Canada has always been on my travel bucketlist, yet still I’m yet to go. There’s something about a place that can offer stunning scenery, ski-ing in the warm sunlight, contrasting cold Winters and woodlands so beautiful. Not to mention the bustling built up cities.
If you’re toying with the idea of venturing to Canada, I thought I’d share some advice and research I’ve found along the way when planning a visit myself.
When I ask friends about their trips to Canada, they always say that Vancouver is one of the best places to visit. Going off their advice and the tips from a lot of travel bloggers I know, they say to add Vancouver to my list, along with some of the smaller towns in Canada yet to be discovered.
Let’s start with a few things about Vancouver I’ve been told to note. As the place is home to many vibrant and interesting areas, it’s actually a fabulous place to plan in a number of walking trips.
I’ve listed below a number of hotspots around Vancouver that are a great starting point when making plans to explore, recommended by those in the travel know. So research into the places in this list below, worth checking out when planning the best Vancouver holidays.
- Coal Harbour
- Commercial Drive
- Davie Village
- Granville Island
- Granville Street
- Lower Lonsdale
- Robson Street
- South Granville
- South Main
- West End
Who would enjoy Vancouver?
Well, the answer here is most people! It’s very tailored to entertain all ages, and provide a type of holiday that most can enjoy.
For me and my partner, I feel we’d love it because we’re both in our thirties, without children, and would enjoy that it’s a cosmopolitan city right on the edge of nature. Vancouver makes it easy to combine an urban getaway with outdoor adventures, and we love great exploring routes and activities!
For those with families, the place caters for family-friendly fun to thrill-seeking exploits; shopping centres, bird watching, marine exploring and mountaintop luxury. No matter who you are, they say you’ll find plenty of things to do in Vancouver.
Smaller Cities and Towns in Canada
I don’t know about you, but we always love a more unique, surreal type of city or town to visit when we travel. One that isn’t known to the masses.
After doing some research, I came across discussions online about a Canadian city which is packed with colourful places to see and things to do. The city itself is called Halifax (definitely not to be mixed up for the UK Halifax!)
Halifax: a city with a colourful history and many attractions that make it an attractive destination for travellers. Despite the fact that the city is not the biggest in Canada, it benefits from a large maritime history, a good location and the status of one of the best natural harbours on our planet.
Its places will capture the thoughts and attention of those who come here. Moreover, the city has many interesting spots that are almost unknown and underrated.
Anyway, back to Canada. Here are the fabulous places to note down on your visit to Halifax in Canada and the surrounding areas…
1. Fort George
It is the largest National Historical Museum in the city. Fortifications were created to protect the inhabitants of the city from the raids of French troops and Indian tribes. Nowadays, exhibitions are held in the fortress, telling about the role of Fort George in the life of the city. Also, there is a museum of the army, the exhibitions of which represent a rare collection of weapons, medals, and military uniforms.
2. McNabs Island
This peaceful, green-covered island near the city centre is a true paradise for nature lovers. Because of its strategic location at the entrance to the harbour, McNabs Island served as a defensive zone. Now the island has become an excellent place for recreation and hiking or cycling through forests and abandoned fortifications.
3. City quay
If you want to find the most beautiful spots to walk there, then you can do by it visiting the city quay. There is a variety of ships, and you can take part in boat excursion tours in the summer season. In particular, you can go on an excursion on the amphibian vehicle Harbour Hopper. You will definitely like it.
4. Peggy’s Cove
Go to Peggy’s Cove to admire the iconic pictures of the city – the snow-white Peggy Point Lighthouse, established in 1868, not to mention the stunning local landscapes and nature. The cove is located just over 40 km from Halifax.
5. Point Pleasant Park
This is the park, which the city leased from the British government for 999 years at a tiny rate of 10 cents a year! Point Pleasant Park extends along the Atlantic coast and delights visitors with huge trees, well-marked paths for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as stunning views of the harbor.
6. Province House
The Province House on Hollis Street is the oldest house where the provincial legislature was located. It housed the first overseas British self-government body. Today, visitors can learn more about the current state of affairs and the history of this institution.
7. The Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary
It was built on the personal funds of the Irish Catholics at the end of the XVIIIth. Prior to this, there was a ban on the Catholic religion. Today the church is among the national monuments of Canada.
8. The snow-white Clock Tower
It was installed at the request of the British Prince Edward after his return to England. It consists of 3 tiers, and on the topmost, there are the magnificent antique Roman-style watches, giving it sophistication.
9. Pier 21
It has recently gained fame as the National Museum of Immigration. This is a historical place, a kind of analogue of the New York island Ellis, through which millions of visitors passed at one time. Today it is a modern museum with extensive immigration exhibitions.
10. Cape Breton Island
Sit in one of the boats that sail from the harbour of Halifax, and go for indescribable impressions to the deep-water areas far from the coast of Nova Scotia. Watch the giant whales “slide” under the water, and then, cutting the waves, rise to the surface, eject the fountain of water, and again sink into the depths of the ocean.
Start the trip off in Vancouver
With the above in mind, I’d be keen to start my Canadian adventure off In Vancouver. It’s a big place, so I don’t doubt there is plenty to do and see here before moving on to other cities.
It’s all about balance. I’d recommend drawing up a list of hot spots in Canada you wish to see, and then explore the more ‘known’ – like Vancouver – and then the unknown, like Halifax.
If anyone out there has extra tips and advice too, do let me know!