The second largest country in the world, Canada offers incredibly beautiful landscapes, bustling cities, awe-inspiring natural wonders and vast natural parks of unspoiled wilderness. From the historic and culturally-rich city centers to the bleak, remote North of snow and polar bears, Canada has it all. Here are 7 must-see Canadian destinations:
The old part of this city, or Vieux-Quebec, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it won’t take long to discover why. This area holds the historic buildings, the original settlement from where the city grew outwards and upwards. A visit to the Chateau Frontenac is highly recommended and the Upper Town overlooks the city from 100m tall cliffs. This is where you’ll find the Citadel, the Place d’Armes and the Parque Historique de l’Artillerie – all sitting on a natural vantage point from which to protect the city. Artists display their work here and you’ll also find fascinating museums.
If you love to ski then be sure to check out one of the best ski resorts in Canada and the largest in North America. During the winter months, people flock here for the awesome winter sports on offer and it’s also popular during the summer for golf and biking. If you’re looking for action adventure in a stunning location with a mountain backdrop then Whistler is the perfect place. Getting here is just as much fun, taking the 2-hour scenic drive from Vancouver along the Sea-Sky Highway.
#3 Niagara Falls
Bursting forth in spectacular fashion along the American border, this world-famous waterfall is one of Canada’s most popular tourist attractions. With a drop of around 57 meters, you can get up close and personal with the water from viewing points, the walk down Clifton Hill to the gorge or on a boat trip. Make sure you bring a waterproof jacket! During the summer, a nightly illumination and firework display takes place in Queen Victoria Park which is a spectacle not to be missed.
Since the discovery of oil here in the early 20th century, Calgary has blossomed into one of Canada’s biggest cities. If you’re looking some good ole Wild West fun then head to Calgary for the world-famous rodeo, the Calgary Stampede. A 10-day long festival extravaganza of rodeos, parades, races and food. The close proximity of the Rocky Mountains also makes Calgary an ideal choice for skiing or hiking. Visit the Calgary Tower for the best views over the city, take a stroll through the zoo or hop on the ‘Rocky Mountaineer’ train for a scenic journey you’ll treasure forever.
#5 Toronto Skyline
You won’t fail to be impressed by the spectacular skyline of Toronto as it rises above the glistening waters of Lake Ontario. No trip to the city would be complete without a ride to the top of the CN Tower. It is one of the tallest structures in the world at a staggering 553 meters high. At the top, you’ll find 360, a revolving restaurant with some breath-taking views to enjoy as you dine. Brave the Glass Floor or the Lookout and see Toronto with a bird’s eye view. Simply stunning at night too, as the tower is illuminated in multicolor.
One of the hidden treasures of Vancouver is the 405-hectare Stanley Park. Surrounded by ocean and covered in beautiful cedar and fir trees, the park offers a sedate paradise of natural beauty. Perfect for walkers, cyclists and joggers, the seawall that surrounds the park offers superb views of the city and the distant mountains. Things to see and do inside the park include an aquarium, a lake and a lovely rose garden. Be sure to look out for the totem poles dotted around the park. If you are looking for something more thrilling, leave time for the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Complete with a 460 ft long suspension bridge, cliff walk and treetop adventure park this breathtaking experience is worth the trip!
#7 Banff National Park
Canada’s biggest and most visited national park, the awesome magnificence of the scenery here cannot be overstated. Crystal blue waters, fresh mountain air and snow-capped peaks all await you at Canada’s first National Park. There is huge diversity of flora and fauna here, including bears, moose, wolves, bald eagles and bison. A visit here should include some time spent at Lake Louise, the green waters reflecting the shadowing mountains. In 1985 the park has been included in the UNESCO list of protected natural monuments. The nearby town of Banff is a great place to explore with museums, great dining and a wide range of accommodation.