Top 10 Canadian Winter Destinations

Winter is a great time to explore Canada, with a variety of fun destinations across the country.

Whether you want to see rare wildlife, take to the slopes, or explore one of Canada’s great cities, you can’t go wrong choosing one of these top 10 Canadian destinations for your winter getaway:

  1. Whistler, B.C. One of Canada’s most famous ski destinations and the location of several competitive events for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Whistler is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. For the adventurous, it offers challenging slopes for skiers and snowboarders, winter zip-lining, and snowshoeing. Beyond plenty of four- and five-star accommodations, Whistler boasts a vibrant arts and culture scene, and award-winning restaurants with diverse dining options. This ever-popular resort town also features breathtaking views of the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
  2. Quebec City, Quebec. Home to the famous Quebec Winter Carnival and Bonhomme – the carnival’s official representative – Quebec City’s 400-year history gives the Canadian winter a distinctly European feel. Old Quebec City in the city’s centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring the only fortified city north of Mexico. If you wish to explore beyond the charming city’s heritage architecture, book a night at the fantastic Hotel de Glace – the ice hotel – in nearby Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier.
  3. Churchill, Manitoba. The “Polar Bear Capital of the World”, Churchill is a small town on the shores of Hudson Bay in northern Manitoba. Ecotourism is a big draw here to see polar bears, beluga whales, and a variety of birds. Being as far north as it is, Churchill is also one of many communities where the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) is visible. This winter destination is for those who enjoy the peace and beauty of a winter wilderness and want to see wildlife roam in their natural environment.
  4. Niagara Falls, Ontario. As amazing as the falls are to see in the summer, they are an equally astounding sight in the wintertime. Located near the Canada-U.S. border, Niagara Falls is famous for its raw, natural beauty, as a valuable source of hydroelectric power, and its history of daredevils who either went over the falls in a barrel or cross over it on a tightrope. Nearby sits the picturesque town of Niagara-on-the-Lake where the annual Icewine Festival draws hundreds.
  5. Vancouver, B.C. If you’re looking for a break from the snow in Canada, Vancouver is your best bet due to its generally mild winter weather. It’s a vibrant city surrounded by mountains on the west coast, home to world-class shopping and dining, as well as a thriving arts and culture community.
  6. Ottawa, Ontario. Canada’s capital is a haven for ice skating lovers in the winter. When the Rideau Canal freezes over, you can join hundreds of skaters for a day on the ice. Ottawa also offers plenty for history and art lovers with its grand Victorian architecture, museums, and art galleries.
  7. Banff National Park, Alberta. Ski slopes, a lovely little mountain village, and the majesty of the mountains surround you in Banff. Be sure to take the drive up to Lake Louise; one of Canada’s most picturesque lakes is even more incredible in the snow.
  8. Charlottetown, P.E.I. Canada’s smallest province is a winter wonderland with an old-world feel. Just outside the lovely city, you will find the Brookvale Winter Activity Park, a family fun destination for everything from tobogganing to snowshoeing.
  9. Halifax, Nova Scotia. Winter in this Maritime city features tobogganing on Citadel Hill, discovering iconic lighthouses, and indulging at the annual Festival of Whisky. Stay in Halifax but do visit Sugar Moon Farm for a taste of Canada’s best-known export: maple syrup. While there, take a sleigh ride through the snow, have a delicious brunch, or take a hike in the woods.
  10. Cold Lake, Alberta-Saskatchewan. Right on the border of the two provinces, this isolated lake is a top destination for the winter sport of ice fishing. If getting away from it all and catching big fish is on your winter list, this is the place to be.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

No matter where in Canada you decide to visit this winter, be sure to plan accordingly and protect yourself by making sure you have the right travel insurance coverage.

Take a few minutes to compare your travel insurance options and get quotes from Canada’s leading travel insurance companies. In just a few clicks, and for a few dollars, you can truly relax knowing if a problem arises, you and your family have the protection you need.