From elegant metropolitan capitals to beautiful mountains and marine communities, Canada offers vacationers a wide range of experiences.
The greatest destinations may depend on your preferences and the type of vacation you want. Check out some of the best places to visit in Canada that you should put on your bucket list.
The 23 Best Places to Visit in Canada
Discovering the gorgeous spots, diverse culture, and rich history of Canada is a great experience. Only a few places can compare to Canada in terms of natural marvels.
Each province in Canada has its own set of charms. Canada has it all, from breathtaking scenic beauty like the incredible Rocky Mountains to intriguing cosmopolitan areas like Toronto, and it provides a wide range of opportunities for travelers.
To make your quest a little simpler, we’ve compiled a list of the best places to visit in Canada. These locations are all must-sees for anybody interested in seeing what this beautiful nation has to offer.
1. Baffin Island, Nunavut
Baffin Island is home to cloud-scraping peaks. Auyuittuq National Park, which translates to “land that never melts,” is the island’s crown treasure, with glaciers, fjords, and sheer cliffs dotting the eastern horizon.
Devout climbers and hikers, as well as a few polar bears, flock to the area. Baffin is also a hotbed for Inuit art, with studios dedicated to high-end carving, printing, and weaving springing up in several small towns.
2. Bay of Fundy, Eastern Canada
The tidal range in this paradise is approximately 50 feet, which is five times greater than the Atlantic’s average height. The Bay of Fundy moves over 150 billion tons of water twice a day, which is sufficient to fill the Grand Canyon.
Rafting, kayaking, and whale watching are some of the fun activities at the Bay of Fundy. You can also walk down the ocean floor at low tide to observe Hopewell Rocks, which are naturally worn crags formed like keyholes and arches.
By high tide, the waters swallow everything, except for the column tops, which are capped with dense foliage.
3. Calgary, Alberta
The biggest city in Alberta, Calgary is nestled between the Canadian Rockies’ foothills and the Canadian Prairies.
Calgary grew into one of Canada’s greatest urban regions when oil was found nearby in the early 1900s, luring millions of visitors annually to its world-renowned rodeo event, the Calgary Stampede.
A considerable number of buildings in Calgary have observation decks with spectacular views of the beautiful city and mountains.
The Bow and Calgary Tower are among the most well-known. Amusement parks, a world-class zoo, science centers, and botanical gardens are among the many attractions for the whole family.
4. Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
Cape Breton Island, situated in north-eastern Nova Scotia, was previously its own sovereign colony until being compelled to unite in 1820.
It is the only spot in North America where you may hear Gaelic spoken, with a variety of traditional Scottish music festivals on offer, as it attracted hundreds of Scottish expatriates in the early nineteenth century.
A substantial French population coexists with the Scots in Cape Breton, with the eighteenth-century Fortress of Louisburg serving as a significant feature. The charming combination of social traditions is enhanced by an interesting Mi’kmaq population.
5. Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Charlottetown is a beachfront town with plenty of things to do on the east coast of Canada. It’s sandwiched between Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland.
Visit the biggest music event in the Maritimes, the Cavendish Beach Music Festival, stroll around Prince Edward Island National Park or take a history-rich tour while staying in Charlottetown.
6. Churchill, Manitoba
Churchill, a tiny and remote village, is a top destination for bird watching, fishing, and snorkeling in the summer. However, the place is covered with a blanket of snow during the winter. In fact, it’s one of the few locations in the world where people and polar bears often interact.
As you would assume, the only way to see polar bears safely is through guided tours. The Canadian Sky has several fantastic packages to make the most of your visit. The greatest month to see them is November.
With a weight of up to 600 kg and heights of up to 10 ft, it’s easy to understand why these gorgeous beasts draw so much attention and deserve much respect. Unfortunately, they are already endangered.
7. Eastern Townships, Quebec
Eastern Townships is a year-round attraction. Ice Fishing on Lake Massawippi, skiing at Mont Orford, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing are all available across the area throughout the winter.
