Friday, November 17, 2017

More than just Instagram-Worthy: Canada's Most Scenic Places

I’ve always wanted to visit what seemed to be known as one of the friendliest countries in the world. R has told me so many nice things about Canada-- from its culture to food and to scenic destinations. Since I can’t wait to board the plane and take that half a day flight, I’ve made a short list of stopovers I (and you) have to visit. 

Most Scenic Places in Canada

Canada, the world’s second-largest country, may not carry the geographical diversity of the United States, but the maple-scented land has everything that makes it the most spectacular and amazing. Whether it is the temperate Pacific rain forests of British Columbia or the Rockies there are plenty of geological oddities and some of the most scenic places that can be found here in Canada. The landscapes range from snow-capped mountains, rugged coastlines to beautifully desolate prairies. And if you are worrying that accommodation could be a problem, lodging for tourists has never been an issue here as they can pick from the most high-end resorts to budget hotels. There is also a  wide range of cabins in Canada to suit every pocket and needs. 

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
Niagara-on-the-Lake lies at the center of the province’s wine region and is surrounded by superb wineries. Noted as one of the most well-preserved 19th-century towns, it is said that you should not miss walking through the town’s Victorian main street, where one comes across old-fashioned houses, vegetation and boutique shops. I can’t wait to visit some of the  lovely ornamental gardens and dine at the area’s sophisticated restaurants. But the one I look forward to the most is its outstanding Canadian theater event, the Shaw Festival.

Big Muddy Valley, Saskatchewan
There is a mysterious and captivating atmosphere that surrounds Big Muddy with a vast history of harboring bandits. The valley is filled with dramatic cliffs, sturdy cacti and plunging sandstone ravine. During the early 20th centuries, banks robbers and thieves smuggled horses across the US border. If you’re a history nut, you’d have a blast exploring the caves that worked as convenient hideouts for the badlands such as Sam Kelly, Dutch Henry, and the Sundance Kid.

Churchill, Manitoba
I am a big fan of the cuddly white cold loving polar bears. I’ve never seen one so dropping by the raw, subarctic terrain of Churchill is a must. It may be a long road trip but I think it’ll be an awesome one. The polar bears gather along the shore of Hudson Bay from October to mid-November. Aside from seeing these beautiful creatures, visitors are also in for a treat as you can also  see the iconic aurora borealis in the evening or watch thousands of beluga whales during the summers around the Churchill River. Bird lovers can also go on a nice trek in the tundra and boreal forests that surround the town and home to hundreds of species of birds.

Nahanni National Park Reserve 
Nahanni National Park is the epitome of wild and remote natural beauty of Canada. This spectacular park encompasses rugged canyons, enormous waterfalls, hot springs and limestone caves. The park attracts not just hikers and nature enthusiasts who love exploring the craggy mountains and look for abundant wildlife, but avid canoers and rafters too, who enjoy the sport on its many streams that rush through the Mackenzie Mountains. I’m not exactly a water sports fan but walking around the park and search for some sheep and caribou sounds great. If I’m lucky, I might also spot some black bears or wolves, hopefully at a far distance which happen to be part of its wildlife.

St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, New Brunswick
Andrews-by-the-Sea happens to be one of the oldest seaside resort towns in Canada. Located along the edge of a peninsula that points south into the Bay of Fundy, the town became a popular summer retreat for the well-heeled citizens of the regions. One will come across several buildings from the town’s origins that have managed to survive since the 1700s. Relatively unspoiled by modern development, the town’s old buildings, and tree-lined streets take one back into a century past atmosphere. Water Street lined with fabulous boutiques and appealing restaurants, this place is a favorite of tourists and locals alike. If you love old architectures like I do, then you have to add this in your list.

Notre Dame Basilica, Montreal
Notre Dame Basilica is one of the most striking religious building in Canada. Built in the early 19th century, it is a stunning example of Gothic Revival architecture. Filled with elaborate wooden carvings, fine paintings and gilded sculptures, the ceiling of the building is done in deep blue and dotted with thousands of 24-karat gold stars. Montreal’s religious history is displayed in its stained-glass windows. My camera will surely have a blast here!

Mount Thor, Nunavut
Mount Thor is known for its highest vertical drop on earth, with an average angle of 105 degrees and a plunge down to 1,250 meters. The sharp granite peak of the mountain draws your attention as it is set against a backdrop of glaciers. Penny Ice Cap developed during the last Ice Age making it even more special. The Auyuittuq National Park surrounding the mountain is one of the world’s most significant areas of unexplored wilderness. The haunting park was initially inhabited mainly by Inuit people. This place would be a spectacular location for drones.

Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia
An archetypal maritime, Mahone Bay remains among the most photographed in Canada. Well defined by three historic churches, the town was founded in the mid-18th century, and its serene and eponymous bay is home to more than 100 islands! The quaint town boasts of 19th-century architecture and is dotted with excellent restaurants. Travelers love exploring antique shops, and galleries as well as kayaking and sailing at its popular spots. I’d definitely trek or bike along the trails in the surrounding South Shore, or even learn and enjoy skiing in the winter. Or I could always start with sledding. 

Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick/Nova Scotia
The Bay of Fundy is famous for having the highest tidal range in the world. Separating the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the high tides of the Bay can touch heights of 53-feet, with more than 160 billion tons of water that flow in. 
Its vast and impressive marine life has been compared to that of the Amazon rain forest. It is a leading destination for bird and whale-watching. It also keeps locals and tourists mesmerized with its lofty cliffs, hiking trails, and beaches.

I can’t wait to see these beautiful spots soon! Maybe I should book my tickets now. Hmm...

Photo Credits:
Mount Thor from
Big Muddy Valley from EpicJib Aerial Media
St. Andrews-by-the-sea from
Churchill Manitoba from


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