Covering nearly four million square miles, Canada is the world’s second-largest country after only Russia, and its diverse landscapes include everything from rainforest and wild coastlines to soaring mountains and endless prairie. While there’s a long list of places worth seeing, these five are really a must.
There may be no prettier town than Trinity, located on Trinity Bay about a three-hour drive from Newfoundland’s capital city of St. John’s. As soon as it comes into view, you’ll probably think it’s a film set, and it has been used in a number of movies, like “The Grand Seduction” and “The Shipping News.” It’s filled with colorful saltbox homes and other historic 18th-century buildings, all well preserved. There are art galleries and museums to explore, little shops and eateries to enjoy, but the highlights are the scenery and outdoor adventures. In the spring, blue-tinged icebergs float by looking like works of art, and in the summer, there are countless humpback whales that come to feed on tens of thousands of small, silver fish called capelin. A whale-watching boat tour with Sea of Whales Adventures is something you’ll never forget.
Tofino, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
If you bought a vacation home among the Whistler real estate, you’ve probably taken advantage of the slopes for skiing or boarding. Now you might want to consider spending time on the other side of the province by visiting Vancouver Island. While there’s plenty of things to do throughout the island, Tofino is a place everyone should see. Located at the north end of Pacific Rim National Park, it’s the hub for the coast’s long series of wild beaches. The powerful waves are popular for surfing, but its beauty can be enjoyed with a peaceful stroll. Or, hike through the park’s rainforest with a wooden boardwalk lined with 800-year-old cedar trees.
Icefields Parkway: Banff to Jasper, Alberta
Icefields Parkway has been called a “Drive of a Lifetime,” something you have to see to believe by driving the 141-mile roadway that links Banff to Jasper National Park along the Continental Divide. Not only will you be able to marvel at soaring mountains, turquoise-colored lakes, and abundant wildlife, but you can see Athabasca Glacier. The largest of the six “toes” that make up the Columbia Icefield, it’s disappearing quickly due to climate change, but for now, you can still witness it in all its glory with a guided walk or an excursion in a unique all-terrain vehicle, providing the opportunity to get right out on the icy surface while learning more about glaciers and their impact on the environment.
Churchill in Northern Manitoba is home to the largest population of beluga whales in the world during the summer months of the year. Over 57,000 of the white whales that look like they’re always smiling, come to the warmer waters of the Churchill River after the ice breaks. The sociable creatures have few natural predators which help to keep their population relatively stable. Visitors can join boat tours or paddle out in a kayak. Either way, you’re likely to enjoy plenty of close encounters, making this place one that definitely has to be seen, especially for whale enthusiasts.
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Niagara Falls straddles the U.S. and Canadian border, but many feel the Canadian side is the best for viewing one of the world’s greatest wonders. Here, you’ll find multiple ways to experience it, from a helicopter flight to marvel at it from above to a boat tour on the iconic Maid of Mist. Journey Behind the Falls offers a trek through tunnels behind the cascades which lead to an observation deck where you’ll feel the power of the over 44 million gallons of water that plunge down every minute.