Alberta

10 of the Most Beautiful Places in Canada for Spectacular Views

To me, a fantastic view isn’t necessarily a landscape, though it can be. It’s any scene that stops you in your tracks, puts a smile on your face, or simply makes you gasp with wonder. I recently put together a list together for U.S. News & World Report of some of the most beautiful places in Canada with spectacular views, and I wanted to share a version of it with you here.

At 150, Canada couldn’t look better. From the Yukon to New Brunswick and everywhere in between, the country is a treasure chest of unforgettable (and perhaps unexpected) views. The only problem will be deciding how to choose where to go. Here are a just a few of the places you might want to consider.


The Yukon Territory

Kaskawulsh Glacier 10 of the Most Beautiful Places in Canada for Unforgettable Views

Flying towards the toe of the Kaskawulsh Glacier at the point where the Slim’s River has run dry due to climate change. Photo: Susan Portnoy

Soaring snow-covered peaks, the world’s largest non-polar ice field and the spectacular Kaskawulsh Glacier are just a few of the wonders to be found in the St. Elias Mountains in Kluane National Park and Reserve, a favorite stomping ground for campers, backcountry hikers and serious climbers. The best way to get a sense of the park’s breadth and beauty is to see it from above. Outfitter Icefield Discovery Tours offers the only flightseeing excursions from the turquoise waters of Kluane Lake to the toe of the Kaskawulsh Glacier and west to its source. One minute you’re over a summer landscape, and the next you feel as if you’re in the Arctic – all in the span of about 10 minutes. Weather permitting, you may even be able to land on an ice field.

***The best time to visit is from May to September.


Quebec’s Maritime Regions

Whale watching by sea kayak and from the shore in Tadoussac   © Le Québec maritime / Marc Loiselle/Tourisme Côte-Nord – Manicouagan Region(s): Manicouagan

Whale watching by sea kayak and from the shore in Tadoussac / Photo: Le Québec maritime / Marc Loiselle/Tourisme Côte-Nord – Manicouagan

At the convergence of the Saguenay Fjord and the St. Lawrence River is the little-known village of Tadoussac, one of the most prolific destinations in the world for whale viewing. Minke, blue, beluga and humpbacks love to eat the krill churned up by the area’s deep and turbulent waters. You can often see them from the shore, but for those who want a closer look, there are plenty of boat tours available. Better yet, rent a kayak. There are rules about how close you can get, but without the roar of a noisy motor, curious whales may come to you.

***The best time to plan a trip is from May to October.


 Ontario

EdgeWalk-17-XL (1)

Dave Bouskill from famed blog The PlanetD / Photo: Debra Corbeil

You’ve never seen a city skyline quite like Ontario. Visitors of Toronto’s famed CN Tower will have the view of a lifetime during its EdgeWalk urban adventure. For 30 minutes, you’ll walk hands-free on a 5-foot ledge around the roof’s circumference, 116 floors up. If you have a fear of heights, fret not: You won’t fall. You’ll be connected by a trolley and harness system, though acrophobics may want to pass. But if you’re game, your bravery will be well documented with a keepsake video, photos and a certificate of achievement.

***For optimal conditions, visit from April to October.


Manitoba

Wrestling match_Courtesy of Churchill Wild, photo by Bill Lyne ----10 Amazing Canadian Views You'll Never Forget_

Wrestling match_Courtesy of Churchill Wild, photo by Bill Lyne

Travelers are accustomed to the idea of seeing polar bears from a ship or vehicle. But for a unique perspective, check out polar bears on foot. The Seal River Heritage Lodge, accessible via a half-hour flight from Churchill to the subarctic Tundra on the coast of Hudson Bay, takes guests on walks twice daily to observe polar bears in the wild at eye level. It’s the only walking safari of its kind in Manitoba. If you’re lucky, you may even see a mother bear and her cubs.

