Guest post by Snowdayride
Renowned for its natural beauty, Canada is often ignored by travellers during winters. But if you the snow and the bracing winter air, Canada is perfect for you. Besides, the lack of too many travellers in winter makes Canada ideal if you want to get away from the milling crowds.
What to do in Canadian winters?
During winters you can take advantage of the cheaper accommodation and flights.
- Enjoy the surreal beauty of the snow-covered wilderness
Imagine spending a few days in a cosy log cabin alone or with your loved one with wood burning away in the fireplace. The soothing quiet, bright stars on a clear night, sound of crisp snow crackling underfoot, frozen lakes, and blanketed trees make for a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of civilization.
- Winter sports
Home to some of the finest powdery snow in the world, Canada is a haven for winter sports and enthusiasts from all over flock to it. It has some excellent ski resorts with world-class facilities. Also, if you love cross country snowboarding, don’t forget to pack the best backcountry snowboard boots you can lay your hands on. Canada is home to expansive backcountry with almost never-ending powdery snow.
There are also a plethora of other winter activities like ice fishing, snowmobiling, snow tubing, snowshoeing, skating, and more that you can partake.
- Wildlife watching
In the winters, when most animals hibernate, some become active. Winter is the best time to spot moose, caribou, bison, mountain goats, and the lynx. During summer, these animals are hard to spot.
- The Northern Lights
The Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights can be glimpsed from Yellowknife (NWT) and Whitehorse (Yukon). The long winter nights in Canada make it ideal for experiencing this unique natural phenomenon.
- Winter festivals and events
The Canadians make the most of winter with a host of winter festivals, and events held all over the country. These events provide a welcome break to socialize after spending days in the lonely wilderness.
Places you must include in your winter trip to Canada
- Quebec City
This 400-year-old city has a certain old-world charm to it and gives you a distinctly European feel. Quebec is home to the famous Quebec Winter Carnival and Bonhomme. In the city centre, you have Old Quebec City, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Spend a night at the Hotel de Glace – the ice hotel for a unique experience.
If you love the wildlife, a visit to Churchill is a must. Called the “Polar Bear Capital of the World,” visitors flock here for eco-tourism. Apart from polar bears, beluga whales and a variety of birds are the main draws here. As this city is situated in the far north, the Northern Lights are visible.
If you are a winter sports enthusiast, Whistler is a must. It has challenging slopes for skiing and snowboarding, winter zip-lining, and snowshoeing. It has top-quality accommodation facilities with a breathtaking view of the Rockies. You can find award-winning restaurants that provide a host of dining options. This town is also host to a vibrant arts and culture scene.
Vancouver is where people head for a break from the extreme Canadian winter. Boasting mild winter weather, this city has a vibrant arts and culture scene. It also provides travellers with plenty of shopping and dining options.
If you love ice skating, then Ottawa, the capital of Canada, is where to be during winters. When the Rideau Canal freezes, it makes the world’s largest natural ice-skating rink, where hundreds of skaters show off their skating skills. Besides, this city is replete with grand Victorian monuments, museums, and art galleries and is extremely popular with art lovers.
This quaint little town is Canada’s smallest province. Charlottetown has an old-world feel around it and is a perfect place to go to with the family. Just outside this charming city, the Brookvale Winter Activity Park offers fun activities like tobogganing and snowshoeing.
- Cold Lake
If you are an avid ice fisherman, Cold Lake is the perfect destination to go to in the winter. Situated between two provinces, this isolated lake offers superb ice fishing. In addition, this place’s isolation allows you have a quiet day’s fishing surrounded by serene nature.
- Banff National Park
If you are into skiing and snowboarding, the Banff National Park has it all. Nestled in the majestic Rockies, this place offers stunning views and challenging slopes. Once here, enjoy the charms of the quaint little mountain village, and don’t forget a trip to Lake Louise, one of Canada’s most picturesque lakes.
From tobogganing on Citadel Hill to iconic lighthouses and indulging at the annual Festival of Whisky, Halifax has a lot to offer. You can also ride a sleigh on the snow and sample maple syrup from the Moon Sugar Farm. For the hiking enthusiast, this maritime town offers numerous snowy paths through the woods to explore.
Some things to keep in mind for your Canadian winter trip
- Take along warm jackets and layered clothing for extreme cold. Also, take along warm gloves and socks to protect your extremities.
- Do not drive in Canada if you have no experience driving in extremely cold weather. If you drive, take equipment such as tire chains, shovel, tow rope, and jumper cables. Also, don’t forget an emergency kit with food, first aid, water, and extra clothing.
- Always check opening and closing times before you head out. Many tourist attractions and services have reduced opening times or are shut down for the winter.
- Factor in for delays in your travel plans. In the inclement winter weather, things do not always run as planned.
- Carry travel insurance.
To wind off
The sheer number of activities to do and see in Canada during winter is mind-boggling. There is plenty to do here apart from just skiing or snowboarding. Sadly, many are put off due to the extreme weather. But if your deck up properly with layered clothing, you can enjoy the legendary Canadian winter landscape without freezing your bones off.
Plan your vacation to Canada without any qualms. Take advantage of the cheaper rates. A trip to Canada with your loved one during the winter will be memorable. Very few places in the world give you as much solitude and a variety of experiences as in a Canadian winter.