Canada is known for its vast coastline, beautiful places, diverse cities, picturesque lakes, plenty of outdoor adventures in the 45 National Parks, and wildlife viewing opportunities. Most importantly Canada is known for being one of the friendliest countries in the world.
Here are 30 Beautiful Places in Canada that should be on your travel list.
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Some Fun Facts about Canada
- Canada’s Capital City is Ottawa and Canada’s Largest City is Toronto.
- Canada has 10 provinces and 3 Territories. Provinces of Canada are British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. The Canadian Territories are Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.
- The beaver and the maple tree are the official symbols of Canada.
- Canada is cold with the lowest temperature ever recorded -81.4F (-63C). But it is not the coldest country in the world, Antarctica, Greenland and Russia, are colder than Canada.
- The oldest rocks on Earth (about 4.28 billion years old) can be found in the Canadian Shield.
- Canada has around 2 million lakes. Canada has more lakes than anywhere else in the world. Canada also has 20 percent of the world’s freshwater.
- Canada is home to four of the top 10 largest lakes in the world – Great Bear Lake is the largest lake in Canada is partially situated within the Arctic Circle, Great Slave Lake is the Deepest lake in North America. Both located in the Northwest Territories.
- Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area.
- Three of the 10 largest islands in the world are located within Canada – Baffin Island, Victoria Island, and Ellesmere Island.
- Wasaga Beach is the world’s longest freshwater beach and it is located in Ontario, Canada.
- Located on the northern edge of Lake Huron, Manitoulin Island in Ontario, Canada is the largest freshwater island in the world.
- Canada also has the longest coastline of any other country in the world, with 125,566.691 miles (202,000 km) long and it is bordered by the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.
- Quebec produces more than 70% of the world’s maple syrup.
- You can find the highest tides in the world at the Bay of Fundy in Canada. Located between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, this body of water moves 100 billion tons of water through its tides twice daily.
- Canada has the longest highway in the world, The Trans–Canada Highway covers 4,860 miles!
1. Banff & Lake Louise
Banff National Park is Canada’s first national park. It was established in 1885 three years after the first National Park in the world was established in the United States at Yellowstone National Park.
Considered one of the most beautiful scenic drives in the world, Icefields Parkway links Banff and Jasper National Parks.
There are hundreds of glaciers and waterfalls lining this iconic route that takes you through the Canadian Rockie Mountains. Make sure to stop at the Athabasca glacier and falls, The Columbia Icefields, hike up to Bow Lake and Peyto Lake.
Some of the beautiful views in Canada can be seen at the Columbia Icefields Parkway & Skywalk. Located along the Icefields Parkway, stop here to see the surrounding mountains and glaciers. It is one of the coolest walk in Canada dangling 280 meters (918-foot) over the Sunwapta Valley. Walking on this glass floor is one of the best experiences in Canada!
Stay at the famous Chateau Lake Louise that overlooks the lake Louise.
During the summer months visitors to the Columbia Icefield can travel onto the glacier in the comfort of large “snowcoaches” for an ultimate glacier experience in Canada.
Jasper National Park is a little less crowded than Banff National Park but just as beautiful. Plan to visit during the Dark Sky Festival held in October to see the display of stars and the Aurora Borealis. It is Canada’s largest celebration of the night sky!
Don’t miss the views at the many gorgeous alpine lakes in the area – Cavell, Maligne, Pyramid, Mildred and Beauvert Lakes to name a few have spectacular views.
Maligne Lake is probably Jasper’s most famous lake, you can’t visit Jasper without driving out to enjoy the extraordinary views of Maligne Lake.
Stay at Jasper Park Lodge that sits on shores of pristine Lac Beauvert.
3. Waterton Lakes National Park
At the other end of Alberta is Waterton Lakes National Park. It shares a border with Glacier National Park in America. Clear lakes, thundering waterfalls, clear streams, and colorful rocks and soaring mountain await hikers and sightseers here. It is one of a kind in the world since it is also an International Peace Park, and a Biosphere Reserve.
Whistler is a popular ski destination in Canada. In the summer people go to enjoy mountain biking or to explore its many hiking trails and outdoor activities. After the adventures stay at the Whistler village to enjoy the world-class dining and nightlife.
See where we stayed and Summer adventures in Whistler
Victoria is known as The Garden City was named after Queen Victoria and is the oldest city in the Pacific Northwest. With its colonial architecture, beautiful gardens, and a lovely seafront, you can feel the English influence with every turn. Don’t miss enjoying some afternoon tea fit for a queen.
Located on Vancouver Island just off of Canada’s west coast, Tofino is Canada’s surfing destination. You can find sandy beaches with year-round surfing facilities on Cox Bay, Chesterman Beach and the popular Long Beach. Storm watchers also come to Tofino from October to February to watch the massive winter waves that pound the Canadian Coast.
