As the second largest country in the world, Canada has some pretty exhilarating things to do and see. Boasting three coasts travelers can find a plethora of landscapes, seascapes, culture, history, and pretty cool people to explore during a visit.
From its famous ski slopes like Whistler to the grandeur of Niagara Falls, Canada holds some of the world’s greatest travel destinations. As a perpetual traveler, I’m constantly on the lookout for amazing places to explore and Canada is amazing for sure!
Things To See In Canada
Spend some time in Quebec City
This charming city is a big draw for tourists, especially New Yorkers. As a UNESCO site, Quebec City is filled with old-world allure.
Strolling the French style colonial streets will make you feel like you’re in a small provence from Beauty and the Beast. With cafes, beautifully designed hotels, and markets like Ottawa’s ByWard tourists and locals alike can enjoy the variety of activities and architecture Quebec City offers.
Don’t forget to walk along the walls that surround the UNESCO World Heritage Site; the views are magnificent.
While more-established destinations such as British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley and Ontario’s Niagara region have slowly started to receive global acceptance for their winemaking endeavors, a number of other, lesser-known regions throughout the country are also slowly upping the ante for Canadian winemakers.
Count among them Nova Scotia, one of Canada’s easternmost provinces.
While at first, salty, sea-sprayed Nova Scotia, might not seem a likely contender in the wine-making game, the province is home to about 20 wineries, which account for about two percent of the nation’s entire yield. The wineries are spread far and wide throughout the province, but the bulk of them make their home in the fertile Annapolis Valley, which is also known for its apple crop and its production of Nova Scotia’s famed blueberries.
Here the healthy soil and the chillier climate create the perfect environment for producing grapes that have gone on to gain a lot of international and award-winning attention. Nova Scotia is particularly known for its white wines and even has its own appellation, Tidal Bay, which pairs perfectly with the seafood pulled from the adjacent Atlantic waters.
With nearly 11,000 miles of shoreline, The Rock is a naturally gorgeous wonderland for exploring in a motorhome
The sign reads: “St. Vincent’s Beach Where the Whales Come to Play.” The wet, gleaming back of a 50-foot humpback suddenly appears just 10 feet from where the water meets the sand. Excited visitors, cameras and phones in hand, scurry along, tracking the whale as it rises and falls in the shallow water. I rush toward the beach just as the cetacean’s bumpy head and back crest the water, and it blows a jet of water and air with a whooshing sound. All around are tiny bubbles. The whale is bubble-net fishing — corralling tiny smelt-like capelin.
Another cetacean, slightly smaller, swims along the beach-line, showing its back, then its curved tail fluke. A third whale bobs a little farther down, swimming toward me, circling back to catch more fish. In the bay, a dozen whale waterspouts blow high into the air.
I reach the water’s edge just as the big whale lifts its knobby head completely out of the water. It opens its vast mouth, displaying long black and white grooves under its jaw.
The art of travel these days extends far beyond checking off sights on a bucket list. Visitors are looking for experiences that entice, challenge and immerse. As the world becomes ever closer thanks to technology and the ease of transportation, real life and experiencing local culture are merging into a new type of adventure with endless possibilities.
This new era of travel allows us to challenge our world and ourselves. You can join a charity project in Africa, learning from the locals as you effect change, or you can throw off one career in pursuit of another. Looking for a career change and place to explore your passion? What better way to reorient your life than in a different city or country? Work remotely or explore a culture through the eyes of locals. Rent an Airbnb and live in a real neighborhood rather than a tourist hotel. After all, the sky is the limit!
One institution that is helping people transition careers is Le Cordon Bleu, with its immersive culinary programs at campuses around the world.
Canada is now home to the largest stretch of protected boreal forest in the world.
On May 15, the Nature Conservancy of Canada celebrated the creation of a 1,274 square-mile conserved forest in northeastern Alberta.
Through an Order in Council, the Government of Alberta created the Birch River Wildland Park. This park is near the recently created Richardson, Kazan, and Birch Mountain parks, thus creating the largest continuous boreal forest in the world.
And to the south, the parks link up with the already massive Wood Buffalo National Park, a Unesco World Heritage Site home to the largest wild bison population in North America.
The announcement comes after the Tallcree Tribal Government relinquished its timber quota of $2.8 million. The NCC purchased the relinquishment, thus opening the door for the Government of Alberta to protect the land and create the parks.
Largest Boreal Forest: Birch River Wildland Park
Canada’s protected boreal forests now total 26,156 square miles – a conservation achievement the NCC says is of “global significance.”
Something unforgettable happens as I stroll along a vast sandbank in the middle of a seemingly quiet river in Nova Scotia.
The tide surges in from up ahead like a mini tsunami and within minutes it’s a giant, swirling hot tub. My fellow rafters and I are now back in the small boat and our helmswoman is motoring on into waves which are swelling and crashing over our heads.
Amid the excitement, she explains to us that about 100 billlion tonnes of seawater is currently rushing in from the adjoining Bay of Fundy and reversing the natural flow of its tributary rivers – a phenomenon which happens every six hours in this part of the world. It provides a truly exhilarating experience known as tidal bore rafting.
And adventure is just one of Nova Scotia’s many attractions. There are beautiful seaside towns coloured with brightly painted homes, long walks along rocky shores and sandy beaches, maritime museums and countless restaurants serving some of the freshest lobster you will ever taste.
Old Quebec City dates back to the 1600s and is ranked among the top 20 most romantic destinations in the world. Old Quebec City offers European and French charm, food, culture, and history (vieux city is a UNESCO world heritage site). The city is very walkable and offers an upper and lower town, which can be reached via steps or a funicular. The upper town still has its historic walls up around the old city and offers visitors parks and green space to enjoy. There are many local shops, restaurants, cafes, boutique hotels, museums and cultural sites to visit. The city is a popular stop on a cruise. The more popular months to visit are June through October.
The lower town area offers St. Lawrence Seaway access, farmers market, artists studios and stores and at what at one time in history was Quebec City’s Walls Street with grand buildings.
Most people assume that if you want a taste of Europe, you have to travel all the way to Europe.
And while this is *mostly* true, there’s actually a city in Canada that will give you all the Europe feels without the Europe jet lag. And that city is Quebec City. (Their tourism slogan is literally “So Europe. So close.”)
I’ve been to quite a few cities in Canada, from Toronto to Vancouver to Ottawa to Calgary. But none of them feel quite the same as the cities in the province of Quebec. The Quebec region has a history quite different from the majority of the rest of Canada – and there’s no better place to get a feel for that history than in Quebec City.
I visited Quebec City for the first time in 2018. It was still chilly in early May and the trees were still bare and brown, but I absolutely fell in love with the city anyway. From the history to the architecture to the food, it’s hard to NOT be wowed by Quebec City.