A new year is the perfect time for some new experiences! With 2017 shaping up to be an incredible year for Canada’s tourism, we have compiled our ultimate Canadian bucket list for the year ahead! Are you ready to check off some life-changing experiences?
Here’s our lucky list of 13 unmissable Canadian experiences….
See the spectacular Northern Lights
The Aurora Borealis is one of the most breathtaking natural phenomena, and Canada is one of the best places to see the Northern Lights. The best times of the year are either winter or springtime, when the nights are longest, and ideal conditions call for clear skies between 10pm-2am. Canada’s best spots for Northern Lights chasing include Yellowknife and Whitehorse in the Yukon, or Churchill in Manitoba.
Hike the West Coast Trail
The West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island offers a variety of scenery from beaches to forest wilderness, and the opportunity to encounter wildlife such as sea lions. The 75km hike is dotted with camp sites and can be undertaken in either direction, with the average completion time being 5-10days. While the trail is recommended for groups of experienced backcountry hikers, the challenge of the trail is a factor in its popularity. The best time for the WTC is between May – October when the days are longer and the best chance at clear skies.
Go to a rodeo at the Calgary Stampede
The Calgary Stampede bills itself the ‘Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth’, and is an iconic tradition which takes place over ten days every July. Stampede is the time when Calgary is most vibrant, with locals and visitors in high spirits and plenty to see and do all over the city. Calgary Stampede includes markets, parades, chuckwagon races, the Grandstand show, exhibitions and live music. However the heart of the festival is the rodeo, which is one of the largest in the world.
Taste some poutine
Food Fact: #Poutine is thought to have originated in rural Quebec, Canada in the 1950's. It was designed to keep fries warmer for longer. This glorious mess of fries, cheese curds and light brown gravy can be found in most Canadian pubs, fast-food restaurants, ski resorts and sporting arenas. And the good news is that you don't have to go as far as Canada to try this mouth watering dish. Let #UberEATS guide the way.
Ask any Canadian for the best place to try poutine for the first time and you’ll come up with a long and varied list. Some insist that the best poutine is only to be found in Quebec, whereas others prefer to branch out with wild flavour combinations. Here are a few places to whet your whistle: La Belle Patate in Vancouver and Canmore, The Green Spot in Montreal and Whistle Stop Cafe in Peterborough.
Visit grizzly bears in the wild in British Columbia
This large species of brown bear is formidable and fascinating, and many see a grizzly sighting as part of the Canadian outdoor experience. Grizzly bears are territorial but will mostly leave people alone if they feel unthreatened. Understanding and respecting the grizzly can lead to rewarding experiences watching them catch salmon in the wild. The best place to spot these majestic creatures is on bear-watching expeditions with trained tour guides in British Columbia.
Soak in some hot springs
One of the greatest ways to bask in the Canadian outdoors is soaking in a hot spring. There are plenty of hot spring options across the country, from luxurious developed springs to the more secluded and natural. Some of our favourites include Sloquet or Nakusp in British Columbia, Banff Upper Hot Springs in Alberta, Takhini Hot Springs in the Yukon, or Hotspring Island in Haida Gwaii.
Go whale watching
A fantastic shot of Ripple the Humpback Whale! Courtesy of Wildlife Photographer Steve Williamson! #naturephotography #wildlifephotography #wildlife #free #wild #stevewilliamson #photography #whale #humpback #whalewatching #amazingshot #ocean #bc #marinesafaris #campbellriver #vancouverisland #explorebc #explorecanada #nature #sharevi #getoutside #connectwithnature #ambassador
The power and majesty behind these beasts of the ocean is breathtaking, so it’s no wonder whale watching is at the top of many people’s bucket lists. There are plenty of tours across Canada, with Churchill, Manitoba being the most favoured spot for beluga watching, whilst orcas, humpbacks and narwhales are likely to be found on Vancouver Island, the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia or in Newfoundland.
Explore the trails in Haida Gwaii, British Columbia
Haida Gwaii is an archipelago west of BC’s coast and offers stunning landscapes and a fascinating history for those willing to make the journey. There’s the chance to spot sea lions, otters, whales and bald eagles and some of the world’s largest cedar and spruce trees. Gwaii Haanas National Park is fertile with unusual flora and fauna, and there are many popular trails with spectacular views including Tow Hill and Sleeping Beauty trails.
Drive the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia
Experience the dramatic scenery of this coastal drive across winding roads and by ocean-swept cliff tops. There are countless scenic stops along the way and the trail is dotted with many artists’ workshops for a spot of culture along the way. The Cabot Trail is a loop of almost 300km which takes you across Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia.
Visit Green Gables House in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island
For those with a literary flair, make a cultural pilgrimage to the home of one of Canada’s most beloved fictional heroines. Green Gables House served as the inspiration for LM Montgomery’s location for ‘Anne of Green Gables’. The farm is located in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island and can be visited between May-October where visitors are invited to stroll around ‘Haunted Woods’ and ‘Balsam Hollow’ trails as well.
Visit Polar Bears in Churchill, Manitoba
Wapusk National Park is the kind of place that will warm your heart, even on a cold day. ☺ Congratulations to @daisygilardini for winning the 2016 Grand Prize in the Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards with this fantastic piece titled “Motherhood”. #ExploreCanada Le parc national Wapusk est le genre d’endroit qui vous donne chaud au cœur, même par temps froid. ☺ Félicitations à @daisygilardini qui a gagné le grand prix de la meilleure photographie naturelle (Nature’s Best Photography) du Windland Smith Rice International Awards avec cette œuvre intitulée « Motherhood » (marternité). #ExploreMB
The mighty polar bear is a fearsome and majestic creature, and Churchill in Manitoba is one of the few human settlements where they can be observed in the wild. There are different ways to observe the polar bears from guided walking tours to tundra vehicles. The best viewing times are between October and November, as the bears start moving from their summer habitat on the tundra back to seal-hunting territory on Hudson Bay.
Visit Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick
One of #Canada's most famous rock formations has lost its face. Part of the #elephantrock collapsed this morning in the #BayofFundy. Though the #HopewellRocks are forever changed, the erosion is all par for nature's course. Tag us in your #HopewellRocks photos and help us remember the stunning sight, like this one courtesy of #TWNfan Kevin Snair.
Located in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, Hopewell Rocks are an iconic Canadian natural wonder. The best time to visit is between May-October and at low tide, when the rocks are fully exposed and it’s possible to walk the ocean floor.
Celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday
Parks Canada is offering a free Discovery Pass for 2017, which covers admission to Canada’s National Parks, Historic Sites and Marine Conservation Areas. Celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday by exploring heritage, wildlife and nature and utilizing this fantastic offer.
So much is happening across Canada this year. In fact, there’s never been a better time to explore this beautiful country. To help you experience many of these great activities, we offer a great selection of vacation rentals in many of the above destinations. Take a look at the deals we have on our vacation rentals via our website. Or alternatively, call our Destination Experts 1.877.902.1616 to find out which of our accommodations have the best location for your needs, at the best prices.