During our two and a half month road trip across Canada we came across many highlights. Canada is incredibly beautiful and photogenic and I’m thrilled to share my list of the best places to visit in Canada. I hope this post and pretty pictures will inspire you to visit Canada!
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The best places to visit in Canada
1. Moraine Lake, Banff National Park (Alberta)
As I said earlier on in this post, we saw many amazing places while traveling Canada, but Moraine Lake is one of the most mesmerizing sights I’ve even seen in my life…
Are you traveling in peak season (July and August)? Be sure to get there early (before 7am), otherwise you won’t be able to find a parking spot.
2. Peyto Lake, Banff National Park (Alberta)
Peyto Lake is another lake you cannot miss on your Canadian Rockies road trip! This beautiful blue glacier lake is best seen from Peyto Lake viewpoint.
3. Stawamus Chief, Squamish (British Columbia)
The climb to the peak of the Stawamus Chief was our favorite stop along the Sea to Sky highway (Vancouver to Whistler). It’s a challenging hike that takes at least 3 hours return (to the first peak) but the view from the top is worth the effort!
4. Lion’s Head, Bruce Peninsula (Ontario)
Ontario was the last Canadian state we visited and our favorite place in Ontario was the Bruce Peninsula. The Lion’s Head Provincial Nature Reserve has great hiking trails with spectacular ocean and cliffs views.
5. Mount Benson, Vancouver Island (British Columbia)
We spent 2 weeks on Vancouver island and I would have loved to spend more time there. Vancouver island has lots of fun hikes, beautiful waterfalls, cozy towns and a very relaxed vibe.
One of the best spots to visit is Mount Benson. There is a great hike to the top and on a clear day you’ll have a sprawling 360 view.
6. Bow Glacier, Banff National Park (Alberta)
We did lots of hikes in the Canadian Rockies, but this was one of my favorites! This 4.6 km hike to the Bow Glacier leads along the vivid blue Bow Lake, a beautiful valley and glacier stream and ends at a thundering waterfall (fed by the meltwater of the Bow Glacier).
7. Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park (British Columbia)
I’ll be the first to admit that the Emerald Lake is not off the beaten track. In fact, it’s quite touristy (for Canada at least). However, it’s easy to see why!
The lake has such a vibrant color which, despite my many tries, I couldn’t quite capture in a picture. Only one solution: you’ll have to pay a visit yourself;).
For a once in a lifetime experience, consider splurging to stay at the Emerald Lake Lodge. During the cold Canadian winter you can enjoy the cozy fireplaces and outdoor hot tub. During summer you can have cocktails on the balcony and marvel at the incredible color of the lake.Click here to book the Emerald Lake Lodge
8. Lower Kananaskis Lake, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park (Alberta)
This beautiful lake can be found in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, about 90km from Calgary. We drove highway 40 (an epic and extremely scenic road!) and the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park was one of our stops.
For me this picture is the embodiment of Canada: lake + mountains + pine trees = mind blowing view!
9. Canisbay Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park (Ontario)
Canisbay Lake has something to offer for everyone: you can rent a canoe, go fishing (note that you need to purchase a license), take a swim or simply admire the view from the shore.
10. Canada Place, Vancouver (British Columbia)
Vancouver often features in ‘Most Livable Cities’ lists and rightly so: it’s surrounded by beautiful mountains as well as the ocean filled with amazing wildlife (if you are very lucky you may even spot a killer whale!).
Although we were quite busy during our time in Vancouver (we were buying our car) we also had some time for sightseeing. One of our favorite spots was Canada Place, as you can see both the mountains and the ocean that make Vancouver such a nice place to live. Imagine having to travel only 25km before you can hit the slopes of Mount Seymour in winter! Those lucky Vancouverites …
11. Grassi Lakes, Canmore (Alberta)
The Grassi Lakes can be accessed via a 2km trail. These mesmerizing lakes have crystal clear water and are surrounded by green pine trees.
It’s a lovely spot to spend a day and also very suitable for families. The hike isn’t too strenuous for kids and you can go for a swim in one of the lakes.
12. Horseshoe Canyon, Drumheller (Alberta)
Ah Drumheller… This fun city and its surroundings are often overlooked by tourists. Most people head to the Canadian Rocky Mountains, to Banff and Jasper and it’s stunning National Parks. And while you definitely should visit the Rockies, set aside some time to visit Drumheller as well.
We spent 2 days in Drumheller and had a blast! There are great hikes, the famous Royal Tyrell Museum (lots of dinosaurs) and of course the beautiful Badlands.
12. 70 Mile Butte, Grasslands National Park (Saskatchewan)
There was just something about the endless skies of Saskatchewan that captured my heart. Yes, I’m a mountain girl through and through, which is kind of ironic since my home country (the Netherlands) is probably the flattest country on earth.
But I also loved driving over the empty roads of the Saskatchewan plains. Especially in the Grasslands National Park there are some great spots to visit, such as 70 Mile Butte (pictured above).
13. Canadian Museum For Human Rights, Winnipeg (Manitoba)
During our weekend in Winnipeg we visited the Canadian Museum For Human Rights, the only museum in the world dedicated solely to Human Rights.
The museum is equally impressive on the outside as on the inside. The architect of the building took his inspiration from the varied Canadian landscapes and used many natural elements in his design. You can read more about the building here.
14. Seton Lake, Lillooet (British Columbia)
We couldn’t just drive past this 22km long freshwater fjord without stopping to take a picture. In fact, we were so taken with the view we decided to have an early (picnic) lunch here, just so we could look at it a bit longer.
Seton Lake is located 6 km from to Lillooet, a small town in BC. If you like, you can even go for a swim in the lake!
15. Fisherman’s Wharf, Victoria (BC)
This quirky floating village in Victoria is called Fisherman’s Wharf. You can find galleries, small shops, some restaurants and… SEALS! Just casually hanging out, having a swim or enjoying the sun. Pretty awesome isn’t it!
Also read my 3 day Victoria itinerary!
Places to see in Canada: where to find them
The most beautiful places in Canada: in conclusion
I hope this list (and pictures) of some of the top places in Canada has inspired you to visit Canada! I loved each and every single day of our time in Canada and would love to return for another trip…
Looking for more Canada posts? Also read:
- Best things to see along the Sea to Sky highway
- Best day trips from Vancouver
- Most beautiful Canadian small towns
- Canada travel budget
- Drumheller itinerary
- How to buy a car in Canada as a tourist
- The best things to do in Niagara Falls with kids (by a local)
- The best things to do in Toronto with kids (by a local)
- Things to do on Vancouver Island
- Vancouver 2 day itinerary
- A weekend in Winnipeg