Celebrating Canada Day (Shutterstock: see credit below)
Blog Words : Wanderlust team | 07 November

The Wanderlust Guide to the Best of Canada

Canada has the awe-inspiring landscapes and amazing wildlife to blow you away. Get there now.

Spend any time in Canada and you'll quickly discover that there’s enough space to do pretty much whatever you like. Enjoy awesome scenery, see abundant wildlife like moose, polar and grizzly bears, humpback whales and, um, groundhogs, raccoons and beavers, experience world-class outdoor adventure, sample the sophisticated cultural scene in Canada’s cities. The hardest part of travel in Canada is deciding what to do first.

Banff National Park (Shutterstock.com)

Mount Rundle, Banff National Park (Shutterstock)

Looking for inspiration?

Awe-inspiring landscapes. Abundant wildlife. And a pioneering heritage just as colourful as the US's Wild West. Canada has it all. And if you want to immerse yourself in all of it, Anthony Lambert suggests hitting the pioneer and polar bear trail to Churchill. While you're up that way, William Gray has some advice on hunting for icebergs.

For something altogether more relaxing, Phoebe Smith recommends finding serenity on Prince Edward Island. It's a truly wild corner of Canada that the locals keep to themselves.

Only got time for a short break? Don't write Canada off, says Sarah Baxter. Halifax makes the perfect long weekend destination. Really.

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Track pioneers and polar bears in Churchill, Canada – Anthony Lambert

Hunting for icebergs in Canada – William Gray

Finding serenity on Prince Edward Island – Phoebe Smith

Short Break: Halifax Canada – Sarah Baxter

Kayaking at sunset

Kayaking at sunset. (Shutterstock)

Getting around is half the fun

From St John’s, Newfoundland in the east, Vancouver Island in the west and north, way north to places like Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada covers nearly 10 million square kilometres. So it's no surprise that how you choose to get around will be part of your Canadian adventure as well.

Fancy a Canadian road trip? Then check out our guide to the best drives on Canada's Atlantic coast that is big on adventure but light on crowds. William Gray suggests hugging the St Lawrence River, a route that offers French-Canadian history, fog-draped forests and a glimpse of beluga whales.

Or why not take on of the world's great rail journeys, coast-to-coast, with VIA Rail? Catherine Hill did and says it's the ideal way to see what this huge country has to offer, in comfort.

For a totally different perspective on Canada, hit the water, either in sea kayaks like David Orkin when he visited Nova Scotia. Or an Inuit adventure cruise, like Amy Watkins.

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Road tripping in Atlantic Canada – The Wanderlust Team

Self-drive along the St Lawrence River, Canada – William Gray

The Via rail train adventure – Catherine Hill

All at sea: kayaking in Nova Scotia – David Orkin

An Inuit adventure cruise in Canada – Amy Watkins

Polar bears at sunset

Polar bear family at sunset. (Shutterstock)

Go wild in Canada

Fancy watching bears frolicking in their own pristine, snow-drizzled habitat? Then head to Nunavut in the country's northern wilderness says Mark Carwardine. If it's the more elusive Spirit bears you're keen to see, he suggests Canada's Great Bear Rainforest in Victoria, British Columbia. Seeing polar bears, on the other hand, involves a long trek to Churchill. It is well worth the effort, says Linda Green.

From the Pacific to the Atlantic, Canada is one of the best countries in the world for whale watching. Lyn Hughes has put together a handy guide to the top locations. She also popped up to Hudson Bay in search of beluga whales, while Geoffrey Roy headed to the Johnstone Strait to get up close and personal with a pod of fearsome orcas.

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Bunking down with the bears in Nunavut, Canada – Mark Carwardine

Spirited away: Spirit bears in Canada's Great Bear Rainforest – Mark Carwardine

Polar bears in Churchill, Canada – Linda Green

Whale watching in Canada – Lyn Hughes

White whale wandering in Churchill, Canada – Lyn Hughes

The realm of the orca, Canada – Geoffrey Roy


Vancouver (Shutterstock)

Canada's Top 10s

If you like writing lists – and then ticking them off – then Canada is the country for you! Top 10 outdoor activities? We've got them – from catching your own dinner in New Brunswick to white water rafting in Nova Scotia. Top 10 Ottawa experiences? How does kayaking to the Pump House sound? Or tucking into maple pancakes in Lanark county? 10 things to do in Ontario? Even once you've ticked off visiting Niagara Falls and going moose-spotting in Algonquin Provincial Park, there are still eight more activities to go.

Finally, if you love British Columbia, and you love freebies, you'll want to check out Polly Dryden's list of 10 things to do for free in Vancouver.

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Top 10 outdoor adventures in Canada

Top 10 Ottawa experiences

Top 10 aquatic adventures in Ontario

Ten things to do for free in Vancouver, Canada – Polly Dryden

Playful racoon

A playful Canadian racoon (Shutterstock)

Capturing it all on film

Intent on capturing the best bear photo ever? World-renowned naturalist, TV presenter and photographer Mark Carwardine explains five simple rules to take great wildlife shots.

If it's inspiration you're after, look no further than our readers' photos from their journeys in Canada. They are awesome.

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5 essential photography tips for wildlife images – Mark Carwardine

Reader's photos

Marine Lake, Rocky Mountains (Shutterstock.com)

Moraine Lake, Rocky Mountains (Shutterstock)

Everything you need to know

Ready to start planning your trip? Our Canada Travel Guide is the place to start. Make sure you drop by our Canada Essential Info page as well, for more everyday (but equally vital) information. And we’ve rounded up the latest travel news from Canada too.

Chances are, your first port of call in Canada will be Toronto. Our guide to your first 24 hours there makes essential reading. You’ll probably end up in Montreal too, so make sure you check out our First 24 hours guide to that city as well.

If you have a particular question about Canada, pop over to the myWanderlust Forum where our knowledgeable community are ready to spring into action and share all that they know. Our check out the questions that have already been asked about Canada. The answer to yours might already be there.

More information

Canada Travel Guide – The Wanderlust Team

Canada essential Info – The Wanderlust Team

Travel news about Canada

First 24 hours: Toronto, Canada – Scott Bennett

First 24 hours: Montreal, Canada – Sarah Baxter

Forum posts about Canada

Community content about Canada

Inukshuk at the top of Whistler Peak (Shutterstock.com)

Inukshuk at the top of Whistler Peak (Shutterstock)

Ready to go?

Here’s a selection of fantastic tours offered by our partners. From specialist wildlife watching tours to adventurous cruise to the far north to that, there’s something to suit every taste and budget.

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Our Trip Finder can help you find adventures in Canada

Main image: Canada Day celebrations (Shutterstock)