Many Canadians occasionally enjoy overseas travel. However, Canada is a global travel hotspot, and you don't have to pay any foreign conversion fees if you buy something! Joking aside, there is so much to see in our backyard. Canada’s diverse landscape offers a variety of vacation destinations that people must visit.
The case to visit more of Canada
The Rocky Mountains are known worldwide. They are a marker for Canada’s Continental Divide between the Pacific and Atlantic/Arctic watersheds. The region spans British Columbia and Alberta. The habitat is diverse.
The Prairies and Parklands are also filled with natural beauty. Running from the Rocky Mountains to Manitoba, the prairies are full of grasses and covered by boreal forest.
The East Coast of Canada has Acadian forests that feature sugar maples and many other beautiful trees. The area is rich in scenery and culture.
If you are ready to explore Canada, get a travel credit card to start earning more rewards points now and read about these 20 places to help you decide where to start.
Halifax is a destination rich in culture and history. There is plenty to do in the city and many attractions nearby for day trips!
The main tourist attractions are all right on the waterfront. If you visit in the summer months, see what festivals are going on! One of the more popular festivals, the Busker’s Festival, takes place near the end of July.
Halifax Citadel National Historic Site overlooks the city and is one of the main attractions. You can learn what it was like for the soldiers and their families protecting Halifax in the 1700s.
If you want to experience the nightlife, check out some live music, a local pub, a cocktail bar, or a cruise on a party boat. You could also tour the famous Alexander Kieth’s brewing company.
Peggy’s Cove, located on the Eastern shore of St. Margaret Bay, is the site of Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse. Nova Scotia has over 160 historic lighthouses, but Peggy’s Cove is perhaps the most famous. You can take a guided tour of the 206-year-old fishing village if you wish.
Moncton, located in southeastern New Brunswick, is home to many beautiful attractions. The city's history can be explored at the Moncton Museum and the Transportation Discovery Centre, which have hands-on exhibits.
The city’s Capitol Theatre was restored in the 1920s and to this day hosts many concerts and live shows.
Magnetic Hill is one of the city’s most popular attractions. If you want to test your logical thinking skills, go and watch as cars appear to roll uphill as opposed to down. The Magnetic Hill Zoo is also a popular attraction.
If the weather is hot and you want to cool down, you can visit Magic Mountain Splash Zone. The water park is part of the Magnetic Hill tourist site and is the largest man-made tourist attraction in Atlantic Canada.
If you have never seen a tidal bore, this is the place to take the opportunity to witness the unique phenomenon. It happens when the edge of an incoming tide creates a standing wave of water that will move upstream against the current of a narrow bay or river. The Moncton tidal bore happens when the unparalleled tides of the Bay of Fundy travel up the Petitcodiac River. This phenomenon occurs twice a day.
If you have time for a short road trip (under an hour one way), it is worth it to visit the Savonnerie Olivier Soapery in Sainte-Anne de Kent. If it is not too busy, they will show you how some of their products are made, and they carry a wide range of natural beauty products made right on site. Don’t forget your credit card as there is sure to be something you will want to take home.
3. St. John’s
The Maritimes is also home to St. John’s Newfoundland and Labrador. The city is full of colorful buildings that line the hilly streets and many historic sites and attractions. The capital city is where the British settled the harbor in the 1600s.
Signal Hill is one of Canada’s National Historic Sites. Signal Hill played a role in Canada’s military and communications history. It is where the first transatlantic wireless communication took place. There are also many walking trails to discover. You can enjoy time at Cabot Tower, which commemorates John Cabot’s discovery of Newfoundland, Queen’s Battery, and the Visitor Centre. Either plan your trip or book one of the popular photography tours or bird and whale watching tours.
George Street in St. John’s is a busy place for festivals and entertainment. If you go during the summer months, there will be a lot of entertainment to take in.
Montreal, located in the French-speaking province of Quebec, is also rich in culture and history. Many people in Montreal speak both French and English, and you will have no problem speaking either language in high-traffic tourist areas.
The old historic district dates back to the 1600s, but the city's central hub is modern. Old Montreal is filled with cobbled streets and old buildings and is the central tourist hub of the city.
One of the must-see attractions is the Basilique Notre-Dame de Montreal. It is a Gothic-Revival style church built in 1824. Adorned with statues, chapels, and stained glass windows, it is the oldest Catholic church and is located in Old Montreal.
