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The 23 Best Places to Visit in Canada in 2024 (Our Take)

The 23 Best Places to Visit in Canada in 2024 (Our Take)

Canada is rich in natural beauty, historic significance, outdoor recreation, and attractions. The best places to visit show Canada’s wilder side with islands, tundra territory, and mountain villages alongside bustling cities boasting endless entertainment and sightseeing options.

Let’s take a look at Canada’s must-see destinations — you’re sure to discover a few hidden gems along the way to add to your itinerary!

The 23 Best Places to Visit in Canada

Scenic coastlines, vibrant cities, majestic mountains, and ample opportunities for adventure wait for you in the vast expanse of this North American country. The hardest part will be narrowing down your list to find the spots you want to visit most! 

Check out the 23 best places to visit in Canada and get to know the Great White North like a local on your trip. 

1. Baffin Island, Nunavut

A lonely hiker passing through the rocky plains and icy mountain peaks of Akshayuk Pass in Baffin Island, one of the best places to visit in Canada

Petr Kahanek/Shutterstock

Canada’s biggest island, Baffin Island, features dramatic scenery like mountains and cliffs, glaciers, fjords, often-frozen lakes and rivers, and grassy, bouldered marshlands. It’s one of the best places for hiking, views, and a chance to experience Canada’s deepest wilderness in a remote setting. 

Go on life-changing expeditions through the tundra, starting at Auyuittuq National Park on the Cumberland Peninsula. You’ll head through the natural corridor of the Akshayuk Pass to enter the Inuit homeland with glaciers, fjords, and frozen landscapes that evoke an eerie sense of beauty. 

Along this rugged route, you’ll climb over rocky glacier trails, or moraines, a massive ice sheet, and two of the world’s highest cliffs at Mt. Asgard and Mt. Thor. You could see polar bears near the coasts, so sticking further inland is the ticket for a safe journey.

The capital, Iqaluit, is a comparatively busy hub for restaurants, hotels, breweries, and the fascinating Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum to learn about Inuit culture and history.

Archaeology sites just outside the city at Qaummaarviit Territorial Park tell stories of the Thule people and their adventures hunting walrus, seals, and sea birds thousands of years ago. For Arctic adventure, there’s no better place to go. 

2. Bay of Fundy, Eastern Canada

Calm waters on low tide of the iconic rock formations at Hopeswell Rocks in Fundy Bay, one of the best places to visit in Canada


The Bay of Fundy is the best place to view the natural wonder of the highest tides in the world (around 30-45 feet), sandwiched between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

People come here to see and experience the awe-inspiring power of the tides on boat rides and rafting tours as 150 billion tons of water rush into the bay twice a day and create an awesome visual display of nature’s power. 

Take a drive down highway 215 from Maitland (don’t miss Canada’s oldest general store here at the Frieze and Roy General Store) to Windsor to see incredible coastal scenery, mudflats, offshore islands, and whales breaching the water. 

Hop on a zodiac on the Shubenacadie River, timing your trip with the tides, to rise up 30 feet as you raft on the mighty river’s rising water. At Hopewell Rocks, explore flowerpot rock formations, or sea stacks capped with trees, as you walk the ocean’s floor at low tide and watch the water rush in. 

Then hike your pick of 30 trails at Fundy National Park to meander the rocky coastline, explore the Acadian Forest, and get a look at the impressive tides while you explore 25+ waterfalls along the way. 

Back on the scenic highway, check out the seasonal Fundy Trail Parkway (May to October) for more trails, 4 waterfalls, wild beaches, and overlooks and observation decks that provide endless views over it all. 

3. Calgary, Alberta

A lonely bench, sitting in between two large pots of plants, fronting Calgary City Skyline, one of the best places to visit in Canada, on a magnificent sunset

Mikhail Zapolskyi/ Shutterstock

Calgary is Alberta’s biggest city and known for its green spaces, skyscrapers, and abundance of breweries and restaurants with great views of the Bow River that runs through the city’s downtown district. This is a place to explore at your leisure with lots of attractions and things to do.

People call Calgary “Cowtown” because it hosts the annual Calgary Stampede rodeo every July. Millions of people pour in to attend, bringing a lively party atmosphere to the city during the days surrounding the event. 

Explore the downtown district by walking the pedestrian Stephen Avenue, where you’ll pass an array of restaurants, bars, shops, and music venues on your stroll. Festivals, art galleries, and sidewalk cafes make this a bustling part of downtown. 

