Canada is a vast and beautiful country that is home to over 36 million people. Canada has 13 unique provinces and territories that are home to many world-famous national parks, heritage sites and major cities from the west to east coast. Canada boasts the perfect combination of wild landscapes and diverse metropolitan cities to discover. Here is a travel guide highlighting the best places to visit in Canada. Enjoy!
Places to Visit in Canada: The Western Provinces
Alberta is best known for the magnificent scenic views of the Rocky Mountains, the northern oil fields, and the annual Calgary Stampede. Alberta is also home to Canada’s largest shopping centre, the West Edmonton Mall in the capital city of Edmonton. On top of the over 800 stores at the West Edmonton Mall, visitors can also find the world’s largest indoor amusement park, waterpark, and even a themed hotel on-site. This makes Edmonton an excellent Canadian vacation for the whole family!
While in Alberta, you can explore Banff National Park and visit Lake Louise, which is one of the most photographed places to visit in Canada. If you are in the mood for a road trip, consider driving along Alberta’s Icefields Parkway.
British Columbia (BC)
British Columbia is situated along Canada’s west coast, nestled between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Catch those west coast vibes in towns like the Sunshine Coast and the capital city of Victoria. There’s also a variety of fun things to do in Vancouver, where nature and urban exploration abound.
Adventure enthusiasts can kayak in B.C.’s crystal clear lakes, check out the suspension bridges or sky-high trees in Vancouver’s parks, or take a boat tour off the coast – you might even spot an orca! Less than two hours north in the town of Whistler, B.C. is home to one of the main ski resorts in the country, and also one of the top vacation destinations in Canada.
Canada’s Prairie Provinces
The prairie province of Saskatchewan is known for its agriculture, but did you know it also contains over 100 kilometres of sand dunes and over 100 different lakes? The Athabasca Sand Dunes and the many water systems highlight the natural diversity of this province.
If you visit Saskatchewan in the fall or winter, head to a Saskatchewan Roughriders game, which is the province’s national football team in the CFL. Then head to Reindeer Lake for the day and learn how it was created by an ancient meteorite, or set off on a nature hike on Cypress Hills.
Wedged between the Saskatchewan plains and Ontario’s large land mass, Manitoba is known for its natural landscape and interesting history. This prairie province also made the list of Lonely Planet’s Top Regions for Travel in 2019!
The capital city of Winnipeg is home to beautiful parks, great restaurants, and extensive museums. While it might be one of the colder places to visit in Canada, Churchill, Manitoba is an ideal spot to travel to during the winter months. Travellers can venture out into the tundra to potentially spot a polar bear and other local Canadian wildlife! Always make sure to go with a local guide.
Best known for its major urban centres, the province of Ontario also offers many exciting destinations outside the bustling metropolis of Toronto and the picturesque Canadian capital of Ottawa.
Ontario boasts a variety of stunning provincial parks and wineries. The Niagara wine region is home to some of North America’s top and award-winning wines. It is also the perfect place to access some of the Great Lakes like Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Don’t miss travelling to Niagara Falls, canoeing through Algonquin Provincial Park, hiking the Bruce Peninsula, or sunbathing at one of Ontario’s many golden beaches. The slogan isn’t “Yours to Discover” for nothing!
Quebec is Canada’s largest province and gateway to lots of French Canadian culture. The province yields a staggering number of waterways and is home to one of the world’s longest rivers: the St. Lawrence River.
Be sure to stop in Montreal to try some of their many iconic foods like poutine, smoked meat and freshly-baked bagels (are they better than the ones in New York City? We’ll let you be the judge of that!) and just completely indulge yourself in the city’s foodie culture. In the winter, check out Quebec City’s noteworthy winter festivals, try snowmobiling through the never-ending backcountry trails, or hit the ski slopes at Mont-Tremblant.
Places to Visit in Canada Along the East Coast
New Brunswick (NB)
New Brunswick is a nature-rich maritime destination! There are plenty of opportunities for hiking, snowshoeing, sledding and even snowboarding! Nature lovers should be sure to check out the Bay of Fundy and Mount Carleton Provincial Park. For those interested in city experiences, explore Moncton or Fredericton to experience the nightlife, café scene, cultural events, and music festivals, making it a great choice for places to visit in Canada.
Newfoundland and Labrador (NL)
Both the island of Newfoundland and the mainland of Labrador embody a vibrant and unique culture and history. Revel in the beautiful Canadian east coast landscapes, try the fresh seafood, and check out the local music scene. (Kitchen party, anyone?) If you’re lucky, a trip to the Atlantic coast may offer views of floating icebergs or whales surfacing along the icy water.
Nova Scotia (NS)
Nova Scotia‘s geographic location makes it a great destination for rafting and other water sports. You can even try your hand at clam digging or explore the province’s history through cemetery or shipwreck tours. Travellers should also plan a stop at the unique lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove.
For a taste of maritime culture, stop in Halifax for music and drinks, including a pit stop at the Alexander Keith’s India Pale Ale brewery.
Prince Edward Island (PEI)
Prince Edward Island is Canada’s smallest province and notoriously known for being the captivating setting of the novel ‘Anne of Green Gables.’ Tourism on the island offers gorgeous golf courses, scenic coastal drives, and stellar photography opportunities. The seafood in P.E.I. is so world-class that this province definitely deserves a spot on the best places to visit in Canada list!
The Canadian Territories
Northwest Territories (NT)
The Northwest Territories is a vast and diverse space. It is the only political region in Canada that recognizes 11 official languages. Visitors to the Northwest Territories can experience the unique phenomenon of the summer ‘midnight sun.’ This region has over three months of continual sunlight!
Along with this unique summer experience, there are opportunities to watch for incredible local wildlife, including muskoxen, bison, moose, puffins, caribou, reindeer, and ptarmigans (a type of bird).
Nunavut became an official territory of Canada in 1999, though it has been encompassed within Canada for a century. Nunavut’s has a population of around 33,000 people, with 84 percent identifying as Inuit. Visitors to Nunavut can take a tour to spot narwhals in the Arctic water, admire the sheer untouched beauty of Cape Dorset, or even enjoy a dogsled trip!
Canada’s Yukon Territory is situated along the northwest edges of the country, bordering Alaska. It was the home of the famous ‘Klondike Gold Rush’ in the 1800’s. These days, travellers, photographers and nature lovers alike flock to Yukon to experience the aurora borealis phenomenon, better known as the northern lights.
Canada is a diverse travel destination with neverending things to do and places to discover. Each province and territory hosts unique experiences – from the east coast to the west coast, and everything in between!
Use this travel guide of places to visit in Canada is a starting point for your next Canadian vacation! Check out Skyscanner’s travel guides, travel deals and other news to learn more about each different destination.
It’s always a great time to visit Canada, so get exploring!