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Things to do in Canada: unique places and unexpected experiences

Photo of someone biking in Toronto, Ontario

Things to do in Canada: unique places and unexpected experiences

Check the most up-to-date travel restrictions before planning your trip and be sure to contact businesses prior to travel to confirm availability and book reservations.


So you think you know Canada? With almost 10 million square kilometres to explore, Canada abounds with unique places and unusual experiences. Let's see how many of these surprising Canadian spaces and places you have yet to discover.


 Where will you go first?

Montr?al Biod?me, Quebec

Looking for a change of scenery? Explore the Montr?al Biod?me's tropical forestExternal Link Title for guaranteed warm weather, lush, diverse greenery and exotic animal sightings (think, piranhas, parrots and even marsupials). The Biod?me, situated in the heart of Montreal, is part of the Space For Life museum complexExternal Link Title which hosts the city's planetariumExternal Link Title, insectariumExternal Link Title and botanical gardenExternal Link Title.


Click here to explore the Montreal Biod?meExternal Link Title

Qaumajuq, Winnipeg, Manitoba

In 2021, downtown WinnipegExternal Link Title and the Winnipeg Art GalleryExternal Link Title welcomed QaumajuqExternal Link Title, an innovative museum that hosts the world's largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art. This immense cultural space bridges Canada's North and South through art, research and education. After your visit, pursue your journey into Indigenous cultures with a meal at Feast Caf? Bistro.


Click here to explore QaumajuqExternal Link Title


Rideau Canal National Historic Site, Ottawa, Ontario

The Rideau Canal National Historic SiteExternal Link Title stretches 202 kilometres from OttawaExternal Link Title to KingstonExternal Link Title. From May to October, the canal turns into a paddler's paradiseExternal Link Title (boat cruises through OttawaExternal Link Title are a care-free way to take it all in from the water). In wintertime, this historic waterway turns into the world's longest outdoor skating rinkExternal Link Title. If you prefer adventuring on land, hop on a bike to discover 800 kilometers of recreational pathwaysExternal Link Title with easy access to parks, historic sites, breweriesExternal Link Title and wineriesExternal Link Title.


Click here to explore the Rideau CanalExternal Link Title

10th Street Wave, Calgary, Alberta

Thanks to the Bow River and the emergence of river surfing, land-locked CalgaryExternal Link Title has become a hot spot to hang ten. According to local surf shop Outlier SurfExternal Link Title, "the 10th Street Wave is one of the world's most beginner friendly river surfing waves." Once you've acquired a taste for urban surfing, recharge your batteries by sampling signature Alberta food around the cityExternal Link Title.

Click here to surf the 10th Street waveExternal Link Title

Orcas, Victoria, British Columbia

A whale-watching adventureExternal Link Title is in order when visiting Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. The city's neighbouring Pacific waters are home to the most fabulous wildlifeExternal Link Title, including resident orca pods (pictured above). Most marine wildlife tours take visitors through Race Rocks Ecological ReserveExternal Link Title, British Columbia's southernmost point. Cap off your Pacific Ocean exploration at oceanfront Oak Bay Beach HotelExternal Link Title and its spa's rejuvenating seaside mineral poolsExternal Link Title.


Click here to see whales in VictoriaExternal Link Title

Toronto Islands, Toronto, Ontario

A 10-minute ferry from downtown Toronto will transport you to the relaxing, car-free Toronto IslandsExternal Link Title. This natural archipelago is ideal for an urban day trip filled with beach time, water-based activitiesExternal Link Title (try "paddlebirdingExternal Link Title" or a calm sunset paddleExternal Link Title) and leisurely bicycle ridesExternal Link Title. Let your exploration guide you all the way to The Riviera - Ward's Island KitchenExternal Link Title before making your way back to your city-bound ferry. 


Click here to explore the Toronto IslandsExternal Link Title

Vancouver Art Gallery, British Columbia

Art and architecture blend beautifully at the Vancouver Art GalleryExternal Link Title, a 1906 neo-classical building in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The collection includes the works of Emily CarrExternal Link Title, one of Canada's most celebrated artists whose compelling paintings depict Indigenous villages and emerald rainforests of the west coastExternal Link Title. After your visit, enjoy a meal at one of Vancouver's top restaurantsExternal Link Title.