Enjoy a craft beer or two at any of Calgary’s local breweries, which are everywhere downtown and in the surrounding districts. The best are in Manchester (south of downtown), Brewery Flats (Inglewood), Beltline (next to downtown), and City Centre North. 

You’ll be able to taste your share of great food in Calgary, from a charming French cafe at Le Comptoir, by François to tasting menus, steak, and seafood at the River Cafe. Bars and coffee shops like Major Tom’s and MobSquad Cafe offer great views overlooking downtown.

Pack a picnic and raft down the Bow River from Baker Park to Prince’s Island Park (about 3 hours) while you’re here for awesome views of the city skyline rising around you and a lovely lunch at Prince’s Island Park. You can rent scooters to ride around the park! 

4. Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

The winding roads of Cabot Trail on an Autumn Season in Breton Island, Nova Scotia, one of the best places to visit in Canada


Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island is popular for scenic driving tours along its Cabot Trail that rings the island and takes you past panoramic views over the ocean, mountains, and high cliffs. This laid-back destination is perfect for a weekend tour with plenty of places to hike, explore, eat, drink, and socialize. 

You’ll want to visit Cape Breton Highlands National Park to hike the Skyline trail loop (wildlife, whale-watching, ocean views over Gulf of St. Lawrence, mountains) or the easier Le Buttereau Trail (hilltop ruins with existing foundations, Acadian mixed forest). 

There are so many scenic spots to explore that it’s tough to list them all, but favorites include Sand Dollar Beach (Port Hood spot for sand dollars and shells at low tide) and Inverness Beach (“sea glass beach” with a boardwalk, shops, and golf course). 

Over in Sydney on the eastern side of the island, you’ll find lots of live music venues, museums like Jost House Museum and Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, and the world’s largest fiddle statue overlooking the water near parks and boardwalks. 

Breweries abound in Cape Breton Island, so be sure to check out a local hotspot like Route 19 Brewing (Inverness) or Governors Pub and Eatery for local craft beers on tap with steaks, seafood, and a full Irish pub on the 2nd floor. 

Speaking of Irish, you’ll be able to experience a lot of Irish and Scottish culture on the island. Music-and-tradition filled cultural festivals held year-round celebrate Scotch-Irish heritage, like the 9-day Celtic Colours International Festival in October! 

5. Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

A scene in one of the best places to visit in Canada, several fishing boats neatly docked in a harbor of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Darryl Brooks/Shutterstock

Prince Edward Island (PEI) has a gorgeous capital, Charlottetown, along its southern coast. This charming city is filled with Neo-Gothic and Georgian architecture, 400 acres of parks, lighthouses, and grand homes overlooking Hillsborough Bay. 

It’s a sightseeing city with much to explore, from the famous Victoria Row for dining, shopping, and museums to the real-life Anne of Green Gables’ White Sands Hotel, Dalvay-by-the-Sea Hotel in Queen Anne-revival style.

Venture to West Point Lighthouse Museum to go to the top of the lighthouse and learn about its history before grabbing lunch at Lighthouse Willie’s. The brick and wooden-shingled Point Prim Lighthouse is the oldest around and there’s a great restaurant, Point Prim Chowder House, nearby. 

The twin-spired, Neo-Gothic St. Dunstan’s Basilica is the most prominent sight downtown, while the Confederation Landing park is perfect for a stroll nearby. Visit the Victorian Beaconsfield Historic House and grab lunch downtown at Slaymaker & Nichols Gastro House.

Make to North Cape by low tide to see the longest natural rock reef in North America resting on the ocean floor. Driving along Route 14 through the capes is unbelievably scenic and perfect for a sunny afternoon.

Landscaped, harbor-front Victoria Park and historic squares (Connaught, Rochford, Kings, and Hillsborough squares) are fantastic for a laid-back day of walking and exploring history. 

6. Churchill, Manitoba

Three people in their winter gears riding a traditional dog sled being pulled by a team of six huskies in Churchill, Manitoba, one of the best places to visit in Canada, on a freezing winter


Churchill, Manitoba is called the Polar Bear Capital and for good reason: The deceptively cuddly-looking bears are often found in its northerly tundra, making polar bear encounters and safaris possible in the fall season.

A hub for summertime beluga whale-watching, Churchill is where you can go to experience the wilds of Canada safely with guided expeditions and safari excursions in reinforced vehicles or on boats that bring you to pods of playful whales.

Fishing for Arctic char, sturgeon, and pike, adventure kayaking, and hiking trails are popular during the warmer summer months (low to upper 60s temperatures).  The hike to Prince of Wales Fort is scenic and starts with a zodiac boat ride over Churchill River to Sloop Cove.

