Canada is home to some spectacular cities like Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal, filled with cultural attractions, nightlife, and plenty of hustle and bustle. But as the world’s second-largest country, there are also many destinations that are ideal for a more relaxing getaway, places where you’re more likely to hear the songs of the birds and the leaves rustling in the breeze than the sounds of traffic.
Tofino, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Located on Vancouver Island’s rugged west coast at the north end of Pacific Rim National Park, a hub for a series of wild, driftwood-strewn beaches, Tofino is a popular spot for hikes through the rainforest and for surfing with more than 21 miles of beach break.
From here you can also take a tour to Hot Springs Cove, a remote collection of geothermal pools that lie at the ocean’s edge. Or watch for all sorts of wildlife, including orca, humpback, and grey whales that can be frequently spotted along the shore. There are luxurious resorts with spa facilities and world-class restaurants serving gourmet fare.
Banff National Park
Once you visit the Canadian Rockies you may never want to leave. In fact, you might even consider one of the Banff homes for sale as your next residence or vacation home. Banff is located inside Banff National Park, offering some of the most stunning natural beauty in all of Canada, including jewel-like lakes, soaring mountains, and abundant wildlife with everything from black and grizzly bears to elk and caribou.
While it’s Canada’s most visited park, from here you can easily reach some of the lesser-known parks like Jasper and Yoho national parks to immerse yourself in the tranquility of the wilderness. Plus, there are a number of places to soak in natural hot springs after a day of adventure.
Dawson City, Yukon
A living monument to the Klondike Gold Rush, a trip to Dawson City provides a glimpse of the days when more fortunes were won and lost in the gambling halls here than in the goldfields. Visitors can also discover plenty of wild and remote scenery while horseback riding, hiking, biking or fishing nearby. Just 90 minutes away is Tombstone Territorial Park, which boasts especially dramatic mountain and lake views.
There are usually far more animals than other humans here, with Dall sheep, moose, caribou, wolves, bears, and more than 130 bird species inhabiting the area. Back in town, there’s a colorful frontier-era downtown with outstanding eateries and vintage saloons where you can kick back with a brew and watch one of the famous Klondike-themed song and dance shows.
A small but incredibly picturesque village with art galleries, little shops, and French-style bistros set along the St. Lawrence River, Tadoussac draws visitors seeking spectacular scenery and whale watching. Between May and October, as many as 13 species are found here in the saltwater, including blue whales.
Friendly beluga whales, the ones who always seem to be smiling, inhabit the area all year-round with summer peak viewing time. You can see them on a boat tour or just find a spot to relax and soak up the scenery while keeping an eye out from the shore.
Looking as if it’s a film set (and it has been the setting for multiple films), Trinity is a postcard-perfect town with colorful saltbox homes and other historic buildings preserved from the 18th-century. It lies along the east coast of Newfoundland, with the Atlantic providing a fabulous backdrop.
From mid to late spring, you’ll often see icebergs float by, or stuck melting in secluded coves. Whale spouts are common sights during the peak of summer. It’s the perfect place to relax and recharge, take lots of photos for your Instagram feed, or just wander the streets which feel as if they’re from another time.