If you want to shop, Montreal is a really neat place to do so. There are underground shopping malls located beneath the city's main streets.
If you take a trip to Olympic Park, be sure to visit the Biodome. In the Biodome, you can walk through four different ecosystems and enjoy each zone's flora and fauna.
The world comes to Montreal in the summer. The F1 Grand Prix,The Montreal International Jazz Festival, and The Just for Laughs Festival entertain the city.
5. Quebec City
While in the province of Quebec, be sure to take in the rich heritage of Quebec City. The provincial capital, founded in 1608, has a fortified colonial core. The Champlain district has cobblestoned streets that are lined with bistros and neat little shops.
The Battle of the Plains of Abraham took place in Quebec City during the Seven Years’ War. The Battlefields Park is located along the North Shore of the St. Lawrence River and features the Plains of Abraham Museum.
A visit in the winter months would allow you to experience the Carnaval de Quebec. Taking place in February each year, it is one of the largest and oldest winter carnivals. You can enjoy night parades, snow sculptures, skating, and many entertaining shows.
While there, don’t forget to enjoy the many unique foods of Quebec. You must try poutine, pea soup, and tortière, which is a meat pie.
Canada’s capital city offers many attractions, from museums and historical sites to festivals and activities for adventurers of all ages. Parliament Hill is in downtown Ottawa. Nearly three million people visit the attraction each year. More than 20 bronze statues are located on Parliament Hill grounds.
A tour along the Rideau Canal is amazing. There is the Stone Arch Dam at Jones Falls, a lockmaster’s house that was erected in 1841, a Blacksmith’s shop built in 1843, and Hotel Kenney, which was built in 1888 and is one of the oldest hotels in the area. There is also an interpretive trail that runs alongside the canal.
Ottawa is known as the city of museums, but check out the plethora of unofficial museums and the official museums in the city. Festivals are year-round in Ottawa. The summer months are filled with festivals such as Torchlight Shakespeare, Northern Lights, and Ottawa Interlude.
Toronto is Canada’s largest city and a big professional sports hub. The Raptors captured the NBA championship and brought glory to North. Two-time MLB World Series champions the Toronto Blue Jays play at Rogers Centre in downtown Toronto. The same area is home to the famous CN Tower. If you are a football fan, you can watch the Argonauts at BMO Field, and hockey fans can take in a Maple Leafs game at the Scotiabank Arena.
If you want to get the most out of a visit to the city, you can take a Hop-On-Hop-Off bus sightseeing tour. A visit to Casa Loma lets you to step back in time and learn about the Toronto area during the Prohibition Era, the Great Depression, the Plague, and much more. The garage and carriage area contains a display of vintage cars from the early 1900s. You will also be able to view artwork created by members of the Group of Seven.
If you are looking for fun and frolic, take in Canada’s Wonderland, a 134-hectare amusement park about 25 km north of downtown Toronto. There is a kid's area and rides for those of all thrill-seeking levels, including 17 different roller coasters.
8. Niagara Falls
While in Ontario, be sure to take in the beauty of Niagara Falls. It is relatively close to Toronto, and there is plenty to see or do with an extra day.
The city is famous for the waterfalls on the Niagra River’s western shore. The Horseshoe Falls is also linked to the U.S. by the Rainbow Bridge. Elevators transport visitors to a lower vantage point which is also much wetter as you end up behind the falls. If you want to stay dry, view the falls from the cliffside park, where there is an observation deck. Otherwise, take a Maid of the Mist boat ride for a tour of the Canadian and American Falls in one tour.
If you are feeling adventurous, you can zipline to the falls. Other fun things to do in the city are helicopter adventures or wine and cheese tours. You can also take a bicycle tour or rent a bike and explore the area yourself.
9. Charlottetown and PEI
Charlottetown, located on Prince Edward Island, is a charming city with much to enjoy. It is one of Canada’s most beautiful places to visit, and aside from being in Charlottetown, you can see much of the island all in one or two days. The island is accessible by ferry or by crossing the Confederation bridge. The bridge is 12.9 kilometers long – the longest bridge in the world.
Visit Beaconsfield House and St. Dunstan’s Basilica Cathedral to enjoy the area's architecture. Near the cathedral, you will also find the Government House.