***Visit from July to November for ideal viewing conditions.

 


Saskatchewan

Star Party at Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park / Photo: Alan Dyer --10 of the Most Beautiful Places in Canada for Unforgettable Views

Star Party at Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park / Photo: Alan Dyer

There’s nothing more beautiful than an evening filled with glittering stars, but for most of us, light pollution limits what we can see. At Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, however, you can enjoy the sky in all its glory. One of several Dark Sky parks in Canada, Cypress Hills’ light restrictions makes it easy to see what Mother Nature intended. For die-hard stargazing enthusiasts, the Royal Canadian Astronomical Society hosts a special five-day “Star Party” every August, attracting astronomy lovers and astral photographers from far and wide who camp, eat, stargaze and share their passion for the night.

***Best of all, beautiful views can be observed year-round.


Prince Edward Island

The Town of French River ---- 10 Amazing Canadian Views You'll Never Forget_

French River Harbor — Tourism Prince Edward Island / Photo: Paul Baglole

The harbor in the tiny fishing village of French River may look familiar as one of the most popular painted scenes on Prince Edward Island. Set on an inlet off the Gulf of St. Lawrence, its colorful buildings and fishing boats, against a backdrop pf rolling hills and historic homes, is a setting straight out of “Anne of Green Gables.” As part of the Island’s Green Gables Shore touring region, French River is just one stop among many on a route featuring breathtaking locations that inspired scenes from Lucy Maud Montgomery’s beloved series.

***Plan a trip from May to October for the best scenery.


British Columbia

Enchanted Forest in BC ---10 of the Most Beautiful Places in Canada for Unforgettable Views

On of the 350 larger than life size creations in the Enchanted Forest in BC/ Photo: Enchanted Forest Website.

Who hasn’t fantasized about walking through a magical world of myths and legends? Thanks to Doris and Ernest Needham, the dream has become a reality. Years ago, the Needhams took Doris’ handmade, large-scale storybook figurines and created a whimsical, 8-acre fantasyland they dubbed the Enchanted Forest. Nestled in one of the world’s few temperate inland rainforests, located 20 miles from Revelstoke, the Needhams’ labor of love is a quirky panorama.

***Stroll down the path through the trees from May to October and see over 350 characters and structures recreate scenes from popular fairytales and rhymes.


Alberta

Writing on Stone Petroglyphs --10 Amazing Canadian Views You'll Never Forget_-4315 (1)

Writing on Stone Petroglyphs / Photo: Susan Portnoy

In Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park’s Milk River valley, surrounded by rugged prairies, sheer cliffs and mushroom rock formations called hoodoos, you’ll find the largest concentration of First Nation petroglyphs (rock carvings) and pictographs (rock paints) in North America. There, you’ll catch sight of historic images scratched or sketched into the sandstone with animal bones or a paste made of red ochre and bison fat. The art depicts humans, animals, flora, even wagons and guns belonging to early settlers that span hundreds of years. The best examples are found in the park’s archeological preserve, which is off-limits unless viewed on a guided tour that’s offered three times daily. If joining a tour is not your thing, the largest petroglyph in the park called “Battle Scene” is on a public trail of the same name.

***Travel from May to September for ideal conditions for exploration.


The Northwest Territory

Aurora and the Main Lodge at Blachford / Photo: Martina Gebarovska ---10 of the Most Beautiful Places in Canada for Unforgettable Views

Aurora and the Main Lodge at Blachford Lake Lodge/ Photo: Martina Gebarovska

The aurora borealis is widely viewed as one of the most spectacular natural occurrences known to man. But unless you hedge your bets, you may never see it. At the eco-friendly Blachford Lake Lodge, if you stay five days, the hotel promises a 99 percent chance you’ll see the aurora, and their wake-up service will make sure you don’t miss it. That’s pretty close to a guarantee. Not to mention, you can view it from a hot tub. And if you’re worried about the cold (it can go as low as 31 degrees Fahrenheit), Blachford has winter gear you can rent. The best times to visit are from mid-August to mid-October and mid-December to mid-April.


