Are you starting to turn your thoughts toward planning your summer vacation this year? If so, have you considered Canada? OK, it probably sounds a little underwhelming and might not be at the top of your list, am I right?
It’s an English-speaking country with most of the same stuff you would find almost anywhere else, and you want something different –something exciting— for an adventure holiday.
But nobody complains about how many different kinds of flowers in the world there are. In that vein, maybe Canada has something uniquely individual and equally memorable to offer. Plus, it doesn’t just speak English. It’s got French as its other official language, and a smattering of many other languages, all proudly sitting under one red-and-white maple leaf umbrella.
Here is a quick list of must-sees, and if you find yourself intrigued and feeling like getting up close with this special part of the world, canada-eta.com can help you get started on the process!
You simply can’t go to Canada without visiting the Niagara falls. These are also called The Bridal Falls, because of the way the water plumes in the basin below and rises up into and a spray of white mist. The Niagara Falls was created during the last ice age that came to a close around 12,500 years ago. An ancient beauty!
The Niagara Falls is easy to get to if you fly into Buffalo-Niagara International airport. From there, it is only a 30-40 minute cab ride away. You can view the falls from a distance, or else put on a poncho, and get right up close in a Maid of the Mist boat tour.
Whistler Ski Resort
Whistler Mountain, the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics, is a place you need to visit if you love powdered snow, crisp blue skies, and like-minded sporty/outdoorsy people. It is located approximately 125 km north of Vancouver and attracts more than 2 million people annually. Nestle into a cosy cabin lodge and see the fun side of cold weather!
Whistler is continually voted one of the top ski and snowboarding resorts in the world, probably why the Olympics chose to stage their events here. You, too, will benefit from world-class conditions both on and off the slopes.
Quebec City is the second oldest city in Canada, established in 1608. The oldest is St John’s, which dates back to 1497. Quebec City is a fortified city due to its military past; it is also the capital of the French-speaking Quebec.
Quebec City is a tourist hot-spot, and not a place you will want to miss, especially if you love city breaks with a bit of history. There is a romance about Quebec City, and it’s a magical place to explore with your partner/family and sample the rich culture.
St John’s City
The other oldest city in Canada, and indeed in North America, is St John’s, which dates back to 1497. The city is known as ‘mini San Francisco’ or ‘San Francisco of the north’ partly because of its crayon and pastel-coloured houses and party because of its artistic sensibility.
The city is situated in the high north-east of the province Newfoundland, which gives it excellent access to the northern Atlantic. Take full advantage of this with a whale-watching boat tour or a trip to see the icebergs.
If you like the great outdoors but can’t go without essential creature comforts either, then head to Tofino. Tofino is located on Vancouver Island on Canada’s western front. It’s Pacific-facing and benefits from incredible sunsets and brilliant surfing.
That’s not all Tofino has to offer. You can enjoy walks, hikes, camping, paddling, and lazing around on a sunny beach. There are also plenty of urban treats and luxury hotels to stay in. If you’re on a budget, you’ll also have a swell time.
Churchill is a town in northern Manitoba. If you don’t know where that is, it’s in the very north of Canada on the edge of the Hudson River. It’s central but far to the north. Churchill is polar bear country, but it is also home to the Beluga whale and hundreds of bird species.
If you visit this historic town, you will be in for an adventure of a lifetime. It is one of the more unusual excursions in Canada but is memorable for that reason. Visit museums, an old fort, and polar bear jail where they keep problem bears that keep invading the town.
Montreal is a combination of two things, the old and the new. New Montreal is what you would expect a modern Canadian metropolis to look like: shiny, towering buildings, coffees-to-go, and bright smiles in puffer jackets. Old Montreal keeps its authentic feel.
In Old Montreal, you will find a certain charm, spectacular buildings, and carriages drawn by horses. Visit historic streets, buildings, and markets; soak in the authentic French-Canadian vibes and enjoy the food that is something to write home about. Psst… try some poutine!
Banff National Park
If you love the great outdoors, then Canada truly is the place for you to visit, and Banff National Park certainly doesn’t disappoint! It was originally built around the Sulphur Mountain Hot Springs as a 10-mile reserve, and yes, they still have a hot spring that you can visit.
Banff National Park is your natural vision of Canada, big, rocky, and stunningly beautiful. Enjoy hiking and relaxing in an ancient landscape that gives you perfect pictures and memories to last you a lifetime.
When you visit Canada you will probably head to the east or the west, respectively, unless you’re an ambitious road tripper or you want to fly. Vancouver is a popular tourist destination in the west and it is home to Stanley Park.
If you love those romantic movies like Juno or Fifty Shades of Grey with colourful leaves in the fall they were probably shot in Stanley Park. Stanley Park also lends its name to the popular Stanley Cup Hockey Trophy, find out more on your travels.
Okanagan Valley is also on the west coast in the province of British Columbia. It is famed for its year-round warm climate and is home to vineyards and orchards. You will also have a lovely time swimming and bathing in Okanagan lake.
This adventure is not to be missed if you decide to explore the west coast. Hire an RV and head to the valley for a few days of hiking, swimming, and enjoying the local wines and cheese.