By: Michelle Johannesson
Oh, Canada! Home to magnificent rocky mountains, dense old-growth forests, and excellent seafood cuisine, Canada invites travellers to discover its natural beauty in the comfort of a wide range of world-class amenities. Glistening emerald lakes, thrilling ski slopes, and enchanting camp sites are just a few of the charming treasures that adventurers can find in the land of the true North. If you love natural beauty, rich culture, and delicious food, add these top 25 Canadian travel destinations to your 2017 travel list!
A true Canadian jewel, there is no place quite like Jasper, Alberta. Venture into the beauty of it all at Jasper National Park, where you will be greeted by views of a lush green treeline, snowy mountain peaks and glistening glacier-fed lakes. Cozy up in a quaint cabin in the woods or lay out beneath the stars and gaze up at magical lunar sights. Jasper National Park is home to magnificent wildlife species including elk, caribou and the golden eagle. During the winter months, Jasper transforms into a picturesque winter wonderland! Cozy up with a warm drink by a fire at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge or take a thrilling ride down the slopes of Marmot Basin. With so much to do and see, Jasper is the perfect adventure destination all year round!
A destination like no other, Manitoba offers travellers a one-of-a-kind experience. Ride a train Northward and watch the landscape dramatically shift from prairie lands to boreal forest to tundra! Take a trip to the town of Churchill, nick-named “polar bear capital of the world,” where you will have the opportunity to witness majestic polar bears roam just meters away. Manitoba also offers spectacular views of the Northern Lights, a truly luminous and unforgettable phenomenon. Whether you’re travelling in the heat of summer or in the freeze of winter, Manitoba never fails to offer a breathtaking travel experience.
Vernon (Okanagan Region), British Columbia
The Okanagan region is a gorgeous B.C treasure. Offering a breadth of recreational diversity, visitors can play 18 holes of golf and shred the ski slopes in the same day. Easy to get to but hard to forget, the Okanagan region is best known for its international award-winning wines, which can be sampled by tourists on various winery tours.
Hidden in the Okanagan region, burrowed within the Monashee Mountains, travellers will find the charming town of Vernon. Offering quaint small-town style and big city accommodations, Vernon always offers visitors a lovely stay. Vernon is best known for its abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables and artisan foods and wines. Adrenaline junkies will also fall in-love with Vernon’s hiking and zip-lining trails, which offer a unique view of the stunning landscape!
Whistler, British Columbia
Experience the magic of the beautiful and iconic Whistler, B.C! Mighty mountains, 300 year-old cedars, sparkling lakes and a lively pedestrian-only village position Whistler as a fantastic summer or winter destination! Relax and dine al fresco on a sunny patio, or go to new heights on the world record-breaking Peak 2 Peak gondola! Be sure to bring your camera because Whistler offers one-of-a-kind alpine sights over ancient and rugged landscapes. With amazing hiking and opportunities for adventure seeking, Whistler is so much more than a ski destination! Come discover the beauty of this magnificent British Columbia gem.
Canmore Kananaskis, Alberta
Want to explore western Canada like never before? Canmore Kananaskis invites you to discover its beauty through a wide range of outdoor activities! Hike along trails that offer breathtaking views of the Canadian Rockies or take a helicopter tour to see aerial views of glaciers and waterfalls. Boasting numerous top-rated golf courses, Canmore Kananaskis offers visitors lots to see and do. This cherished Alberta destination also offers many exciting festivals and events, including wine nights and karaoke parties. With a selection of accommodations featuring cozy lodges and 5-star hotels, Canmore Kananaskis invites visitors to experience Canada’s western beauty in so many ways!
Newfoundland & Labrador
On the most Easterly coast of Canada, travellers can discover a truly unique and beautiful travel destination. The province of Newfoundland and Labrador is brimming with wildlife, encompassing 18 wilderness and ecological reserves! Sprawling alongside the Atlantic ocean, Newfoundland and Labrador boasts amazing photo opportunities to travellers hoping to capture images of dramatic coastlines and wild flocks of seabirds in flight. Ancient rock formations, rich botanical gardens, lush boreal forests and magnificent mountain ranges beckon travellers to get lost in the glorious landscape of Canada’s East coast. Slow down, unplug and let yourself fall into sync with the easy and cheerful rhythm of the maritime lifestyle.
Moncton, New Brunswick
Venture to the centre of the Maritimes and discover Moncton, New Brunswick! Rich with lively culture and vibrant festivals, it’s easy to fall in-love with this charming city. Moncton is home to beautiful maritime plants and wildlife and it offers many exciting recreational activities! Nature lovers will be thrilled to participate in an aerial obstacle course or take a flight through the trees. For those who love to shop, Moncton offers the largest shopping centre in the Maritimes! If you’re planning a family vacation, Moncton’s Magic Mountain water park will be sure to add an exciting splash to your travel plans. With culinary options like quaint cafes and elegant seafood fine dining, Moncton truly has it all.
