Planning to travel to Canada? Trying to decide which are the best places to visit in Canada?
Although this web site is devoted to Ontario, you’ll also find a wonderful array of other exciting destinations in other parts of Canada. Here are some of my tips for both first-time visitors, returning guests and even you locals who haven’t got around to seeing all of our massive, beautiful country (neither have I!). Some of the most popular places to visit in Canada include:
I spent 10 years living in Montreal and know the allure of this city well. For Americans and Canadians, it’s a “taste of Europe” without the expense of going overseas. For Europeans, it’s an exciting mix of New World and The Old. The French Flair of the province of Quebec holds a big appeal for many visitors. Others enjoy all the fabulous open-air festivals in Montreal, and the quaint old-world town walls of Quebec. I love all the great museums in both cities. If you’re visiting Ontario, Montreal and Quebec City are pretty easy add-ons, as they’re not that far away (Montreal-Toronto is a six-hour drive so add a few days to your trip and it’s manageable). Many guided bus trips include Niagara Falls-Toronto-Montreal as a standard itinerary. If you're going to travel to Canada from overseas, I'd highly recommend adding Quebec to your journey.
One of my personal favourites. Halifax is a lovely, artistic, walkable, historic town with lots of good choices for accommodation and dining. If you’re into scenic beauty you definitely have to tour Cape Breton; the Cabot Trail was the highlight of my trip there! I also loved Peggy’s Cove and the wonderful historic buildings of Lunenburg. Nova Scotia is at the far eastern edge of Canada, so if you’re trying to see Ontario and the East Coast, you might want to fly to save time (depends on how long you’re going to have for your travel to Canada).
I spent half a year in Calgary once and have family there. The city is famous for its annual stampede, and is another one of the most popular places to visit in Canada. Lake Louise, also in Alberta and a two-hour drive from Calgary, pops up in picture postcards, photograph books and DVDs continually, simply because it’s so unbelievably gorgeous!
Vancouver, on the mainland, is famous for its waterfront and mountains. Victoria (located on Vancouver Island -- confusing, I know!) is a known for its heritage buildings and romantic Old-Fashioned air. Both have wonderful museums and art galleries as well.
If you can, take the seaplane from downtown Vancouver to Victoria (or vice versa) for spectacular views of the ocean and the islands between the mainland on Vancouver Island.
Newfoundland has spectacular coastal scenery and a lively music scene. For history buffs, you'll also find some fascinating places to explore, such as Bell Island Mine and the archeological remains of the 400 year old Colony of Avalon in the town of Ferryland. If you have time, get up to the Avalon Penninsula too.
Canada is BIG! To travel from one end of the country to another by car will take you a few days of non-stop driving so many people wind up flying between major centres. You can also take the train, although often this is even more expensive than flying. However, it’s a very popular way to travel for that once-in-a-lifetime trip; that train journey through the Rockies is particularly famous for its spectacular scenery.
For more information see my page on Train Travel in Canada.
Ontario Travel Secrets > Travel to Canada