The Best of Canada
Collected by Murissa Shalapata, AFAR Local Expert
Some of Canada's best spots to experience what it is to be Canadian, the great outdoors, art, culture and food.
Downtown, Calgary, AB, Canada
Stephen Avenue, located downtown, features some delicious restaurants, bars, and unique shopping experiences for the cowboy/cowgirl in all of us. Even I, hesitantly, admitted to being attracted to at least one pair of cowboy boots with matching...
3800 North St, Ainsworth Hot Springs, BC V0G 1A0, Canada
I have been on a few all-inclusive weeklong fitness retreats. Most of them subscribe to a holistic approach to better fitness: improved diet, increased exercise, and ways to reduce stress from our increasingly busy lives. Mountain Trek is similar...
1805 Winnipeg St, Regina, SK S4P 1G3, Canada
When I return to Regina to visit family and where my great grandparents decided to settle after fleeing the Ukraine in 1913 I have a sense of no longer being Canadian but Ukrainian. In fact, as a child I often identified myself as Ukrainian,...
6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4K9, Canada
Part of the North Shore mountain range, this 4,039-foot peak offers jaw-dropping views of the city. It’s busiest in the winter, when four chairlifts service 33 ski runs, but remains popular in the summer thanks to the steep, 1.8-mile Grouse...
4599 Route 127, Saint Andrews, NB E5B 3S7, Canada
Known throughout the Maritimes for it’s creative market fresh cuisine and upscale yet small town atmosphere, the Rossmount Inn is a must stop for foodies. The menu changes daily depending on the local ingredients and harvest season for Chef Chris...
3515 McDonald Dr, Yellowknife, NT X1A 2H2, Canada
Yellowknife is small, as in you can walk the whole town in half a day. But give yourself the full day to take in the hike around the lake, a chance to pick out some white fish from the Great Slave Lake at the fish truck, which is parked in front...
721 Government St, Victoria, BC V8W 1W5, Canada
Every book will tell you to have high tea at the Empress in Victoria, and you should. They welcomed our three-generation group, including 2 kids under 6, and had hot chocolate for those who didn't want tea. They also had a full gluten-free option,...
3 Library Rd, Victoria, BC V9C 1H9, Canada
A well mapped-out trail for bikers and hikers exists from the ferry north of Victoria all the way to the Pot Holes Provincial Park in Sooke, BC. The Galloping Goose Trail winds across all the area's landscapes: through the city streets to the...
93 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3, Canada
Toronto's St. Lawrence Market is crammed with 120 vendors, butcher counters, bakeries, ethnic eateries, and seafood shops. But there's one reason why most people come here: the peameal bacon sandwich, which is dished up at the Carousel Bakery....
Caroline Island, Nipissing, Unorganized, South Part, ON P0A, Canada
In September, we parked our Harley overnight at the Portage Store Outfitters on Canoe Lake in Algonquin Provincial Park and paddled/portaged our way for five hours to a remote campsite in the Park's interior. The outfitting (and customer) service...
Maligne Lake, Improvement District No. 12, AB T0E, Canada
It takes patience and good fortune to create a unique image in a place considered Canada’s second-most-photographed landscape. The Through the Lens Cruise on Maligne Lake gives amateur and professional shutterbugs such an opportunity. While...
Jasper, AB T0E 1E0, Canada
The jewel of Jasper National Forest, Angel Glacier is a remnant of a retreating glacier on Mount Edith Cavell's north face. (The glacier's name is a reference to its white "wings" of ice.) Venture to the bottom and you'll find a small,...
3625 1 St, Naramata, BC V0H 1N0, Canada
Just a short hour drive away from Kelowna, and only a 5-10 minute drive from Penticton, Naramata sits hidden with acres of green vineyards cascading off of clay cliffs into Lake Okanagan. In the heart Naramara is the historic Naramata Heritage Inn...
1730 Mission Hill Rd, West Kelowna, BC V4T 2E4, Canada
You may not know but British Columbia has a wine region that is a worthy rival of Napa and Tuscany. Mission Hill Winery is one of the stellar estates that not only has some of the best wine in Canada but also serves the best food with matching...
Lake Louise, AB, Canada
I was in Calgary for the wedding of a friend, and after several days of mani-pedi parties, bridal teas, and logistical rehearsals, I desperately needed a break. So, I rented a car and fled to Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies, just a...
Moraine Lake, Improvement District No. 9, AB T0L, Canada
Nestled at the base of the Valley of the 10 Peaks, Moraine Lake boasts turquoise waters that change color throughout the day as sunlight refracts off the minuscule particles of glacier-ground rock suspended within. Though it has a B-list rating...
1 Whitehorn Rd, Lake Louise, AB T0L 1E0, Canada
March 6th, 2011 Though its barely visible, tucked into the "V" across the valley floor is the Lake Louise and awesome Chateau Lake Louise. There should be no concerns about the lack of on mountain accommodations at this resort, with the frequent...
