As the second largest country in the world, Canada has no shortage of must-visit destinations. Yet beyond the typical points of interest—Niagara Falls, the CN Tower, the Rocky Mountains—are a multitude of lesser known, yet equally memorable, experiences to be had. Whether you’re a visitor or you have lived here all your life, there is surely something to discover in our roundup of Canadian bucket list experiences.
Leap off a mountain in Golden, British Columbia. With brilliant cerulean glacial lakes, snow-capped summits, and unspoiled forests, Golden is most revered for its wild beauty—which is arguably best admired from (high) above. Skydiving, paragliding, or hang-gliding all offer panoramic, birds-eye-views of the valley.
Witness the Northern Lights in Jasper, Alberta. As one of the world’s largest dark sky preserves, Jasper National Park is free from light pollution and thus, an ideal place to take in the ethereal natural phenomenon.
Visit the polar bear capital of the world. It’s not exactly the easiest place to reach, but then again, the best places never are. Encounter the furry, white residents of Churchill, Manitoba which draw in a staggering 20,000 visitors each year.
Take a journey aboard the the world’s largest private luxury railcar. Winding from Vancouver B.C. to Banff, Alberta, the Rocky Mountaineer provides a luxurious and scenic trip through the Canadian Rockies. Once on board, find a spot in one of the glass-domed coaches for a front-row seat to dramatic mountainscapes.
Taste refined Quebecois fare at Le Biq’s Chez St-Pierre. Situated in an unpretentious clapboard house, Chez St-Pierre offers a hyperseasonal menu championing local ingredients, such as foraged sea spinach, chanterelles, and snow crab.
Explore an ice cave in Canada’s southernmost ice fields. Based out of Whistler, B.C., Head-Line Mountain Holidays specializes in tailored outdoor adventures. A helicopter ride to a translucent ice cave in the largest, southernmost temperate latitude ice cap in the world? Why not.
Embark on a luxury adventure cruise through Canada’s Arctic. This annual voyage offers community- and art-focused experiences of throat singing, walrus-spotting, and unparalleled local Inuit fare. Photo by Aleyah Solomon.
Forest bathe on Vancouver Island. Also known as the Japanese art of shinrin-yoku, studies have linked this serene practice to boosted immune systems and lowered stress and cholesterol levels.
Watch an ice canoe race at the Carnaval de Québec. Every year, thousands gather to witness the most thrilling event of the world’s largest winter carnival. Historically a means of transport, today it is a strenuous race through the frozen St. Lawrence River.
Journey to the Northwest Safari at the Clayoquot Wilderness Resort. Located within British Columbia’s Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the remote resort elevates any notion of “glamping” with its enclave of white-canvas guest and spa tents, timber cookhouse, and helicopter-accessible Could Camp 1,400 metres above sea level.
Escape on an archi-tourism retreat at Nova Scotia’s Shobac Cottages. Located on a site with deep historical and archeological value, this row of houses has become a social and intellectual gathering place for people across the globe. Photo by James Steeves.
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