Vignoble de La Bauge’s sweet dessert wine pairs very well with the wild boar meal. Book in advance to schedule a two-hour tour of the exclusive Chapelle Ste.
Agnes estate, which is noted for its artistic, medieval cellars, award-winning ice wines, and Romanesque stone church. The 100-mile Summit Trail, which focuses on the region’s stunning features, connects to picturesque sites, parks, and treks.
8. Fogo Island, Newfoundland and Labrador
Fogo Island is definitely one of the best places to visit in Canada. Newfoundland and Labrador’s biggest offshore island, with a strong nautical history, is a lovely world of brilliant clapboard cottages, sea-cliff walkways, lush woodland, and genuine hospitality set against a magnificent shoreline.
Fogo Island is accessible all year. However, the non-winter months are preferable. Fogo Island’s eleven communities are scattered around the rugged shore and are best visited in Atlantic sunshine.
The nearest commercial airport is Gander. The majority of tourists hire a vehicle in St. John’s and head to Farewell for a 50-minute boat ride to Fogo Island. The boats operate every day but check beforehand since trips may be canceled due to repairs.
9. Lake Louise, Alberta
There’s also fantastic biking, kayaking, and hiking to appreciate the splendor of the natural environment.You may come to Lake Louise for a summer visit or a winter holiday.
Black bears, wild grizzly bears, mountain goats, cougars, elk, lynx, bighorn sheep, moose, and whitetail deer are some of the animals you could see while staying in the region.
A trip on the Lake Louise Gondola is a great chance to see animals from afar while taking in the breathtaking Rocky Mountain scenery. Take the Evening Wildlife Safari for a more adventurous and up-close encounter, with magnificent sunset views over the mountains.
Read Next: Best Time to Visit Banff National Park
10. Laurentian Mountains, Quebec
In 1931, the Laurentians put up the first ski lift in North America. By the 1930s, snow trains had lured countless Montreal skiers to the mountains. These majestic mountains have been a four-season playground in Montreal ever since.
The area has been remodeled to accommodate visitors, and it is packed with land and a plethora of activities, including water sports.
Although the mountains are not very tall and the valleys are not particularly deep, the area remains unspoiled and unique due to its proximity to the big cities.
11. Niagara Falls, Ontario
It’s easy to see why many people regard Niagara Falls to be a top destination in the world or why, throughout the years, it has been the site of some remarkable daring stunts.
Your jaw will drop when you witness the massive Niagara River roaring toward an over 180-foot waterfall at 20-30 mph. The flow rate at which the river descends generates a thick fog and an audible roar that you can hear even when you’re miles away.
Crowds go to the rails at the top to feel the misty fog. Niagara Falls has evolved from a traditional to a cheesy honeymoon destination. Now, it’s a strange blend of the two.
There are many hotels and wedding chapels nearby and beautiful waterfalls. So, experience a magnificent journey to the breathtaking Niagara Falls with your special someone or the whole family.
12. Old Montreal, Quebec
Old Montreal offers so many activities and sights to see that it might be difficult for visitors to decide which direction to go. It’s genuinely a crowd-pleaser with cobblestone lanes rich in history and Europen flair.
Walk along lovely St. Paul Street, one of Montreal’s most coveted stretches of cobblestones. It’s one of Montreal’s oldest streets, with the first cobblestones going back to 1672, and it functioned as the city’s primary roadway for several years.
Along with Place Jacques Cartier, there seem to be overflowing shops for tourists on both sides of the street. However, if you explore a little further, you can find high-end restaurants, sophisticated coffee shops, and peaceful green squares.
There’s the lovely Notre Dame du Bonsecours Chapel on the eastern end. Keep an eye out for horse carriages because you’ll undoubtedly pass one on your way.
13. Quebec City, Quebec
The smell of freshly baked goodies and pungent cheese, buttery croissants, creamy lattes, and the sight of towering churches and meandering cobblestone streets make you think you’re in France.
However, you’re only in the beautiful city of Quebec, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. For a long time, the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec was overshadowed by the neighboring city of Montreal.