1669 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9, Canada
The market community at the Public Market really makes Granville Island a must-visit in Vancouver. The vibrant colors of the fruits and vegetables that aren't on the East Coast really stand out, especially on farmers market days. The market goes...
Vancouver, BC V6G 1Z4, Canada
Vancouver’s most famous urban space, the thousand-acre Stanley Park, epitomizes everything that locals here love about the outdoors, and visitors have many ways to explore the expansive grounds. Hiking trails weave around totem poles and hemlock...
3895 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2W 1X9, Canada
While New York has its pastrami, Montréal is the home of smoked meat. (The preparation of both is similar: A beef brisket is cured in spices for a week, then hot-smoked and finally boiled before being served.) Though others may question the...
1380 Rue Sherbrooke O, Montréal, QC H3G 1J5, Canada
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux Arts) is scattered across four different buildings, or pavilions. The Jean-Noël Desmarais Pavilion seen here is the institution's main building, with its international art collection. The other...
211 Rue Bernard O, Montréal, QC H2T 2K5, Canada
Possibly the most important and influential publishers of graphic novels in the last 20 years, Drawn & Quarterly has a must-visit shop in the cool Mile End neighborhood. It sells work from the extensive D&Q catalog (which includes Joe...
Icefields Pkwy, Lake Louise, AB T0L, Canada
Num-Ti-Jah Lodge on Bow Lake just north of Lake Louise in Banff National Forest is a treasure, but then again, the entire Canadian Rockies makes for one unending series of aesthetically arresting moments. The Num-Ti-Jah lodge was built and run by...
1 Heart Island, Alexandria Bay, NY 13607, USA
I am in love with St. Lawrence Islands National Park. An hour and a half drive from Ottawa you can take a river cruise from Gananoque. Alternatively, you can also cruise out of cute little town named Rockport. Besides weaving the many shipwreck...
1 Canada's Wonderland Drive, Vaughan, ON L6A 1S6, Canada
What you see here is the most terrifying rollercoaster in the world. This thing is so big that one of Wonderland's original coasters runs beneath it—and is not even visible in this frame. The Leviathan, as it is called, is so large that it...
43 Rue-Sainte Anne, Baie-Saint-Paul, QC G3Z 0C8, Canada
A French-Quebecois restaurant that serves hearty, locally-sourced dinners. The food was good, and caloric enough to stun a lumberjack. For the main course, I was presented with a pork chop the size of a baby’s head and nearly as round—a dish so...
1992 Dilworth Dr, Kelowna, BC V1Y 9N4, Canada
Every Saturday in the summer, especially when it is spinning into autumn, the Farmers' Market is packed with those looking to stock their fridges, pantries and countertops with local ingredients and produce. In recent years cultural diversity has...
750 Hornby St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2H7, Canada
Western Canada’s largest public art museum weighs in at almost 12,000 works. The collection here is strong on Emily Carr, a modernist compatriot of the Group of Seven (Canadian landscape painters from the 1920s who were deeply...
1 Rue des Carrières, Québec, QC G1R 4P5, Canada
This imposing yet elegant landmark, set high above the St. Lawrence on Cap Diamant, overlooking Old Québec, is as much a hotel as it is a tourist attraction—borne out by the claim that it’s the most photographed hotel in the...
1001 Jean Paul Riopelle Pl, Montreal, QC H2Z 1H5 Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle, Montréal, QC H2Z 1H5, Canada
Montreal is a wonderful city and the Bixi bike sharing system (http://montreal.bixi.com/) allows one to venture further and see other parts of the city. As the sun set, the Palais comes alive at night providing a glowing example of modern...
11382 Rang de la Fresnière, Mirabel, QC J7N 2R9, Canada
What happens when you put together a mad chef crazy about foie gras (Martin Picard), a beer company that is offering an all-you-can- drink experience (McAuslan) and a carnivore and maple syrup infused inspired breakfast of 14 courses? The McAuslan...
The Distillery District, Toronto, ON M5A, Canada
4719 Lakeshore Rd, Kelowna, BC V1W 4H6, Canada
Whether you want to pick the red juicy rubies or if you'd rather buy a box of sweet golden rainiers the Okanagan is the undisputed fruit producing champion of Canada. While Ontario may try to rival us there's just no getting around the fact that...
928 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1W3, Canada
The Black Hoof gets a lot of press and for good reason. Their food and concept is different and simply one of the best. From the tongue on brioche, the bone marrow with chimichurri and foie gras with nutella on banana bread (yup...you heard that...
Radium Hot Springs, BC, Canada
Only the serious hiker goes much beyond this four-wheel drive up to the Bugaboo maintain range in British Columbia. Pick up a local map at the tourist office in nearby Radium Hot Springs and pack your lunch and camera. After you leave the main...
4280 Montée Ryan, Mont-Tremblant, QC J8E 1S4, Canada
Like all self-respecting Francophones, Quebecer's take well-being (bien-être) and relaxation (détente) seriously. So naturally we welcomed the Scandinavian Spa when it opened just outside of town. This a true Nordic-style spa based on the ritual...
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