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There are many wonderful places to visit while traveling across Canada. The diverse and beautiful country of Canada offers many places of interest for travelers of all types. Discover some ideas regarding where to visit while traveling across Canada.
Canada is a very large country; the second largest by land mass in the world. Canada a culturally and naturally diverse country with ten provinces and three territories stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean from east to west and from the Arctic Ocean to the United States border from north to south. About 80% of the population of Canada lives within 100 miles of the United States border, which means most travel plans in Canada are oriented east to west or west to east. Of course, some diversions into the Canadian north country are also worth considering.
Niagara Falls From The Canadian Side
Getting Around While Traveling Across Canada
How a traveler chooses to get around Canada depends upon how much time one has to tour the country. Since Canada is such a large country, airplanes are the preferred choice of travel, if one is trying to visit various regions in a relatively short amount of time. For travelers with more time on their hands, or those focusing on a particular region of Canada, renting a car or taking advantage of Canada’s extensive inter-city and intra-city bus and train systems are good ways to see Canada from the ground level. There are also many tour companies that offer tours in various regions of Canada.
While it is impossible to highlight every location in Canada that is worth visiting, the following are some places in Canada that a traveler may find worthy of visiting (working from east to west across Canada).
Atlantic Canada & Canadian Maritimes
The far eastern part of Canada has a number of relatively small provinces that are located along the Atlantic Ocean, which are collectively known as the Atlantic Canada provinces, and include New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. The Canadian Maritimes are a sub-region within Atlantic Canada that include the first three provinces listed above. The quaint small towns and cities, and coastal landscape and islands in these provinces offer plentiful sightseeing opportunities. The coastal Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland offers plentiful hiking opportunities via trails that run along the coast and meander through hills with waterfalls. Peggy's Cove in Nova Scotia is a small village along the coast with a famous lighthouse that also serves as the village post office.
Atlantic Canada & Canadian Maritimes
Montreal's Old City
The province of Quebec, which is the center of francophone (French speaking) Canada, offers two major cities that are well worth visiting: Montreal and Quebec City. Montreal, which has a rustic feel in the historic old city along the Saint Lawrence Seaway waterfront, is a modern metropolis throughout with beautiful parks and neighborhoods. Quebec City, a much smaller city than Montreal, is very picturesque with many historic buildings. For those who wish to experience Quebec’s smaller towns, a side-trip through rural Quebec to the village of Tadoussac, which is situated at the confluence of the Saint Lawrence and Saguenay rivers, is a worthy journey. The picturesque Saguenay Fjord near Tadoussac offers stunning scenery.
Toronto, which is located in the province of Ontario, is Canada’s largest city, with many cultural amenities, including Canada’s largest theater district. The greater Toronto area can be viewed from the world famous CN Tower. Hockey fans won’t want to miss an opportunity to visit the Hockey Hall of Fame to see the Stanley Cup up close. A journey through Toronto’s diverse neighborhoods offers a great deal of shopping and dining choices.
Niagara Falls in Ontario is one of the largest waterfalls in the world. Many travelers prefer the view of Niagara Falls from the Canadian side of the falls, which provides both panoramic and up-close views. For those more adventuresome, a trip on the Maid of the Mist boat brings you so close to the falls that you feel the mist from the cascading water.
An Up-Close View of Niagara Falls
Manitoba & Saskatchewan
While many travelers touring Canada via airplane may opt to fly over Manitoba and Saskatchewan, those traveling by automobile may want to take in some of the sights in these often overlooked central Canadian provinces. Both provinces are known for their numerous scenic lakes, including Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba, which is the largest lake in southern Canada and the tenth-largest freshwater lake in the world. Manitoba’s largest city is Winnipeg, which hosts a number of festivals and entertainment attractions, including the large park and entertainment complex known as The Forks, and a number of museums and theaters. Manitoba has many natural attractions, notably the Pisew Falls and the Kwasitchewan Falls, where you can also hike and camp in the surrounding areas.
Calgary is a fast growing city in the province of Alberta that lies within sight of the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. Calgary is a beautiful place to visit while travelling across Canada, especially during the summer months, when a number of noteworthy festivals are held in the city, including the century old Calgary Stampede rodeo and exhibition that is one of Canada’s largest festivals. Calgary also hosts a number of museums, including the Glenbow Museum, which is the largest art museum in western Canada. The Canadian Rockies are within two hours of Calgary, which makes them reachable for a day trip.
