Victoria, Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island – aka PEI – might be Canada’s smallest province but it has no shortage of adorable towns and villages, and Victoria, or Victoria-by-the-Sea is a postcard-pretty example. Founded in 1819, the village is tiny, focused around just six main streets. Stop by the chocolate shop, the Studio Gallery to see local artists’ works and the island’s longest-running theater, the Victoria Playhouse.
Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia
The town of Mahone Bay, set on the picture-perfect south shore of Nova Scotia, was first settled by the French in the 17th century. The British later gave it the name we know today and the town has remained a quaint community attracting artisans and entrepreneurs. While the Three Churches of Mahone Bay, all built in the late-19th and early-20th centuries in different architectural styles, are a highlight, the town hosts wholesome gatherings like the Scarecrow Festival and Antiques Fair most years too.
Trinity, Newfoundland and Labrador
Scattered along a peninsula in the Eastern region of Newfoundland and Labrador, Trinity is a pretty place. Its history goes back to the 1720s, when around 30 families lived there permanently and 200 fishermen would come for the season each year. Fishing, lumbering and shipbuilding were the main industries then and many of its historic buildings have been preserved. Today, there are walking tours of its most important sites and good hiking trails along the coast. Discover 50 more stunning photos of Canada’s best bits here.
Dawson City, Yukon
Founded in the Klondike Gold Rush days of the late 19th century, Dawson City expanded rapidly as people flooded in to take advantage of the riches on offer. Today, the rush may be over but gold mining continues, and you can take a walking tour (summer only) to learn about the town’s history and listen to intriguing tales told by guides in convincing period costume. Now check out Canada’s eeriest ghost towns that time forgot.
St Andrews, New Brunswick
Voted the best destination in Canada in 2017, the picturesque seaside town of St Andrews on the eastern coast has a population of less than 2,000 but it’s packed with personality. On the water there are adventures on offering including whale watching, kayaking and scuba diving in the Bay of Fundy while on land, Kingsbrae Garden features thousands of plant species in a tranquil setting.
Whistler, British Columbia
There are many reasons why the village of Whistler – two-hours’ drive north from Vancouver – normally attracts three million visitors per year. In addition to world-class skiing in winter, the area offers summer activities aplenty including 186 miles (300km) of mountain biking trails and 15 parks with five lakes for hikers. But it’s not just about the great outdoors, the village and its surrounds has 200 restaurants, cafés and bars, plus 200 shops and even hosts a food festival in November.
The town of Jasper is the place to base yourself for a trip to Jasper National Park, the largest of Canada’s Rocky Mountain national parks. Although more than three million people pass through the park every year, the population of the town is fewer than 5,000, meaning there’s still a charming small-town feel, especially in the shoulder seasons. Visit Jasper Museum to learn about the area’s history, then enjoy the spectacular national park, where you can spot black bears, hike in surreal surroundings and paddle on scenic lakes. Find out more about what to do in winter in Alberta here.
Bonavista, Newfoundland & Labrador
The fishing town of Bonavista is a pretty little place on the eastern shores of Newfoundland, with its lighthouse, boats bobbing in the harbor and a historic waterfront. Just over 3,000 people call this town home, so it has a pleasingly slow pace of life – perfect for a relaxing break. The four-mile (6.4km) hike along the Cape Shore Trail is a highlight.
Churchill in Manitoba, on the Hudson Bay, is synonymous with one thing: polar bear spotting. However, stop a while in the town itself and you’ll discover a cultural scene you probably won’t be expecting, including 300 street art murals and the iconic wreckage of Miss Piggy, a C-46 cargo plane. Discover more about Churchill here.
French River, Prince Edward Island
Cavendish, Prince Edward Island
This pretty town is 15 minutes’ drive from French River and was made famous thanks to author Lucy Maud Montgomery after she wrote Anne of Green Gables. She moved to the area as a child and regularly visited Green Gables farm, which provided inspiration for her novel. When fully open, fans can squeeze in days of Anne-related activities, visiting the Anne of Green Gables Museum, the Green Gables Heritage Place (pictured) and Avonlea Village, a recreated rural community based on the village where Anne lived. Discover Prince Edward Island with our guide.
Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia
Caraquet, New Brunswick
Tofino, British Columbia
It takes just 20 minutes to walk the width of Tofino’s main village, which sits on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island. But don’t let its size fool you: this place has a lot going on. The surf is spectacular, so grab a board and hit the waves, and there are several gorgeous beaches to explore. Head to Long Beach to spot whales in the distance or get out on a stand-up paddleboard at Mackenzie Beach. There’s a thriving arts and crafts scene here, with handmade chocolate shops and wooden furniture stores, and the Ocean Village Resort is a cute overnight stop with its seafront wooden cottages.
Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
Located in southwestern Nova Scotia, the charming port town of Yarmouth has plenty to offer whatever your interests. For active pursuits there’s an 18-hole golf course, hiking trails or canoe rental. If you get out on the water, look back to shore to admire red wooden buildings so typical in this part of Canada. Visit one of the diverse museums, such as the Firefighters’ Museum featuring a collection of vintage equipment, and don’t miss a guided tour of the Cape Forchu Lighthouse.
Brigus, Newfoundland & Labrador
Brigus is quaint all over. This historic village was home to a number of “Arctic Heroes”, captains who sailed the icy waters in the north of Canada. Stop by Hawthorne Cottage, the former home of ice navigator Captain Robert Bartlett, to see memorabilia from his voyages. More history can be found on Vindicator Lane, which has a long dry-stone wall reminiscent of a European village, and the Convent of Mercy, built in 1860. Although canceled during 2020, the three-day Blueberry Festival in August, when 12,000 visitors come to eat the fruit grown here and celebrate with music, dancing and fireworks, is set to return in 2021.
Twillingate, Newfoundland & Labrador
The fishing village of Twillingate, located on Newfoundland’s northeastern coast, calls itself the iceberg capital of the world. Between May and July hunks of ice glide through the Atlantic waters and boat trips take tourists out to watch them. Hop on board and you’ll also spot whales, dolphins and seals. On land, Twillingate is equally captivating, with its cluster of colorful houses and activities like geocaching on offer. You can also hike along the coastline, picking blueberries and bright red partridge berries as you take on the six-mile (9.6km) amble to the Long Point Lighthouse.
The pretty town of Wasagaming is located within Riding Mountain National Park on the southern shores of Clear Lake. This small but beautifully-formed place has wide streets lined by pine trees and secluded homes set back from the road. But the main attraction here is the lake itself – enjoy a peaceful stroll through the waterfront park before sunning yourself on the beach. The park is also a great place to spot wildlife, and you can see black bear, elk, moose, lynx and bison on a drive. You might even spot deer wandering the streets of the town itself. See our guide to gorgeous Canadian lakes here.
Think Banff and undoubtedly you imagine an azure lake backed by the vertiginous Rocky Mountains. However, that’s not all there is to this incredibly popular area of Canada. Head into Banff town and you’ll be rewarded with a pretty main street, lined by gabled houses and a view towards those majestic peaks. In winter, some of the world’s best ski resorts await, with fantastic powder snow and après ski scenes. In summer, paddle on the bright blue lake and hike the many trails. Discover more of Canada’s magical winter escapes.
North Hatley, Québec
On the shores of Québec’s Lake Massawippi, North Hatley is a gem of a place and a member of the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages of Québec. Elegant, historic homes line the streets and a smattering of cute B&Bs make it a glorious retreat by the water. From June to October there’s a farmers’ market every Saturday and come winter there’s cross-country skiing on offer. You can even try your hand at curling at the local club.
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
The colorful port town and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia is a photographer’s dream destination. One of the best ways to see the 48 blocks of perfectly preserved wooden homes is on foot with a guide from Lunenburg Walking Tours, which takes in sights including the marvelously monochrome St John’s Anglican Church. After all that exploring, tuck into the lobster and beef Lunenburger at the Grand Banker & Grill – it’s worth the journey here alone.
Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia
While Lunenburg is thoroughly charming, Nova Scotia is brimming with other stunning seaside towns and villages. Blue Rocks, just 10 minutes’ drive along the coast from Lunenburg, is a glorious spot to spend the afternoon. There’s a smattering of houses and even a tiny (fake) lighthouse that was built in 2002. In summer you can also kayak the millpond-like waters of the Atlantic that surround the tiny maze of islands off Eastern Point, with local experts from Pleasant Paddling. Check out what else to see in Nova Scotia with our comprehensive guide.
Source: Read Full Article