Vacations in Canada encompass far more than mountains draped in snow, whales breaching off rocky coasts and acres of virgin forests. Take a break in Canada to discover a country of buzzing city centers and innovative local cuisine.
Get your bearings
Stretching between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, Canada is a colorful canvas of landscapes, dotted with culture-packed cities and towns. The wild coasts, quiet bays and craggy fishing villages of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland give way to the grassy farmlands of Quebec and French-hued Montreal. Expansive lakes dominate Ontario and Manitoba, anchored by bustling Toronto and artsy Winnipeg. The Great Plains meet green forests in Saskatchewan, opening up to the foot of the grand Rocky Mountains in Alberta. From here everything flows through British Columbia, down to cosmopolitan Vancouver and stately Victoria.
Weathered shingled shacks dot the rocky coast of Nova Scotia’s south shore, providing a sea-carved backdrop for cyclists. Bring your hiking boots to discover the lost-in-time fishing villages in Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland. Splash in the mild waters off Prince Edward Island, or get wet on a close-up view of the tumbling waters of Niagara Falls. Rocky Mountain passages are best explored on horseback in Banff National Park. Orcas and Dahl’s porpoises dance in the waters off Vancouver Island. Ski the mighty slopes of Whistler, or sip wine in a café overlooking the cobblestoned rue du Petit-Champlain in Quebec City.
Begin a cultural vacation in Canada with a tour of the colorful Emily Carr canvases of Vancouver Art Gallery. In Toronto, take in a free summer performance by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, or listen to jazz in the shadow of the Canadian Rockies in Banff. Fans of the Wild West can commune with the cowboys at a rodeo during the Calgary Stampede, or marvel at the First Nations vibrantly painted masks and totem poles that dot the parks and museums throughout the western provinces. In the east, 400 years of French culture dominates Quebec City.