17 Best Places to Visit in Canada - Part 1

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Regardless of the season, the 17 best places to visit in Canada are ready and waiting to enthral you with a wide variety of things to see and do. Many of the vast, pristine wilderness areas of Canada are protected by National Parks which offer visitors an outdoor wonderland of year-round activities. Here, surrounded by a unique landscape of towering mountain ranges which drop spectacularly down to meet azure glacial lakes, visitors from all corners come to enjoy the full gamut of outdoor experiences.

Why Whistler Blackcomb Is the Best Ski Resort In North America

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World famous ski resorts like Banff, Whistler and Mont-Tremblant offer sensational winter sports facilities against a backdrop of picture-perfect mountain splendor. In summer the copious snows melts away to reveal a vast cross-section of scenic hiking trails. Gushing glacier-fed rivers provide white-water rafters with the ride of their lives while water-sport enthusiasts can indulge in all their favorite activities on the many lakes.

If you prefer more cultural activities you will not be disappointed by Canada’s many cosmopolitan cites. Here you will find quaint historic quarters with cobbled alleyways rubbing shoulders with modern sky-scrapers. Museums, art galleries, boutiques and fine eateries cater to all tastes.

The Notre Dame Des Victoires Church in Quebec City was the first stone-built church in North America

Finally, there is Niagara Falls – no trip to Canada would be complete without visiting this popular tourist attraction which offers so much more than just a sensational water fall!

Each of these destinations is very special in its own way which is why we have decided to list them alphabetically.

Explore the top 9 places, from N to W, listed here 

1 – Banff, Alberta

The resort town of Banff lies nestled in the foothills of Canada’s famous Rocky Mountain region in Alberta. Surrounded by the Banff National Park, which is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful wilderness areas on Earth, Banff offers easy access to vast expanses of pristine wilderness where towering snow-capped mountains drop dramatically down to meet shimmering turquoise glacial lakes.

Nature lovers can try out all types of snow-sports in winter or get out into the wilds for hiking, paddling, wildlife watching, scenic drives and gondola rides in summer. Banff offers something for everyone – sumptuous hotels and spas, excellent shopping and dining and a vibrant resort atmosphere.

BEST Things To Do In Banff National Park

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2 – Calgary, Alberta

From cow-town to boom town, Calgary has undergone a series of metamorphoses since it was established back in 1875 as an outpost for the Mounted Police. The arrival of the railway in the late 1880’s made the city famous as a cattle trading center. Then came the discovery of natural gas in 1914 and Calgary gradually shrugged its cow-town image and embraced its new identity as one of Canada’s leading cities.

Must-see attractions include several excellent museums, galleries, the Calgary Zoo and WinSport, venue of the 1988 Winter Olympics. For a unique experience you should plan to visit during the annual Calgary Stampede, a 9-day Rodeo festival which celebrates the city’s earlier cattle-ranging heritage.

Travelling in Calgary in 2 days

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3 – Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia

Located off the north-eastern tip of Nova Scotia on Canada’s east coast, Cape Breton Island is home to the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, one of Canada’s most scenic destinations. Jaw-dropping scenery includes endless vistas of emerald-green fir-covered mountains dipping down to meet the brilliant blue Atlantic.

The Cabot Trail is a 298km scenic highway which carves its way through the extraordinary mountain landscape to expose kilometers of rugged shoreline, quant fishing villages and a vast inland sea. Hikers can explore a network of 26 trails while other popular activities include cycling, motor-cycling, boating, fishing, culinary adventures and cultural visits. In winter you can enjoy a wide range of snow sports.

Why CAPE BRETON is Canada’s Top National Park!

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4 – Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador

Named for the imposing, stand-alone mountain which it surrounds, Gros Morne (large mountain in French) National Park on the west coast of Newfoundland protects some of the world’s most unique rock formations caused by movements of the earth’s crust.

The park is a wonderland for anyone interested in geology, while everyone else goes there to enjoy the unusual landscape which includes desert-like areas contrasting with lush wildlife-filled forests and a glacial fjord. Hiking, camping and wildlife watching are the most popular activities – there are more than 20 marked trails including one which will take you to the summit of Gros Morne, a challenging hike which will earn you great bragging rights! The park is open from mid-May to mid-October.

Check out our Gros Morne National Park Travel Guide here 

Top 10 Hikes of Gros Morne National Park

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5 – Halifax, Nova Scotia

The city of Halifax owes its existence to its location on one of the world’s largest ice-free natural harbors. The town was originally settled by the French in the 1600’s and then taken over by the British in 1713, and was constantly involved in territorial battles for fishing and fur trading rights.

Halifax also has a rich maritime history and was a navy and military base during both World Wars. As you can expect, there are plenty of attractions for visitors. You could start by exploring the vibrant Waterfront and visiting the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 and the poignant Africville Museum, before moving on to enjoy whale-watching cruises, harbor cruises, brewery and distillery tours, shopping and dining on the freshest Atlantic lobster.

Top 10 things to do in Halifax

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6 – Jasper National Park, Alberta

Jasper National Park in Alberta is home to Mount Columbia, the regions tallest mountain. The massif towers majestically above the azure waters of Maligne Lake, one of the largest glacial-fed lakes in the world. Nature lovers and adventure seekers come from all corners to explore the park and her wildlife. Here you can observe a wide variety of wildlife including grizzly and black bears, elk, deer and mountain goats –have your camera and checklist ready!

Must-do activities include hiking (there are 745 miles of trails) and riding the Jasper Sky Train. You can get a unique view of the area from the glass-floored Glacier Skywalk. Other exciting add-ons include a glacier adventure on the Columbia Icefields and/or a boat tour to Spirit Island.

Top 12 things to do in Jasper National Park

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7 – Mont-Tremblant, Quebec

Located in the beautiful Laurentian Mountains northwest of Montreal, Mont-Tremblant is a year-round outdoor recreational area. This is a place where you can re-connect with nature in its purest form. The fir-clad mountains dip down to embrace multiple rivers, lakes and streams.

This mountainous splendor provides the breathtaking backdrop to the Mont-Tremblant Ski resort. Here you can choose from over 102 skiing slopes for all ability levels. Cross-country skiing, fat-biking, guided alpine tours and snow-shoeing all form part of the coveted Mont-Tremblant winter experience. In summer you have access to the Parc National du Mont-Tremblant for scenic hiking and biking, golfing, fishing, water sports and horse-back riding.

Top 10 Things to do in Mont – Tremblant

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8 – Montreal, Quebec

Canada’s second largest city will enchant you with its amazing marriage of old and new and its melting-pot of cultures. The city was first settled by French colonists, followed by the English, Scottish and Irish! As you walk along the delightful cobbled streets of Old Montreal, it is easy to imagine that you are in Europe.

The historic architecture would be perfectly at home in Paris and you will hear French spoken all over the city. Modern Montreal, by contrast, is a bustling city of skyscrapers and sophisticated tourist attractions. You can learn about the origins of the city by visiting the Pointe-a-Calliere Archaeology and History Complex and MEM, the Montreal History Center. Don’t leave without trying Poutine, the city’s signature culinary curiosity.

Top Things to do in Montreal

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Journey across Canada’s breathtaking landscapes, from vast pristine wilderness areas where bears and arctic animals thrive to bustling, sophisticated cities.

Whether you are seeking world-class museums and diverse culinary delights or thrilling outdoor adventures, Canada’s 17 captivating destinations offer an unforgettable experience  for all ages and interests.

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