When many people think about North America, it’s easy to think of the United States, and for good reason. With it mentioned in the news, and its international reputation, it’s difficult to ignore the States. Canada, however, is an incredibly popular “bucket list” destination for hundreds of thousands of people around the world, and for good reason. With spectacular nature, friendly citizens and interesting food, Canada is one place that has people returning year after year. Read ahead for the top places in Canada to hit up if you want a real Canadian adventure.
Banff and Jasper National Parks, Alberta
These two national parks in the western province of Alberta are home to some of the country’s most breathtaking beauty as well as interesting places to stop for a few moments (or more!) such as the Columbia Icefields where you can be taken out onto the glacier that comes down over the Rockies in large trucks especially for this purpose. Getting out and onto the glacier is a great way to experience the majesty of this area in its entirety, but bring a coat. The temperatures on the glacier can be chilly, even in summer. Accommodation is plentiful both in the towns of Banff and Jasper as well as at the number of campsites and hostels that line the route between the two.
Quebec City, Quebec
This city is in fact the capital of Quebec despite many believing Montreal to be. Quebec City is the only city in North America (with the exception of Mexico and the Caribbean) which still retains its original city walls. While the day to day workings and life of this small city are relatively dull (it is an administrative hub), there are stunning things to see all around the city as well as just outside. The Chateau Frontenac itself is a stunning example of the architecture of the time and sits atop a hill overlooking the St Lawrence River which makes for impressive photo opportunities and a beautiful backdrop for skating in the winter time. Classed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site, Quebec City’s Old Town is home to narrow streets and cafes that are reminiscent of those found in similar streets in Paris.
The Maritime provinces of Canada, in particular Newfoundland and Labrador are a real look back through time and run at a different pace than the rest of Canada. Whether you find yourself in the berry fields of the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia, or along the Trans Canada in Newfoundland, one thing is for sure – the pace of life here is significantly slower than that in the rest of the country. Life passes here at the pace of a snail, especially in the countryside, allowing you to truly relax and enjoy your surroundings. Rent a car and take to the Cabot Trail – one of Canada’s most picturesque drives in northern Nova Scotia and stop at the small villages along the way to stay in bed and breakfasts that are run by friendly, welcoming people, as is the norm here.
So in all, Canada is a great place with so much wide open, wild nature that you will keep coming back for more, regardless of whether you get out and get active or you just like the scenery. With friendly and welcoming locals throughout the country, you will find yourself a second home in Canada, one that you will find hard to top.