Think Temagami for your next summer wilderness adventure! Offering a true taste of Ontario’s Northland, Temagami boasts deep crystal waters, old growth pine forests and vast stretches of untouched wilderness. Hikers and bird watchers can enjoy spending time in the 3 picturesque national parks encompassed within this region. Grab a camera and venture into Temagami’s untouched wilderness, which includes old growth forests that sprawl over 8000 sq. km. Within these areas of dense vegetation, adventurers can discover old red and white pine trees, including trees that have been standing for over 250 years. Grab a tent, or book a cabin in the woods and get lost in this lush and beautiful Canadian oasis.
Stratford, Ontario is the perfect place to slowdown, relax, and soak in the energy of a community rich in culture and history. Considered Ontario’s top heritage town, Stratford offers world-class theatre, charming boutiques, and fine dining! Lose track of time as you take a stroll along Stratford’s Victorian streets or get lost in the beauty of the city’s well-kept botanical gardens. Visitors can familiarize themselves with Stratford during a hosted walking tour or during a craft beer tasting tour through “haunted pubs.” Stratford is best known for its theatre scene, namely the Stratford Festival. Starting in April and running up until October, this state-of-the-art festival attracts drama fans from near and far. Come discover this vibrant corner of southwestern Ontario, rich with fantastic entertainment and delicious cuisine.
Collingwood is a fantastic summer or winter getaway! Winter months bring exciting events to Collingwood like the Frozen In Time Festival and the Winter Wonderland Village. Explore ice carving demonstrations, light shows, performances and games perfect for the whole family! Situated in the centre of Ontario’s playground, there is always lots to do in charming Collingwood. In the summer months, visitors can leisurely stroll through the village and enjoy spas, galleries, bars, live music venues, and trendy clothing stores. With the gorgeous Niagara escarpment to the West and the sparkling waters of Georgian Bay running along the horizon, Collingwood welcomes visitors to experience a multitude of invigorating outdoor activities. Hearty farmers’ markets, intriguing heritage buildings and an excellent arts and culture scene are just a few of the reasons why Collingwood is a travel favourite for seekers of adventure and weekend tranquility alike.
Simcoe County, Ontario
Between Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe, just a short jaunt from Toronto, travellers will find Simcoe County. A true four-season destination, Simcoe County offers some of Ontario’s best fishing, boating, and skiing. In the warmer months, visitors can swim in the largest fresh water beach in the world or adventure through one of the 7 provincial parks in the area. Scenic county-wide trails provide the perfect pathways for nature enthusiasts to visit heritage sights, outdoor attractions, and gorgeous views of Georgian Bay. In the winter months, Simcoe County becomes reminiscent of a fairytale ‘winter wonderland!’ Offering fantastic down-hill and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and skating trails along the shore of Georgian Bay, Simcoe County is equipped with all of the attractions necessary for the ultimate winter getaway. You won’t want to miss a visit to Ontario’s beautiful outdoor playground!
Windsor Essex Pelee Island, Ontario
Ontario’s tourism region of Windsor Essex Pelee Island provides truly authentic and diverse travel experiences. An area rich in outdoor adventure, visitors can explore hiking and biking trails or wind through twisting motorcycle routes! 370 species of rare and migratory birds are waiting to be explored by nature watchers, while champion golf courses beckon golf fans to play the fairway. An area dense in history and culture, visitors can walk the grounds of Fort Malden, a pivotal battlefield in the war of 1812, or find inspiration in the Art Gallery of Windsor, which exhibits over 3000 works. Multiple wineries, ecotourism excursions, and large winter celebrations add to the long list of things to do in this thriving touristic region of Ontario. Come discover all that the Windsor Essex Pelee Island area has to offer!
There’s no place quite like Prince Edward Island! Immerse yourself in a land full of vivid colour, delicious seafood and beautiful sandstone cliffs. Imagine cooking and catching your own seafood and learning traditional Acadian step-dancing! Whether you spend the day relaxing on the beach and eating seafood or lose track of time photographing the scenic landscape, you’ll find it impossible not to fall in-love with Canada’s tastiest province! Venture to the heart of it all and visit the city of Charlottetown. Charlottetown is bursting with arts and culture, featuring popular craft breweries, an independent cinema, and the Confederation Centre of Arts Stage! Fall into a relaxing rhythm was you leisurely sample excellent craft beers and watch amazing musicals all in one day! Don’t miss a chance to get a taste of Canada’s beautiful East coast.