If you take a tour to Cavendish, you will find Green Gables Heritage Place. It is the inspiration for the Cuthbert farm in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s novel, Anne of Green Gables, which was published in 1908. You can tour the house and follow trails along the grounds that feature famous locations from the book.
PEI is a tiny province. However, the island has many top-rated beaches to enjoy while you are there. Some beaches even have red sand.
Winnipeg is one of the best places to visit in Manitoba. It is a scenic city on the Assiniboine and Red Rivers. The Forks, where the two rivers meet, is an area that draws many locals and tourists. There is a market, restaurants, and many outdoor walking trails. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is also in the area. Other museums and attractions include the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Children’s museum, and Assiniboine Park Zoo.
Grand Beach is also one of the best places to visit if you want sun and sand. It is only 100 kilometers from Winnipeg and is one of Canada’s busiest beaches in the summer months. Grand Beach is great to enjoy the beach, camp, and hike. You can walk along the white silica sand or keep your feet clean by walking along the boardwalk.
One of the best places to visit in Saskatchewan is the City of Bridges, Saskatoon. The city is on the South Saskatchewan River and has eight bridges that can be used to cross the river. Meewasin Trail runs along the river and is a very scenic place for walking and cycling.
Wanuskewin Heritage Park has exhibitions that display the indigenous culture and is one of many museums and cultural centres around the city. You may also wish to visit the Mendel Art Gallery, take a sightseeing tour on the Prairie Lily Riverboat, visit the Forestry Farm and Zoo, or attend a local festival. There is always something going on in the city.
If you enjoy window shopping in unique boutiques, stroll down Broadway. Don’t forget to stop at the Broadway Roastery for a fresh cup of joe.
If you enjoy pubs, there are many rooftop and sidewalk patios to enjoy on a nice day. The Yard & Flagon and O’Sheas are two of the most popular pubs. The Hose and Hydrant is also worth a stop; it is an old firehouse turned into a bar.
12. Banff National Park
Banff is a mountain town located in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta. It is one of the top places to visit in all of Canada and a tourist destination for people from around the world. The scenic area is beautiful year-round, with different activities depending on the season.
Be prepared to see a lot of wildlife as you tour the area. It is common to see elk, deer, and bighorn sheep. A little less common but still frequently spotted are bears, mountain goats, coyotes, and moose. It is even possible to see lynx, cougars, and wolverines, though the spottings are rare.
Driving the Icefields Parkway is one of the best ways to experience the area's beauty. You will be able to see the wildlife and lakes that are turquoise in color. Even in the summer, the mountain peaks are snow-capped. The Icefields Parkway runs all the way to Jasper.
The area of Jasper is beautiful, and there is also a lot to do right in the town. You can spend a lot of time in the area exploring the city and the surrounding parks.
If you love the outdoors, this is one of Alberta's best places to visit. You can see the Columbia Icefield, which is Canada’s most famous glacier. There are tours available where you can go out onto the glacier.
Top attractions in the area include Athabasca Falls, Maligne Canyon, and Marot Basin. Try some cliff jumping and then warm up in the hot springs. The Jasper SkyTram will take you to the summit of Whistlers Mountain. Visit the Jasper Yellowhead Museum to see exhibits on the fur trade and railway.
In the summer months, you can go whitewater rafting. In the winter, you can enjoy the many trails on snowshoes or cross-country skis.
Vancouver is another city that you can enjoy in any season. In the summer, you can visit one of the many beaches in the area, and in the winter, you can check out the local ski resorts.
You can walk the seawall in Vancouver any time of the year. The stone was built around Stanley Park to stop the erosion of the park’s shore.
Stanley Park also has lots of activities for tourists. It is easy to explore the park on foot or wheels – whichever is your preference. The Vancouver Aquarium is located in the garden and is a great place to explore nature.
The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is also a must-see attraction in Vancouver. The suspension bridge is 450 feet long and hangs 230 feet above the Capilano River. If you feel particularly adventurous, you can take a cliffside journey through rainforest vegetation on suspended walkways that jut out from the granite cliff face about the river. While at the park, you can also visit the Kia’palano educational centre to discover the rich indigenous culture of the area.
The capital city of British Columbia is at the southern end of Vancouver Island. It is well known for outdoor activities but also has plenty to offer indoors.
In the summer, one of the best places to visit is Butchart Gardens. The Gardens cover 55 acres which are covered in flowers, statues, and water features.