Visit the Churchill Wildlife Management Area’s Polar Bear Alley with an armed guide for your best chance at seeing a polar bear in the wild, keeping an eye out for their matted grass “beds.”

You can see an actual polar bear jail — yes, really — where dangerous bears are kept before being transported to offshore islands by helicopter. Grab seafood, steaks, and pasta at Seaport Hotel near the Itsanitaq Museum to browse Inuit artifacts, artwork, and carvings.

While fall is for polar bears and summer’s for whale-watching, the winter months in Churchill reveal dazzling displays of the Northern Lights in the skies overhead on clear, cold nights. Book sledding, snowshoeing, and camping tours under the lights for a stunning experience. 

7. Eastern Townships, Quebec

Aerial view of Saint Benoit du Lac Abbey and a lush forest during foliage season at Eastern Townships, Quebec, photographed as a piece on the best places to visit in Canada

Richard Cavalleri/Shutterstock

Quebec’s Eastern Townships are a popular adventure destination that features incredible ski resorts, spas, restaurants, and charming villages called Coeurs villageois, or villages with heart, that feature vibrant little shops and eateries surrounded by beautiful scenery. 

There are four national parks in the Townships, so ready yourself to hike trails, ice fish, snowshoe, and snow tube through the beautiful, snowy terrain in Yamaska National Park, Frontenac, Mont-Orford, and Mont-Mégantic parks.

Skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, and snowmobiling are so much fun on the four ski resort mountains (Mont Orford, Mount Sutton, Owl’s Head, and Bromont) of the Eastern Townships during the cold, snowy winters. Go ice fishing on Lake Massawippi for a chilly challenge! 

In the summer, you can go paddle boarding, kayaking, rent dinghies, or play beach volleyball on the sand beach at Yamaska National Park. Check out 14 local cheese factories along the Têtes Fromagères circuit and stop at 20+ microbreweries to grab a drink. 

Take the famous tourism routes along the Townships Trail to explore 30+ villages and towns with character, from covered bridges and Victorian homes to museums and old churches you can tour.

Route des Sommets begins at Mont-Mégantic National Park and takes you to Mont Ham (1 hour away) with some of the best views of the mountains and alpine lakes. The Route des Vins takes you though an array of 22 vineyards and wineries, restaurants, and bike paths with 6 routes to drive. 

8. Fogo Island, Newfoundland and Labrador

A docked small white boat and red colored fishing stages in a fishing village at Fogo Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, one of the best places to visit in Canada


For epic scenery and adventure in a gorgeously rugged setting, head to the remote Fogo Island of Newfoundland and Labrador. It’s a large island that’s still wild in many areas, home to a range of wildlife and geological formations that make it a treat to visit in Canada.

It’s located in “Iceberg Alley,” where huge chunks of glistening ice break off from Greenland and bob around in the North Atlantic, coming to Fogo’s shores for a cool display between May and June. Watch for puffins, seals, and whales in the bay! 

Head off on scenic hiking trails, like the challenging Brimstone Head Trail in Brimstone Head RV Park for endless views over the ocean and Waterman’s Brook Trail (moderate difficulty) to see a waterfall thundering into Deep Bay. 

Every part of the island has museums and history to explore. Fogo’s Old School House and Bleak House Museum, Joe Batt’s Arm’s Brett House Museum, Seldom-Little Seldom’s Fogo Island Marine Interpretation Centre, and Tilting’s Lane House Museum are cool to check out. 

Winter is far from dead on the island, with snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and sledding to keep you busy along with ice fishing, ice hockey, and warm meals enjoyed at local restaurants and bars like the Cod Jigger Diner or Bangbelly.

Spring sees abundant shrimp and crab harvests from the shore along with iceberg arrivals, while summer is an explosion of colorful wildflowers, biking, fishing, and swimming at the warm Sandy Cove Beach in Tilting.

9. Lake Louise, Alberta

Clear water of the rocky Lake Louise, one of the best places to visit in Canada, surrounded Rocky Mountains on an Autumn view


Not far from Calgary (about an hour away) is Lake Louise in Banff National Park. Take a glimpse into the high-altitude forests and valleys in the Canadian Rockies surrounding this emerald lake.  

Get busy with hiking, skiing, hot springs, boating, or swimming while you’re hanging out on the shores of Lake Louise.

Ride the Banff Gondola up nearly 2,300 feet (698m) to incredible views with restaurants and coffee shops at the top, visit the Upper Hot Springs year-round, or go for a (short) swim in Two Jack Lake or the slightly-warmer Johnson Lake in summertime. 

