three sisters mountain in alberta canada

Boundless outdoor adventures await near Kananaskis. (Photo: Getty Images)

Health + Fitness

Relaxing Retreats and Mindful Sojourns Await on These Wellness Vacations in Canada

When you’re in need of a break from everyday routines, a staycation is an easy way to take care of your mental and physical health. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing retreat or an active sojourn into nature, here are five places in Canada with amenities for a wellness staycation.

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

Kananaskis, Alberta

If outdoor recreation and fresh mountain air help you feel at ease, head to Kananaskis Country in the Rocky Mountains. It’s home to numerous outdoor activities year-round, from climbing to cross-country skiing, though stand-up paddleboarding on a lake flanked by mountains is a must-try.

For a totally relaxing staycation, book some time at Kananaskis Nordic Spa. Soak away stress in the pools, saunas or steam rooms — and recharge with a treatment like hydrotherapy or massage — while taking in the stunning mountain and forest views.

The spa is open to both day visitors (on a first-come, first-served basis) and guests of the adjacent (and luxurious) Kananaskis Mountain Lodge, Autograph Collection. Start your day with a delicious healthy smoothie from the Market Cafe to fuel all outdoor activities.

Halifax, Nova Scotia

tip of kayak on northwest arm in halifax
Go for a paddle in Halifax. (Photo: Getty Images)

Halifax offers the Canadian equivalent of “island time.” Take pause to live in the moment and appreciate the slower pace in this capital city.

Enjoy a healthy meal at one of the city’s many restaurants focused on seasonal and locally sourced fare, including Wild Leek for vegetarian meals or The Wooden Monkey for plenty of organic options.

Use thermo therapy and hydrotherapy to feel rejuvenated at the scenic Sensea Nordic Spa. Visiting one of Halifax’s many beaches alongside the Atlantic Ocean is a must for some relaxation, but for a more secluded retreat, head to the stretch of white sand known as 100 Wild Islands.

The Laurentians (Laurentides), Quebec

mont tremblant village
This fairytale village offers ample wellness escapes. (Photo: Getty Images)

A staycation in the city of Mont-Tremblant is a great opportunity to explore everything the beautiful Laurentian Mountains have to offer year-round. The Laurentians are home to about a dozen outdoor nature spas and yoga studios with stunning views of mountains, forests and rivers.

Besides the usual spa treatments, there are options to relax while bathing in rivers and under waterfalls, soaking in outdoor pools, and relaxing in a hammock under the forest canopy. Dozens of outdoor activities are available throughout the year, but for something unique, try ice or rock climbing and get a close-up view of the beautiful mountains.

Sunshine Coast, British Columbia

An abundance of outdoor adventures, at a slowed-down pace, await you along this 110-mile stretch of provincial parks, small towns, trails, rainforests and islands. Find peace and tranquility while forest bathing — a health trend focused on slow, meaningful and sensory walks through a forest (guided tours are an option).

Finding a healthy meal is easy with the area’s focus on seasonal and locally grown produce. Take some time for yourself on a secluded beach or during a spa treatment in Sol Spa’s tranquil and scenic solarium. Winters along the Sunshine Coast are mild and offer a great opportunity to enjoy all of the outdoor attractions in the area.

Toronto, Ontario

niagara falls at sunset
Pay a visit to Niagara Falls. (Photo: Getty Images)

Despite the hustle and bustle of Canada’s largest city, you’re never too far away from a unique fitness offering at an inner-city studio, a decadent spa retreat or a healthy meal.

Drop in on the chic Sweat and Tonic fitness boutique for a variety of workout classes, a health food café and meditation pods. Take some quiet time for yourself in the tranquil pink Himalayan salt caves at Hoame meditation spa. Pop into any Impact Kitchen location for healthy, fresh meals, including ones suitable for paleo and vegan diets.

For immersive outdoor activities, take a day trip and go for a hike in Niagara Glen, try rock climbing at Rattlesnake Point or go bike riding at Elora’s quarry.