats are still in style.
Calgary is a town that puts the emphasis on outdoor adventure. If you’re there in July, check out the famous Calgary Stampede. In the winter months, Banff is nearby, offering some of the best skiing in the world.
And since the city has experienced economic growth since the 1990s, it continues to grow and thrive. You won’t be at a loss for finding adventure in this culturally diverse town.
If you’re a fan of the great indoors, then you’ll love Edmonton.
One of the coolest things about Edmonton is the West Edmonton Mall. This is the largest shopping mall in North America. Yes, there’s a huge collection of stores.
But there’s also the World Waterpark that’s a five-acre playland with water slides, hot tubs, and children’s areas, all in tropical temperatures.
You can take a wild ride at Galaxyland — even in the middle of winter. Galaxyland is North America’s largest indoor amusement park and has 27 different rides and attractions for all age groups.
If you’d like to do a little skating, then head over to the Mayfield Toyota Ice Palace and take a spin around the rink.
To make your day at the mall extra special, you can even use this service to take a limo there and live like royalty.
5. Quebec City
Wandering around Quebec City can feel very much like being in a European city.
In historic Vieux Quebec (which is French for Old Quebec), you can walk along cobblestone streets and take in all of the French culture and architecture. Vieux Quebec sits up high upon a hill that overlooks the St. Lawrence River and is the site where the famous explorer Champlain established the first North American-French settlement.
Another popular site is Chateau Frontenac. This hotel is considered the most photographed in North America. But you don’t have to stay there to get a tour.
Plan on learning a little French while in Quebec City as it’s the official language there.
6. Bay of Fundy
Due east of the state of Maine is the province of New Brunswick.
And the bay that extends from northern Maine into Canada between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia is known as the Bay of Fundy.
What makes this bay so interesting is that it fills and empties billions of tons of water twice each day. This action creates the highest tides in the world.
The Bay of Fundy draws a wide range of interesting animals. That’s because the forceful tides drudge up nutrients from the ocean floor that they find appetizing.
The extreme high tides also contributed to forming the dramatically steep cliffs and sea stacks that surround the bay. Plus, the water wore away enough rock to reveal a wealth of fossils and other signs of life from millenniums ago.
7. Niagara Falls
Of course, no “places to see in Canada” list would be complete without Niagara Falls.
The falls are actually comprised of three different falls — the American, the Bridal Veil, and the Horseshoe. It is the Horseshoe that most people associate with these famous falls. Whatever the case, these famous three falls attract millions of tourists each year.
The town of Niagara Falls itself was always rather kitschy and even a little tacky. With its less than amusing theme park, it had for a long time felt like a small-time Las Vegas.
When Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort opened in 2004, however, it slowly brought the town some badly needed life. There are now decent hotels and restaurants.
Most people are content with one, maybe two, visits to the falls in their lifetime, But while you’re there, you may want to escape the tourists and explore the Niagara region as well.
Why Not Venture North of the Border?
There are good times just waiting for you in Canada. It’s a beautiful, friendly and affordable place to plan your next vacation.
Do you have other places that you think are the best destinations in Canada? Please feel free to comment below.
We’d love to hear what you have to say.