Kaye's Canada hotspots

We know you love the Rocky Mountaineer and cruising north from Vancouver, because you told us so in the Great Canadian Bucket List in July 2017.

But where in Canada can you discover new sights and activities? Here’s Kaye’s Top Five Canadian wishlist for 2018:

Seaside Tofino

seaside tofino 

On the tip of a peninsula in the Clayoquot Sound on Vancouver Island, this charming seaside town boasts the best scenery and sandy beaches as well as a national park. With a tourism tagline of ‘Out there is right here’ you know you are in for an amazing adventure. The local produce means uber-cool West Coast fare. Accommodation ranges from resorts, to boutique hotels, to cosy cabins and hotels and the locals are super friendly. If I visit in 2018 I plan to stay at the Seafarers Bed & Breakfast and enjoy a local beeswax crafting night!

Take me there now!

Chilling in Manitoba

canada museum of human rights 

I have a confession to make – I don’t know much about the province of Manitoba at all, but I am hanging out to visit there. And one of the reasons is the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights, in Winnipeg, with cutting edge architecture and 10 interactive galleries which challenge us to be better and do better. And then there is Churchill,  a town of fewer than 1000 people on Hudson Bay, in the far north of the province. Polar Bears are also high on my list of must-see wildlife, and Churchill is polar bear capital of the world, no less, so while there, I’ll take a Frontiers North Adventures trip in their amazing tundra buggy and hunker down in their cosy lodge overnight. Think firelight, red wine and good company – I’ll tackle the bunk beds later.

Chasing Vikings in Newfoundland and Labrador

viking settlement 

This year I visited Newfoundland for the first time and was smitten. I literally fell in love with this rugged island and its remarkable people. But with just five days to spare I only scratched the surface of its charms. Next time I will go by sea (catching the ferry from North Sydney in Nova Scotia to Port aux Basques, Newfoundland – crossing time is 6 hours) and then take my time driving due north to visit the Gros Morne National Park and the 11th Century Viking settlement at L’Anse Aux Meadows. Next, I will head on up to Labrador for more rugged coastlines, shipwrecks and whale watching. My preferred accommodation is Bed & Breakfast and there is no shortage of friendly locals who will rent me a room, cook me a meal and share their stories. And if I have time, I’ll take a sneaky trip back to Trinity where I had the best meal ever, courtesy of mother and daughter inn keepers, Tineke and Marieke at the Twine Loft. Love your work ladies.

Navigating the wild seas with One Ocean Expeditions

a polar bear that isn't starving 

Okay, this is technically NOT a destination, but it is my dream to board a One Ocean Expeditions icebreaker and head to the roughest, toughest part of the Atlantic Ocean to see wild things in an even wilder setting. I’ll be wearing full-on snow gear and the biggest puffer jacket I can find when I jump into the zodiac which takes One Ocean guests up close and uncomfortable with whales, seals, and grizzly bears. Happily, the cruise company provides the $900 expedition gear package free of charge – including gum boots! I literally cannot wait. My cruise of choice is the 12-night classic North-West Passage and Baffin Island. I’ll fly from Edmonton and return to Ottawa and in between I’ll learn tall tales and true of legendary explorers and meet the First Nations people of the regions. Watch me go.

Historic Ottawa

fairmont chateau laureir 

The capital of Canada, Ottawa tends to get bumped in the attention stakes by its bigger, brasher provincial counterpart Toronto. But it’s Ottawa’s colonial history which has captured my attention. There are 25 National Historic sites. Yes, 25! I’ll start my walk at the gothic Parliament Hill buildings, taking a free guided tour through the Parliament, Senate and House of Commons, before heading to the 19th Century Rideau Canal, just 10 minutes away. I am thinking I’ll spend five days in Ottawa as I like to take my history slowly, reading up in between, with lots of cafes and restaurant breaks. I’m a sucker for a fairy tale hotel and none so pretty as a Fairmont, so the Fairmont Chateau Laurier – an actual castle –  is my dream stay. Here I’ll soak up even more history, swan around in a pristine bath robe, sip a wine on the ‘most beautiful patio in Ottawa’ and pop out to visit nearby markets and galleries.

Where in Canada would you go?

Related articles:
Eastern Canada awaits you
Canada’s top five road trips
Canada: travel agent tells all

Written by Kaye Fallick

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