Coming up with a Canada vacation that suits you is not hard as there are so many choices. From music festivals and parties to communing with nature, Canada vacations are wide-ranging. Here are 10 suggestions for a classic Canada vacation.
Canada’s French heritage is alive and well in Quebec City. People describe visiting Quebec City as being unlike any other travel experience in North America.
Quebec City boasts cobblestone walkways, well-preserved 17th century architecture, French cafés, a largely French-speaking population, and the only North American fortress walls that still exist north of Mexico. The city is like a step back in time and across the ocean – truly unique.
Cape Breton is an island at the tip of Nova Scotia – one of the Maritime provinces in Eastern Canada. Although Cape Breton is part of Nova Scotia, it has a distinct identity. Today, Cape Breton is an island famous for its Celtic heritage, which visitors may enjoy through the music, food and charm of the people. Cape Breton is also home to one of the world’s most beautiful drives: the Cabot Trail.
Ski Whistler Blackcomb
The resort town of Whistler is about a two hour drive away from Vancouver along one of the most scenic drives you’ll ever take – the Sea to Sky Highway.
Whistler is most famous as a ski destination – one of the best in the world – and this is thanks to two spectacular mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb that loom a mile above the village and provide over 8000 acres of skiable terrain.
Year-round Whistler offers visitors fine food, spas, and plenty of opportunity for adventure, all in a breathtaking locale.
Ontario has a superb network of provincial parks, the first and most popular of which is Algonquin Park. Covering 7,725 square kilometers of lakes and forests, bogs and rivers, cliffs and beaches, Algonquin can be explored by foot or canoe in its interior or is more accessible by car along the Highway 60 where eight campgrounds, 14 trails, education programs, and Algonquin’s superlative Visitor Centre and Logging Museum also offer visitors the chance to commune with nature.
Eat, Shop and Take in a Show in Toronto
Toronto is comparable to Chicago or New York in that all are big, lively, multicultural cities that offer a lot to visitors. Toronto is Canada’s largest city and financial center. Although not the national capital, Toronto is the Ontario provincial capital and probably the best-known city in Canada, in large part due to the Toronto International Film Festival and its popularity as a theater destination. Next to New York City and London, Toronto attracts the most theater-goers of anywhere in the world. Alongside great shows, Toronto has fabulous restaurants and lots of great shopping. Especially when the U.S. Dollar is strong, Toronto offers superb value for people looking for a shopping, eating, theater-going weekend.
Niagara Falls, Canada, is home to the Horseshoe Falls, the most powerful waterfall in North America and possibly the best-known in the world. Like staring into a campfire, you’ll be mesmerized by the sheer volume and natural force of the more than 6 million cubic feet (168,000 m³) of water thundering over its brink every minute.
Niagara Falls is best known as a honeymoon destination, attracting millions of newlywed or just plain romantic couples each year. The town is a tad tacky and touristy, but with the addition of the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort, fine hotels and restaurants have quickly followed.
The city of Calgary features good old fashioned Canadian hospitality combined with cultural diversity. Drive an hour out of town, and you’re in the heart of the Canadian Rockies where a world of outdoor adventure awaits.
The Calgary Stampede put Calgary on the map and the city’s role as host of the 1988 Winter Olympics solidified its place as one of Canada’s top destinations. The Old West spirit is alive and well in Calgary where cowboy hats and line dancing are always in fashion. The city has enjoyed great prosperity since the 1990s and grown significantly. Calgary’s proximity to Banff and other ski hills, icefields and other grand scenery is a big part of Calgary’s draw.
Lucy Maud Montgomery’s landmark first novel, Anne of Green Gables, is famously set in Prince Edward Island. The novel about a red-haired orphan put the little island of red soil on the international map. Today, thousands of tourists visit the Maritime province to see first-hand the Anne of Green Gables homestead, which is located in Prince Edward Island National Park, and was set aside in 1937 to protect the coastal landscape characteristic of the Maritime Plain natural region. The park also includes sand dunes, fresh water ponds, salt marshes, and forests.
See Ottawa, Canada’s National Capital
Ottawa is a charming city to visit – cultured, friendly and steeped in history.
So much of Ottawa’s allure is due to the well-planned city that is pedestrian friendly and human in scale. The many historic buildings – most prominently the Parliament Building and the Château Laurier – are lovingly preserved. Ottawa attractions include the Rideau Canal – which in below freezing weather turns into the the world’s biggest skating rink – the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Events and holidays are celebrated in style, with Canada Day, the Tulip Festival and Winterlude three annual Ottawa highlights.
Ottawa is also on the Ontario / Quebec border. Montreal is under a three hour drive away.
Visit Montreal during a Festival
Montreal has a has an energy and joie de vivre found only in the world’s best cities. This energy is never more apparent than when one of the many annual festivals is underway. Not only will this city host you in style, but many festival events are free.
Every June/July, the Montreal International Jazz Festival offers about 500 concerts, of which three-quarters are free of charge, and hosts about 2000 musicians from over 20 countries.
Summertime also brings laughs to Montreal with the The Just for Laughs Festival.
Each year, at the peak of winter, the Montreal High Lights Festival heats up the city with fine food, fireworks and festivity. The Montreal All-Nighter, also known as Nuit Blanche is part of this exciting urban festival.