With its unmistakable glassy-blue lakes, imposing crags and fascinating wildlife, Canada is a wonderful destination for any traveller. Whether you’re going solo or with friends and family, it is bound to be the holiday of a lifetime, with a variety of activities to suit all tastes from grizzly bear spotting to scenic drives. Here are our top 10 favourite things to do in Canada:
Ride on the Hornblower boat in Niagara Falls
Voyage to the Falls on board the famous Hornblower, feeling the thundering roar of Niagara Falls and its spray on your face. To see its iconic torrents from a distance is one thing but experiencing the sheer force of it up close is another. Choose a classic boat tour, a firework cruise for a special experience or see it come to life with multi-coloured lights at night.
Spot grizzlies in the Great Bear Rainforest
Stay at the Great Bear Lodge, located in a one of the most fascinating ecosystems in the world – the Great Bear Rainforest – which, as its name suggests, is the perfect place for all things bear. The lodge puts on daily guided wildlife expeditions to spot grizzlies; see them up close from a boat and track their footprints through the forest. Read about our Canada expert Jenny’s experience.
Enjoy a seaplane flight
The joy of a floating plane is the thrill of soaring through the sky over spectacular forests and creeks before making the swoop down to skim across the surface of a lake. Admire the picturesque views of Canada from the air and on the water with one exciting experience to remember. A seaplane flight is included in our family adventure to British Columbia and Alberta and our ultimate British Columbia for families itinerary.
Drive the Icefields Parkway
If you haven’t heard of it, the Icefields Parkway connects Canada’s biggest national prides: the Banff and Jasper National Parks. With over 100 ancient glaciers, waterfalls and lakes – including the famous Crowfoot glacier, Bow Lake and Lake Louise – you’ll be stopping more than just a few times to snap photos. This drive has been voted one of the top 20 drives in the world by National Geographic.
Take a gondola ride above Lake Louise
Soar above the electric blue waters of Lake Louise on an exciting sightseeing gondola ride. This is a unique way of seeing the majestic Rockies in all of its rugged, snow-capped glory. Sitting on an open chair at an elevation of 6,850 feet, you are treated to some amazing views of the famous lake, a blanket of trees and wildflowers and perhaps even some wildlife if you get lucky. It is an enthralling experience for nature and adventure lovers.
Hop on a Rocky Mountaineer train ride through the mountains
A rail journey on board the Rocky Mountaineer is a must-do for anyone wanting to see these gorgeous peaks up close. The Rockies are one of Canada’s most treasured national gems and to get some unparalleled views, you can opt for the Gold Leaf experience, where you'll get exclusive access to a glass-dome carriage, from which you can take photographs of the views and wildlife like bears, moose and more.
Embark on a Polar Bear expedition in Arctic Canada
Whether in winter or summer, Canada is all about the bears and beautiful landscapes. Go on a once-in-a-lifetime expedition to Arctic Canada, fringed by idyllic forests and with picturesque coastal scenery, where polar bears roam the snowy landscapes. Churchill, a town north of Manitoba on the banks of Hudson Bay, is a top destination and is known as the ‘Polar Bear Capital of the World’ as the bears outnumber people. Stay at the Seal River Heritage Lodge to see these bears up close in their natural habitat.
Go on a whale watching trip on the Bay of Fundy
Showcasing the world’s highest tides and with marvellous sandstone cliffs, the Fundy National Park is a renowned spot for wildlife enthusiasts and offers some of the best whale-watching trips. See majestic humpback whales doing backflips and swooping in the water and even an Atlantic white-sided dolphin or a rare North Atlantic right whale if you’re lucky. It is also home to some scenic hiking trails.
Learn to surf in Tofino
There is no better place to catch some waves in Canada than the hippie-chic surfing district Tofino, with plenty of surfing schools to help you perfect your technique. The sunny and picturesque coastal region, with many a fishing village dotted around, is where Vancouverites love to escape to for a beach break. From there, you can also explore the gorgeous inlets and islands of Clayoquot Sound which is also on the west coast.
Cycle around Stanley Park
The 405-hectare Stanley Park in northwest Vancouver is a cyclist’s paradise. There is a seawall that spans 8.8 kilometres around the park and offers some incredible views of downtown, Burrad Inlet and the North Shore mountains. Watch out for the First Nations totem poles, the ‘Girl in a Wetsuit’ modern-day mermaid sculpture and the famous bowling-pin-shaped outcrop, Siwash Rock, rising out of the water.
Take a look at our Canada itineraries and discover a range of holidays which incorporate these top 10 and more, that can be tailor-made to suit you.