Are you planning your next trip to Canada and searching for the best places to travel to while you’re there? Being such a vast country makes it hard to know where to start but don’t worry because we’ve got you covered!
Being a cross-country tour company means we know some of the best vacation spots in Canada. So, we compiled this list of our favourite places for backpackers just like you. If you’d rather not go through the hassle of planning a trip yourself, why not book one of our Cross-Canada Tours and let us do the planning for you?
Either way, check out the list below for a quick look at some of the best places to travel in Canada from the West to East coast:
Tofino, British Columbia
Whistler, British Columbia
Kelowna, British Columbia
Lake Louise, Alberta
Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta
Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick
Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
If you plan to travel to BC during your time in Canada, one of the best places to visit is Tofino. Tucked away on the far side of Vancouver Island, it’s a bit of a trek to get there but it’s well worth the journey.
It’s home to some of the most beautiful beaches on the West Coast. This makes it one the best places to travel if you’re looking to fully experience the pacific ocean in all its wonder.
Some of the unique activities you can take part in include whale watching, wildlife tours, hiking the pacific trail or surfing lessons in the Pacific Ocean.
Learn more at MyTofino.com.
One of the best things about traveling in BC is that the places you can visit are extremely diverse. If the sunny beaches of Tofino aren’t your style, why not head a little inland to the breathtaking mountains of Whistler?
Take in the incredible views from the Sea to Sky Highway as you head 90 minutes north of Vancouver to reach Whistler, BC.
In the winter months, you can spend your time skiing, snowboarding, touring ice caves and even dog sledding. There’s also plenty to do in Whistler when things warm up including hiking the mountain ranges, white water rafting, bear viewing, zip lining, bungee jumping, and enjoying the incredible nightlife of Whistler Village.
For a full list of where to stay and what to do, head to Whistler.com.
Another great vacation spot to check out if you’re thinking of visiting Canada is the city of Kelowna, nestled inside the beautiful region of BC’s Okanagan Valley.
Being surrounded by mountains means that this town gives its visitors the perfect blend between urban and rural tourism.
Depending on the time of year, some of the best things to do while you’re visiting include hiking the many mountain ranges, skiing or snowboarding Big White, and visiting one of the many wineries in wine country.
You can discover more on where to stay and what to do at TourismKelowna.com.
If your travels in Canada bring you towards Alberta, one of the best places to visit is Jasper.
Being full of quaint cottages to stay in and surrounded by breathtaking scenery and wildlife make for an unforgettable experience.
While there, you’ll find plenty of activities for sightseers including boat cruises, helicopter tours and wildlife tours. If you’re the more adventurous type, you won’t be disappointed either. Try ice climbing, white water rafting or skiing the exciting slopes that surround the town!
Finally, at the top of every traveler's bucket list while visiting Jasper should be a trip to Jasper National Park. It’s the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies, stretching over 11,000 kilometers, with scenery and wildlife that’s unmatched.
The above picture was taken at Spirit Island in Jasper National Park, which is accessible via the Maligne Lake Cruise.
Head to Jasper.travel for a full list of things to do here.
Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, AB
If you plan to travel to Canada in search of scenery that looks like it’s out of a postcard, Lake Louise is one of the best vacation spots to start.
This beautiful gem is tucked away in Banff National Park. Its' magical emerald waters overlook the majestic mountain glaciers that make up the park and as amazing as the pictures are, they don’t do it justice. It’s the perfect place for a tranquil canoe trip or an unforgettable hike. However, don’t let that stop you from coming in the winter months when there’s still plenty to do.
Beware - this has become the #1 tourist hotspot in Canada, especially during the summer months, so be sure to head out to Lake Louise early in the morning to enjoy the scenery without the flocks of tourists.
If you’re going to be visiting Lake Louise during the winter, plan your trip around the local Ice Magic Festival. It features unique activities such as ice carving, scenic skating rinks, cross country skiing and much more.
If you want to find more information on this, head to BanffLakeLouise.com.
When visiting Lake Louise, be sure to take some time to also explore Moraine Lake. Strangely, Moraine Lake is lesser known but is just as beautiful - if not more. Take a quick hike up the Rockpile Trail, and in under 10 minutes, you can have these incredible views of the Valley of the Ten Peaks. There are a multitude of day hikes that you can take from the Moraine Lake lodge, and we can guarantee they will blow your mind.
Just like Lake Louise, the car park fills up extremely quickly in the morning, so either plan to be there at the break of dawn, or take one of the shuttles from the Lake Louise car park, or Lake Louise overflow parking.
For more things to do when visiting Moraine Lake, visit Moraine Lake Lodge.
Speaking of Banff, Lake Louise and Moraine Lake aren’t the only reason to travel to this part of Canada. Banff National Park is Canada’s oldest national park and is made up of over 6,500 kilometers of mountain scenery.
It would take years to experience everything there is to see here. So, needless to say, there’s plenty to fill the time with while you’re vacationing in the area.
Taking a trip on the Banff gondola is the easiest way to perfectly see the unmatched beauty that is the Rocky Mountains. However, seeing is only half of it, so we suggest mountaineering, hiking or snowshoeing the mountain terrain for the full experience.
Learn more about everything Banff has to offer at BanffNationalPark.com.
