montmorency falls

Adventure awaits close to home, like at Quebec’s Montmorency Falls. (Photo: Getty Images)


Explore Canada: 8 Unforgettable Escapes, from British Columbia to Nova Scotia

Looking to discover unforgettable experiences in the globe’s second-largest country? Whether you crave outdoorsy fun, artistic and historic sights, or authentic local food and drink, Canada offers endless ways to explore. Coast to coast, it’s time to check out these eight, great getaways.

As always, check for travel restrictions or closures before planning your trip.


Near Quebec City, the Île d’Orléans, situated in the St. Lawrence River, delights travelers with six picturesque villages amid orchards and vineyards. Shop for local maple syrup, ice cider, jewelry, paintings and more.

Feeling adventurous? Montmorency Falls Park features a 272-foot waterfall — higher even than Niagara Falls. Take a cable car to the top, ride the double zip line over the frothing waters, and enjoy rock climbing safely with a via ferrata route along the Boischatel Crevasse.

Rustically adorned with old skates and snowshoes, Quebec City’s La Bûche restaurant delivers a contemporary take on traditional French Canadian food, like meat pies with Nagano pork and fruit ketchup.

British Columbia

In Victoria, the BC capital, the Government House gardens provide a free alternative to the world-famous Butchart Gardens. Outside the Lieutenant Governor’s mansion, linger in the Sunken Rose Garden, spot blacktail deer and enjoy Pacific Ocean views from a hilltop vantage point.

North of downtown, the Malahat SkyWalk offers another spectacular vantage point. Tucked amid an arbutus forest, this elevated walkway leads to a 105-foot-tall, spiral-shaped tower overlooking southern Vancouver Island.

Afterward, relax at Spinnakers — Canada’s oldest brewpub — with ale-braised beef ribs and a Bourbon Black Lager.

New Brunswick

hopewell rocks of bay of fundy
Get your nature fix at Hopewell Rocks. (Photo: Getty Images)

Love nature and science? Head to the Hopewell Rocks south of Moncton. These flower-pot-shaped limestone monoliths are carved by the world’s highest tides in the Bay of Fundy.

Or, in Moncton, visit Resurgo Place, where the Transportation Discovery Centre and Moncton Museum spotlight model trains, vintage maps and shipbuilding history.

Dine at Pump House Brewpub, whose specialties include BBQ chicken pizza and blueberry ale.

Prince Edward Island

In quaint Victoria-by-the-Sea — half an hour from the PEI capital of Charlottetown — you’ll find sweet treats at Island Chocolates, Persian rugs and used books at Coach House Antiques, and paddling adventures with By the Sea Kayaking.

In Charlottetown, view eye-catching murals and sculptures on a self-guided art walk. Then settle in and enjoy fresh-from-the-sea oysters and PEI-raised steaks with an international wine list at Claddagh Oyster House.


Calgary‘s $191-million Studio Bell, home to the National Music Centre, is a magnet for music buffs. Learn about Canadian musical icons from Neil Young to Buffy Sainte-Marie and enjoy the opportunity to play different instruments. Also catch a live performance on the 1920s-era Kimball Theatre Organ and view the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, touted as the first professional mobile recording studio.

After your music fix, the conservation-focused Calgary Zoo features close to 120 species and 1,000 creatures, from giraffes to grizzly bears. For dinner, refuel with locally sourced fare at the River Café, serving Haida Gwaii halibut, Benchmark Farms beef tartare and other sustainable delicacies.

Nova Scotia

tiny waterfront of lunenburg
Be charmed by Lunenburg. (Photo: Getty Images)

Lunenburg, a mid-18th-century UNESCO World Heritage Site, lies an hour from Halifax. In this historic coastal town, admire the Bluenose II schooner and better understand the region’s seafaring history on a tour of the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic.

At Halifax’s Pier 21, Canada’s version of Ellis Island, you can research family immigration history and dress up in period costumes. With Nova Scotia Wine Tours, savor exquisite local wines at Luckett Vineyards and Domaine de Grand Pré.


At Toronto‘s Hockey Hall of Fame, take a photo with the Stanley Cup, shoot pucks at digitally animated goalies and explore 60,000 square feet of hockey artifacts and memorabilia.

For foodies, the brick-walled St. Lawrence Market beckons with farm-fresh produce, artisan cheese and Montreal-style bagels.

Two hours from Toronto, explore limestone caves, hike a network of forested trails and cross a 420-foot-long suspension bridge at Scenic Caves Nature Adventures. It’s located in a UNESCO biosphere reserve.


If your dream vacation involves speed, visit Saskatoon’s Wyant Group Raceway. Their Dakota Dunes Race Experience empowers wannabe racers to drive 10 laps around the track in a real street stock car.

Indulge your artistic side at the Remai Modern. Facing the South Saskatchewan River, the gallery showcases everything from award-winning Indigenous art to Picasso linocuts. At Black Fox Farm & Distillery, toast to your new memories with single grain whisky or a nip of haskap gin, crafted from the hearty Canadian haskap berry.