Click here to visit the Vancouver Art GalleryExternal Link Title


Wanuskewin Heritage Park, Saskatchewan

Wanuskewin Heritage ParkExternal Link Title, just five kilometres from Saskatoon, is dedicated to advancing the understanding and appreciation of the cultures of the Northern Plains Indigenous peoples. This interpretive site is Canada's longest-running archeological dig site. There, you can see bisonExternal Link Title, sample Indigenous culinary flavoursExternal Link Title during a Han Wi moon dinner, hike to cultural sitesExternal Link Title and acquire authentic First Nations traditional handmade artworksExternal Link Title.


Click here to visit Wanuskewin Heritage ParkExternal Link Title


Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, Nova Scotia

Overlooking HalifaxExternal Link Title and its harbour, you'll find the Halifax Citadel National Historic SiteExternal Link Title, which defended the region as a high point above the shores from 1749 to 1906. Today, this historic fortress provides visitors with an immersive overview of the life of Victorian era soldiers that called the citadel home. For a deeper dive into the region's history, take a 15-minute walk east to reach the Maritime Museum of the AtlanticExternal Link Title along the Halifax WaterfrontExternal Link Title.


Click here to explore the Halifax CitadelExternal Link Title

Parc de la chute-Montmorency, Quebec City

A 15-minute drive along the St. Lawrence River takes you from historic Old Quebec City to the impressive Montmorency FallsExternal Link Title. This 83-metres (25 storeys!) waterfall is part of an accessible park that offers scenic adventures for all ability levels: catch a ride on the panoramic cable carExternal Link Title, zipline across the fallsExternal Link Title, feel their power from the suspension footbridge or hang out cliffside on the via ferrata courseExternal Link Title. Drive back via historical Route de la Nouvelle-FranceExternal Link Title to sample local flavours from nearby Ferme Le Comte de RoussyExternal Link Title.


Click here to explore Parc de la chute-MontmorencyExternal Link Title

Alberta Legislature Building, Edmonton, Alberta

A city tour of Edmonton External Link Titlewould not be complete without capturing a snap of the Alberta Legislature Building's Beaux-Arts architectureExternal Link Title. The site's illuminated water fountains and well-kept garden are perfect for a picnic bursting with local flavoursExternal Link Title. Since the building sits atop the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, you can also admire it from the water on a cruiseExternal Link Title or canoe excursionExternal Link Title.


Click here to explore EdmontonExternal Link Title


Niagara Falls, Ontario

The iconic Hornblower Catamaran cruise takes visitors for an up-close view of the legendary Niagara Falls, Ontario. For a different perspective, take to the sky aboard the Niagara SkywheelExternal Link Title or venture behind the fallsExternal Link Title. Stay until night time to see the falls colourfully lit upExternal Link Title and continue your wonderful journey with a visit to Niagara-on-the-LakeExternal Link Title, a renowned  wine regionExternal Link Title.


Click here to explore Niagara FallsExternal Link Title

Aurora Village, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

One of the best places to see the northern lightsExternal Link Title in the world is the Northwest Territories where they're usually visible 240 nights a year. For an immersive Indigenous experience you'll remember for your entire life, stay in a teepee at Aurora VillageExternal Link Title in YellowknifeExternal Link Title. While winter and fall are the most popular aurora viewing seasons, you can also admire them in summertimeExternal Link Title.


See Aurora Borealis at Aurora VillageExternal Link Title

Iceberg Alley, Newfoundland and Labrador

Iceberg AlleyExternal Link Title is a fitting appellation for the waters that welcome the 10,000-year-old ice giants that float down the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador in the spring and summer time. While icebergs are visible from land, a boatExternal Link Title or kayak tourExternal Link Title is one of the best ways to get up close and grasp their immense beauty (expect whale and seabird sightingsExternal Link Title too). The best time to see icebergs is from April to August, although you can sample them year-round in picturesque St. John'sExternal Link Title, thanks to the unique Iceberg beer from the Quidi Vidi BreweryExternal Link Title.


