Bucket List Vacations in Canada

Girl at beach.

Mary Ellen McQuay / Design Pics / Getty Images

Whether it's the mountains, lakes, French heritage or funny Canadian accent, there are so many reasons vacationers put Canada on their bucket lists. Look at the following destinations and itineraries for Canadian travel inspiration.

01 of 09

So Many Bucket List Destinations in Canada

Photo © Mary Ellen McQuay / Design Pics / Getty Images
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02 of 09

Visit an Island Gallery: Fogo Island

Photo © Fogo Island Arts Corporation

Sitting at the edge of Canada, off the east coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, Fogo Island is a contemporary arts experiment and venue where international artists are invited to visit and work in a wide range of disciplines, including visual art, new media, design, fine craft, music, writing and film. Local artists and community members also participate in workshops that highlight the region's unique geography and history.

In short, it doesn't get much cooler if you're into an artsy scene. But like the rest of the province's population, the people are friendly and down to earth. No posing or snootiness here. 

Keep in mind that Fogo Island is a remote community, which means overall cost for travelling there is expensive. This is not a budget vacation. 

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03 of 09

Watch Icebergs Drift By in Newfoundland and Labrador

Photo © Newfoundland Labrador

Never in my everyday urban life had I encountered such a strange and wondrous sight as the gigantic glacial objets de nature that are the icebergs floating off the shores of Newfoundland and Labrador. My brain needed an extra moment to compute what was going on.

Iceberg Alley stretches from the coast of Labrador to the northeast coast of the island of Newfoundland with iceberg traffic the heaviest in spring and early summer. Visitors may get really lucky and see whales or seabirds crossing paths with the icebergs as they migrate in the opposite direction.

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04 of 09

Storm Watch in Tofino

Photo © VancouverIsland.Travel/

Tofino is a perfect little town on Vancouver Island, off the coast of British Columbia. Between November and February, this Pacific Rim town lures visitors to witness the frequent storms that create dramatic skies and 20 foot breaking waves.

The Wickaninnish Inn, one of Canada's most spectacular resorts, has created the perfect storm watching environment: rooms with big soaker tubs, floor to ceiling windows, fireplaces and balconies. Complement your storm watching with a visit to the spa or a walk on the beach when the sun comes out.

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05 of 09

Go Back in Time in Old Quebec

Quebec City
Photo © / Ken Gillespie / Getty Images

Quebec City is one of North America's most illustrious, unique and historic cities. The preserved Old Town features bastions, fortifications and architecture dating back to as early as the 1600's.

Sitting at the narrowest point but high on the bank of the St. Lawrence river, Quebec City has a European feel because of its architecture, cobblestone streets and many cafés. It is the only remaining fortified city in North America, which has led to its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Quebec City's primary language is French, but staff at hotels, restaurants and shops are well equipped to deal with tourists in English and other languages - all with a deliciously seductive French accent. 

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06 of 09

Sit Back, Soak in the Rockies on the Rocky Mountaineer

Photo © Rocky Mountaineer / Armstrong Group

Since 1990, the Rocky Mountaineer has been taking passengers through some of Canada's most beautiful landscape while continually raising the standards of rail travel. More than just a mode of transportation, the Rocky Mountaineer offers complete packages that include fine dining, deluxe accommodation and a two-level glass domed coach with full-length windows through which you can take in the glacier-fed lakes, majestic mountains and raging rivers of Alberta and British Columbia.

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07 of 09

Get Up Close and Personal with Polar Bears in Churchill

Photo © Grambo Photography / Getty Images

The small unassuming town of Churchill, Manitoba, shows up on many a bucket list because of the abundance of polar bears that visit each October/November. About 100 of the large, lumbering white carnivores congregate on the shores of Hudson Bay at winter's onset, wait for the waters to freeze, then head out to hunt seals. What is especially attractive for tourists is how close they are allowed to get to the bears if they book a spot in a Tundra Buggy, a special tundra vehicle that provides the best opportunities to view and photograph arctic wildlife. 

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08 of 09

Be Enchanted by Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlotte Islands

Photo © Russ Heinl / Getty Images

Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands) is an archipelago on British Columbia's north coast. These islands, which are largely protected lands and inhabited by Indigenous Peoples, attract visitors for their abundant and rare wildlife species, flora and fauna and the seductive Haida culture and heritage.

For affordable sea kayak trips into Gwaii Haanas National Park - one of the world's top paddling destinations, located at the southern tip of Haida Gwaii - look at Green Coast Kayaking. The company's communal eating program, in which participants share in meal costs and preparation, brings overall trip price down.

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09 of 09

Fall Foliage Cruise the Maritimes

Photo - Alan Marsh / Getty Images

 From mid-September to mid-October, eastern Canada is ablaze with the orange, crimson, and golds of autumn. A truly indulgent way to take in the fall foliage colours is from the water on one of the many cruise lines that makes the voyage up from New York or Boston and down the St. Lawrence River. Canadian ports of call usually include the historic Halifax, Nova Scotia; Prince Edward Island and Quebec City.

Read more about a Gaspe and St. Lawrence River Fall Cruise

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