Being such a large, sparsely populated land mass, Canada not only touches three oceans, but it’s also home to some of the most beautiful national parks, trails, and harbours in the world.
While well-known regions of a country may garner tons of tourists, that’s not always the best indication of where to go when travelling somewhere new. In fact, for many of us, it might even be the reason to stay away from a particular place. But that’s not the case when it comes to these iconic natural wonders. In our opinion, each of these Canadian landmarks is worthy of its fame.
The Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia
The Cabot Trail, which winds along beautiful Cape Breton Island, can take up to a few days to enjoy in its entirety. Although you could take a leisurely drive along the trail, a scenic walk or a bike ride along give you a more scenic route. There are numerous outdoor activities to enjoy from kayaking, whale watching or hiking, or simply sit back and enjoy the natural beauty of this place.
Signal Hill, Newfoundland & Labrador
Located along St. John’s harbour, this historic landmark is a perfect spot for nature lovers and military buffs. During wartime, and before radio communication was available, flags were flown to signal incoming ships to the harbour, hence the name. The Hill’s visitor centre lets explorers travel through time to the first transatlantic wireless signal, and learn about the communication and military significance in history. Be sure to hike up to the iconic Cabot Tower for a spectacular view of St. John’s and the North Atlantic
Moraine Lake, Banff, Alberta
Nestled in the Valley of the Ten Peaks in Banff National Park, this glacially-fed lake is just a short distance from Lake Louise. The lake gets its beautiful blue-green hue from the refraction of light off the rock flour deposited in the lake. The iconic view from the top of the rock pile one of the most photographed places in Canada. It’s a perfect getaway for hikers wanting to explore more rustic paths or lovebirds looking for a romantic getaway.
Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia
The legend goes that in 1800 a woman named Margaret, whom the locals called Peggy, was the sole survivor of a schooner that sank in the area, and thus the cove was named after her. The cove’s original, picturesque lighthouse that’s become so recognizable was built in 1868. Set on the rocky shores of the Atlantic Ocean, and just a quick car ride away from Halifax, Peggy’s Cove is host to many small fishing communities and still maintains its relaxed, East Coast charm.
Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia
Located at the edge of downtown Vancouver, this 1,000-acre spot of greenery is the perfect getaway from bustling city streets. You could choose your own adventure and easily spend an entire afternoon wandering the park. From cycling along the seawall, to admiring the First Nations sculptures and art, playing a game of golf, visiting Canada’s biggest aquarium, or having a simple picnic on the beautiful beach, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Gaspé Peninsula, Quebec
The Gaspé or Gaspésie, meaning “land’s end,” is a peninsula along the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River to the east of the Matapédia Valley in Quebec, Canada, that extends into the Gulf of the Saint Lawrence. Located at the eastern tip of Quebec, north of New Brunswick, the Gaspe Peninsula is divided into five different regions: The Coast, The Upper Gaspé, Land’s End, Bay of Chaleur and The Valley, and each area has a plethora of exploration options, from guided tours, sea fishing, shopping and more.
Hopewell Rocks, Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick
Visitors can explore these awe-inspiring rock formations as the Bay of Fundy's record-setting tides drop. The Hopewell Rocks are also known as "flowerpots" based on their unique shape, which have been carved out by thousands of years of erosion. When the tides are down, tourists can walk the ocean floor, running their fingers across the rocks' ridges. In a matter of hours, the tides rise up to 4-storeys high, allowing visitors to kayak the same region they just walked. At this point, however, the towering rocks will have been reduced to small islands scattering the bay. Boasting the highest tides on Earth, this attraction has been named one of the Marine Wonders of the World and offers an interpretive centre, multi-media exhibit, and more.