Boasting 16 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the longest ski season in the world and some of the most spectacular natural wonders on the planet, it’s no wonder tourists continue to flock to Canada in record numbers.
Few places allow for such fun-filled diversity as Canada; a place where you can start the day with a dip in the ocean, before hitting the ski slopes that same afternoon.
This part of North America is vast, wild and magical. And these four locations highlight some of Western Canada’s must-see cities.
Nestled on a scenic harbour, the western Canadian gateway city of Vancouver is surrounded by immense natural beauty from picturesque harbour islands, to lush-green parks and of course, the scenic Rocky Mountains.
While Vancouver city has all the usual major city appeals, it’s rich neighbourhoods are worth exploring. The Stanley Park markets are a must, as are learning of the various First-Nation totem poles.
The cobblestone streets of Gastown will take you back to an early Vancouver and filled with cafes, art galleries and bars. The hippie-turned-hipster Kitsilano on Kits Beach is one of the city’s oldest residential areas with craftsman style row-houses and a gastronomic food scene.
A short two-hours north of Vancouver is the charming Rockies town of Whistler. While famed for its incredible winter skiing and vibrant village, Whistler is a favourite year-round destination for Canadians.
Visit outside of winter though and the active traveller can choose from one of four championship golf courses, hiking or biking the lush mountain trails, or simply relax and be pampered in one of the luxurious spas, or dine on award-winning cuisine after a day of mountain village shopping.
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In Lake Louise, Mother Nature turns on a spectacular winter wonderland with frozen lakes, outdoor skating rinks and towering snow-blanketed ski-slopes and mountains that sparkle under the winter sun.
Summer months see endless days of sunshine and adventure activities such as horse riding, rock climbing and hiking, and a scenic helicopter tour will leave you spellbound. No matter your activity of choice, it will be the bright starry sky by campfire that will have you truly re-connecting with nature.
This urban city, spread across southern Canadian prairie land, is surrounded by picturesque vistas on all sides. It’s a heady mix of big-city energy, cheerful western charm and natural beauty on its doorstep. If possible, time your visit in July for one of Canada’s largest spectaculars of the year – the Calgary Stampede – billed as “The greatest outdoor show on Earth”, it’s an exciting mix of rodeo, exhibition, fairgrounds, and festival. Just don’t miss the pancake breakfast at Chinook Centre mall.