There are three things that come to my mind when thinking of Canada. One – the friendly people (I swear everyone is so nice), two – the extremely noticeable seasonal changes that make visiting so exciting (the difference between summer and winter is so dramatic), and three – the mind-blowing places in Canada to see (the landscapes and cities are just something else).
Now, I know I say it time and time again but Canada is my spiritual home! I swear, we’d already be hitched if Canada was a real person…
… or soul mates at the very least! 🤣
Right, before I ramble on about my undying and enduring love for Canada, I wanted to show you some gems of places in Canada that can be explored in any season.
The funny thing is, often people assume Canada to be just summer destination but let me tell you, it’s so much more than that, with some great spots to visit at any time of the year.
Recently, we had a little chinwag with the gang at Explore Canada and they asked if we’d like to share some of our favourite spots we’d visit. Naturally, this was a big yes from me (remember I said I wanna marry Canada 😄). 💍
With that in mind, I wanted to share some places in Canada we visited recently and hopefully show you that Canada is certainly so much more than a summer destination. We are already itching to return!
Take a look at the best places in Canada to visit. 🇨🇦
1.) Jasper National Park
Jasper was one of the first places I ever visited in Alberta though, not one of the first places in Canada (that was Vancouver)! For this trip, I decided I wanted to embrace the wintery vibes so much more, so off we popped in February. It was incredible.
Oh, and don’t forget a little ice climb too. It’s a heck of a work out on the arms! Mine went to jelly for days after. Ha! 💪
I’ve visited Vancouver four times and I’m already wanting to go back… there’s just something so special about it and it really is one of my favourite places in Canada to explore. We visited the city in winter, spring (with lots of snow still on the ground at Grouse Mountain) and summer with all the glorious sunshine.
Once you’re here, make sure to take some time to explore the Vancouver Art Gallery, Gastown, wander around Granville Island, have some of the best food in the city at Savio Volpe (it’s so tasty!) and gorge on at the best bakeries.
Also, don’t forget to head over to the Capilano Suspension Bridge that’s only about 20-minutes from downtown Vancouver and take a ferry to the Sunshine Coast for some antique hunting and lots of lovely little spots.
Not to be confused with Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake is one of the most beautiful little towns and places in Canada to experience. We popped over at the end of February and it was as if we’d arrived in a little fairytale town. It’s all so quaint! ✨
Once you’re here, make sure to explore Queen Street (with all the independent boutiques), head on a horse-drawn carriage tour of the town and pop over to Peller Estates for some of the tastiest ice wines in the region.
We’ve visited Whistler in both summer and winter and truth-be-told, there’s no right or wrong time to go. Before our first visit, I’d always considered Whistler to be a ‘winter town’ (if that makes sense)… but there’s so much to do in the summer, too.
Obviously, if you love to ski, head here in the winter months but if you wanna see another side to the Whistler, pop over in Summer. Once you’re here, make sure to kayak down the river of golden dreams, mountain bike your way down the mountains and have a little rest and relaxation at the Scandinave Spa. It’s so nice after a long day of being active.
As an added epic journey, take the seaplane from Vancouver to Whistler, it’s one of those flights where you’ll be glued to the window as you see Mount Garibaldi, glaciers and maybe even a few bears (if you’re lucky).
5.) Wells Gray
To be honest, I hadn’t heard too much about Wells Gray Provincial Park before our last visit to British Columbia but boy was I glad we discovered it.
Now, this is pretty vast park to explore in the summer months (with loads of hiking trails) but we decided to pop across in winter and take a wander to see Helmcken Falls when they’re icy and all cool looking. We weren’t disappointed, the falls are just stunning, especially with that huge ice-cone that surrounds them.
Once you’re here, make sure to head out kayaking on Murtle Lake, explore Spahats Creek Falls and head out horseback-riding across the park.
6.) Sun Peaks
So, Sun Peaks was a total surprise to me… in a good way of course! Now, I’d already skied in Whistler and Marmot Basin but hadn’t heard too much about skiing in Sun Peaks before our last visit.
We remedied this on our last trip and I’m so glad we decided to stop off here.
Obviously, this a great spot for skiing (the slopes are much quieter than Whistler) but there are some pretty epic winter sports, too.
One of the most unique things we did was to go ice fishing on a frozen lake. After all, this just isn’t something you can do in the UK! After a little trek, we headed out onto the frozen lake (about 15-minutes from Sun Peaks itself) and sat ice-fishing for the morning in our own little-tented igloo.
I even caught a rainbow trout (which I popped straight back into the lake), thus allowing the bragging rights against Yaya who caught nothing.
7.) Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is often busiest in the Summer months but let’s be honest, it looks just as beautiful (if not more so) in the winter months surrounded by icicles and powdery snow.
Once you’re here, make sure to visit the Journey Behind The falls where you actually get to walk in the tunnels that go under the falls themselves.
If you’re looking for some great views of Horseshoe Falls, head on a helicopter tour or up the Skylon Tower that overlooks the falls themselves.
Toronto is one of those cities that you visit that’s just bursting with things to do at any time of the year. The thing I first noticed once we arrived in Toronto was its energy… it just feels so alive. it, it almost feels like Canada’s New York or London (if that makes any sense?) with something always happening and bustling neighbourhoods that all feel very different from each other.
Once you’re here, make sure to watch the sunset from the CN Tower, head to China Town for the best dumplings in the city (at the aptly named, Dumpling City) and explore the beautiful Casa Loma that’s perched in Midtown.
Perched in the province of Alberta, Edmonton is one of those cities that has just the right balance of things to do in the city and beautiful national parks to visit on its doorstep. Plus, an added bonus is that everyone is soooo friendly!
If you’re visiting the city in winter, make sure to stop by the incredible Ice Castles that’ll make you believe you’ve arrived in Narnia. It’s crazy!
For some tasty place to eat, pop into El Cortez who contour up some of the best Mexican food in the city. Oh yeah, they also have some pretty amazing mescal, too! Bottoms up!
If you’re hankering for a little spot of nature, just 45-minutes away is Elk Island National Park – a great place to explore in any season. We visited in winter and headed out on a guided snowshoe walk in the dead of night… I’ll never forget it.
Banff is possibly the more famous National Parks in Canada (and one of the more popular places in Canada to visit). Now, Banff itself is often thought of as a summer spot to visit (especially for those gorgeous turquoise lakes) but the National Park is just as amazing in winter and spring as it is in those hotter summer months.
We decided to visit Banff in March as I really wanted to embrace the snow. In the UK, we just don’t get the snow anywhere near the same scale as Canada does, so you can imagine my excitement!
Once you’re there, head out snowshoeing at Sunshine Meadows, go ice skating on Lake Louise (I was terrible at it) and head to the Sky Bistro for some incredible views (and tasty grub) overlooking Banff.