This prairie province between Ontario and Saskatchewan offers up a fantastic mix of culture, scenic outings, and wildlife interactions. Take a Canada vacation here and you’ll find two national parks, 90 provincial parks, more than 110,000 lakes, a coast that hugs the historic Hudson Bay, and winter adventures that include the northern lights, dog sledding, and polar bear excursions.
British Columbia offers big cities and even bigger trees, along with unique First Nations experiences and exceptional culinary offerings. Winters are mild, but the Canadian Rockies and Coast Mountain ranges offer perfect conditions for sports enthusiasts. Temperate climates at the coast mean you can snowboard, ski, snowshoe, or even winter zip-line one day, and then comfortably stroll city streets the next.
You’ll find everything you think of as Canadian in the maritime provinces. Winter lasts longer, locals have a stronger accent, and the feeling that you’ve stumbled upon the nicest people in the world follows you home and beckons you back. A Canada trip in March to New Brunswick means you can count on all of that, plus maple-syrup sugaring and spring skiing.
Alberta is where the cowboys live. You’ll find them on horseback in the mountains, on the plains, and in the middle of the city at the summer Calgary Stampede. Bordered by British Columbia to the West and Saskatchewan to the East, the province is a popular Canada holiday destination thanks to its mix of cosmopolitan cities, Jurassic-ancestor attractions, and forest trails. Spring in Alberta brings the opportunity to hike, bike, and explore the outdoors, and milder weather means lighter jackets and even more opportunities to get out early or stay out late.
A mix of rural outposts and cosmopolitan cities alike, Saskatchewan has a youthful vibe that makes it one of the country’s most cutting-edge provinces when it comes to new ideas and innovative eats. Add its connection to First Nations’ culture and you’ll see why Saskatchewan is one of the best places to start your historical understanding of Canada’s roots. Spring offers the best opportunities for a Saskatchewan Canada trip since you can explore both indoors and outdoors across the province: Fantastic weather means hiking, biking, and paddling, so outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the variety of trails and river walks. Indoor adventurers can explore galleries, enjoy restaurants, and dive deeper into the land’s cultural heritage with fewer crowds.
Quebec has long attracted tourists with a welcoming French-Canadian accent. From the cobblestones of its capital to the youthful exuberance of Montreal, romantics of all ages fall hard for this province. And if your love affair is with nature, you’re still in luck. Quiet, rural outposts full of adrenaline-filled adventures, historic landmarks, and innovative fresh cuisine make Quebec one of those provinces that inspire multiple return Canada trips.
Canada’s most populous province can be misleading. Drop into one of its big cities, and you’ll be left wondering where the wild you’d heard so much about has disappeared to. But, wander farther in any direction—by car, train, plane, or boat—and you’ll find them. From monarch butterflies on Point Pelee, to the hike-friendly hills of Manitoulin Island, to the First Nations communities on the shores of historic Hudson Bay, you’ll find this province has more to offer than you’ll have time to explore in a single Canada trip. When things warm up in summer, expect to find locals in a celebratory mood. Sidewalks are turned into makeshift patios, T-shirts and shorts are out before it’s probably advisable, the slow-and-steady progression to campsites across the province is in full swing, and the celebrations are nonstop.
The territory that bridges British Columbia and Alaska has been an American favorite for generations thanks to the iconic Alaska Highway that runs through it, but the Yukon is much more than a drive-through destination. Come see the place where vast forests resemble the ones you’ve seen on Canada travel posters for generations, and where the landscape is both harsh and full of promise. Yukon’s summer season comes to an end in August, and with the beginning of falling temperatures (expect it to top out at about 69 degrees) comes a brilliance in the forests that's well worth the trip.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Canada’s easternmost province has long attracted nature lovers, but in recent years its popularity has grown to include a big pop-culture following as well. Whether you choose to explore Gander, St. John’s, or Bonavista in the east; the French Shore, Corner Brook, or Norris Point in the west; or the rocky coast of its provincial partner Labrador in the north, the only thing missing is enough time to see it all on one Canada vacation. Fall offers smaller crowds and greater access to some of the destinations that are hotbeds for summertime visitors.
Prince Edward Island
Chances are you’ve read the tales of the red-haired orphan who made this island famous. Anne of Green Gables put Prince Edward Island on the map, but if you stopped your exploration of the island at all things Anne, you’d be missing out. Red sand dunes, white-capped waves, proud farmers, and innovative chefs make it an incredible Maritimes Canada destination. Add theatrical productions, creative artwork, and community festivals with local pride at their heart, and you have the makings of a beautiful vacation. The quieter fall season gives locals a chance to recuperate from the summer rush and reinvigorate the things that make the island special: Local fairs and community offerings that most small towns enjoy welcome tourists who’ve stuck around.
With a mix of city convenience and rural charm, Nova Scotia offers the perfect introduction to eastern Canadian sensibilities. In the winter months, the reasons to visit don’t disappear: Cooler temperatures don’t dissuade locals, and their infectious spirit will have you joining in on the fun. The weather also makes cozy and comfortable indoor spaces and fantastic food and beverage offerings even more enticing. In the end, you may find you prefer the quieter winter season for your Canada vacation over the popular summer one.
Northwest Territories and Nunavut
Canada’s north has long fascinated researchers and explorers alike. In 1999, the Northwest Territories split. The land to the east would become Nunavut—Canada’s newest and largest territory. The division has allowed both provinces to develop distinct identities. December is prime time for winter wonders including watching the Aurora Borealis, driving the famed ice highway, marveling at the massive annual reindeer migration, and other winter activities including dog sledding, ice fishing, and cross-country skiing.