If you read tips about traveling to Canada, people often talk about enjoying the snow in British Columba or Alberta, riding the Rocky Mountaineer train, exploring pretty Vancouver Island and spotting bears. However, it’s important to note that there are lots of amazing sites and attractions to check out beyond the popular west coast of the country.
Head east and you’ll be just as spoiled for choice, no matter your age, interests or mobility. Read on for some tips about things you should plan to do on your next trip to Canada that will take you beyond the west coast.
Canada is a dual-speaking nation. Thus, you should head to the French-Canadian part of the country to experience French culture and get a different perspective on this interesting, diverse land. In particular, spend time in quaint Quebec City, found in the province of Quebec.
Quebec City has a European feel and is one of the most picturesque cities in all of Canada. It’s a good destination if you want to practice your French language skills or take in streets with a Parisian vibe. Rue du Petit Champlain, for instance, is one of the most popular. Other streets will make you feel like you’ve stumbled into a rural French village, as you notice painted signs swinging from the eves, flower boxes prettying up entryways and cast-iron lanterns lighting the way.
The entirety of Old Quebec (a fortified area), is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Within it, you will find the world-renowned Chateau Frontenac, which is worth a visit. This castle-like building dates back to the late 19th century and draws on architecture preferences from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. It was built by the General Manager of Canadian Pacific Railway as a stopover spot for passengers. Today, the castle is a hotel, so you can stay on site or simply wander through the public areas and eat in the restaurant to get a feel for its beauty and historic charm. You will also join the ranks of many famous faces who have spent time in the Chateau, such as Princess Grace of Monaco, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Alfred Hitchcock, Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth and King George VI to name just a few.
One of Canada’s most famous attractions is found in Ontario, on the border between Canada and the United States. Niagara Falls, a natural phenomenon that draws millions of tourists to the region each year, is made of three separate waterfalls and is iconic because of the sheer power of the amount of water that flows through the site – millions of cubic feet each minute.
There are many different opportunities for seeing the Falls when you’re in town. For example, book one of the nearby Niagara Falls hotels which provide jaw-dropping views of the wonder, or ride the Niagara SkyWheel, the largest Ferris wheel in Canada, which provides brilliant, 360-degree photo opportunities on every rotation.
One option not to miss is a boat tour on the Maid of the Mist or Hornblower Niagara Cruises. These boat rides take passengers close to the Falls to feel the spray on their face and hear the almighty thunder of the powerful waters nearby.
Another natural attraction to put on your itinerary is an excursion to the Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick. These fascinating rock formations have been carved out by erosion over thousands of years, and today they stand as unique “sculptures” in the Bay of Fundy with different amounts being visible depending on the time of day and the tides.
One of the most popular spots for tourists visiting New Brunswick, the Hopewell Rocks are best explored at low tide, when billions of tons of water empty out of the Bay. This makes it possible to walk along the ocean floor, where there’s more than a mile of beach and numerous coves to cover. Once you climb the stairs which have been built from the beach, you should also wander through the nearby interpretative center to learn about the area’s history and geography.