Amazing Vacation Spots in Canada for Your Bucket List – 2020 Guide

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Those who saw their travel plans affected by the COVID-19 spread and are now eagerly following the news regarding which countries are reopening their boundaries or those who are evaluating where to travel in the near future should seriously consider visiting Canada. The second-largest country in the world offers a diverse set of vacation destinations. So much so that it can easily satiate the wanderlust of every type of traveler. Canada has got it all: stunning natural landscapes, cosmopolitan and charming cities, an attractive cultural scene, lively streets, scenic coastlines and magnificent national parks. 

Home of the Niagara Falls, Céline Dione, maple syrup and Ryan Gosling amongst many others, Canada is a bedazzling country. And it offers an additional advantage to Americans: while being a foreign country, it’s bordering the US and it’s easily reachable by car. US citizens need a valid passport or equivalent document to enter Canada and return to the US and travelers under 15 only need to present a birth certificate. 

If travelling by car, an American drivers’ license is valid. If driving on a rental car, you can easily go to the rental agency in the US and take the car across the border without major problems. Insurance is extra important if you’re driving a rental cross-border. However, evaluating your options at the rental’s desk is not the best idea: you’ll fall victim of the agent’s hard sell tactics and you can end up paying quite a fortune even for a few days. Fortunately, there are many independent insurance companies that provide you thorough coverage for your rental vehicle. Bonzah is one of them and it offers you supplemental liability insurance up to $1M aggregate coverage both in the US and Canada.  

With a stunning natural scene and a rich and exciting cultural life, Canada seduces travelers whichever interest moves their spirit. Here are some of the most remarkable highlights that you can’t miss in any trip to this impressive country.

ONTARIO

Ontario is a diverse and captivating Canadian province and a great entry point for those visiting the country for the first time. Tourists are welcome with bustling cities and a fantastic natural scene. Relaxing scenic views and exciting urban experiences await you as you tour this eclectic and seducing province.

Niagara Falls

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One of the top natural wonders of the world, Niagara Falls is one of the major highlights of any trip to the province of Ontario. Watching the Niagara river rumbling towards a 188-foot waterfall at about 25 and even higher mph is a jaw-dropping experience. The misty fog, the deafening roaring noise, and the crowds that flock to the railings to have a first-seat view of the natural show are pictures that will stay in your mind forever. Niagara falls is one of the best places to visit in Canada and one that will fill your Instagram feed with hundreds of stunningly beautiful pictures.

Located in the border between Ontario and New York, the Canadian side is known for offering the best views and for being a premier tourist spot with restaurants, observation towers, souvenir shops, casinos and hotels. It’s a great spot for camping, golfing and even shopping!

Scheduled daytime boat tours offer an amazing sight of the falls but they’re specially enchanting at night when floodlights illuminate the free falling waters and there are also fireworks displayed.  The most popular attractions in the Niagara Falls are: the White Water Walk, the Butterfly Conservatory or the Niagara SkyWheel.

Toronto

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Toronto is cosmopolitan, huge, dotted with skyscrapers and a top-notch public transport system. However, it has got much more to offer than what meets the eye; apart from its amazing skyline, Toronto is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. It’s also home to one of the tallest freestanding towers in the world, the CN Tower, and the world’s largest underground shopping centre, PATH, a plethora of fantastic museums and an eclectic dining scene. 

Located on the shores of Lake Ontario, Toronto is part of the Golden Horseshoe region where you can also find the Niagara Falls.With more than half of its residents not born in the country, Toronto is a true melting pot where tourists can spot signs written in different languages and enjoy different and distinctive neighborhoods. 

No trip to the capital of Ontario would be complete without enjoying the most important landmark: the CN Tower, which was mentioned above. Apart from the beautiful panoramic views of the city, those who need an adrenaline rush can take the Edge Walk adventure: a walk around the circumference of the roof of this 553.33 m high tower!  There’s also a revolving restaurant that offers delicious meals and a viewing platform where tourists can take great pictures of the city’s skyline. 

Toronto is an energetic and lively city that boasts a plethora of tourist attractions. Nature lovers can’t miss visiting and exploring Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, an important centre of marine life. It’s famous for having the longest underwater glass tunnel in North America; it extends through the “Dangerous Lagoon” and allows you to come face to face with scary predators such as eels or sharks.

The Royal Ontario Museum, the largest museum in Canada, is home to an impressive collection of art, world, culture, and natural history. 

Ottawa

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Canada’s capital city and major cultural center, Ottawa is a blend of English and French cultures. Its cosmopolitan vibe and interesting attractions makes it a must-see destination for anyone spending time in Ontario. 

Ottawa is home to some of the most important national museums such as the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian War Museum or the Canadian Museum of History. The impressive parliament building on Parliament Hill and the beautiful Rideau Canal that can be enjoyed all year round are another two major attractions of the city. There are guided tours that take visitors through the seat of Canada’s federal government and there’s an observation deck on Peace Tower that provides stunning panoramic views of the city. 