Because of its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, there are many marine activities to enjoy. Visit the marinas and take a marine wildlife viewing tour.
If you have children with you (or even if you don’t), the Victoria Bug Zoo is a great place to discover the world of insects and arachnids. You can hold a tarantula or sport a millipede mustache. It is a hands-on adventure that everyone will love.
Victoria is also a golfer’s paradise and offers courses for every experience level. Other attractions include Craigdarroch Castle Historic House, IMAX Victoria, and Wildplay Elements Park.
During the 2010 Winter Olympics, Whistler hosted many skiing events. It is a world-class ski destination that is visited by many during the winter months. It is also one of the more popular places to stay in the summer months because of the biking, hiking, and golfing.
The resort town features a Peak-2-Peak Gondola that connects the Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. It is an 11-minute ride up the mountain and is open to tourists year-round.
There has also been an addition of the Cloudraker Skybridge, a metal bridge spanning the alpine valley. There is a viewing platform that features a 360-degree view of the area.
Whistler is known for the busy arts and culture scene. The newest addition is Vallea Lumina. It is a multimedia night walk that will show you the hidden wonders of the area. The immersive light show is set in the forested area of Cougar Mountain.
Tofino, located on Vancouver Island, is one of the most revered places to visit for surfers. Though many visitors go surfing, there is also an opportunity for hiking and enjoying beaches by the Pacific Rim National Park.
Tofino is a great destination if you want to see wildlife, adventure in a kayak, or do some storm watching. There are several resorts in the area; you could also rough it and do some camping.
Tofino is a small town but has some great places to discover for dining and relaxing. You can also visit the area's stores, galleries, and coffee shops.
Tofino is a place to enjoy the natural surroundings. You can hike through the rainforest, visit gardens and parks or do some cycling or fishing. Tofino also has many art galleries where you can see the work of local artists and purchase handmade artisan crafts.
Kelowna is located in the interior of British Columbia. Situated on the shore of Lake Okanagan, it is a mountainous area. The city is one of the best places to visit in the summer months when you can hike, see lakes, and do some golfing. If you love spending time on the water, you can even rent a houseboat.
In the winter months, the area is excellent for those who love to ski. Big White and Silver Star are two of the nearby resorts that snowbirds flock to in winter.
In Kelowna’s downtown core, there is a waterfront City Park and a cultural district worth visiting. You can also take tours of more than 20 different vineyards, where they also offer wine tastings.
The newest attraction is the KF Aerospace Centre for Excellence. It is a state-of-the-art aviation museum and conference centre built to celebrate Canada’s history of achievement in aerospace.
If you seek adventure, one of the best places to visit is Revelstoke, British Columbia. The small town is surrounded by mountains and perfect for outdoor adventure seekers. Revelstoke Mountain Resort is one of the top ski resorts in Canada. For a real adventure and adrenaline rush, try out some heli-skiing in the Purcell Mountains.
If you visit during the summer months, you can enjoy hiking and mountain biking. For those who want to immerse themselves in arts and culture, you can see the Railway Museum or take a Heritage walking tour.
The area also has several hot springs so that you can relax and unwind after your busy days. The Halfway River Hotsprings are the closest and most accessible, but you can also visit Halcyon Hot Springs, Crazy Creek Hot Pools, and Canyon Hot Springs.
Revelstoke is also home to two breweries and two distilleries. Take a tour or just go and enjoy some of the craft beers and spirits that are created on-site.
Whitehorse is in Canada’s far north in the Yukon Territory. Here, you can experience some of the true beauty of Canada. The south has the basalt cliffs of Miles Canyon, where a former gold rush town was located. North of there, the Yukon River Loop Trail will take you past the Whitehorse Fishway fish ladder and on to the S.S. Klondike, a sternwheeler that has been restored. You can visit the Takhini Hot Pools’ mineral springs even further north, where you can see the incredible view of the northern lights during the winter months.
Whitehorse houses more than half the population of the Yukon. It is a major centre for arts and culture in the area.
At the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, you can take guided tours to see the wildlife that calls the area home. You will have the opportunity to see moose, muskoxen, mountain goats, wood bison, mule deer, woodland caribou, elk, and more! You can take a bus tour or enjoy a five-kilometer hike through the trails.
When planning your vacation, no matter which region you wish to visit, don’t forget your travel insurance to ensure your peace of mind if any mishaps occur along the way.