This year, Canada celebrates its 150th year on July 1st with celebrations from coast to coast. Canada is an incredible, culturally diverse, and beautiful country; as a proud Canadian, I am excited as this year unfolds with so many celebrations across the country.
Known as a cultural mosaic, Canada celebrates multiculturalism and embraces the diversity and pluralism of its people. The name Canada is derived from “Kanata”, the Huron-Iroquois word meaning village or settlement, an apt name for a country that welcomes immigrants from other lands with open arms.
The red and white flag, launched in 1965 prominently displays the maple leaf, a Canadian symbol (along with the beaver) that is well know throughout the world.
Canada is known for many things: its love of hockey, Terry Fox, the invention of basketball, Blackberry, poutine, the word EH, our apparent need to apologize for things… and our very handsome and popular Prime Minister. 🙂 But, the beauty of this country stretches far and wide…I am a bit biased, so I asked a few fellow travellers for some thoughts on their Canadian favourites. Here are some of their favourite places they have visited. Make sure to have a look through, and discover some new places to put on your bucket list that may become your Canadian favourites!
East to West Favourites
Halifax, Nova Scotia
I personally adore Halifax, Nova Scotia, and that entire region. I’m a water baby and adore the coast, the small-town feel of the area, and the history surrounding it, along with the incredible scenery at Peggy’s Cove.” Take a look at her article on her family’s visit to the Halifax area. | Desiree Miller, Travel Writer and TV Producer, DesMiller.com
While many large cities in Canada stand out as must-see destinations, the small town of Twillingate, in Canada’s Easternmost province of Newfoundland is worth considering. Twillingate is a foodie paradise, with some of the freshest and most delicious seafood in the country. It also hosts an unique winery, focusing entirely on non-grape vintages.
But what really makes Twillingate, Newfoundland stand out is its position in the middle of the famed Iceberg Alley. Each year between May and July, hundreds of massive icebergs make their way along the north and east coasts of Newfoundland, many of which park themselves near Twillingate, making it one of the premiere Iceberg viewing points in the world. | Kevin and Christina Wagar, Travel Writers, Wandering Wagars
Our family frequently visits Montreal. It is less than 2 hours from where we live in Vermont. It is a city filled with history, science, art and fabulous food. You must take a trip to one of the public markets like Jean Talon or Atwater. And no trip to Montreal is complete without croissants from Premier Moison. | Dana Freeman, Travel Writer Dana Freeman Travels
I love Ottawa because I’m always filled with so much pride at every opportunity to showcase my hometown to visitors. Whether they’re doing the classic tourist trail with stops at Parliament Hill and the National Gallery or digging a bit further afield to discover the city’s up and coming food trucks and small restaurants, I’ve never seen anyone who hasn’t been charmed by the city’s architecture, scenery, and attractions.| Vanessa Chiasson, Travel Writer, Turnipseed Travel
As food-focused travelers, we love to visit Toronto for its cultural diversity and international food selection. Canada’s largest city is a true melting pot, with residents from every corner of the world cooking up flavors from countries like Korea, India, Italy and China. Despite its size and role as an international city, Toronto is actually a city of neighborhoods.
We love to eat our way through the different ethnic neighborhoods, including multiple Chinatowns, as well as the city’s two major markets – Kensington Market and the St. Lawrence Market. Beyond the great casual food, Toronto has an up-and-coming fine dining scene with several cutting edge restaurants and cocktail lounges. | Daryl & Mindi Hirsch, Food and Travel Writers. 2foodtrippers
Niagara Falls, Ontario
As an American, I love travelling to Canada, especially within the Province of Quebec. I can drive there and really feel like I am in another country with a different food and language. Although I am a third generation American, my ancestry is French Canadian. I also love the beauty of Niagara Falls. You can read more about my family’s visit here. | Jamie Descubins, Travel Writer, The Daily adventures of me.
Norfolk Ontario – Beaches, Food and Wine
Norfolk Ontario sits in Ontario’s Southwest region and to me is filled with hidden secrets. The most fascinating are how this farm region has developed both a food and wine trail. As farmers switch from tobacco farming to their new passions, the region has adopted these changes and now showcases this throughout the region.
Casual Fine Dining Scene: Located in one of Ontario’s biggest growing regions, it is no surprise that local chefs came home to open their dream restaurants which feature locally sourced ingredients. From The Combine’s fresh Perch Tacos to Schofield’s Bistro’s French-inspired delights there is no shortage of fine-dining favourites in the region. My personal favourite was a 4-course fine dining meal at the Burning Kiln winery during my glamping adventure at Long Point Eco Adventure Park.
Ontario’s Newest Wine Country: In addition to fresh ingredients the region has embraced wine making and have a few awards under their belt to prove it. Must visit wineries include Frisky Beaver and Gamble, Villa Nova Estate Winery, Blueberry Hill, Bonnie Heath and my favourite Burning Kiln Winery.