It’s an attractive city, with an impressive Victorian architecture and large inviting parks and green areas. It definitely has it all!

QUEBEC

The province of Quebec is culturally rich, with an interesting historic past and beautiful natural areas.  From thrilling outdoor activities to relaxing experiences, vibrant cities and tranquil forest settings, it’s a perfect family destination. 

Quebec City

Capital of the homonymous province, a trip to Quebec city can be as charming as one to any European village at a much more affordable cost. It’s a vibrant city that combines the historic building and glamour of the XVII and XVIII centuries with the modern vibe of restaurants, cafés and nightclubs. You’ll probably feel a strong French vibe while in Quebec City with its cobblestone streets, towering cathedrals and buttery croissants.

It’s one of the oldest walled cities in North America and one of the top tourist places in Canada. Located in a French-speaking province, it’s always a good idea to review your French first or learn a couple of words first.  

Perched on a hill overlooking the St Lawrence river is Vieux Quebec, the city’s historic district. Its cobblestone streets are absolutely charming. Don’t miss the chance to admire its old buildings and historic sites such as the Citadel or  the Place-Royale and enjoy a latte at any of its many cafés. Chateau Frontenac is the icon of the city; so much so that you can visit it on a tour even if you’re not staying overnight. Another highlight are the mesmerizing Montmorency Falls, located between the borough of Beauport and Boischatel,famous for its suspension bridge. 

Montreal

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Multifaceted, alluring, and multicultural are three adjectives that fit Montreal like a glove. With its XVII-century structures blending into an XXI-century skyline, funky fashion restaurants, and traditional French pastries, there’s plenty to enjoy in Montreal.

World-class museums, bustling marketplaces, and a huge city underground are samples of the versatility of the city.  

Walk along the cobblestone streets of Vieux-Montreal and explore its charming historic district or go for a hike to Parc du Mont-Royal and admire some of the best skyline views. Don’t miss the chance to climb up the clock tower in the Quai de l’Horloge; it guarantees superb views over the St. Lawrence River and Montreal. But make sure you have some energy left for the night: the nightlife scene at Rue St-Denis is fantastic! 

Montreal is also a great destination for those traveling with kids. It’s not only one of the most kids-friendly cities in North America but it’s also packed with great attractions such as Montreal Biodome or La Ronde Amusement Park. If traveling during the very cold winter months, the museums, shopping malls, and underground city will definitely keep you warm.

No trip to Montreal would be complete without visiting the Notre Dame Basilica, considered by many ones of the most beautiful and finest religious buildings in the world. Another very interesting one is St Joseph’s Oratory, a basilica located in the borough of Ville-Marie in Vieux-Montreal that is also home to an art museum and organ concerts.   

If you like exploring museums, the Museum of Fine Arts is one of the most popular attractions in the city. It’s a highlight amongst art lovers as it offers plenty of artworks to explore. 

BRITISH COLUMBIA

Canada’s West Coast province offers spectacular scenery, buzzing cities, enchanting wildlife, and a paradise for lovers of outdoor activities. Let’s see which are some of the most interesting destinations to explore.

Vancouver

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Located in British Columbia, Vancouver is multicultural, diverse and exciting; a perfect destination for a city-break holiday. With world-class shopping districts, beaches, attractive wildlife and plenty of sightseeing opportunities, it’s a destination that offers plenty of things to see and do. From the historic cobblestone streets of Gastown to the public market in Granville Island, there’s no chance to get bored!

Adventure lovers will find in Vancouver where to satisfy their thirst of adrenaline: kayaking, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, hiking and even skiing are some of the sports that can be practised here. And when you need to wind down a bit, there are more than 10 miles of beaches and plenty of parks such as Stanley Park or Strathcona Provincial Park where you can relax. Grouse Mountain is, paradoxically, a hot spot for night time skiing while the Great Bear Rainforest Prince Royal Island allows you to kayak amongst whales, fish for trout or salmon or get a chance to spot great bears.

Vancouver Island is the largest island off the West Coast of the North American continent. It’s a highly Instagrammable location with impressive waterfalls, pristine lakes, stunning mountains and magical fjords. Surfers made it famous because of the town of Tofino and nature lovers made it a hot spot for whale watching, bird watching and grizzly bear sightings. 

Feeling hungry is not a problem at all in Vancouver as it’s a famous foodie hotspot. Get ready to try the most delicious salmon, prawns and seafood in general! 

Whistler

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Located just a few hours away from Vancouver, Whistler is the country’s world renowned ski village, at the feet of Mount Whistler and Mount Blackcomb. They offer some of the best slopes for snowboarding and skiing and they are a must-visit place for winter sports enthusiasts.  

Whistler offers plenty of accommodation facilities, shops, galleries and restaurants to make your stay here even more enjoyable once it’s too dark or you’re too tired to go on playing in the snow. Don’t forget to witness the town’s vibrant culture by visiting its many art museums and cultural centres!

Do you enjoy wildlife? Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains are home to an abundance of animal and plant life. If you’re lucky you can spot black bears, marmots and beagles to name a few!

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