7. Okanagan Valley
With rolling hills dotted with wineries, Okanagan Valley is British Columbia’s wine region. For visiting the valley, you can base yourself either in Kelowna or Vernon. Taste the region’s splendid wines while enjoying views of picturesque lakes, and mountain ranges surrounding the valley.
The town of Churchill is located on the polar bear highway. It is also famous for seeing the beluga whale migration where thousands of belugas can be spotted playing in the bay just off the pier of Churchill.
In addition to polar bear viewing, in the evening accompanied by specialist guides look for the northern lights shows that happens often here!
9. Hudson Bay
To increase your chances of seeing the polar bears, stay at one of the lodges on Hudson Bay like the Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge.
The unique ecosystem, nourished by the Hudson Bay coastal waters, is home to polar bears, black bears, wolves, and moose and a remarkable number of bird species. The wildlife viewing and scenery are spectacular and one of the most unique experiences in Canada.
Churchill Wild has several lodges in Northern Manitoba where polar bears can be viewed up close and personal in their natural habitat.
You can come home saying you have been to the Canadian tundra and walked with the Polar bears.
10. Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is Canada’s most famous tourist attraction and probably the #1 place to visit in Ontario, or even in Canada! After all, it is the world’s largest waterfalls! There are several adventures you can do like taking the Maid of the Mist into the bottom of the horseshoe falls, take a journey behind the falls, or if you dare, join a jetboat tour to the whirlpool.
We visited Niagara Falls when we first moved to the US but have not been back since. Hope to visit again this year and have some blogs to share!
11. CN Tower
The CN was once the world’s tallest structure. While it lost the title to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, it is still clinging to the top 10. We love visiting towers and get some adrenaline flowing (See our experience at the titling floors at 360 Chicago) and hoping to get to do the Edgewalk at the CN Tower.
With its glass floor, rotating restaurant, and there are many things to do, you just can’t miss it when visiting Toronto. It is one of the best things to do in Canada!
12. Lake Superior North Shore
If you get all the way to the north of Lake Superior, you will find the most beautiful views in Ontario.
Stop to check out the 28 ft tall Wawa Goose, located at the junction of the last link of the Trans-Canada Highway. It is the largest of its kind in Canada and Wawa Goose Monument is one of the most photographed landmarks in North America.
Ottawa is Canada’s capital and another great place to visit in Canada. During the summer, you’ll find the Rideau Canal filled with boats (both private and commercial) and the paved pathways surrounding it filled with walkers, runners and bicyclists.
The city is designed with tourists in mind and there are many things to do in Ottawa. Visit the Parliament buildings, admire art at the National Gallery of Canada located across the river in Gatineau. Spend some time at Gatineau Park. Stay at the historic Chateau Laurier.
14. Manitoulin Island
Manitoulin Island is the world’s largest freshwater island and it has more than a hundred inland lakes between its shores. It is a peaceful and spiritual place and an explosion of the cultural expression of rural Canada.
Manitoulin has many hiking trails, two of the popular hikes are Bebamikawe Memorial Trail which is an easy to moderate 14 km trail with scenic lookouts and vistas and a hike to the top of the Cup and Saucer Trail.
15. Quebec City
Québec is a predominantly French-speaking province in Canada. Quebec City has all the charms of a European city. It enjoys a cliff-top location above the St Lawrence River and has picturesque old streets, a gorgeous historic district and UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Canada
Stay in Old Quebec at the Chateau Frontenac for a memorable experience.
16. Old Montreal
Montreal is set on an island in the Saint Lawrence River and is both a modern city and has a historic district, Old Montreal. Another beautiful place to visit in Canada! Notre Dame Cathedral is the central point of Old Montreal and from here you can get lost among the cobblestone streets and historic monuments and buildings and be transported back in time.
17. Mont Tremblant
Just a 90-minute drive from Montreal, Mont Tremblant is perfect for a weekend escape. Mont Tremblant is a popular place for skiing in Canada. But you can also find many adventures during the summer months. You will find many things to do in the pedestrian-friendly village nestled below the mountains. Don’t miss the many fine dining spots and cafes.
18. Fundy National Park & Bay of Fundy Hopewell Rocks
With Unique Formations, Sea Caves and arches, the Bay of Fundy is one of the best places to see the power of the highest tides on earth.
Driving through Fundy National Park you will see stunning views of the New Brunswick Coast. With 25 waterfalls and spectacular views of the Bay of Fundy, Fundy National Park is a great Canadian park to visit.
If you up for an adventure, hike the Fundy Trail, a 60 km hike that is considered one of the greatest multi-day hikes in the world.
19. Kouchibouguac National Park
One of the best dark sky preserves can be found in Kouchibouguac National Park. The park includes forests, barrier islands, sand dunes, lagoons and salt marshes, and forests. One of the most popular things to do here is to walk along the boardwalk path through the salt marsh.