The Ultimate Norfolk Ontario Experience: Must see in Norfolk Ontario the famous palm trees at Port Dover beach. Enjoy the day on the shores of Lake Erie’s beach under the four palm trees planted there each summer. The region is filled with farmer’s markets and even has a special hop on hop off bus which will transport you from place to place. In a few days, you can enjoy the best of the regions, beach life, food and wine. | Sharon Mendelaoui, Travel Writer, Dream Travel Magazine
Of the Canadian cities I’ve been to, I’d have to say Winnipeg is my favorite. It reminds me so much of my hometown, Chicago (it’s even known as “Chicago of the North”!). More so, I love the cultural diversity of the city, its outstanding dining options, and an up-and-coming craft spirits scene. It’s an exciting time for Winnipeg!
I’ve been obsessed with Canada since early childhood, and it all has to do with my love of ice hockey. I fell in love with hockey at age 4 and so began my love affair with Canada. Haven’t seen nearly enough of the country as I’d like, but I was in Winnipeg earlier this year. Loved it! My husband and I had the best time. | Francesca Mazurkiewicz. Travel Writer, The Working Mom’s travels.
Picking one city in Canada as our favourite is tough – there are so many great cities to visit. But, having visited the town of Jasper in both summer and winter, we’ve come to the conclusion that Jasper takes the title as the most “Canadian” town in Canada, especially when it’s covered under a blanket of snow.
There’s no wrong time to visit Jasper, there’s lots to do in every season. But we do suggest that if you plan to visit in the peak seasons (winter and summer), you should book your accommodations in advance. Jasper is a small town, but we promise that it will leave a lasting impression. | Nicole Wears, Travel Writers, Traveling Canucks
The Okanagan Valley, BC
The Okanagan Wine Valley has been named one of the world’s best wine valleys by USA Today. With its lush vineyards overlooking Okanagan Lake and the various microclimates from the north to the south, the valley produces quality wines ranging from Pinot Noir to Chardonnay and Champagne-style bubbly.
Aside from wine, the Okanagan food scene has experienced a serious boom within the last decade with craft breweries, restaurants and food trucks being added year round. Arrive during the summertime to participate in an al fresco dinner with the culinary darlings of the Okanagan, Joy Road Catering. However, the best time to arrive is during the fall as the vineyards and forests are colours of emeralds, rubies and gems set against the blue Okanagan Lake. | Murissa Shalapata, Travel Writer The Wanderfull Traveler
I was born in Vancouver, and ever since I can remember, I’ve felt like the city was in my blood. For years, I didn’t even know why, just that I yearned for a place I barely even remembered. And last summer, when my family and I went back to visit, I finally realized why: Vancouver, bright, beautiful, and just a little bit (artistically) messy, feels like home.
The Vancouver area has something for everyone: breathtaking mountains for skiing and hiking, beautiful beaches for swimming and exploring, and a huge city center with a rich cultural history. For my mom, it’s the ocean and the mountains that pull her in, but for me, Vancouver is the only place where I truly feel at peace. Its laid back vibe can calm my restless heart, and with a mountain to ski on and enough nature to explore, I’m set for life. | Alex Wyatt, Writer, Novel Ramblings
Victoria and Vancouver Island. BC
The city of Vancouver regularly tops polls as one of the most liveable places on the planet, but fewer travellers are in on the reputation of its stunning island namesake.
Vancouver Island is the largest Pacific Island west of New Zealand, but while British Naval officer George Vancouver gave his name to both discoveries, that’s where the similarity ends.
‘The Island’ as it’s simply known is an entirely distinct destination in its own right, and there’s something undeniably special and dare I say, even secret about this place.
A nature lover’s playground, large enough to offer everything a traveller could want in the way of wilderness exploration – from zip lining and forest hikes, to surfing and storm watching – it still remains small enough to have a community vibe wherever you go.
From the beaches of Tofino to the natural wonders of Hot Springs Cove via the farms and vineyards of the The Cowichan Valley, this is a Canadian version of Napa, without the pretension.
Cultured city breaks are also on offer, in the British Columbian capital of Victoria, a walkable city named after the British monarch and endlessly popular with expats, while all travellers will enjoy the island-wide emphasis on home-grown and organic food and a taste of the simple life on offer when living the island life. | Jaillan Yehia, Travel Writer, Savoir There.
For my 30th birthday, we travelled to Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon. Summer was far behind us, and the first snowflakes had fallen when we arrived.
Apart from the stunning scenery, the Yukon is also known for its excellent location to spot the Northern Lights. The Klondike Gold Rush history is still very much alive here, and you’re able to see remnants of its past around Whitehorse. By day, we drove the empty roads, met the animals at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve and warmed up in the Takhini Hot Springs. By night we hunted the Northern Lights wrapped in layers of winter clothes and hot chocolate in hand.
Even though we never encountered the Aurora Borealis, we still fell in love with this part of the world. | Lies Veldeman, Travel Writer, Non Stop Destination Travel Inspiration.
Tell us yours!
These are just some of the amazing spots across Canada. Have you visited any, what are some of your other favourite spots? Would love to hear, let us know in the comments!