With a country so vast and beautiful, it’s no surprise there are many bucket list destinations in Canada. Measuring in at 9.98 million km², Canada, with its 10 provinces and 3 territories, is the second largest country in the world. We have been lucky to see so much of our home country. We wanted to share 10 Bucket List destinations in Canada that we have visited that have truly inspired our wanderlust.
Destinations in Canada from east to west:
1. Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador
Gros Morne National Park is located in western Newfoundland. In Gros Morne, you can actually walk on the earth’s mantle which is why it is not surprising that it is a UNESCO world heritage site. There are many hikes inside the park, ranging from easy to difficult. Be sure to stop by the visitor’s center. The park rangers are friendly and a useful resource for planning your itinerary.
Besides hiking, another way to explore Gros Morne National Park is by cruising Western Brook Pond by boat tour. The boat tour allows you to view the sheer rock cliff faces and many waterfalls while providing a historical narration of the area.
2. Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia
The Cabot Trail is a scenic highway the runs along the eastern and western coastlines of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. The famous loop has many overlooks and points of interest along the way. The Cabot Trail can be explored year around. During summertime, it’s possible to spot whales during your drive!
3. Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia
Peggy’s Cove is a picturesque town on the eastern side of St. Margaret’s bay, Nova Scotia. Peggy’s cove is famous for the iconic Peggy’s Point Lighthouse. Even if you don’t like lighthouses, Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia is still worthy of your bucket list. Close to sunset, when crowds from the large tourists buses have disappeared, sit on the rocks, watch the Atlantic ocean crash waves onto rocks and wait for the sun to disappear beneath the horizon.
4. Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island, popularly known as PEI, is a Maritime island province connected to the rest of Canada via the Confederation Bridge. That’s right. We think the whole island is bucket list destination! Prince Edward Island is ringed by gorgeous red sand beaches. At some of these beaches, it is possible to dig for clams. No wonder the island is known for its fresh seafood. The interior of Prince Edward Island is very fertile and is the inspiration for Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables.
5. Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick
The Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick are shaped by tidal erosion. They can be found in Hopewell Rocks Ocean Tidal Exploration Site which is known for having the largest tides in the world. The park is open from mid-May to mid-October where it is possible to walk on the ocean bottom during low tide. To make the most of your time, check out the tide tables. Low and high tides are separated by a few hours so it is possible to see both on the same day if you time your visit correctly.
It is important to heed the warnings of the park rangers once the tides come in. During high tide, it is possible to rent kayaks and explore the coastline from the water.
6. Perce, Quebec
Perce is a picturesque town located on the eastern tip of the Gaspe peninsula, Quebec. Perce is home to Bonaventure Island and Perce Rock. Perce Rock is a natural rock arch that can be reached on foot during low tide or by boat during high tide. Bonaventure Island is a birders paradise and can be reached via boat tours. Once on the island, it is an easy hike to see the largest colony of Northern Gannets in the world.
7. Bruce Peninsula, Ontario
The Bruce Peninsula in Ontario is an easy 3-hour drive north from Toronto. If you are coming from elsewhere, you can hop off the plane and in a few short hours be surrounded by such beautiful places as Fathom Five National Marine Park of Canada. Within the park, you can visit Flowerpot Island which is famous for its rock pillars and caves.
Another amazing experience in the Bruce Peninsula is exploring the many shipwrecks in the area. The shipwrecks can be visited either by diving or snorkeling. For those not up for a swim in the chilly Lake Huron waters, some of the shipwrecks can also be viewed from above the water on a boat tour.
8. Horseshoe Falls in Niagara, Ontario
Horseshoe Falls (or Canadian Falls) is one of the three waterfalls that collectively make up the Niagara Falls. The Falls can be enjoyed from the air by helicopter tour, in the water by boat tour, or you can even explore the hydroelectric tunnels and go behind the falls!
9. Banff National Park, Alberta
Banff National Park is Canada’s oldest national park. It is 1.5 hours west of Calgary in the Canadian Rockies amidst glaciers, lakes, and coniferous forest. The scenic Icefields Parkway connect Banff National park to another iconic park, Jasper National Park.
10. Glacier National Park, British Columbia
Glacier National Park is one of seven national parks in British Columbia. Like Banff National Park, Glacier National Park has some tall peaks and active glaciers. In addition, the park is also home to one of Canada’s largest cave systems.
There are many more destinations in Canada that we have not visited but they are on our bucket list! Have you been to Canada? What’s your favorite destination?
Having experienced over 20 countries across 4 continents Christina is well versed at travel planning and thrives on sharing that information with others with the hopes of encouraging more families to experience this incredible world that we live in.