Canadian Rockies From The Icefields Parkway
Lake Louise In The Canadian Rockies
Canadian Rockies In Alberta & British Columbia
The Canadian Rockies, located in the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, are one of the most majestic spots on planet Earth. From the snow covered peaks to the emerald lakes below, the scenery in the Canadian Rockies is breathtaking. Driving from Banff to Jasper along the Icefields Parkway is one of the best ways to take in the Canadian Rockies. Just make sure you stop to take in the scenery. If you have time, tour the retreating glacier that is located above a stretch of the Icefields Parkway. Lake Louise and Lake O'Hara are two highlights in the Canadian Rockies that are worth visiting, and offer hiking to those who like to hike.
British Columbia (BC) is Canada’s western most province that is anchored by the majestic city of Vancouver. The city of Vancouver is a particularly pretty city for a major city since it is set on a harbor that is surrounded by mountains. Stanley Park in Vancouver, at just over 1,000 acres, is one of the largest urban parks in the world. The park offers beautiful views of Vancouver and the surround harbor area. From the mountainous areas of British Columbia, including the Canadian Rockies and the world famous Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort, to the coastal Victoria Island, British Columbia offers many sightseeing opportunities.
Traveling Across Canada By Train
Whether you are Traveling across Canada from east to west or west to east, traveling by train on Canada’s national passenger railroad Via Rail is an excellent way to take in the natural beauty that Canada has to offer while sitting back and relaxing. The leg of the cross-Canada train journey through the Canadian Rockies on the Canadian National Railway (CN) is particularly beautiful and breathtaking, with ample views of the Canadian Rockies. As an alternative, the privately run Rocky Mountaineer operates a train over a different route through the Canadian Rockies on the Canadian Pacific Railway (CP).
Mount Assiniboine (Matterhorn) In Canadian Rockies From Via Rail Train
Traveling Across Canada | Off The Beaten Track
For travelers with more time on their hands while traveling in Canada or ones that just like to do things off the beaten track, Canada offers a number of places that are worthy of a day trip. The following are just a few:
- Lake Timiskaming, Quebec – A road trip from North Bay, Ontario to Lake Timiskaming, Quebec is particularly appealing during the fall. The road passes through a kaleidoscope of autumn colors as it winds through the Ottawa River valley that includes rolling hills and farms. The buildings encountered in the villages along the route are typical Quebecoise architecture. The trip terminates at Ville Marie, Quebec at the north end of Lake Timiskaming.
- Whistler, British Columbia – A good day or overnight trip from Vancouver is a drive up to Whistler, which is about two hours north of Vancouver, on a road that feels as though you are traveling to the top of the world. Whistler is not only home to a world-famous ski resort Whistler-Blacome, it also offers a great deal of natural beauty in the surrounding area that travelers can take in.
- Victoria , British Columbia – Victoria is located to the west of Vancouver on Vancouver Island, and is reachable by ferry from Vancouver. The lovely Victoria Island makes for an excellent day trip from Vancouver, as it offers plentiful gardens and a quaint small city that is a nice relaxing destination and location to have lunch.
Share Your Traveling Across Canada Experiences
I welcome those who have traveled across Canada to share their experiences and recommendations in the comments section below. Please also feel free to add suggestions regarding sights and destinations, including off the beaten track destinations that you feel are worth seeing while traveling across Canada.
(remember to breathe) Alberta - Travel Alberta
© 2012 John Coviello
John Coviello (author) from New Jersey on September 28, 2015:
Thanks everyone for sharing your travel experiences in Canada. I have always had a wonderful time visiting Canada. Such a beautiful country!
Yoleen Lucas from Big Island of Hawaii on November 10, 2014:
I've been to Whistler / Blackcomb and Vancouver. I would LOVE to visit the Cirque of the Unclimbables in Yukon Territory!
Marie from Canada on June 13, 2014:
I've been lucky to travel across Canada. One of my favourite experiences has been whale watching on a zodiac boat in Victoria. :)
Meg Moon from United Kingdom on October 09, 2013:
I have been to Toronto- Niagara Falls and Saskatchewan- we have family there. We flew to Toronto stayed there a few days then went by Greyhound- The Canadian equivalent- to Saskatchewan. We were on that bus for a long time! Would love to go back and see more!
Stephanie from Canada on March 21, 2013:
I love travelling in Canada! Of course, I'm a bit biased, being Canadian and all. I've lived in Victoria BC, Toronto ON, and now live in Nova Scotia. There really are so many things to see, no matter where you are in Canada!