Aside from studying abroad and traveling here and there, I have lived my entire life in British Columbia, Canada. I have spent my life breathing in the mountain air, whizzing down many slopes on my trusty skis and soaking up all the sun the west coast has provided. Although I have explored multiple countries outside of Canada there is still so much more of ‘my own backyard’ that I want to see. The following are ten must see places in Canada to put on your bucket list and they’re on my personal bucket list too.
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From vicariously living through trips my friends and family have taken I know that Lake Louise is amazing all year round. The skiing is incredible in the winter and the lake glows a glorious turquoise in summer. Whether it be skiing, kayaking, hiking or camping, Lake Louise has it all. Simple as that. Just look at this photo! That water is so clear and those mountains are just begging to be climbed!
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Quebec City has been high up on my list for a while now. From looking through photos and listening to stories it seems like Quebec City is one of Canada’s more vibrant and historically rich treasure troves. In Quebec City you can walk through some of North America’s oldest streets, appreciate Victorian-style architecture or explore the famous Parc National de la Jacques-Cartier. Wouldn’t you just love to stay in a chateau like the one pictured above and brush up on your French? Also on my to do list is to experience Carnaval in the winter. In fact, did you know that Carnaval consists of many winter activities including an Ice Festival? You can even stay in an Ice Hotel!
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Am I a bad Canadian if I haven’t seen the Northern Lights? Probably. I don’t know if Whitehorse is the best place in Canada to see the Aurora Borealis but judging by this photo it probably is. In summer you can explore numerous lakes and even take in the midnight sun. Aside from the Northern Lights the winters also offer up ice-fishing and dog-sledding. One day I will get up there all bundled up and armed with hot cocoa, ready to hike all day and stargaze all night.
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I have talked to a few Canadians about this and I really think that the prairies don’t get nearly enough of the attention they deserve. Growing up in BC I unfortunately heard the rumor that “there’s not much to do in the prairies” and I believed it. I didn’t have an interest to even go until a few years ago when I started looking into different trips I may want to take one day. I started researching different tourism websites for Saskatchewan and then looked up photos on Instagram. While I will always be a mountain girl at heart I now have a deep desire to experience the open skies and endless horizons of Saskatchewan. Just look at the photo above of Grasslands National Park! Wouldn’t you love to pitch your tent there too?
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From what I have heard it seems like Charlottetown is a pretty laid-back yet dynamic city. In fact it sounds kind of similar to Victoria, BC. Both are capital cities situated by the sea on charming islands. Since I haven’t spent a ton of time out east I am definitely interested in seeing the cultural similarities and differences that the two cities have to offer. In Charlottetown you can view and participate in a variety of activities and events such as the Shellfish Festival or attend Anne of Green Gables the Musical. Also, for true Anne of Green Gables fans, the famous Green Gables Shore isn’t terribly far away from the city.
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Through family’s and friends’ photos and stories, Halifax also seems like a fairly laid-back east coast city. I definitely want to visit Peggy’s Cove but I also want to go museum hopping there. The Canadian Museum of Immigration and The Africville Museum have both caught my interest and I would love to visit them. Not only do they tell stories of the history of Halifax but also speak to Canada’s unique blend of cultures. Also I absolutely have to visit the street photographed in this photo! Everything just looks so fun and colourful!
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Ok first of all when I see photos like this I usually think of tropical places. I really don’t know why this is. Perhaps because there are so many photos circulating the Internet of places like this in more tropical locations. But you can see this in Canada too! I would love to both kayak and walk around these magnificent mountain crumbs depending on the tide. Plus the Bay of Fundy is also known for its dinosaur fossil discoveries and for its marine life.
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Niagara Falls is the one place on this list I have been to but I was really young so I need to see it again. Niagara is Canada’s most famous waterfall and believe me when I say you don’t want to miss it! In fact, Niagara is one of the largest waterfalls in the whole world! I have been told that if you decide to go you must take a ride on the Maid of the Mist which offers you the best (and wettest) waterfall experience.
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From the streets of Old Montreal to Chinatown and to countless parks and gardens, Montreal also has to be included on this list. I have heard that Montreal is lots of fun as there is so much there to do and see. Lots of my friends have done student exchanges to Montreal in and after high school and have fallen head over heels in love with the city. I really love wandering through cities with older styles of architecture and would especially like to visit The Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal.
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Last but not least is Tofino! I know I mentioned before that I have am well accustomed to British Columbia. Well truth be told there are still some places even here that I have not yet visited.. The one thing I regret about my year in Victoria is that I never visited Tofino. Tofino is known for it’s surfing as well as for it’s dense forests. I don’t think I have ever met a fellow Canadian that either has not been there or does not wish to go someday. Can you imagine running out to catch the morning waves and stumbling upon a view like this?! Me neither. That’s why I absolutely have to go!
Have you been to any of these places before? Let me know in the comments section!
April is the founder and main author for Just Leaving Footprints. She has written for numerous blogs and publications such as Explore Magazine and Snow Pak. April loves writing about sustainable tourism, and promoting other sustainable travelers on her Facebook Group and Instagram Community, Ladies Leaving Footprints. Currently, April is living and teaching English in Mexico City with her husband Arturo and they don’t plan on stopping their travels anytime soon.
Earlier this month my husband and I got married at the beautiful Barceló resort in…June 30, 2018