The beautiful region of Sherbrooke, Quebec is calling you! A place where urban meets nature, Sherbrooke offers visitors the unique opportunity to enjoy all of life’s pleasures in harmony! Rent a car and explore the gorgeous countryside or take your mountain bike to the picturesque Mont-Bellevue! Sherbrooke also invites visitors to sample world-class cuisine, featuring dishes expertly prepared with the freshest locally-grown ingredients. Travellers in this area can also explore a thriving art scene and lively seasonal events. In the winter months, you won’t want to miss Sherbrooke’s Christmas MarketFree, where visitors can purchase unique handmade gifts for the holidays. Discover this gorgeous Quebec treasure, where you can truly experience it all in one stay!
Bruce County, Ontario
Take a trip to Bruce County, one of the best 4-season travel sites in southern Ontario! Bordered by Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, this area is especially beautiful in the summertime! When Bruce County’s crystal waters become warm, friends can sit back and relax as they watch epic Lake Huron sunsets fade from orange to purple. When the summer heat gets intense, visitors can cool off at Sauble Beach, the 2nd largest freshwater beach in the world! 11 km of sprawling white sand features local boutiques and delicious restaurants perfect for lunch or dinner. The Sauble area also offers a beautiful hiking trail to ancient sand dunes through the red pine plantation. The Bruce County area is widely known for its stunning Bruce Peninsula National Park. Climb boulders and explore the grotto, or take the plunge and scuba dive over shipwrecks in sparkling turquoise waters. If you haven’t already, don’t miss out on experiencing Bruce County.
This list wouldn’t be complete without writing about “The Six!” Canada’s hotspot for culture, arts, history and entertainment, Toronto is the perfect place for a luxurious party weekend with friends or a romantic week-long getaway filled with museums, galleries, and unique culinary experiences. Go for a stroll and sample delicious freshly baked goods at Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market, voted by National Geographic as the best food market in the world! If you want to take your visit to new heights, we suggest you dine in Toronto’s famous CN Tower at the 360 Restaurant, where you can feast on fine cuisine while overlooking the city from over 350 ft above! Need a place to say? Look no further than the Thompson Hotel, located in the trendy King St. W neighbourhood. In addition to its luxurious amenities, the Thompson Hotel’s Lobby Bar is the place to be! Whether you’re looking to grab a drink with friends or to unwind and listen to great music, the Lobby Bar is where conversations are started and memories are made. With hundreds of exciting attractions like Toronto’s Ripley’s Aquarium and the historic Casa Loma, Toronto has something for everyone!
Along the shores of Georgian Bay, travellers seeking rest and relaxation can get a taste of a simpler life in the village of Killarney. Boasting impossible beauty, Killarney is home to arguably one of the coziest lodges in Ontario! Embrace the surroundings of elegance and simplicity and book your stay at Killarney Mountain Lodge! Originally built in the late 1950s, Killarney Mountain Lodge is teeming with history and character. Offering fantastic service and cozy rustic amenities, this lodge is the perfect place to stay if you want to soak in the wonder of Killarney Provincial Park. Killarney Provincial Park is widely considered one of Ontario’s most scenic parks, encompassing some of Canada’s oldest mountain ranges and gorgeous stretches of untouched wilderness. Killarney Provincial Park was also loved by many members of the Group of Seven, who spent time both sketching and painting the enchanting hills of Killarney. Leave your electronics at home and book your visit to this rustic and tranquil escape from the buzz of everyday life!
Fredericton, New Brunswick
Visit New Brunswick’s capital for a year-round taste of the Maritimes. In the winter, while many communities shut down and bundle up from the cold, Fredericton embraces the freeze with its annual ‘FROSTival!’ FROSTival is a winter festival in celebration of snow and ice, featuring interesting activities like snowflake making and scavenger hunts. Spring and summer months blow into Fredricton with multiple region tours and gorgeous sunny beach days. Take the opportunity to explore Fredricton’s beautiful waterfalls or take a dip into crystal clear waters along the shoreline. If you’re travelling in the fall, you won’t want to miss the amazing Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, featuring an upwards of 400 talented musicians over 6 incredible days! Offering mouthwatering fresh seafood dishes and local farmer’s markets, Fredricton will provide you with an unforgettable experience of Eastern Canada.
Edmundston, New Brunswick
In the North-eastern section of the Appalachian mountains, nestled between the province of Quebec and the state of Maine, the city of Edmundston awaits your discovery. Don’t let the size of this small french-speaking city fool you, Edmunston has huge personality! Grab a canoe or kayak and adventure through the scenic Rivière-Verte, or venture through Petit Témis Interprovincial Linear Park, where you can cycle, hike, or snowshoe along a 134 km bicycle path! Edmundston also has a thriving agribusiness, meaning that all culinary creations are made with fresh, locally-grown food. Award-winning pancakes, Saturday morning farmers’ markets, charming vegetarian cafes, and impressive local craft breweries are sure to stimulate any traveller’s taste buds. From the Winter Festival in February to the Dinner en Blanc in August, Edmundston always has fantastic events and festivals that provide visitors with unique travel experiences. Come discover this charming little city, where you’ll be met with big personality and unforgettable memories!
