The Top 20 Places to Visit in Canada


Canada’s 20 Can’t-Miss Gems from Coast to Coast

Canada is a vast country spanning from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans. With incredible natural landscapes, vibrant multicultural cities, and friendly people, Canada has so much to offer visitors. If you’re planning a trip to Canada, here are the top 20 places you should have on your must-see list:

1. Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver is a lively city on Canada’s west coast renowned for its stunning natural setting with the Coast Mountains as a backdrop. Downtown Vancouver boasts world-class museums like the Vancouver Art Gallery, shopping along Robson Street, and delicious ethnic cuisine. Just steps away is the Vancouver Seawall, a scenic walking and biking path along the waterfront.

Vancouver’s famous Stanley Park encompasses a thousand acres of lush rainforest, with trails perfect for walking, cycling, and inline skating. Visit the Vancouver Aquarium to see marine life up close, or ride the Stanley Park miniature train. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park takes you high up into the rainforest canopy over the Capilano River.

2. Banff National Park, Alberta

The majestic Banff National Park in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains is Canada’s oldest national park and one of its most spectacular. Drive along the scenic Icefields Parkway and be awestruck by turquoise glacial lakes and jagged snowcapped peaks. Don’t miss a stop at Peyto Lake – its vivid blue waters are some of Banff’s most iconic views.

Hike through flower-filled meadows to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, whose sparkling blue waters reflect the surrounding mountains. Drive up to the Athabasca Glacier in a massive Ice Explorer vehicle or walk on the glacier along wood-planked paths. Soak in the steamy, mineral-rich waters at the Banff Upper Hot Springs after a day of mountain adventures.

3. Niagara Falls

The thunderous roar of Niagara Falls’ cascading waters is an unforgettable experience. View the falls from multiple vantage points – board the Hornblower Niagara Cruises to get soaked by the spray, or journey deep underground towalk through tunnels behind the falls.

At night, the falls are illuminated in a rainbow of colors. See them from up high on the Skylon Tower viewing platform or get up close from Table Rock. Don’t miss a stop at Niagara-on-the-Lake, a charming 19th century village full of boutiques, galleries, and wineries nearby.

4. Old Quebec City, Quebec

Wander the enchanting streets of Old Quebec City, a UNESCO World Heritage treasure brimming with 17th and 18th century buildings and architecture. Stroll inside the walls of the old fortified city along Rue du Petit-Champlain lined with boutiques and restaurants.

Visit the ornate Basilica Notre-Dame de Quebec, the grand Chateau Frontenac Hotel, and the Quebec City Parliament Building adorned with statues. Take in views of the St. Lawrence River from the Terrasse Dufferin promenade. Time travel at the Musée de la Civilisation interactive museum.

5. Toronto, Ontario

Toronto crackles with a cosmopolitan energy. See a game at the Rogers Centre or catch a show at Roy Thomson Hall. Stroll Yonge-Dundas Square, Toronto’s Times Square. The CN Tower offers panoramic views from its 1,815 feet tall observation deck.

High Park and its cherry blossoms, Kensington Market’s bohemian shops, the Ontario Science Centre, and the Royal Ontario Museum’s impressive collections are more top attractions. Foodies will love Toronto’s diverse culinary scene featuring everything from Korean to Ethiopian cuisine.

6. Montreal, Quebec

Montreal exudes old-world European charm infused with North American attractions. Stroll leafy neighbourhoods bursting with cafes, patisseries, and trendy bistros in areas like the Plateau-Mont-Royal and Mile End.

See masterpieces at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, learn about the first settlers at Pointe-à-Callière archaeology museum built over Montreal’s birthplace, and enjoy city views from Mount Royal Park. Don’t miss Montreal’s famous poutine, bagels, and smoked meats.

7. Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia

The famous Cabot Trail winds around the rocky coastal edges and forested mountains of Cape Breton Island. Drive along this 185-mile roadway and stop frequently for exhilarating ocean vistas, whale watching adventures, and hikes through the trails of Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

Walk the Skyline Trail for panoramic ocean and valley views. Visit the seaside village of Baddeck to learn about Alexander Graham Bell’s history on the island. In Louisbourg, step back in time to the 18th century at the reconstructed French fortified city.

8. Whistler, British Columbia

The mountain resort town of Whistler buzzes with recreational adventure. Ski and snowboard its epic slopes in winter, or mountain bike and hike on scenic alpine trails in summer. Ride the record-breaking Peak 2 Peak Gondola between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains for bird’s eye mountain views.

Whistler Village immerses you in a pedestrian-friendly chalet setting with restaurants, shops, art galleries and bars. Indulge at Scandinave Spa’s outdoor baths and saunas tucked within a beautiful cedar forest. Don’t miss whisky tastings at the Whistler Distillery.

9. Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick

Marvel at the world’s highest tides – reaching up to 50 feet high! – at the dramatic Bay of Fundy. The powerful tides create rapids and reveal the ocean floor multiple times a day. Visit Hopewell Rocks to walk on the ocean floor surrounded by towering sandstone cliffs.

Watch the tides come in and out from the Fundy Trail, a scenic coastal park with countless photo ops. See the tides from above at the Fundy National Park. Kayaking and whale watching adventures are top activities to enjoy the bay up close.

10. Churchill, Manitoba

The remote town of Churchill on Hudson Bay is the polar bear capital of the world. Each fall, polar bears gather here while waiting for the bay to freeze over for their winter seal hunts. View the bears up close from customized vehicles with guides during a Tundra Buggy safari. When the ice melts in summer, beluga whales swim in the bay and birds migrate through in huge numbers during spring and fall.

This frontier outpost town also has rich fur trade history and ruins from its days as a military fort. Stay in cozy lodges and enjoy northern lights viewing under its incredibly dark skies.

11. Ottawa, Ontario

Canada’s capital Ottawa blends stately historic sites with buzzing urban energy. Cruise the Rideau Canal dotted with locks and charming bridges. Admire the soaring Gothic architecture of the Parliament Hill buildings on a free guided tour. See the Changing of the Guard ceremony on Parliament Hill during summer.

The National Gallery of Canada and Canadian Museum of History showcase the nation’s cultural treasures. ByWard Market tempts with indie shops, cafes, and the world’s largest beaver tail pastry. Ottawa also has over 125 miles of recreational pathways for walking, cycling, cross-country skiing, and skating on the frozen canal.

12. Calgary, Alberta

Calgary perfectly balances big city conveniences and energy with foothills access to the Rocky Mountains’ adventures. Get a 360° bird’s eye view of the city and mountains from the Calgary Tower. See the greatest outdoor show on earth at the famous Calgary Stampede rodeo festival every July.

Check out heritage sites at Fort Calgary and Heritage Park, shop ’til you drop at massive malls, or taste your way through Calgary’s impressive dining scene. Just outside town, hike stunning mountain trails, walk across the Bow River suspension bridge, and soak in the Banff Upper Hot Springs.

13. Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax serves up an invigorating mix of maritime history and modern urban vibes. Admire one of the world’s largest natural harbors from the historic Halifax Citadel fortress. Learn about the tragic 1917 harbor explosion at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic – then check out the lively Waterfront Boardwalk‘s restored historic warehouses turned into stylish shops and eateries.

Further explore Halifax’s naval heritage at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 where one million immigrants entered Canada between 1928-1971. Catch live music at Lower Deck waterside pub or try Nova Scotia’s famous lobster rolls.

14. Thousand Islands, Ontario

The Thousand Islands region spread along the Saint Lawrence River where it forms the border between the US and Canada dazzles with over 1,800 forested isles. Board boat tours from Gananoque and Rockport for leisurely cruises around the islands, which range from tiny rocky outcrops to larger inhabited islands.

Many island mansions from the islands’ Gilded Age can be seen only from the water, like the castles Boldt Castle and Singer Castle. Hike or bike through the Thousand Islands National Park on the mainland. Fish, swim, and camp on the park’s over 20 islands.

15. Prince Edward Island

Charming PEI‘s sandy beaches, red cliffs, and green rolling fields burst with that small town maritime hospitality. Absorb the island’s beauty and history along the Gulf Shore Parkway scenic drive. Spot white beluga whales and pods of dolphins from North Cape. See Anne of Green Gables’ inspiration at the Green Gables Heritage Site in Cavendish and walk the nearby sand dunes at Cavendish Beach.

Relax at resorts in historic Charlottetown or the lively Summerside waterfront. Indulge in island culinary delights like lobster, mussels, oysters, and potato confections.

16. Jasper National Park, Alberta

Jasper National Park envelopes you in alpine wilderness. Get up close to its glaciers on an Icewalk or Icefields excursion. Drive the Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper, stopping at aquamarine lakes like Peyto Lake and Maligne Lake, the largest glacier-fed lake in the Rockies.

Raft down surging rivers, hike through wildflower meadows, and spot wildlife like mountain goats, elk, bears, and bighorn sheep deep in the park’s backcountry. Unwind after adventurous days at Miette Hot Springs.

17. Victoria, British Columbia

The gardens and colonial charms of Victoria on Vancouver Island enchant visitors. Have elegant British tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel by the Inner Harbour and enjoy High Tea’s finger sandwiches and pastries. Tour Craigdarroch Castle’s turreted Victorian mansion and Butchart Gardens’ vibrant floral show gardens.

Walk along the waterfront and through Beacon Hill Park. Browse Market Square’s colorful stalls, Chinatown’s eclectic shops and Fan Tan Alley – Canada’s narrowest street. Whale watch, kayak and enjoy the outdoors in wilderness areas just minutes from downtown.

18. Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island offers the best of west coast Canadian scenery all on one island. In addition to charming Victoria, Tofino stuns with its rugged beaches and island dotted Pacific Rim National Park. Watch waves crash on the rocky shores from your resort. Sign up for a bear watching tour in the park and hot spring soaks nearby.

Pacific Rim National Park‘s trails weave through towering old growth forests. Visit Nanaimo for its Old City Quarter, Bastion Museum and world-class diving. Pacific Rim National Park‘s trails weave through towering old growth forests. Visit Nanaimo for its Old City Quarter, Bastion Museum and world-class diving. Don’t miss a ferry ride along the Inside Passage for possible whale sightings.

19. Red Bay, Labrador

Journey to the Torngat Mountains for wilderness and Inuit cultural experiences like no other in Canada. Fly into Red Bay, then travel north to the Torngat Mountains National Park, where Inuit guides lead wilderness excursions by boat and on foot.

Spot caribou, whales, seals, and arctic foxes. Marvel at surreal colours and geological formations rising from the sea. Visit ancient Inuit archeological sites and learn about traditions from Inuit elders. Sleep in Inuit-owned wilderness lodges and migrate with the caribou during their autumn journey south.

20. Fogo Island, Newfoundland

Fogo Island is a magical realm off the northeast coast of Newfoundland. Stay in architecturally striking suites poised on stilts over the sea at the Fogo Island Inn. Immerse yourself in island life through community meals, artisan workshops and hikes with island guides.

Spot icebergs, whales, seabirds and cod at rich fishing grounds from a boat tour. Visit quaint villages and studios where artisans craft quilts, knitwear and jewelry. Pick berries, forage for mushrooms, or jam with local musicians during their kitchen parties. Fogo Island’s tranquil vibe and rugged natural beauty foster deep connections with nature.

So there you have it – the top 20 places to visit in Canada for your bucket list! With world-famous attractions like Niagara Falls and Banff, cosmopolitan cities like Toronto and Vancouver, East Coast historic charm and Maritime seaside wonders, you’ll create amazing travel memories exploring Canada from coast, to coast, to coast. Let me know if you need any other Canada travel tips!


Canada’s vast and varied landscapes make choosing the top places to visit quite the challenge. However, the 20 destinations highlighted in this article capture some of the country’s most magnificent scenery, exciting cities, and fascinating historical and cultural attractions.

From the thundering falls in Ontario to Quebec City’s old world charm, Canada’s eastern provinces enchant visitors with well-preserved history and lively cities like Toronto and Montreal. Nova Scotia’s peggy’s cove lighthouse and Cape Breton’s coastal mountain drivesreveal breathtaking vistas where the sea, forests, and mountains collide.

Heading west, Ottawa and Calgary blend frontier heritage with cosmopolitan energy while Banff, Jasper, and Whistler National Parks showcase the most jaw-dropping mountain scenery. British Columbia’s Pacific coastline promises adventures from the surfing waves of Tofino to grizzly bear watching in the Great Bear Rainforest.

Up north, Churchill and the Torngat Mountains offer once in a lifetime wildlife and wilderness experiences to see polar bears, caribou migration, and the ethereal Northern Lights. While Victoria’s gardens and Vancouver’s vibrant food scenes are perennial favorites on Vancouver Island.

With so much diversity across its provinces and territories, one trip to Canada certainly won’t cover everything. Start by choosing a region like the Maritimes, Canadian Rockies or West Coast and dig into its culture, cuisine, and outdoor activities at a relaxed pace. Travel between May and September to have the widest selection of places accessible and open.

Don’t feel rushed to see it all at once – Canada’s destinations will be ready for your return to keep exploring more of its natural splendor and multi-faceted culture. Slow travel within each region allows you to fully experience Canada’s heart and soul.

From sea to sea to sea, Canada promises incredible travel experiences. Whether you seek outdoor adventures, fascinating history, or cutting edge culture, you’ll find inspiring destinations around every corner. As Canada’s renowned warmth, diversity, and love of nature shines through wherever you roam, it’s easy to feel at home in this great northern land.

With the newfound knowledge from this article, you now have an excellent overview of the top places that best represent Canada’s boundless beauty. As you pick destinations for your trips, remember to travel responsibly and sustainably to preserve Canada’s natural ecosystems for future generations. Respect Indigenous cultures and traditions to deepen your connections to the land. Seek out locally-owned businesses, practice zero waste, and stay curious and open minded.

The possibilities for discovery in Canada are truly endless. Apply the tips from this article as a foundation, then let your interests guide you deeper through its many provinces and territories. Creating your own adventures will lead you towards your own meaningful experiences and impressions of this magnificent country. With so much to explore in Canada, there will surely be many more dream trips ahead

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