Take a scenic day-long drive along the beautiful Icefields Parkway from Lake Louise to Jasper National Park to take in some of Canada’s best views. You can paddle down the Bow River with binoculars to look for grizzlies, moose, deer, and mountain goats along the way. 

Hiking trails are magnificent around the lake. Don’t miss the Tunnel Mountain Summit trail, the Lake Agnes Trail to an old tea house in the mountains, or the falls-and-canyons trek from Johnston Canyon to Ink Pots (colored mineral pools). 

Skiing, snowshoeing, and fat biking on the powdery snow are awesome winter activities to try in the wider park, with many of the sights here even more beautiful when draped in soft, white snow and glistening ice. 

Read Next: Best Time to Visit Banff National Park

10. Laurentian Mountains, Quebec

A lonely cabin with a parked car and bright colored trees on an Autumn season, reflection on the calm and clear lake at Laurentian Mountains, one of the best places to visit in Canada

San Hoyano/Shutterstock

The Laurentian Mountains run along the interior and rugged coastline from Quebec to Labrador, encompassing vibrant mountain villages, abundant ski resorts and parks, mighty rivers, and beautiful, dense forests along the way.

The Laurentians are one of our favorite places to visit in Canada as a whole for the variety of activities, towns, and landscapes you can see along the way. This is where the first North American ski lift was erected in the early 1930s, cementing the region’s status as one of Canada’s premier ski destinations.

You’ll find 12 world-class ski resorts in the Laurentians where you can hit beginner to double black diamond runs. Hiking trails wind through gorgeous mountain and valley terrain in parks like Parc du Domaine Vert, Oka National Park, and the Wentworth-Nord Trail Network. 

Art museums, like Musée d’Art Contemporain des Laurentides (Saint-Jerome) and Centre d’exposition de Val-David exhibition center (Val-David village), and the Musée du Ski des Laurentides ski museum (Saint-Sauveur) provide nice stops in between outdoor recreation. 

There are ample opportunities to eat, drink, and shop while you journey into the Laurentian region at “sugar shacks” that tap fresh maple syrup and serve pea soup, maple-baked ham, brunch favorites, and maple-flavored desserts.

You’ll also find modern, upscale eateries with full drink selections and chef tasting menus to try, especially around the popular ski resorts. 

11. Niagara Falls, Ontario

Aerial view of a red boat going towards the breathtaking Niagara Falls, Ontario, one of the best places to visit in Canada


Long famous as the Honeymoon Capital of the World and the largest North American falls in terms of width and volume, Niagara Falls (partially located in Ontario and New York) are easily one of the best places to visit in Canada.

The city of Niagara Falls, Ontario connects to the U.S. through the Rainbow Bridge. Come for the jaw-dropping views and thundering noise of Horseshoe Falls, Niagara’s largest.

Horseshoe Falls stands 167′ high and 2,700′ wide, creating one of the most stunning spectacles of nature Canada has to offer. The city of Niagara Falls overlooks the cascades and you can take elevators to the lower falls observation deck behind the falls for an up-close experience. 

Up in the Skylon Tower, you’ll have a bird’s eye view over the falls, including the two smaller falls on the American side. The Niagara Falls History Museum is an educational stop to learn more about how these falls provide amazement and power to surrounding communities. 

You can zip-line across the falls, take tours that include wine tastings and hydro-electric power station stops, hop on the Niagara Skywheel for great views, and check out the fun-filled Great Canadian Midway with rides, games, and food booths just a block away. 

12. Old Montreal, Quebec

Taken from the streetside of Cobblestone Street showing historic building of Old Montreal, Quebec, a piece on the best places to visit in Canada

ProDesign studio/Shuttertstock

Walkable and bike-able, the historic Old Montreal is a 17th-century section of Montreal with charming character, museums, galleries, shops, and old architecture to explore. It’s packed with restaurants, cafes, and bars that make it easy to enjoy a day or night on the “old town.” 

Cobblestone streets almost 400 years old lead past old cathedrals, like the cavernous Notre-Dame Basilica in Neo-Gothic style, and a Big Ben replica clock tower, Old Port Clock Tower, at the Montreal Science Center. 

Museums and galleries are excellent in the Old Quarter, from Pointe-à-Callière Museum with relics from the city’s past and Phi Centre’s artwork to Place Jacques-Cartier with its French gardens and interesting exhibits linking Montreal’s past to the modern day. 

