With a country so vast and diverse, Canada boasts many bucket list destinations. The world’s second largest nation, it covers 3.8 million square miles across three territories and 10 provinces. As there is so much to see and do, this Canada trip planner will reveal the places you need to knock off that list first.
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
The largest island off North America’s west coast offers a wealth of things to see and do, from B.C.’s beautiful capital of Victoria with its world-renowned gardens to opportunities for outdoor adventure and abundant wildlife. Here you’ll have the chance to spot everything from humpback, gray and orca whales to black bears and bald eagles, all against a backdrop of soaring mountains, lush rainforest and driftwood-strewn beaches.
Banff National Park, Alberta
Canada’s oldest national park is what many people envision when picturing this country, it’s filled with jewel-colored lakes, glaciers, dramatic mountains and hot springs. Glacially-fed Moraine Lake is just one of its highlights, especially in early summer when water levels rise, creating a striking shade of blue that makes it look surreal. Enjoy whitewater rafting on the Kicking Horse River, hiking, caving, mountain biking, climbing, zip line rides and even sky diving over the Rockies.
Niagara Falls, Ontario
One of the world’s great wonders is said to be even more breathtaking on the Canadian side. Horseshoe falls, one of the three waterfalls that make up Niagara Falls, can be viewed from a variety of perspectives. Feel their mist by taking a boat tour, view them by air via helicopter tour, or explore the hydroelectric tunnels, doing beyond the falls before heading to the observation deck where you can feel the roaring sensation that’s only steps away.
Churchill is famous as one of the world’s top spots for viewing unique wildlife, including polar bears. This town on Hudson Bay is renowned for its bears which inhabit the area from late summer through fall. This is one of the few settlements on Earth where people can have close encounters with these incredible creatures from the comfort of their hotel or a tundra vehicle.
The gateway to the Côte-Nord region, located at the junction of the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and Charlevoix, Tadoussac village is not only one of the province’s most beautiful, but it’s famous worldwide for whale watching. From May through October as many as 13 species can be found in the saltwater of the St. Lawrence, including blue whales. Beluga whales inhabit the area all year-round, though peak viewing time is during the summer months. At some places you may even be able to see them from shore.
Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
The Cabot Trail is known as one of the world’s most scenic drives. A185-mile-long route, it completes a loop around the northern tip of Cape Breton Island, meandering along seaside cliffs while immersing travelers in vibrant Celtic and Acadian cultures. Along the way, you’re likely to spot animals like puffins, bald eagles, dolphins or whales.
Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland
A gem for hikers and wildlife enthusiasts alike, this park on the west side of Newfoundland in the Long Range Mountains might make you think you’ve landed in Norway with its stunning freshwater fjords. It also hosts pretty seaside villages, beaches, lighthouses and towering mountains. One of the highlights is the rare chance to walk on the Earth’s mantle, forced from the depths several hundred million years ago during a plate collision.