However, in 2008, the 400th-anniversary celebrations pushed Quebec City back into the limelight. Since then, visitors have come here to experience the allure of this top-notch destination for themselves.
Being the birthplace of New France, Quebec City strives to keep its motherland’s culture. Passing inside the old city walls, you can find a scene right out of European art, with restaurants, bakeries, and shops housed in the buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries.
The cobblestone squares also drown in a sea of coffee tables. And there’s a piece of Quebec’s diverse history around every corner.
14. Quetico Provincial Park, Ontario
When in Quetico Provincial Park, you can measure time in the beats of the beautiful boreal forest in Canada’s canoeing capital. It’s only you, your canoe or kayak, or anything you can bring since there are no mobile towers, cars, motorboats, restaurants, or resorts.
The months of June and July are ideal for fishing, but they are also peak mosquito and black fly season. The hottest and most popular months are July and August, still.
Before going to the park, make sure you have numerous alternatives for lighting a fire, a sharp ax for chopping wood, barbless hooks, bags to pack your things, and other necessary camping gear.
15. Rideau Canal, Ontario
Rideau Canal is a 185-year-old and 200-kilometer-long waterway, linking Ottawa and Kingston through 47 locks. It’s made up of rivers, lakes, and canals.
It is at its best during winter when the area transforms into the biggest skating rink in the world.
People glide past on the freshly polished ice, there is even a place to stop for hot chocolate and beavertails which are a local delicacy that’s essentially fried dough.
16. Saskatoon, Sakatchewan
Saskatoon in Canada is nicknamed Paris of the Prairies because of the eight bridges that span the South Saskatchewan River.
Enjoy farm-to-table dining and discover the rich history of Wanuskwein Park, kayak along the river, go dog sledding, watch a football or hockey game, swim in Manitou Lake, or visit the LB distillery while you’re at Saskatoon.
17. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
St. John’s is the ideal blend of a small-town allure and big-city elegance. It’s one of North America’s oldest cities, and it has evolved into a unique destination with character, personality, and a stylish edge.
St. John has been a destination for European adventurers, explorers, pirates, and warriors for over five centuries. This provincial capital is a cultural and economic hub of Labrador and Newfoundland.
It was discovered in 1497 by John Cabot and was subsequently claimed by Humphrey Gilbert as the British Empire’s first permanent colony in North America. St. John has a long and colorful history, attracting many visitors worldwide.
18. The Discovery Islands, British Columbia
Meet the greatest kept secret in British Columbia. This wild group of 10 islands, nestled between Vancouver and the mainland and inaccessible by vehicle or foot, begs to be visited by kayak.
The Discovery Islands are protected from the rains, mist, and fog that plague British Columbia’s coast. Summer brings sunlight and mild breezes, as well as outdoor activities like kayaking, salmon fishing, orca viewing, hiking, and scuba diving.
19. Tofino, British Columbia
Reaching Tofino means coming to the end of the road. In Tofino, there are no big shops, fast food chains, and even shopping centers. It has the impression of a little resort town, with approximately 2,000 people.
Beautiful beaches, whale watching, hiking, kayaking, fishing, and hot springs attract visitors worldwide. Tofino is located inside the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve, spanning around 350,000 acres.
Birds, salmon, sea lions, and whales migrate through this region annually, traveling north during spring and south during summer and autumn. Tofino is well-recognized as a surfing spot, despite the large quantity of wilderness around it.
In fact, it was rated as North America’s most fantastic surf town by Outside Magazine Editor’s Choice last 2010. Since then, nothing much has changed. A large portion of the west coast population enjoys regular beach visits.
20. Vancouver, British Columbia
Who can disagree with Vancouver consistently ranking towards the top of “greatest cities in the world” lists? The laid-back, cocktail-loving town is surrounded by sea-to-sky magnificence.
It’s a perfect combination of city and environment, with ski areas on the outskirts, beach resorts around the center, and Stanley Park’s dense rainforest only steps from downtown’s skyscrapers.