Wander down any side street or alley to discover more about Old Montreal, from hole-in-the-wall cafes serving croissant sandwiches and coffees to French brasseries with fine cuisine in a cozy, upscale setting. 

Shopping is exquisite in Old Montreal, as it is in the modern sections of the city, with boutiques, big names, and pop-up shops setting up for you to browse and peruse during your visit. 

If you want the best views, the 60′ Grande Roue de Montreal Ferris wheel is the largest observation wheel in Canada and offers heated/cooled cabins, while the Old Port Clock Tower brings you almost 200 steps up for great views of the harbor and skyline.

Old Montreal

13. Quebec City, Quebec

Aerial view on one of the best places to visit in Canada during an Autumn season, Old Quebec City with its historic Frontenac Castle

R.M. Nunes/Shutterstock

Beautiful Quebec City overlooks the St. Lawrence River and Orleans Island as the capital of the Quebec province and Canada’s oldest city with many of North America’s oldest landmarks. From sightseeing and sidewalk cafes to lush parks and arched bridges, it feels like stepping into France. 

Its crown jewel is Fairmont Le Château Frontenac on Terasse Dufferin, an old hotel in Châteauesque style with steeply pitched roofs and towers. Check out the restaurants and bars inside for French food and afternoon tea with Canadian flair. 

Quartier Petit Champlain and Place Royale are nearby in Old Quebec’s lower town, showcasing 400 years of history in the main square with the cobblestone, restaurant- and shop-lined streets and Notre-Dame-des-Victoires church (the oldest stone church in North America).

See the Citadelle, an old military fort and museum, the stately National Assembly of Quebec parliament building, and stroll the bustling Grande-Allée street to see the famous Concorde Hotel and its rotating restaurant on the top floor. 

You can visit the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec modern arts museum housed in a former prison next. For shopping, hit Rue Saint-Jean and its array of boutiques and cafes, then see North America’s oldest hospital, now museum (Hotel-Dieu) and the beautiful Hôtel de Ville, or City Hall. 

Head to Ile d’Orléans, or Orleans Island, which you can reach from the ring road to find vast farmland, charming cottages, and Montmorency Falls (look for the frozen “sugarloaf” at the base in winter) if you’re up for day of adventure outdoors. 

14. Quetico Provincial Park, Ontario

Flourishing plants and thousands of Lily Pads at Crawford Lake in Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario, one of the best places to visit in Canada


Northwestern Ontario’s rugged Quetico Provincial Park makes a great place to visit if you enjoy spending time in the wilderness and want to escape the buzz of Canada’s cities in a secluded, natural area. There are no roads aside from Dawson trail — it’s a “water park” in the most literal sense. 

There are over 2,000 lakes within the park’s boundaries, making it a hotspot for days-long canoe camping trips with its vast waterways and world-class fishing. Waterfalls, steep cliffs, dense forests, and mighty rivers make it a joy to explore in full. 

As a certified Dark Sky Park, this is an iconic spot to view the night skies, Northern Lights, and constellations. You can rent a cabin or camp in campgrounds in some of the park’s most scenic areas, from sites with amenities to backcountry sites in the wilderness. 

Winter activities, like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, are great if you’ll be here in the colder months. In the warmer months, the park comes to life with lily pads, birds, wildflowers, and leafy vegetation on the lakes and rivers.

You can hike to trails reachable by water, from easy to challenging routes like the Pickerel Point Trail or the strenuous French Falls Trail with waterfall views. For a 4-14 day trip (or more), this is one of Canada’s coolest wilderness parks. 

15. Rideau Canal, Ontario

Two boats traversing the wide and famous Rideau Canal in Ontario, one of the best places to visit in Canada

Vlad G/Shutterstock

How could a canal be one of the best places to visit in Canada? For Rideau Canal, with its 185-year military and trade history, amazing views, stunning surrounding architecture, and annual seasonal transformation into an ice skating rink, it’s not hard. 

The canal connects Ontario’s Saint Lawrence River to the Ottawa River and boasts some amazing buildings, historic hotels and accommodations along its edges. There are 22 lock stations along the canal from its military defensive, commercial, and recreational history. 

As a National Historic Site, it’s one of Canada’s well-preserved gems and it’s incredibly fun to hop into a kayak or canoe and make your way down the canal. Explore the locks along the way and watch boats pass by while you enjoy a picnic.

A walking trail winds alongside the canal if you’d rather stay on land while you explore. Camp at a lock station or book one of the historic hotels on the canal for a little more luxury.

