From coast to coast, Canada’s landscape is incredibly diverse.
Its scenery changes from breathtaking mountain peaks to rolling prairies, lush green forestry and so much more. In the mood for arctic dogsledding? What about a daredevil walk across a suspension bridge? Or does an epic foodie retreat leave you craving more? If these sound up your alley, then it’s about time to explore your own backyard and see what the Great White North has to offer.
With the help of our friends at travelcuts, we tracked down the top nine Canadian excursions that are sure to add an exciting twist to your upcoming travel plans.
Lost Ships of the 1000 Islands Cruise
Thousand Islands might be a popular salad dressing, but we’re referring to the 1,864 islands located along the Canada–U.S. border in the Saint Lawrence River, and the numerous shipwrecks buried beneath. This unique cruise, beginning in Gananoque, Ontario, not only involves seeing the shipwrecks, but learning the history of these islands as a hiding place for vagabonds in the early 20th century. You’ll also visit Boldt Castle, a romantic property built by George Boldt for his wife in 1900. Shaped by successive glacial advances, the 1000 islands also offer fishing, cycling and hiking trails, so you get the most out of your excursion.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Take a walk on the wild side in Vancouver on the famous Capilano Suspension Bridge. Situated in a thriving rainforest, the suspended footbridge offers views 110 feet above the forest floor. The new cliff walk involves a labyrinth-like series of narrow bridges, stairs and platforms if you’re seeking a real adventure. Don’t worry if you’d rather keep your feet on the ground – there’s nature and history tours also available.
The Canadian Rockies Hot Springs
Who needs to pay the price of a spa when you have access to a more natural stress reliever? Feel the heat relax your tired muscles at Banff’s spring-fed hot springs – which also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This isn’t just any kind of heated pool, because you’ll be surrounded by Alberta’s mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, canyons and caves. Not to mention the animals you’ll see, such as elk, deer, moose and herds of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep.
Icewine Tasting Tours
The best thing about our cold winters? Icewine of course! The ultra-rich and sweet dessert wine can only be made from grapes that have naturally frozen on the vine and picked when the thermometer dips to -8° C or lower – which is why Canada is one of the leading producers of the favoured sweet nectar. The Niagara Region is home to tons of rolling vineyards and wineries, providing wine tasting tours, many of which focus on icewine during the winter months. Enjoy it with cheese or mix it with vodka for an icewine martini. However you enjoy it, you won’t find a beverage like this one anywhere else.
An Arctic Safari
Also known as the “Polar Bear Capital of the World,” Churchill, Manitoba offers a variety of tours to view polar bears on specialized tundra vehicles, designed for the rough, rugged terrain. The tundra buggy allows you to travel through very deep snow while still following the designated trails. The windows at each seat and expanded metal deck allow you to see the bears both around and below. Though we can see polar bears any season, prime time is in October and November, when polar bears congregate all together at the beginning of their annual seal hunt. Many of these tours also provide insights on the hundreds of bird species and friendly beluga whales in the area.
Northwest Territories’ Winter Adventure
Considered one of the most untamed parts of North America, the Northwest Territories provide a range of outdoor activities to truly engage with untouched nature. While there are many trails for cross-country skiing, try other activities like snowshoeing, ice fishing, and kite-skiing for a truly unique northern Canadian experience, many of which are still practiced by Aboriginal people today. Top of your trip by heading to Aurora to catch the bucket-list worthy view of the glittering Northern Lights across the night sky. This excursion proves that sometimes it’s better up where it’s colder!
Quebec City Food Tour
A UNESCO World Heritage treasure, the charming city of Quebec City provides much more than breathtaking views and cobblestone roads, it’s also known for the delicious French cuisine – Quebec style. Why not discover the city’s unique history, architecture, and culture while stopping for some delicious bites? Through the bountiful food tours offered, you can taste local specialties from a variety of shops and restaurants. Indulge in not only the must-try local delicacy poutine but also the historical gems and less traveled streets surrounding you.
In several Canadian provinces, such as B.C., Alberta, and Ontario, you’ll find the popular activity of dogsledding. Join an adorable, intelligent team of huskies and malamutes as you race across a frozen landscape. This is a way to not only embrace our winter wonderland but to also cuddle up to some cute pups! Don’t worry if this is a new activity for you – guides are always there to help and teach you about the commands needed. Dogsledding is perfect for the whole family and often ends with tasty hot chocolate.
Cape Breton Hiking
Nova Scotia has some of the most spectacular views in Canada, so you won’t want to miss out on all the different hiking tours available – no matter what your athletic level is. Along the Atlantic Ocean coastline, the famous Cabot Trail involves majestic mountains, scenic look-offs, quaint fishing villages and a visit to the stunning Cape Breton Highland National Park. Many tours even involve whale watching and teach you how to catch fish. Whether seeking something more active or relaxed, Cape Breton’s hiking trails offer something for everyone.