New Brunswick


At the north end of the Bay of Fundy at Hopewell Cape sits Hopewell Rocks, the centerpiece to one of the most fascinating views of the ocean. Massive tides, considered the highest in the world, send over 1 billion tons of water through the cape twice daily. Fascinating formations carved by the water’s force are affectionately known as the Flowerpot Rocks. Walk the beach at low tide, and stay to watch the water change to high tide. You’ll be amazed how fast the water comes in and how little of the rocks there’s left to see. If you’re not sure how to plan your visit, check out the tide chart on the attraction’s website. Visit from May to October for optimal conditions for exploration.

Share your favorite great Canadian views in the comments below! 

 


10 of the Most Beautiful Places in Canada for Spectacular Views --- At 150, Canada couldn't look better. From the Yukon to New Brunswick and everywhere in between, the country is a treasure chest of unforgettable (and perhaps unexpected) views.

 

41 replies »

    • I think it would be so much fun for a group to enjoy a star party, Henry. You should include one. There are a few… Just go to the Astronomical Society’s website under events and you can see all the areas within Canada where they host star parties.

      So glad you enjoyed the piece. Thanks for taking a look! 🙂

    • It’s truly an extraordinary country. I feel a bit embarrassed that I hadn’t explored more of it earlier in my life.

  1. I love living in Canada! So much to see! Sadly you’ve missed my home province of Nova Scotia (the furthest east). I’m dying to get to the Yukon but its so expensive to fly within Canada.

  2. Great picks! How are those people so close to those polar bears and not freaking out! If I saw a polar bear in person I would be so extremely excited but then most definitely run.

    • Thank you!

      Ha!! The guides are very well trained to know when the situation could turn dangerous. My guess is that they two polar bears were most likely to focus on each other than the people. Also, at least with most predators, you run, you bring VERY unwanted attention to the fact that you could be seen as prey. 🙂

  3. Those photos are gorgeous! I’ve been wanting to go to Canada for a while and now I’m going to have to! Mainly Yukon! How pretty!

    • Petroglyphs are so interesting. There’s a ton in Arizona too. Love imagining the artists slowly scratching their stories into the stone.

  4. I love Canada. I’ve been lucky to spend three months in Toronto for an internship back in 2011 and even if I did a little bit of travelling in Ontario, given the size of the country it still feels like I saw so little 😀 I long to go back and do some more exploration, this time in the countryside, to admire those incredible landscapes. Still ,I brought back one fine photo of Toronto’s waterfront taken from the island right in front, and it hangs over my bed. Toronto’s waterfront is really pretty!

    • Canada is really an incredible place.

      I bet that image is beautiful. Great that you were able to capture such a wonderful keepsake. 🙂

  5. Canada is the one place on my list that I’m dying to visit! But this post has truly opened my eyes to a couple of places, I hadn’t even considered. I had no idea you could go see polar bears on foot, I had zero idea that was a thing!

    • It’s a wonderful country. Can’t tell you how diverse and beautiful it is. Words can’t really do the place justice. 🙂

    • Thanks Mark.. Most of the images aren’t mine but I will be doing the polar bears next month so hoping I’ll be able to take some of those bts shots myself! 🙂

    • They’re not all mine but thank you just the same! I agree, I’d love to see the aurora. I’ll be going on a polar bear safari in November. I’ll be sure to report back! 🙂

  6. You photos never cease to amaze me. I look through trying to pick one that stands out above the rest, but I’m always so spoilt for choice – they are all absolutely amazing.

  7. David Attenborough has opened my eyes to wondrous unspoiled places as did your post. We’ve just returned from LA, where urban sprawl is contaminating nature. It’s depressing, yet there’s inspiration to make things better through blogs like yours. When I’ve recovered from the journey-time I’ll post some thoughts myself. Question: how do you make your title stand out. Mine tends to just sit there in the middle of a black rectangle. I’m new to WordPress so I’m still learning.

    • Hi Bob –
      Thank you for your very thoughtful comment. I am glad you enjoyed the piece. It’s true, humans are encroaching upon everything so any time there is a way to enjoy the world unencumbered by that fact, it’s a joy.

      In re: title — I think you need to think about looking at other themes. Their structure is what determines how the titles, photos, etc. will look. 🙂

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