Top 10 destinations to visit in Canada
The stunning views at Moraine Lake in Banff National Park will leave you coming back for more. Supplied
When it comes to diversity, Canada knows how to keep its visitors on their toes.
From breathtakingly large snow-frosted Rocky Mountains, to the fusion of modernity and historic elements in our Canadian cities, to rolling lush hills and crystal blue lakes that create community pockets across the entire country — this overly large and overly welcoming country is drenched with variety.
I have been lucky enough to call this nation home for nearly two years now, and although that is nothing compared to the life-long citizens, I believe I have become a life-long enthusiast and is now my home-away-from-home.
In celebration of Canada150, I have put together my Top 10 Destinations in Canada.
With Moraine Lake being one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, Banff National Park is a must-visit. This Rocky Mountain wonder boasts waterfalls, abundant wildlife and a place where bright turquoise glacial lakes work as mirrors to showcase this incredible scenery. Although it is very close to Camrose, for an outsider like myself, Banff National Park is definitely the most jaw-dropping National Park I have had the privilege to experience.
2. Montreal, Que.
The multi-faceted city represents the synthesis of historic eighteenth century architecture, with modern, sophisticated twenty-first century skylines. You can explore the cobblestoned streets of Old Town Montreal where you can discover traditional French patisseries and historic cathedrals. Or whether it is the modern art galleries and funky restaurants that live within the old-fashioned houses, Montreal has something for everybody.
3. Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island
The land surrounding Cape Breton Island is beautifully undisturbed, with rough edges of rock running adjacent to blue sea, white-wash waves and lush green forest. This untouched scenery was so much more than I had imagined. With hundreds of hikes that appeal to everyone and parks that appeal to those who prefer a cheese platter and wine as the sun goes down, the Cabot Trail is juxtaposition of both natural roughness and soft beauty.
4. Okanagan Valley, B.C.
I’ll admit it, it took a lot of self-control not put the Okanagan Valley as my No. 1 on this list, due to the copious amounts of wineries and vineyards. But I do understand that I cannot simply judge a destination because of its wine, but between you and me, it does help. The Okanagan Valley is scenic overload. Rolling vineyards that run directly into the crystal blue Okanagan Lake, compliment the large mountainous hills that lie in the backdrop. It also helps that nearly every winery balcony gives you a jaw-dropping view.
5. Lunenburg, N.S.
Although the entirety of Nova Scotia is incredibly stunning, there is something extra special about Lunenburg. With brightly coloured homes that are strategically placed like little LEGO pieces that run adjacent to the shoreline, this seaside village makes you feel like you’re walking through a historic nautical-themed postcard.
6. Tofino, B.C.
Named “the best surf town in North America” by Outside Magazine, Tofino has been drawing surfers, nature-lovers and kindred spirits from around the world. Apart from having some of the best beaches and surf, Tofino brags quaint rustic stores, health food shacks and the very well-known ‘Tacofino’ food truck. Spend the day at Long Beach and take in the great waves, sand and breathtaking beauty.
7. Prince Edward Island
What a pleasant surprise it was experiencing this undersized but overly embracing island. With green, countrified hills pressed against white, sandy beaches, this 139-mile long island embraces seafood shacks and a peaceful mentality. Stepping onto this island will give you the relaxing and tranquil vacation you’ve been longing for, for years.
8. Pemberton, B.C.
Although I was very close to replace Pemberton with Whistler, I found the après-ski town to be extremely stunning, but also very touristy. Whistler is a fun town, with a fresh, young mind-set, but I found Pemberton, which is only 20 minutes from Whistler, to steal a little bit of my heart. I found the backcountry feel, clean wilderness and the bare-essential grocery stores to be a refreshing atmosphere.
9. Lake of the Woods, Ontario and Manitoba
With over 14,000 islands and more than 10,500 kilometres of shorelines, Lake of the Woods offers an endless variety of wilderness, lush greenery and crystal lakes. Realistically, it doesn’t matter where you visit, if you’re in the Lake of the Woods region, you’ll be immersed in its natural paradise and untouched bliss.
10. Nelson, B.C.
I am not sure whether it was the hippy vibes, the overly-friendly people or eclectic mix of stores in the downtown area, that reminded me of my hometown in Australia, but this little town made me feel right at home. Spending the day in Nelson and then driving over to Ainsworth Hot Springs for the afternoon and evening makes a perfectly relaxing and romantic weekend getaway.
For my extended list and more travel articles visit www.explorethegoodlife.com or follow me on instagram (@explorethegoodlife).