7th Aug 2014

Eat, stay, love in Canada

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Eat, stay, love in Canada
Andrea Hendrikx

Canada draws hoards of tourists to its shores with its myriad of experience. To get you in the mood for a Canadian adventure, here are our suggestions of where to eat, stay and love.
 

Eat (or drink)

Niagara New Vintage Wine Festival in September is when the regions finest wineries open their doors to allow visitors to discover for themselves the vast range of internationally acclaimed wines. 

Whether it’s a cheeky Sauvignon Blanc from Creekside Winery in Jordan or a fun glass of Red Over Heels from Strut Wines on the Niagara Peninsula, this region has something to cater to everyone’s taste. And of course, what would be a delicious glass of wine without the accompaniment of some equally tasty gourmet cuisine? Set over two weekends, the Niagara New Vintage Wine Festival has both in abundance. A Discovery Pass at $40CAD offers access to six of the regions wineries to enable you to experience this decadent journey at your leisure.



Niagara Wine Festival

Or for those who like to work up an appetite before they indulge in some gourmet food, Edible BC has created just the gastronomic getaway for you.

Spend the day kayaking around Vancouver Island, alongside river otters, harbour seals and you may even spot a bald eagle on the way. Once you have exerted yourself, retire to the beach where your multi-course meal awaits.

EdibleCanada.com


Stay
The location of the Queen Victoria Hotel helps make the most of the sights and attractions on Vancouver Island

Situated across from the Royal BC Museum and right in the heart of all Victoria has to offer, the QV, as it is affectionately known, is a charming retreat for when it’s time to take a breath and relax.  A junior suite on the sixth floor is as big as some city centre apartments and the view over the city and harbour was glorious and, if you squint just a little, you can even see the Legislative Building and its terrific display of twinkling lights at night.

The hotel itself is everything you’d expect from such a local icon, the restaurant serves the best pancakes and the pool gave me the perfect opportunity to work them off! But more than anything, it has a homely feel and the helpfulness of the staff will have you making a return visit, along with the many other guests who stay there year after year.

Queen Victoria Hotel


Love

With Canada extending into the Arctic Circle, some of the more northerly provinces lie well within the aurora belt. Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory is a great option for a Northern Lights holiday. 

Many companies offer tours centred around witnessing the Northern Lights over a few nights, leaving you plenty of time to experience some of the other sights which the Yukon and Canada have to offer.

AuroraBorealisYukon.com

Banff National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for breathtaking scenery and an abundance of protected wildlife. Breathe in fresh mountain air whilst enjoying the many biking and walking trails. Challenge yourself with an invigorating hike to an alpine teahouse, saddle up on horseback, or relax and enjoy a gondola ride to the mountaintop. Break from the trails and head to the pure waters and canoe on Lake Louise, hop on a Lake Minnewanka boat cruise or take a gentle float trip down the Bow River. 

BanffLakeLouise.com

Have you ever visited Canada? Share your highlights from your trip.

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COMMENTS

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Jill
9th Aug 2014
7:28am
Magnificent place! We loved BC! The people and food were terrific! Scenery marvellous! Did not drive as habit can be a killer and the other side of the road loomed large as soon as we left the airport! We found the moderate priced hotels very acceptable having tried top and lower ends of the spectrum. The distance is a little daunting and one gets "beautied out" if there is such a phrase. Visually we were reminded of New Zealand a lot: same colouring to the landscape quite often with lovely clear rivers and tidy National Parks. but of course NZ was much easier to get around due to the reasonable distance to everything. In Canada one travels all day and still has time to go! We preferred the train travel because we could move around more but the coach lines were very professional and helpful. We wish we were 10yrs younger and could go once again! I'd love to do that little train ride up Vancouver Island and stay the night before returning to the delights of the antique Queen Vic hotel. The ability to walk to EVERYTHING on Van. Isl is a blessing! The bays - Oak Bay etc - are lovely. - yes, we would go again if we could and recommend Canada in general to whomsoever has the time (please do not rush it!) to enjoy it. We loved Banff, Calgary & Lake Louise etc on our last particular trip. It was my birthday and it was a memory to cherish!
Tom Tank
9th Aug 2014
9:40am
Our experience of Canada was that to see it properly really needed two visits. One in springtime and one in their fall.
The Rockies in springtime are absolutely magnificent with snow capped peaks and wildlife coming out of hibernation. Our trip at that time was based upon the Via Rail across Canada from coast to coast, leaving from Vancouver stopping at Jasper, one night, with a trip from there to Lake Louise, lake frozen, for one night and to Banff, two nights. The trip to the top of Sulpher Mountain was largely wasted because of the snow storm which blanketed out the view. Still exciting though. Then back to Jasper for another night then back on the train for 21/2 days to Toronto for 2 nights, A trip on Maid of the Mist is a must at Niagara Falls.
Then on to Montreal, 2 nights, Quebec an absolute must see city, for 2 nights then finishing up in Halifax, Nova Scotia where we stayed for three night. The train journey was wonderful with great meals and service and we met some very interesting people. The overnight accommodation was all in Fairmont Hotels and they were also excellent. A truly wonderful trip.
We went back a year later in their Fall and drove through British Columbia with the ferry trip from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert through the Inside Passage. Back down to Jasper them Bannff. We could go to places we couldn't in Spring such as the boat trip on Maligne Lake and we could see from the top of Sulphur Mountain but there was very little snow to be seen on the Mountain tops.
We drove on to Drumhellar in the Canadian Badlands to visit the Royal Tyrell Dinosaur Museum. That was mindblowing so can heartily recommend a visit there. Then back to Calgary to catch a flight to Halifax.
We toured through Nova Scotia and onto Prince Edward Island, Anne of Green Gables country, then onto Cape Breton Island and saw some of the Celtic Colors Folk Festival which is really big with great music.
The amazing colours of the trees really has to be seen to be believed.
We love Canada, and the people. We met some First Nation people who were so nice with such a rich history. The wildlife, bears, whales, birds and so on is fantastic. We had no problems driving on the "wrong side of the road" although apart from Vancouver we didn't drive in any large city. The distances we covered were similar to driving in Australia but we didn't try to drive across the prairies.
I didn't mention Buchart Gardens on Vancouver Island which should not be missed. We went there on both visits and each one was simply great. There is so much to see and enjoy.
MICK
9th Aug 2014
10:19am
You sound like you did this properly Tom. We went to Niagara at the end of March and the Maid of the Mist boats were still high and dry next to the power station as there was still ice below the falls.
We are going to have to go back again in non winter. So how long a stay would you consider to be adequate to see this lovely country?
MICK
9th Aug 2014
10:14am
Niagars Falls - don't stay on the US side as no view. The Canadian side of the falls is where the real action is....although you can walk over the bridge connecting both sides....which is recommended at any rate.


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