It’s possible that a winter visit could be even more enjoyable with the transformation into the Rideau Canal Skateway, thick with ice and bringing hundreds to come carve their skates into the frozen canal, despite the frigid temperatures.

16. Saskatoon, Sakatchewan

Panoramic view of Saskatoon Skyline and bridges going over the Saskatchewan River in an early morning, one of the best places to visit in Canada

EB Adventure Photography/Shutterstock

The Saskatchewan province’s largest city, Saskatoon, sits on the South Saskatchewan River and boasts lots of free outdoor recreation spots, thriving arts and culinary scenes, and bustling streets that make it a fun city to visit.

Start your trip with a walk along the river downtown to Remai Modern, where you’ll be able to see contemporary works and a Picasso gallery with a small cafe onsite. Nearby, the Living Skies Cafe is a locally-loved spot for coffee, sandwiches, and “breakfast poutine.” 

Broadway is a nice stretch of restaurants, shops, music and comedy venues, and galleries you can explore at your leisure afterward. Grabbing a locally-made pastry on your way to enjoy by the river is spectacular. 

Check out the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo to admire the gardens and small zoo (kids will love it) onsite. Entertainment is everywhere, from live music at bars and restaurants downtown to local stand-up acts at Prairie Comedy, The Comedy Pit, Full Metal Comedy, and more. 

Hike trails at Beaver Creek and see tons of chickadees singing in the trees, relax on the sandy beaches at Cranberry Flats, walk the riverside Meewasin Trail in Wanuskewin Heritage Park, and walk under the Circle Drive South Bridge to see an old 1920s tuberculosis sanatorium site.

With quirky spots like a cat cafe (The Purrfect Cup) and interesting museums covering Canada’s Cold War (Diefenbunker Museum) in a 4-level underground nuclear fallout shelter and bunker, there are so many things to see and do in Saskatoon. 

17. St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

Aerial view of beautiful nightlight of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, one of the best places to visit in Canada, reflected on calm waters

Henryk Sadura/Shutterstock

Possibly North America’s oldest English-founded city (officially settled in 1620), St. John’s is a hilly, coastal city on Newfoundland Island. Colorful homes line the harbor-front downtown district with lively shops, art galleries, music venues, and bars on George Street. 

Walk up the battle-tested Signal Hill (a National Historic Site) overlooking St. John’s Harbour alongside the stone Cabot Tower military fortress that offers amazing views. Descend down the hill on the challenging North Head Trail along the rugged coast. 

The underground Johnson Geo Centre is carved into the hill with exhibits that teach you all about the area’s history and geology, and with its unique exterior appearing to slope into the ground, you can’t miss it! 

The steep streets are reminiscent of Lisbon or San Francisco with a unique Canadian coastal flair and the smell of salt and seafood in the air. 

Known as the City of Legends, you’ll enjoy hanging out on George Street to eat, drink, and listen to live music, or explore the rich history from the Seven Years’ War, the War of 1812, and the American Revolutionary War by perusing the museums and galleries around the city. 

18. The Discovery Islands, British Columbia

A magnificent Orca breaching in Discovery Channel, British Columbia, one of the best places to visit in Canada, with a mountain backdrop

Nina B/Shutterstock

The Discovery Islands are a chain of 10 islands between British Columbia and Vancouver Island, offering warm temperatures, white sand beaches, wildlife, and incredible outdoor recreation options. It’s one of our favorite places to visit off the beaten path in Canada.

Cortes Island and Quadra Island are two of the most-visited, but still hidden gems by most accounts without big crowds like other popular islands in the area can see. You can reach Quadra by ferry (10-minute ride) from Campbell River and Cortes by ferry from Quadra. 

Cortes boasts a dry climate, white sand beaches, coastal white granite cliffs, and beautiful emerald waters with attractions like Smelt Bay Park (excellent beach), Manson’s Lagoon for gentle surf, and Cortes Bay to spend time kayaking, diving, fishing, biking, and hiking. 

Quadra has even more to explore with miles of biking and hiking trails, mountains in the northern region, the largest chain of lakes (Village Bay Lakes) in this part of Canada, the bustling Quathiaski Cove village to explore, and ample lakefront cabins with waters ideal for a paddle on a sunny day. 

Rent a boat or kayak to paddle or putter around Rebecca Spit on Quadra, then dive the spot to see amazing marine life. Spot wildlife and birds as you take in the scenic coastal views of this almost-Caribbean paradise and walk wild hiking trails through shady forests and along the cliff-ridden coast. 

