Winter is a great time to explore Canada, with a variety of fun destinations across the country. Whether you want to see rare wildlife, spend some time on the slopes, or explore one of Canada’s great cities, these top ten destinations have something for every winter vacation.
1. Whistler, B.C.Canada’s most famous ski destination offers challenging slopes, plenty of great accommodations, and a prime spot in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Book early, especially during the holidays, as this popular ski spot fills up fast.
2. Quebec City, Quebec. Home to the famous Quebec Winter Carnival, Quebec City is a taste of winter in Europe right here in Canada. The Carnival is usually held in February, and the city is very busy during this time. Choose another winter month if you want to explore the beautiful streets with fewer crowds. If you can, book a stay at the amazing Hotel de Glace – an ice hotel.
3. Churchill, Manitoba. Polar bears and Northern Lights are the big attractions in this small town on the shores of Hudson Bay, far in the northern part of Manitoba. This is a winter destination for those who enjoy the peace and beauty of a winter wilderness, and want to see the powerful polar bears in the wild.
4. Niagara Falls, Ontario. As amazing as the falls are in the summer, they are an equally astounding sight in winter’s snow. Niagara-on-the-lake is also home to an annual Icewine Festival, which is a popular event for those who enjoy this sweet dessert-style wine.
5. Vancouver, B.C. If you’re looking for a break from the snow right here in Canada, Vancouver is your best bet. It’s a great place to get away and enjoy world-class shopping and dining, as well as museums and entertainment.
6. Ottawa, Ontario. Canada’s capital city 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 lovers and many fabulous restaurants to warm up at the end of the day.
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. Stay in Halifax but head out to Sugar Moon Farm, where you can have a taste of Canada’s best known export. This maple syrup farm has more than just trees; take a sleigh ride through the snow, have a delicious brunch (it’s served all day) or take a hike in the woods. Of course, maple treats are available to taste and take home as well.
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 are on your winter list, this is the place to be.