There are plenty of places we can go to for a cozy winter getaway in our country. Canada is a remarkable place full of populous, cosmopolitan cities, small, quaint towns, and boundless natural beauty to experience and explore. With all the options available to us, it can be hard to know which places are worth seeing, so we’ve compiled a list of winter destinations to visit in Canada to narrow it down and give you inspiration of where to go for the perfect staycation.
1. Quebec City, Quebec
If you want to be transported to Europe without having to leave the country, Quebec City is an ideal destination in Canada. The capital of Canada’s primarily French-speaking province is one of the oldest cities built by Europeans in North America, and its historic district is filled to the brim with picturesque cobblestone streets, fortified city walls, and European-style architecture. Quebec City also hosts the world’s largest winter festival, the Carnaval du Québec, and the Hôtel de Glace, a hotel made of ice and snow (the only one of its kind in North America!).
2. Banff, Alberta
Banff National Park in Alberta is truly the epitome of a winter wonderland. The park attracts millions of tourists from around the world for its scenic landscapes, diverse wildlife, and overall charming atmosphere. With iconic Rocky Mountain destinations such as Lake Louise and popular ski resorts such as Mount Norquay and Sunshine Village, there’ll be no shortage of things to do during your stay.
3. Churchill, Manitoba
In this northern city and polar bear capital of the world, you’ll be able to get a good taste of the arctic and have a high chance of spotting all sorts of wildlife, along with the breathtaking aurora borealis. Churchill is considered to be one of the best places on Earth to see the northern lights, boasting over 300 nights of aurora activity throughout the year. If you want to fully experience Canada’s wild winter nature, this destination is for you.
4. Ottawa, Ontario
If you love to skate, you have to check out Ottawa’s Rideau Canal. Every winter, the 7.8 km long canal freezes over and becomes the world’s largest skating rink where you can skate with hundreds of others. There are also numerous museums and art galleries for visitors to explore in Canada’s capital city, and you could also time your trip for the Winterlude festival in February where you can see beautiful ice sculptures, performances, and more.
5. Whistler, British Columbia
Winter sports fanatics around the world know of Whistler Blackcomb as one of the best destinations for alpine skiing and snowboarding. The popular BC resort town brings in millions of visitors per year for its magnificent mountain views and unique, laid back atmosphere. In addition, Whistler has the largest ski area in North America, making it the ultimate winter playground for lovers of adventure and the great outdoors. The village located at the base of the mountains features a pedestrian-only stroll for tourists to unwind and recharge from their daily activities.
6. Niagara Falls, Ontario
Niagara Falls is a stunning sight to behold in Canada, and they are especially spectacular in the winter. The impressive power and natural beauty of this group of three waterfalls is captivating, and the area is lit up every winter to make the sight of them even more magical. While visiting, you could also check out nearby Niagara-on-the-Lake, a cute 19th-century town often described as the prettiest in Ontario.
7. Collingwood, Ontario
Found two hours north of Toronto, Collingwood is a booming community set on the southern shores of Georgian Bay just minutes away from Ontario’s popular Blue Mountain ski resort. During the winter months, residents from the Greater Toronto Area and beyond flock to the slopes for skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and an array of other outdoor activities. Stroll through the pedestrian village at Blue Mountain, hit the Scandinave Spa, walk across an iconic suspension bridge, and grab a bite at one of the many incredible restaurants in Collingwood.
8. Vancouver, British Columbia
With its mild winter temperatures and generally lower levels of snowfall, Vancouver is easily a top retreat for those seeking to escape from Canada’s cold winter weather. This iconic west coast metropolis is sandwiched between the mountains and the ocean, providing visitors with an abundance of ways to immerse themselves in nature. The city itself is extremely lively and developed, so there will be endless amounts of food and entertainment options during your stay.
9. Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
This little island on Canada’s Atlantic Coast transforms into a winter playground during the colder months, boasting countless outdoor adventures and experiences. Hit the slopes for skiing or snowboarding while overlooking Canada’s only inland ocean, snowmobile the extensive trail system, snowshoe through peaceful woods, and cozy up by the fire for an après ski meal.
10. Mont Tremblant, Québec
Home to the best ski resort in eastern Canada, Mont Tremblant nestled in the Laurentian Mountain range is just a two-hour drive from Montreal. While the slopes may be the most popular attraction, there is tons to do both indoors and outdoors during the winter. Wander the shops, cozy cafes, and restaurants within the pedestrian village, which takes its inspiration from European ski villages. Relax at the Scandinave Spa’s outdoor pools and hot tubs, or try your luck at the Mont Tremblant casino.