If a trip to Canada is next on your list, we suggest thinking beyond touristy destinations like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Venturing off the beaten path can result in a vacation full of secret gems with so much to offer, including dynamic food scenes, outdoor activities, historic landmarks and views that take your breath away.
Here are five Canadian cities that deserve a spot on your travel bucket list.
Located on Canada's Eastern coastline, this historic, culturally rich city is teeming with cafés, restaurants, shops and galleries. One of the biggest attractions during the warmer months is Halifax's waterfront boardwalk, a two-mile-long promenade where visitors can dine, attend events and watch the ships go by. For a taste of the local flavor, head to the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market, one of the oldest markets in North America. The craft brewing scene has been on the rise, too, so make sure to drop in for a tour and tasting at Garrison Brewery Co. and Alexander Keith's Brewery. And don't miss a chance to try donair, a popular comfort food native to the region. Similar to a gyro, this hometown favorite is made up of finely ground beef mixed with spices and topped off with a sweet condensed milk sauce. Yum.
② Québec City
Québec City is one of Canada's epic sleepers. During the summer, a trip to nearby Montmorency Falls is a must, and every snowy, blustery winter visitor should take advantage of the old, walled city's distinctive Game of Thrones vibe. After a tour around one of the oldest cities in the entire continent, grab a bite at Les Sales Gosses, one of the area's many cutting-edge restaurants. Just make sure you have time to squeeze in a drink at the iconic Fairmont Le Château Frontenac and a meal (not complete without Caesar salad prepared tableside) at Le Continental, the epitome of old-world charm. Two days in this French wonderland might be enough, but you'll want to stay longer to explore all the hidden nooks and crannies, and really settle into a life of poutine, craft cider and epic views.
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③ Victoria, British Columbia
When someone mentions British Columbia, Vancouver is likely the first city that comes to mind. However, adventurous travelers should look a little further south for their next excursion. Thanks to a recent mass migration of tech companies and startups, the once quiet capital city has transformed into a popular social destination. This seaside beauty has a ton of enticing attractions, including beautiful architecture, gorgeous gardens, waterfront foot paths, world-class museums and top-notch restaurants. We recommend digging into a big bowl of pasta at Pagliacci's Restaurant or slurping up some ramen at Bao.
④ Prince Edward Island
This place is proof that great things come in small packages. Located just off the coasts of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, every inch of Prince Edward Island is blessed with stunningly beautiful scenery. Summer is the perfect season for walking along Cavendish Beach or jumping on a horse for a scenic guided ride. This island province's cuisine is famous for its shellfish, so indulge in as much seafood as you can handle.
⑤ Whistler, British Columbia
If you love to ski but can't stand Aspen, Colorado or Park City's incessant crowds, Whistler Blackcomb should certainly top your travel list. Skiers and snowboarders race down not one but two mountains, each with over 200 marked trails. And of course, one of the best ways to relax after a long day on the slopes is with a drink in hand. After your snowy workout, hit up Garibaldi Lift Company and Merlin’s Bar and Grill for a vibrant bar scene.
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