Dinosaur Provincial Park, AB
Out of all the provinces in Canada, Alberta has one of the largest findings of dinosaur remains. Based on the name alone, it should come as no surprise that Dinosaur Provincial Park is one of the richest fossil locations in the area.
So, if you’re the type who has a passion for archeology and historical wildlife, this may be one of the best places in Canada for you to travel to.
Looking for a place to stay? The park hosts guests in their comfort campsites, which are the perfect cross between camping and staying in a hotel.
While you’re there, you have to hike the badlands that make up the park. This desert wasteland was once a tropical paradise millions of years ago and now looks like something out of a dystopian movie.
To make things even more cool, you can actually search for and if you’re lucky, find real bones while exploring the area. Learn more about all of this here.
Grasslands National Park, SK
Every province has at least one national park that you have to visit when you travel there and for Saskatchewan, that’s Grasslands National Park.
If you want to fully experience the peaceful, never-ending expanse that is the prairies, this is the best place to do it. Camping while here is about as serene as things can get. Not to mention, the number of stars you see while in such a remote area is extremely humbling.
For the FML Adventures family, this spot is extremely special and was one of our all-time favourite locations across Canada. Staying in traditional teepees and experiencing the largest dark sky reserve in Canada is truly an experience like no other.
Head over to Tourism Saskatchewan to learn more.
Niagara Falls, ON
Niagara Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls in the world. So, it’s one of the best places to visit not only in Ontario but all of Canada.
Like the mountains that make up the West Coast, photos just don’t do justice to the sheer scale of these falls. Best of all, it’s entirely free to visit and see the falls from only mere metres away.
Once you’re done with the scenic side of things, head over to Clifton Hill where you’ll find plenty of attractions and exciting activities for all ages.
Learn more about everything Niagara Falls has to offer at NiagaraFallsTourism.com.
Being the capital of Ontario makes Toronto one of the best places to visit, if you’re looking for things to do.
At the top of everyone’s list should be a trip to the CN Tower, an amazing freestanding structure with a strong history in Canada. Traveling to the LookOut Level will give you a view of the city that’s unlike any other. If you want an adrenaline rush, visit the CN Tower’s glass floor or EdgeWalk, where you’ll be strapped into a harness and leaned over the city below!
Other things to do in Toronto include a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario and Ontario Science Centre.
Don’t forget to check out some of the local, world-famous sports teams either. Watching a Blue Jays Baseball or Raptors Basketball game is the perfect way to end any trip to Toronto.
Obviously, be sure to track down Drake, the Weeknd and J Biebs - they love showing tourists around the 6ix! Especially those a part of the FML Adventures family!
Learn more at SeeTorontoNow.com.
If you’re coming from a French-speaking country, are just familiar with the language, or just love cool, historic & quirky cities, Montreal would be one of the best places for you to visit while in Canada.
Canada’s second language is french and the highest population of French-speaking people live in Quebec. So, visiting a place like Montreal is a great place to practice speaking the language.
If you aren’t the best at french, don’t worry. Neither are most other Canadians… Thankfully, many people in Quebec also speak English, making it easy to visit and still be able to communicate.
Montreal is the perfect place for you to get properly immersed in the Canadian culture. Get ready for incredible Montreal bagels, delicious poutine (french fries, cheese curds and gravy OH BABY), and let’s not forget about the amazing nightlife.
Find out about everything there is to do in Montreal at MTL.org
Hopewell Rocks, NB
If you find yourself on the east coast during your time in Canada, one of the places you have to travel to is the Hopewell Rocks.
These are beautiful rock formations, caused by water erosion of the highest tides in the world! The tides come in twice a day, so it’s easy to experience the rocks in both states.
When the tide is in you can kayak around the rocks which are located in the Bay of Fundy. Then once the tide is out, experience the magnificent transformation by walking around the foot of the rocks which were just earlier up to 50 ft underwater!
If you want to find out more about these natural wonders, head over to TheHopeWellRocks.ca.
Cape Breton Island, NS
One of the best vacation spots to travel to if you want to truly experience life on the east coast of Canada is Cape Breton Island.
Located at just about as far east as you can travel without getting on a boat, this is the best place to dip your feet in the North Atlantic Ocean.
While visiting, there’s plenty of east coast activities to take part in. Drive and hike the Cabot Trail to experience breathtaking ocean views and quaint fishing towns, visit the historical buildings of the Fortress of Louisbourg or spend some time whale watching out on the water.
Finally don’t forget to try some local cuisine while you’re there. The fresh-caught fish and lobsters are unlike anything you’ve ever tasted!
Discover more about everything there is to experience in Cape Breton at CBIsland.com
Conclusion: Best Places To Travel In Canada
Canada is an extremely diverse country both in landscape and culture! You could spend years experiencing everything it has to offer (or in our case just 30 days!).
To recap, some of the best vacation spots to travel to while in Canada are:
Lake Louise, AB
Dinosaur Provincial Park, AB
Grasslands National Park, SK
Niagara Falls, ON
Hopewell Rocks, NB
Cape Breton Island, NS
If we missed one of your favourite spots, let us know in the comments below! Be sure to sign-up to our email list and check out the rest of the FML Adventures blog for more tips on millennial backpacking!
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Written by Lliam Buckley of FML Adventures