It also combines Hollywood glamour, a carefree rebellious flavor, and vibrant ethnic populations.
21. Winnipeg, Manitoba
Winnipeg is located in the centermost part of Canada. This Manitoba capital is the most populated center and among the top tourist destinations. Named after Winnie the Pooh, it’s a cultural and artistic hub on the prairies.
Some of the must-see places in Winnipeg are the quirky districts such as Exchange District and Osborne Village, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the Royal Canadian Mint, and the historic Forks junction.
It’s recommended to take a day trip from Winnipeg to some of the favorite spots, such as Gimli, Riding Mountain National Park, and Hecla/Grindstone Provincial Park.
22. Whistler, British Columbia
A trip to Whistler fits every season, with snow-capped mountain peaks, glittering lakes, powdery steeps, challenging trails, spectacular waterfalls, and cozy restaurants. However, Whistler Blackcomb is still the most popular destination, and here’s why:
The huge resort covers over 8,000 acres of land and receives about 40 feet of snow each year. It also has some of North America’s most lively après-ski places.
Approximately 75 miles from Vancouver, the whole town has a ski-chic vibe, with many ski and snowboard events held each year. During summer, when more thrill-seekers go out to play, Whistler continues to boom.
People go mountain trekking, biking, or bobsledding. Those who visit Whistler searching for photo ops will never be disappointed. The Coast Mountains provide a picturesque backdrop, with the most incredible views from the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola.
Yukon is Canada’s smallest and furthest western territory. It also has the second least population in Canada. One of the most spectacular natural occurrences is seeing the Northern Lights.
The Yukon Territory’s Whitehorse might be the best location for it. Because the evenings aren’t dark enough throughout the summer, you have the best chances from September to April.
If you’re looking for peace and want to live in the middle of nowhere with no human contact, Yukon is the place to be.
Things to Consider When Visiting Canada
Are you planning your next trip to Canada soon? With lively cities and breathtaking national parks, who wouldn’t want to see all Canada offers? So, before planning your vacation to Canada, here are some of the few things you should know:
- The country is enormous. Canada is the world’s second-largest nation next to Russia. If you only have a short window, it’s best to concentrate on one or two provinces and experience what these places have to offer.
- Be prepared for the weather. Despite popular belief, Canada’s weather isn’t constantly freezing cold, and most of the country endures scorching summers. The weather and temperature patterns change dramatically, dictating the optimum time to visit the country.
- Know the travel requirements and exemptions. Travelers visiting Canada, except U.S. citizens, need to get a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) before departure. Upon admission, all adult tourists must provide a passport.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about traveling to Canada:
Is it safe to visit Canada?
Although Canada is usually safe, there are some risky areas. Every big city in Canada has a few “bad” districts, and these areas are often tourist sites. However, visitors who exude confidence while exercising caution should have nothing to worry about.
When should I visit Canada?
Because Canada is so large and diverse, there isn’t a wrong time of year to visit. Depending on what you want to see, you should plan your vacation around that month. The most popular months to visit Canada are the summer months of July and August.
What’s the best way to get around Canada?
Hiring a car is the best choice to go from coast to coast. Most provinces allow travelers to drive using their own driver’s license for three months.
What to eat in Canada?
Hundreds of unique foods and distinct cultures may be found in Canada. Butter tarts, poutine, Montreal smoked meat, ketchup chips, salmon, and Nanaimo bars are among the most popular dishes in Canada that you shouldn’t miss.
What language is spoken in Canada?
Canada has two official languages. Although most Canadians use English as their primary language, over 20 percent of the population speaks French – the country’s second official language. Since Canada is such a multicultural nation, there are varying proficiency levels in these languages.
Best Places to Visit in Canada: Final Thoughts
Now you know the best places to visit in Canada. So, which of these Canadian destinations do you want to see on your next trip?
Hesitate no more. Pack your bags and plan your trip to Canada to see each of the greatest locations mentioned above. Don’t forget to share this awesome list with your family and friends.