There’s a cultural Kwagiulth Museum filled with native artwork and relics to check out on Quadra, numerous art galleries to browse, and warm-weather festivals and events that take place, from May Day celebrations to art studio tours and music festivals. 

19. Tofino, British Columbia

Aerial view of Tofino Downtown and a mountain skyline, in British Columbia, one of the best places to visit in Canada

Russ Heinl/Shutterstock

Tofino is a quiet, secluded town on Vancouver Island and is a beautiful place to escape into the coastal wilderness, surrounded by beaches, lakes, rainforest, and national reserves teeming with wildlife, trees, and plants. 

It’s a surfer hotspot thanks to the reliable swells on South Chesterman Beach, Long Beach, and Cox Bay. Chesterman Beach has incredibly cool tidal pools on its northern end to examine for anemones and sea stars!

You’ll see woodcarvers hard at work at the Carving Shed near the Wickaninnish Inn. At low tide, cross the sand bridge that magically appears as a bridge over to Frank Island, where you’ll find some of the best mountain views and another beach to explore. 

Rainforest hikes along rugged trails and well-worn paths in the wilderness and kayaking trips around the inlets can lend an air of discovery to your trip to Tofino. You’ll spot seals, cougars, deer, bears, wolves, otters, eagles, and whales (just keep binoculars handy). 

Art in its many forms is celebrated in Tofino, with works popping up in unexpected places and galleries around the town. The Tofino Market (May-October) features local works, from paintings to jewelry, seasonally and is worth checking out. 

20. Vancouver, British Columbia

Illuminated Vancouver City skyline and a bridge at dusk reflected on calm waters, one of the best places to visit in Canada

R.M. Nunes/Shutterstock

Vancouver is a coastal seaport city ringed by mountains and if you’re looking for a metropolitan buzz, this is where you’ll find it. From ethnic cuisine and craft breweries to museums and galleries, Vancouver is always on the cutting edge and so much fun to visit. 

Downtown Vancouver’s Granville Street is where you’ll find the best bars and clubs with live music at night (check out the Commodore Ballroom). Shops and restaurants line the street for daytime outings, and you can watch cruise ships leave from Canada Place. 

You’ll enjoy a stroll or bike ride (rent one easily) around the seawall at the famous Stanley Park, where locals walk, jog, and ride through the landscaped downtown park and its monuments, landmarks (like Beaver Lake and Lost Lagoon), and carved totem poles. 

There are an abundance of ethnic restaurants around to satisfy any craving, from noodles at Kintarou Ramen to Korean BBQ and dim su houses. Classic Canadian poutine at La Belle Patate is unbeatable, while locals drink and eat at the Wicklow Pub.

Check out the Vancouver Art Gallery for local artwork, the Museum of Anthropology and its growing First Nations exhibits, and the domed Queen Elizabeth Park Conservatory with lush, tropical plants and gardens. 

You’ll find tons of craft breweries around East Vancouver, while West Vancouver is home to Lighthouse Park with great hiking trails and a charming lighthouse at a scenic viewpoint.

21. Winnipeg, Manitoba

Overhead view of the city lights at Winnipeg, Manitoba, one of the best places to visit in Canada

Henryk Sadura/Shutterstock

If you threw a dart at the center of Canada near the U.S. border, you might hit Winnipeg, the capital of the Manitoba province. Winnipeg is a cultural hub that puts a big focus on art, history, and gastronomy, making it an awesome city to explore as a tourist. 

Green spaces are all around the city, with parks, gardens, and green districts filled with tree-lined streets always bustling with life, activity, and events year-round.

The Forks, the center of the city, has a great collection of eateries and shops to browse and sample Winnipeg’s flavors (fish and chips, donuts, you name it). 

Nearby is the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and the city’s Aviation Museum might strike your interest if you’re into all things flight. Head to the Exchange District near downtown to tour art galleries and check out cool architecture styles.

The Winnipeg Art Gallery has a cool collection of Inuit sculptures, an onsite cafe, and always hosts events. Assiniboine Park & Zoo can easily command an entire day of your stay with a full zoo, indoor botanical gardens, a theater, and a restaurant and cafe onsite.

Hang out on the soft, sandy shores of popular Grand Beach (crowded in the summer) or book a boat cruise to see how Canada can feel almost tropical during the warmer months of the year. 