20. St. Martins and Saint John
With historic timber-truss covered bridges, St. Martins and Saint John are must-stop on the East Coast in Canada. Covered bridges in New Brunswick are known as “kissing bridges.” This dates back to the years of horse and wagon travel when young couples would take advantage of their privacy, stop their horse or carriage ride, and sneak in a few kisses.
Visit the longest bridge (about 1200 ft) located in Hartland in the Saint John River Valley.
Lunenburg, a port town is one of Canada’s prettiest cities. With brightly painted houses that adhere to strict cultural standards, Lunenburg has kept its maritime heritage intact. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will find fine dining, many museums, and boutique places to stay making this another great Canadian destination to visit.
22. Cape Breton
The Cabot Trail is considered one of the world’s most scenic drives and destinations. The route which is about 185 miles in length, completes a loop around the northern tip of the island, passing through the Cape Breton Highlands.
It is one of the best road trips in Canada and the world featuring coastal views, fishing villages, hiking trails, whale watching, boat trips and lobster tours.
We loved Scenic drives! See our Chapman’s Peak drive, a scenic drive in South Africa
23. Peggy’s Cove
Peggy’s Cove is Nova Scotia’s most popular attraction and known as one of the world’s most famous lighthouses. Hike along the volcanic coastal rocks and take in the beautiful view of Canada’s East Coast.
Prince Edward Island
Referred to as the Garden of the Gulf, PEI is located about 200 kilometers (120 miles) north of Halifax, Nova Scotia. It often makes the list one of the most beautiful places to visit in Canada.
24. Confederation Bridge
The Confederation Bridge links Prince Edward Island with New Brunswick on the mainland by the Trans Canada Highway. It is an engineering feat and one of the longest bridge in the world.
Charlottetown is a small city bursting with big energy. It is home to the Charlottetown Festival showcasing Canada’s longest-running musical, Anne of Green Gables-The Musical™, and holds a Guinness World Record for the same. There are Anne-related attractions all over the Island.
During the fall of 1864, this seaside village was the site of a meeting that led to the Canadian confederation.
It has a postcard-worthy harbor, farm to table dining, many boutique hotels. This charming town on the east coast of one Canada’s best kept secrets!
Yukon and Northwest Territories
26. Dempster Highway & Dawson City
One of Canada’s ultimate road trip is along the Dempster Highway where you can drive all the way to the Arctic Ocean.
It starts in Inuvik in the Northwest Territories and takes you to Dawson City, Yukon. On this epic drive, you pass the Arctic Circle, the picturesque Tombstone Mountains, and also see plenty of wildlife. If you are “lucky”, you might even see Grizzly Bears on the side of the road!
Dawson City is a wild west town that is a national historic site that has preserved its town facades from the Klondike Gold Rush days. Here you can experience the midnight sun, soak in the views of the Tombstone Mountains.
27. Ivvavik National Park
Ivvavik National Park is the best place to visit in Canada if you want to see Grizzly bears in the wild. It is also one of the most remote national parks in the country.
28. Mackenzie Delta
The Mackenzie Delta is a unique ecosystem in the far North of Canada that empties into the Arctic Sea. It is one of the most isolated places on earth.
For half a year it is covered with ice. When the ice melts and the Mackenzie River flow through the delta creating some of the most amazing views.
located on the Labrador Peninsula in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Torngat Mountains National Park is another great Canadian national park. The park encompasses mountainous terrain between Northern Québec and the Labrador Sea.
Gros Morne National Park
Gros Morne National Park lies on the west coast of the island of Newfoundland, in eastern Canada. Gros Morne, a peak in the Long Range Mountains, has a trail overlooking the Ten Mile Pond gorge. Western Brook Pond, a fjord formed by glaciers, is lined with cliffs and waterfalls, including Pissing Mare Falls. The desert-like Tablelands area has unusual rock formations created by the earth’s tectonic plates colliding.
Grasslands National Park
Saskatchewan is a Canadian province that shares borders with the United States. Grassland covers its southern plains, while in the north lies the rugged Canadian Shield plateau.
Located near the village of Val Marie, Saskatchewan, Grasslands National Park is a Canadian national park. It is one of 44 national parks and park reserves in Canada’s national park system and lies across the border, north from the American state of Montana.
Best Scenic Train rides in Canada
Enjoy the stunning scenery while riding the Rocky Mountaineer Rail Routes. The most popular route is through the Canadian Rockies, which carves through extreme landscapes like BC’s coastal rainforest, the rugged Fraser Canyon, and the historic Cariboo gold rush region. Or take the panoramic train from Vancouver to Jasper, through some of the highest peaks in the Canadian Rockies and the remote vistas of Canada’s West.
See this article by Fodor’s that list 15 stunning Natural Wonders in Canada
I hope this list of beautiful places to visit inspires you and gives you some interesting ideas when planning your next trip to Canada.
Images sourced from Pixabay
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