8 Must-Visit Places for Newcomers to Explore in Canada
Whether you’re touring to different provinces to figure out where you’d like to settle, or simply exploring your new home base, Canada is a country filled with beautiful, awe-inspiring, and unique sights to see. From natural wonders to cultural treasures, there is much to do and discover from coast to coast.
While each province and territory has plenty to boast about and many locations worth exploring, we’ve narrowed our list down to eight places for newcomers to check out across Canada, from west to east.
- Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, British Columbia
A nature lover’s paradise, this park is home to: Long Beach, which has flawless stretches of sand and excellent surfing; the West Coast Trail, the perfect spot for a multi-day hike through an old-growth rainforest; and the Broken Group Islands, where kayakers can explore more than 100 islands and inlets. In the springtime, tens of thousands of grey whales migrate through these waters.
- The Badlands, Drumheller, Alberta
Dinosaur enthusiasts can’t miss a visit to the badlands near Drumheller, Alberta, also known as Dinosaur Valley. Home to one of the best dinosaur fossil collections in the world, the Royal Tyrrell Museum is educational and awe inspiring at the same time. Drumheller’s badlands is a perfect location for those who like to hike in a unique setting.
- The Remai Modern Museum, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Who would have guessed that the world’s most comprehensive collection of linocuts by Pablo Picasso would be housed in the middle of the prairies? This world-class museum put Saskatoon on the map in the New York Times, when it named it one of its recommended places to visit in the world in 2018.
- The Polar Bear Capital of the World, Churchill, Manitoba.
One of the world’s best places to see polar bears in their natural habitat, Churchill, Manitoba offers a truly unique tourist experience. Only accessible by train or air, Churchill is a remote community on Hudson Bay that allows people to view natural wonders almost year round. October and November are the peak times to spot polar bears, but if you visit in the summertime, you may be able to spot beluga whales. And January through March are the best months to catch the spectacular northern lights.
- CN Tower EdgeWalk, Toronto, Ontario
Not for the faint of heart, the CN Tower’s EdgeWalk puts thrillseekers on the top of the third tallest structure in the world (and the tallest in the Western Hemisphere). At 116 stories off the ground, participants are fitted into safety harnesses, and led out to the very edge of the tower on a five-foot platform, where they have the best possible view of Canada’s largest city. The very bravest can even lean back off the edge for a once in a lifetime experience.
- The Rideau Canal, Ottawa, Ontario
Most of us associate Ottawa with the federal government. What many Canadians don’t know is that it’s also home to the world’s largest outdoor skating rink, as designated by Guinness World Records. At 7.8 km long, the Rideau Canal is the equivalent of 90 Olympic size skating rinks. Open in the early months of the year – as weather permits – the Canal becomes a popular way for locals to commute and draws visitors from around the world. The historic Canal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Old Montreal, Montreal, Quebec
This nearly 400 year old part of Montreal is like taking a visit to the past. Cobblestone streets, beautiful architecture, and quaint shops and restaurants make Old Montreal a top tourist destination in Canada. Notable stops include the stunning Notre-Dame Basilica and Saint Paul Street.
- Hopewell Rocks Park, New Brunswick
Located along the coast of the Bay of Fundy, Hopewell Rocks Park is home to the world’s highest tides, and is one of New Brunswick’s most popular destinations. Known for its flowerpot rocks – sandstone formations, sometimes topped with trees – the 2 km beach can be explored during low tide. At high tide, the flowerpot rocks become small islands, surrounded by water. The park is open between mid-May and mid-October.
Wherever you end up, take the time to explore your new surroundings and learn about the unique features in and around your community. If you plan on travelling by car, make sure to check out our section on Driving in Canada, which provides information on rules of the road, license requirements, and insurance information.
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