This post is part of the “This is My Canada” series for Canadian bloggers who want to write about the things we want people to experience in Canada. Maybe my top 7 is cliche or maybe they are obvious, but I don’t care. I love em!
1. Rocky Mountains
Maybe I’m biased because I live in the west but I’ve yet to find anything on earth more beautiful than the Canadian Rockies. The drive from Calgary, Alberta to British Columbia is outstanding. Summer is the best time for a bunch of reasons. The road conditions are much safer and you’ll truly get to see the amazing contrast between lush green pine forests, bright blue skies, granite grey mountains, and emerald colored lakes. Add to this the high probability of spotting deer, elk, mountain sheep, and potentially some grizzly bears, and you have one hell of an adventure ahead of you. The area is also home to Banff National Park, which is not only Canada’s first national park but also the #1 tourist spot in the country. Here in the winter? No worries, you’ll still get to bask in jaw-dropping beauty and the amazing contrast between bright white snow and deep blue skies. You can also go skiing at multiple world-class resorts.
Vancouver is often credited as being one of the prettiest cities on earth and I happily agree. Make sure you come in the summer though as winter’s can be as grey and depressing as England’s. In the summer, Vancouver won’t disappoint. A very busy and happening downtown will shower you with delicious cafes, trendy shopping, amazing restaurants, and lots of buskers. You can walk or bike to Stanley park for amazing views of the skyline as well as the pacific ocean. You can stop in the aquarium or walk to the beach. You can even enjoy world-class scuba diving nearby or simply sit back and relax in some very fancy hotels with views of the beautiful surroundings. Think cosmopolitan city mixed with beach and mountains.
3. Vancouver Island
While in Vancouver, don’t miss the chance to hit the wilderness of Vancouver Island. Home to the beautiful city of Victoria, your also within range to some of the best hikes in the country. This is where you can walk through rain forest, spot massive yellow slugs, and peer up at massive trees. You’ll get to camp on mystic beaches and walk out into the chilly, but regretting water. Think moist mornings where you unzip the tent, smell the fresh pacific ocean mist in the air, and look around at multicoloured cliffs that represent millions of years of life. You can also visit popular Tofino and go surfing on beautiful long beach. Just don’t forget the wet suit!
4. Northern Lights
I grew up in the small-ish town of Fort.McMurray where the northern lights came out quite often. It’s a great spot to see them but since I would never recommend it as a tourist destination, you’d be better of heading up to the Yukon or the Northwest Territories where you can either watch them dance above you with an immense mountain backdrop or watch them from a traditional native-american teepee. The winter is the best time for this as places like the Northwest Territories provide almost 24 hours of darkness.
This is the place to go for that irish-feeling laid-back east coast feel. Absolutely stunning scenery mixed with the deep blue and cold atlantic. Certain times of the year, you’ll spot icebergs off the coast and in the dead of winter, you’ll probably want to skip the trip here all-together. This place is completely different from the rest of Canada both in looks and people. You’ll get the colorful housing reminiscence of Europe mixed with the friendly hospitality of a small-fishing village. Make sure you ask to be screeched in.
6. Montreal and Quebec City
Montreal, home of smoked meat and poutine, will no doubt put a smile on your face. Often called the Europe of Canada, you’ll notice a much trendier side to this hip city. With a heavy dose of english and french, it’s one of the only places in Canada that truly makes us look bi-lingual. Quebec City is more on the french side and will delight you with it’s colonial architecture. Boiling maple syrup hardened on snow is a real treat in the winter but fall is a great time to be in either place as you can walk the many beautiful trails while taking pictures of the amazing colors of the changing leaves.
7. Toronto and Niagara Falls
The biggest city in Canada is a great place for a lot action. NHL, NBA, and MLB are all part of this sport-fanatic city. You can also take part in one of the highest buildings in the world by going to the top of the CN tower and peer out at the never-ending city lights. In the summer, you can even do the skywalk, an activity that brings you outside the tower and on to the platform ??? feet high. Other musts in the area include the outstanding Niagara Falls, one of the seven wonders of the world. And, if your like me, you’ll love wonderland, an amusement park filled with amazing world-class roller-coasters.
As part of the This is My Canada series, I need to tag three other oh-so-lucky canucks….hmmm who shall I tag?
Picture of Toronto Skyline credited to Arienne Parzei of See You Soon.