Canada is a massive country and with so many fascinating places and amazing adventures to be had, it can be difficult to narrow down which part of the country you want to visit.
Here, we’ve narrowed down 5 of the most scenic, most amazing places to visit in Canada.
Banff and Lake Louise, Alberta
Set inside the borders of the vast Banff National Park, the area that surrounds these two towns is a Rocky Mountain wonder, a place of electric blue glacial lakes, waterfalls, abundant wildlife (from elk to bighorn sheep to grizzly bears) and breathtaking grandeur. Stay either in Banff, the busy hub of the area and home to classic hotels like the Fairmont Banff Springs, or pursue some solitude up at Lake Louise, where hiking trails up into the mountains-and beautiful silence-are just steps away.
Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland
Sitting on the coast of western Newfoundland, this is a truly unique park, a place that packs an astounding amount of geological diversity (coastal lowland, soaring peaks, precipitous cliffs, untouched lakes, waterfalls and even a former fjord, now cut off from the ocean) into a place that you can visit in just a couple days. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Gros Morne is also a geological wonder, an area where the earth’s mantle is exposed, clearly displaying the process of continental drift.
Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick
Recently shortlisted in a massive international competition to name a new seven wonders of the natural world, the tides on this big bay, which separates New Brunswick from Nova Scotia, are truly a sight to behold-the most extreme on earth, they rise and fall more than 50 feet in some places. These can be seen most dramatically at a place like Hopewell Rocks, unique stone formations that, at low tide, form towers on dry land but become bona fide islands as the water rises.
The Muskoka Lakes, Ontario
One of National Geographic’s Best Trips of 2012, the Muskoka Lakes-Toronto’s favourite cottage country-have long been a destination for weary weekend warriors from the city. And while, in the past, the ability to spend more than just a day here depended on whether (or not) you had a place on the lake (or access to one), the recent addition of some great luxury properties-including a lovely JW Marriott on Lake Rosseau-have opened up the area to non-cottagers. Shop and eat in the charming villages that dot the region, then log some serious time on Joseph, Rosseau, Muskoka or any of the other, smaller lakes in the area.
The oldest walled city in North America, Quebec City holds both European charm and sophistication alongside its unmistakable French Canadian character. It also bears the distinction of being the place where, as every good Canadian history student knows, Wolfe defeated Montcalm on the Plains of Abraham, securing Canada for the British Empire. Home to the iconic Chateau Frontenac, poutine, the clip-clopping of horse-drawn carriages on cobblestone streets, as well as the New France Festival (held in August) and, of course, a world-famous winter carnival, there’s always plenty to do, see and eat in the capital of La Belle Province.