Click here to see Iceberg AlleyExternal Link Title

West Point Lighthouse Inn and Museum, Prince Edward Island

Canada's first Inn in a lighthouse, the West Point Lighthouse Inn and MuseumExternal Link Title, offers intimate, four-star, accommodation on a beautiful red sand beach in Prince Edward Island. This working lighthouse is part of Cedar Dunes Provincial ParkExternal Link Title and hosts a museum that documents the history of the province's lighthouses. To get there, follow the North Cape Coastal DriveExternal Link Title, along which you'll find the Bottle HousesExternal Link Title, a must-see attraction in Prince Edward Island.


Click here to stay at the West Point LighthouseExternal Link Title

Nepisiguit Mi'gmaq Trail, New Brunswick

The Nepisiguit Mi'gmaq TrailExternal Link Title, in New Brunswick, follows the Nepisiguit River which links the Appalachian Mountains in Mount Carleton Provincial ParkExternal Link Title to the Bay of ChaleurExternal Link Title in BathurstExternal Link Title. This 140-kilometre trail with multiple access pointsExternal Link Title is a moderate-to-difficult hike. One of the top ways to experience this historically significant route used by the Mi'gmaq people for thousands of years is to plan an overnight teepee stayExternal Link Title. If visiting the area, make sure to sample some delicious seafoodExternal Link Title.


Click here to explore Nepisiguit Mi'gmaq TrailExternal Link Title


Baffin Island, Nunavut

The biggest island in Canada (the fifth largest in the world), Baffin Island, is the spectacular homeland of the Inuit and an incomparable playground for the adventurous. The island is rich in memorable travel experiences: see narwhal and polar bears on an arctic safariExternal Link Title, experience the World's northernmost Heli-skiing operationExternal Link Title, admire the northern lights and learn about Inuit cultureExternal Link Title.


Click here to explore Baffin Island


Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta

Once upon a time, dinosaurs roamed the Canadian BadlandsExternal Link TitleDinosaur Provincial ParkExternal Link Title, one of the biggest dinosaur graveyards in the world,is one of the best places to explore this remarkable landscape filled with fossils (real ones). To reach the park, drive about two hours east of Calgary. Once there, tour the fascinating interpretive trails with fossilised dinosaur skeletons on display. Camp onsiteExternal Link Title before making your way back to Calgary via DrumhellerExternal Link Title to continue your Jurassic journey at the Royal Tyrrell MuseumExternal Link Title (consult website reopening dates).


Click here to explore Dinosaur Provincial ParkExternal Link Title


Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick

On the New BrunswickExternal Link Title side of the Bay of FundyExternal Link Title, towering sandstone formations nicknamed "Flowerpot Rocks" await at the Hopewell RocksExternal Link Title. This spectacular landscape shaped by the highest tides in the world can be explored by foot and kayakExternal Link Title on the same day (check the tide tableExternal Link Title before you visit). MonctonExternal Link Title, located a short 30-minute away is the perfect starting point of your Bay of Fundy Adventure.


Click here to explore the Hopewell RocksExternal Link Title


Athabasca Sand Dunes Provincial Park, Saskatchewan

The largest active sand surface in Canada can be found at Athabasca Sand Dunes Provincial ParkExternal Link Title, Saskatchewan. The dunes here spread over 100 kilometres along the shores of Lake Athabasca, Canada's eighth largest lake. The area is especially popular for hiking, fishingExternal Link Title, paddlingExternal Link Title and, of course, photography.


Click here to explore the Athabasca Sand Dunes Provincial ParkExternal Link Title

Emerald Lake, Carcross, Yukon

To witness the splendour of Emerald LakeExternal Link Title, also called Rainbow Lake by Carcross /Tagish First Nation, start your journey in CarcrossExternal Link Title, Yukon and drive 12 kilometers north along the South Klondike Highway. These stunning turquoise waters are the result of light reflecting off a white layer of marl (a type of clay) in the lake. Continue on your Yukon Southern Lake Loop road tripExternal Link Title to learn about the local First NationsExternal Link Title and discover more natural wondersExternal Link Title.


Click here to explore Yukon's southern lakesExternal Link Title