Miramichi, New Brunswick
Standing beside a world-famous salmon fishing river, the city of Miramichi invites travellers to explore its grounds and discover its history. Guided boat tours invite visitors to discover the historical Beaubears Island. Embrace a unique opportunity to learn about Acadian history and about the past hardships of Irish families that immigrated to the area years ago. Along the waterfront, you will find Ritchie Wharf Park, a lovely green-space boasting a gorgeous art gallery and delicious dairy bar. When dinner time rolls around, the culinary scene in Miramichi will tingle your tastebuds and fill your belly! Feast on fresh Atlantic salmon, fresh lobster, and a variety of unique seafood dishes at riverside patio decks and unique dining cafes. In the summertime, Miramichi hosts numerous festivals, including Canada’s Irish Festival and the Miramichi Folksong Festival. Plan your next vacation to Miramichi, New Brunswick’s vibrant and beautiful North!
Pictou County, Nova Scotia
Experience a part of Nova Scotia where history, arts and culture all come to life amid a location of stunning natural beauty. Boasting 2845 km² of gorgeous Nova Scotia landscape, the municipality of Pictou County invites travellers to become familiar with its deep-rooted heritage and history. Mountain biking, golfing, and sailing are just a few of the ways that you can explore Pictou County. Summer months invite tourists to visit Pictou County’s unspoiled cottage country or to relax in the warm waters of Melmerby Beach. In addition to captivating scenery, Pictou County also offers a lively entertainment element. The Pictou County Wellness Centre is a state of the art sports and recreational venue that connects to the de Coste Centre, which is a 32-year old venue that has hosted over 2000 concerts and events! The Pictou Lobster Carnival and the New Glasgow Riverfront Jubilee also add to the list of entertainment experiences available in Pictou County. Grab a travel buddy and plan your trip to this gorgeous Nova Scotia oasis!
Peterborough & Kawarthas Region, Ontario
The Peterborough & Kawarthas Region is arguably one of Ontario’s best travel destinations. A true year-round escape, this region has no sleepy seasons! From the Peterborough Music Fest in July to the Lakefield Polarfest in February, there’s always something happening in this endearing part of Ontario. Beaches, lakes, waterways, woodlands and trails create the ultimate outdoor playground for any nature enthusiast! Soak in a luminous summer sky full of stars at the Buckhom Observatory or go berry picking at one of the many local farms. Culture aficionados can enjoy spending time in the Art Gallery of Peterborough, while travellers with a sweet-tooth can spend delicious hours exploring Kawarthas Northumberland Butter Tart Tour! Scenic eco-board walking tours, fantastic beaches, and pristine kayaking streams add to the long list of captivating outdoor activities provided in the Peterborough & Kawarthas region. Come discover Ontario’s year-round adventure escape!
Gananoque & the Thousand Islands, Ontario
Venture down to southern Ontario and find the peaceful and beautiful marine community of Gonanoque & the Thousand Islands. Part of the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, this captivating area supports towering pine trees, bald eagles, and white-tailed deer! Take a helicopter tour and get a bird’s eye view of the beautiful islands, or admire the waterfront scenery on a drive along the winding country roads. Establish your knowledge of the areas history by taking a tour from Millionaire’s Row to Bolt Castle, where you’ll discover the best-kept secrets in the 1000 Islands! When you want to relax and be entertained, you can dine at one of the many world-class restaurants before you catch some live theatre at the Thousand Islands Playhouse on the edge of the St. Lawrence. A treasure trove of picturesque sights and delicious tastes, Gananoque & the Thousands Islands will be sure to awaken your senses!
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Experience one of Ontario’s biggest treasures, the Niagara Peninsula! Quaint and charming streets boast award-winning restaurants, boutique galleries and relaxing spa treatments. The perfect place for a romantic getaway, this area offers thousands of acres of beautiful landscape, including 40 conservation areas that provide excellent opportunities for hiking and waterfall exploring! Highlight your trip with a blast from the past at Ball’s Falls! This heritage spot has been transformed to resemble a pioneer village from the 1800s, including a fully functional flour mill and blacksmith shop! The Niagara Peninsula is best known for its award-winning wines. During winter months, the area is transformed into a snowy wonderland where visitors are invited to sample various ice wines, one of Ontario’s most cherished products. Whether you are planning a weekend getaway or week-long escape to the Niagara Peninsula, you’re stay will undoubtedly be a world-class experience.