22. Whistler, British Columbia

A man with a walking stick standing on a drift wood facing the crystal clear Garibaldi Lake, one of the best places to visit in Canada, near Whistler, British Columbia

Photo Volcano/Shuttertstock

Sitting about an hour and 45 minutes north of Vancouver, Whistler is an outdoor adventure destination that’s especially popular in the winter for skiing. But it’s also buzzing in the warmer months with hiking, swimming, water sports, and biking to enjoy! 

The village of Whistler sits at the base of Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain and charming is the only way to describe it. Pedestrian-only, lined with wooden chalets that have steep-pitched roofs, and bustling with markets, shops, and local eateries, it’s a cool spot to explore. 

Check out places like Hunter Gather for pub grub, BBQ, and beer, Pizzeria Antico for locally-loved pizza and craft beer. The French-fusion Red Door Bistro is the fine dining spot (make reservations) to make a beeline for. 

Whistler Blackcomb is the dominating presence here, a famously huge ski resort with over 3,400 acres of skiable terrain with beginner, moderate, and challenging runs to offer something for everyone.

Take the PEAK 2 PEAK glass-bottom gondola up the mountain to see Whistler village from the air, try the Umbrella Bar, and access great hiking trails on both mountains. 

Snowboarding, snowshoeing, bobsledding, and ski jumping are other activities to try in the winter at Olympic Park (site of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics). 

Lakes around Whistler, like Alta Lake and its Lakeside Park, are the places to be in the summer months. Food trucks set up, people are swimming, boating, and kayaking on the water, and the vibes are carefree and fun!  

23. Yukon

Aerial view of the calm and clear waters of Emerald Lake and an icy peak mountain at the Yukon Territory, one of the best places to visit in Canada

Joan Vadell/Shutterstock

Looking for rugged wilderness in a secluded setting? Head to the Yukon, Canada’s northwestern territory with very few people around, but tons of wildlife and a lot of natural beauty to offer. 

Ivvavik National Park, one of Canada’s most remote, is home to hundreds of caribou, icy glacial lakes, and adventures like rafting on the Firth River, backcountry camping, and rugged trails through mountains, plains, and river valleys. 

The territory is home to Canada’s highest mountain, Mount Logan, and jagged peaks make up the “skyline” in this wild and wondrous zone. Visit Kluane National Park and Reserve to see the mountain, passing glaciers, wildlife, and lakes on hiking trails like King’s Throne. 

For a historic twist, head out to see the 1920s-30s sternwheeler steamboats at SS Klondike National Historic Site in Whitehorse. Camp out somewhere with a clear view of the skies above to glimpse the Northern Lights dancing in Whitehorse. 

From Wildhorse, you can visit the Yukon Wildlife Preserve just 30 minutes away to explore on foot or by bus with a guided tour. You’ll see tons of wildlife out here, from moose and elk to caribou and lynx, and immerse yourself in the serenity of the open acreage. 

Things to Consider When Visiting Canada

Neat view of the downtown skyline in Toronto, one of the best places to visit in Canada

Diego Grandi/Shutterstock

Checking out Canada’s best destinations is a lot more fun when you arrive with some travel tips in mind. Here’s what you should consider before you start planning your trip! 

  • Don’t spread yourself too thin. Canada’s size means you’ll have to pinpoint a few places to visit unless you’re able to spend a longer period of time touring the country as a whole. Use this list to determine a province, city, or national park that seems to align with your travel interests and length of your visit. Don’t try to spread yourself too thin! 
  • Consider the season of your visit. While it’s easy to imagine Canada as a massive tundra, that’s not the case and seasonal weather changes can make the difference between visiting an ice-and-snow-covered landscape or a mild, warm visit in the 60s and 70s with occasional rainy days. Check the forecast or climate averages for the month you’re visiting to know what to expect and pack accordingly. 
  • Know the travel requirements. If you’re visiting Canada as a U.S. citizen, you’ll only need a passport to enter. Citizens of other countries may need a visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) for entry with a limited length of stay, so don’t let this important detail slide!

Best Places to Visit in Canada: Final Thoughts

Illuminated Toronto City skyline reflected on the Lake Ontario at dusk, one of the best places to visit in Canada


The best places to visit in Canada range from some of the country’s most populous, buzzing cities to seldom-visited wilderness parks and islands that offer a delightful taste of seclusion, privacy, and the peace of nature. 

Since Canada’s provinces and landscapes are so diverse, there’s something here to satisfy every type of traveler when you know the best destinations in the country.

Whether you’re ready to take Calgary by the horns at the annual Stampede rodeo or can’t wait to hit the beaches, hike, and kayak around the Discovery Islands, your trip to Canada’s most impressive spots is sure to become one of your favorite travel memories.