6 Must-See Destinations Throughout Canada
Looking to take a quintessentially Canadian trip or recommend one to a foreign visitor? Here are six of the most exhilarating options from all regions of the country.
Whistler is a fabulous ski resort, that along with Vancouver hosted the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. But you may not be aware of the literally thousands of activities in the area! Some highlights—fly through the trees on a zipline; slide down all the runs at the Coca-Cola Tube Park; soar over glaciers in a float plane; see the world’s largest concentrations of bald eagles; and go to barbecue at 6,000 feet. That leaves a few thousand more!
Forget Jurassic Park. You can find a 26-metre-tall dinosaur (viewing platform in its mouth) in Drumheller, Alberta, the “dinosaur capital of the world.” Drumheller Valley contains some of the Canada’s most eerie and spectacular scenery. There are dozens of natural and man-made attractions in the area, from the Hoodoos (5-7-metre-tall rock pillars that took millions of years to form), to the Royal Tyrrell Museum (one of the largest paleontological museums in the world), to the historic Atlas Coal Mine, where you can ride in a real coal car.
Belugas and Bears
Churchill, Manitoba, with a population of just about 1,000, might not seem like a tourist capital. But visitors flock here for the chance to observe up close two fascinating creatures. Each summer, over 3,000 beluga whales feed, socialize and raise their young in the waters of the Churchill River. And in October and November, people return to board tundra vehicles and ride around what’s considered the polar bear capital of the world.
All Falls Down
However you see it-an observation deck at its side, a boat at its foot, a tunnel behind it, a helicopter ride from above-Niagara Falls, Ontario is one of the wonders of the world. Some 4-6 million cubic feet of water go over its crest each minute. For all ages, there’s plenty more to experience in the area, from a local marine theme park to a casino to tours of 19th century forts.
Montreal and Quebec City are unrivalled, but another Quebec destination, the Gaspésie, has its own charms. In 1534, Jacques Cartier erected a cross at the end of Gaspé Bay and claimed Canada on behalf of the King of France. Almost 500 years later, visitors continue to explore the region—Percé Rock; Parc de la Gaspésie (among eastern Canada’s highest peaks); Reford Gardens (where the microclimate allows for the cultivation of rare species); and Miguasha, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; dozens of picturesque villages.
Nature’s Roller Coaster
Twice daily, the mighty Bay of Fundy fills up with and empties 100 billion tonnes of water, creating the highest tides in the world. Spanning Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the Bay attracts tourists who marvel at the rich ecosystem and breathtaking coastline-and who seek the thrill of riding atop the crest of the tidal bores.