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Places to visit in Canada in winter

We know that travel is especially difficult right now. But alongside the latest COVID-19 travel advice and updates, we want to continue to inspire you with new travel content so that when the world opens its doors again, you’ll be ready.

Travel may be a little (alright, a lot) different this year, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up your dreams of a winter vacation just yet. Take a little time to explore some of the wonderful winter activities that Canada has to offer, and discover the best places to visit in Canada with our list below. We’ve also included some international winter destination inspiration as well — for when the time is right. 

Click below to find your perfect winter vacation inspiration:

Best places to visit in Canada this winter

Mont Sutton, Quebec

Just a few hours from Montreal and you’ll find yourself in one of the more underrated winter vacation destinations in Canada, Mont Sutton in the Eastern Townships. With their seven-day all-inclusive family pass to the mountain and impressive ski trails, you can book a perfect family winter vacation and enjoy an entire week of unforgettable alpine skiing. Book a stay at a nearby chalet (Quebec for a winter cabin in the woods) where you can relax and unwind without the worry of any crowds.

ski goggles resting on a powdered mountain in winter
Take to the slopes this winter vacation

Grey County, Ontario

Grey County is one of the best places to visit in Ontario during the winter months, where travellers can enjoy some downhill skiing on the Blue Mountains and a ton of cross-country trails that will keep you exploring for days. Located just two hours north of Toronto, this is a perfect weekend getaway for Torontonians. Grey County also offers a variety of winter activities like fat bike riding, snowshoeing, and more. Check their website and discover why Grey County is one of the top winter getaways in Ontario.

Castle Mountain, Alberta

The province of Alberta is blessed with what feels like countless winter activities and world-class skiing options. Consider a more peaceful alternative to Banff or Jasper this year and spend your Canadian winter vacation at beautiful Castle Mountain Resort. Located in Pincher Creek in southern Alberta, the resort offers lots of trails for skiing, snowshoe tours, and you can stay at one of their many accommodation options nearby, including RV camping.

person walking with two kids on either side in a beautiful mountain range on a cold day
Plan a winter vacation in Canada with kids

Cox Bay Beach, British Columbia

One of the warmest places in Canada during the winter months is definitely Vancouver Island, where you can enjoy a temperate climate and off-season tourism along the rugged coast. If you’re in Vancouver and looking for a winter vacation option, consider heading to the island and planning a trip to beautiful Cox Bay in Tofino. Rent a lodge by the water with your friends and have a barbeque outside while watching the ocean waves. This beach is actually one of the most popular spots for winter surfing, so pack your wet suit and enjoy your Canadian winter on the Pacific Coast with some water sports.

Cheap winter vacations in Canada

Hiking in Nova Scotia

If you’re looking for a cheap winter vacation in Canada, there are so many affordable outdoor winter activities in and around Halifax, Nova Scotia. Atlantic Canada might not have the epic mountain peaks of western Canada but there are plenty of cheap hiking and adventure opportunities across the province. Check out the impressive trails of the Annapolis Valley or explore the coastline in Halifax and Peggy’s Cove, one of the top tourist attractions in Canada. If you’re in the mood for skating, head to the Emera Oval, of the top outdoor skating rinks in Canada.

Peggy's Cove Lighthouse during the day
Places to visit in Canada in winter: Nova Scotia

Gatineau and Chelsea, Quebec

More cheap winter vacation opportunities await in the Gatineau Hills, just across the border from Ottawa. The lake and hiking trails here make for fun winter activities if you’re on a budget. Head a little north to the charming town of Chelsea and spend your winter vacation relaxing in a secluded cabin with your partner; this is a perfect Canadian winter destination for a romantic getaway! Put on your snow pants and toque and head out for an afternoon of tobogganing or cross-country skiing, then warm up with a hot chocolate at a local café. Chelsea is also home to a wonderful Nordik Spa, so consider indulging in a little wellness trip here.

two people cross country skiing in the forest
Places to visit in Canada in winter

Elk Island National Park, Alberta

Only a 45-minute drive from Edmonton, Elk Island National Park is a beautiful tourist attraction in western Canada with lots to do any time of year. The winter season offers wonderful opportunities for exploring, not to mention stargazing and views of the northern lights. Many of the lodges and hotels are open during the winter months, so plan your winter vacation today before all the spaces book up! Check the provincial government website for the latest guidelines and travel safety advice.

Top warm winter destinations

If you’re looking for great travel destinations that will put you front and centre for some sunshine, then these might be for you!

Street in San Juan, Puerto Rico, a popular spot for a winter vacation
Cheap winter vacations guaranteed to keep you warm: San Juan

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico’s capital of San Juan also has great weather year-round, with the winter months in the high 20s. And December to April tends to be peak season for travelling to San Juan, and you don’t want to plan too late because hurricane season hits in July. 

If you’re planning things to do on your winter vacation, a definite must-do is wandering around and admiring the Spanish colonial architecture of Old San Juan. For some fun after a few hours of exploring, book a tour of the Bacardi Rum Factory and learn how to mix a proper pina colada. Puerto Rico is home to beautiful Caribbean beaches, and if you are looking for some relaxation with your special someone or the entire family, then consider spending a few days at Ocean Park Beach.

bowl of pho
Indulge in great food on a winter getaway to Vietnam

Vietnam

If you’re looking for a cheap winter vacation, Southeast Asia is where you’re going to find it. While all of the places on this list boast climates warmer than Canada’s this time of year, these two have temperatures that hover around 30 degrees.

Vietnam is one of the best places for Canadians to visit and offers cheap winter vacations. Ho Chi Minh City, located in the southern part of Vietnam, offers a bustling metropolis with a rich culture and history. The Mekong Delta offers floating markets, rice paddies, orchids, and sugar cane fields and lots of amazing scenery.

couple relax on beach together. Sea view and sandy beach in Asia, Vietnam
Enjoy some beach time this winter vacation

Take an unforgettable winter vacation to Thailand

If you’re planning a winter vacation to Thailand start by exploring Bangkok, where you’ll want to check out historical sites like The Grand Palace in Bangkok and wander around historic Chinatown. Not to be missed are some of the city’s most beautiful temples, like Wat Arun or Wat Saket. If you venture up north to Chiang Mai, there are plenty of sustainable tourism opportunities waiting for you.

Need to work within a strict budget and want to get a local experience? One of the best and cheapest ways to get around Bangkok is by water taxi along the Chao Phraya River. The fare is less than $1 (15 Thai baht) and you can get some excellent views of the Bangkok skyline along the way!

Best cheap winter vacation destinations

What are the cheapest winter vacation destinations?

For the best last-minute deals to a number of destinations from Canada, see our flight deals page which is filled with winter vacation flight deals and more.

When is the best time to book a winter getaway?

If you’re booking a place to visit in Canada for your winter vacation this year, we recommend booking for accommodation at least a few months ahead of time. Many travellers will be looking for their perfect secluded getaway to a cabin in the woods, so check this hotel booking site for a great deal.

people setting up camp under the stars in the snowy mountains at night
Places to visit in Canada in winter

Discover where you can go

Making plans to get back out there? Find out which borders are open with our interactive global map. You can also sign up to receive email updates when your top destinations reopen.

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