Yeah, so the loonie may be heading south, but that doesn’t mean we are. In fact, our very own hometown of Canada has been given props as the second best country in the world so there’s never been a better time to celebrate at home. Where are we planning our next vacay? No need to hunt for adventure vacation spots far and wide because this time, we’re exploring the goodies in our own backyard. Yep, it’s Staycation time, and whatever rocks your world, Canada has it all. Foodies, Thrill-Seekers and Wellbeing Warriors can all find their perfect staycation within the borders of the Great White North.
With more than 8,300 incredible places for travellers to stay in Canada—from Vancouver to Newfoundland, and everywhere in between—where do we start? Right here. Booking.com has announced its top picks for this year’s Canadian Staycations and we’ve got ’em.
The Top Staycation Spots in Canada for Every Personality
Head to: Long Beach Lodge Resort – Tofino, Vancouver Island
As one of the world’s most beautiful coastal destinations, Vancouver Island’s diverse eco-system makes it the ideal place to see a wide range of the country’s most spectacular wildlife. Long Beach Lodge Resort is an award-winning West Coast retreat with an array of luxurious rooms and cottages, a relaxing dining room, lounge, sauna and outdoor hot tub.
An abundance of activities and excursions are available through the Lodge but no visit to Tofino would be complete without an adventure on the water with resident naturalist and professional photographer, Captain Josh Lewis. From the annual migration of over 20,000 gray whales, to the transient Orcas, Humpback whales, porpoises, sea lions and seals, there’s a stunning array of wildlife. Rather watch from the land? A range of seasonal tours are also available and you’re sure to catch a glimpse of the black bears who call this region home.
Head to: Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac – Québec City, Québec
Although fantastic regional cuisine can be found all across Canada, an ideal weekend getaway for foodies who really want to tantalize their tastebuds is the historic Québec City. One of the destination’s key landmarks is the iconic Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, an impressive 17th century hotel that dominates the skyline.
Having recently undertaken a multimillion renaissance and renovation project, the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac is a UNESCO World Heritage Site location with an elegant European feel. With a wide range of restaurant options, dining at the hotel is a delight. A real highlight is the new 1608 – Wine and Cheese Bar, which offers one of the largest varieties of top Québec cheeses in Canada, sourced from a unique Cheese Room and coupled with some of the best wines from around the world. Outside the hotel, gourmands can indulge in a variety of traditional Québécois food experiences, from poutine and maple syrup sugar pie, to meatball stew and tourtiere (meat pie).
Head to: Nita Lake Lodge – Whistler
Get ready to head into the mountains or out on the lake to reconnect with Mother Nature before taking sanctuary in the Lodge’s warm and welcoming spa. From relaxing hot stone massages to soothing facials and invigorating body scrubs, the seasoned spa therapists will provide the perfect experience to restore mind, body and soul. The Spa at Nita Lake Lodge also works with sustainably sourced, organic beauty brand ila for a truly natural and chemical-free spa experience.
Take free advantage of the roof-top hot tubs, eucalyptus steam room and beautiful relaxation lounge with every treatment booked to fully complete your relaxation retreat. Plus, there are Loka Yoga sessions, fitness classes and personal training. You can even make use of the naturopathic services including IV vitamin therapy, intramuscular injections, acupuncture and general health consultations.
Head to: Delta Banff Royal Canadian Lodge – Alberta
To get the blood pumping and adrenaline running one weekend, head to the awe-inspiring Banff National Park in Alberta. Whether visiting in the summer or winter, the perfect place to stay is the Delta Banff Royal Canadian Lodge, surrounded by towering pine forests with exceptional mountain views. Located in the Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Delta Banff Royal Canadian Lodge offers a huge range of seasonal activities and excursions nearby.
Adrenaline junkies in particular will be in their element here in the Canadian Rockies. Once the winter ski season is over, when snowmobiles have been ridden and ice glaciers have been explored, thrill seekers can try their hand at white-water rafting on the nearby Kicking Horse River, skydiving from 10,000 ft, caving through the ancient underground world of Grotto Mountain or experiencing the rush of travelling over 50km per hour on a zip-line tour. As Banff National Park is an area of such outstanding natural beauty, Delta Banff Royal Canadian Lodge is the perfect home-from-home to discover all that it has to offer.
Head to: Harbour House – Niagara on the Lake
Couples shouldn’t wait till Valentine’s Day or a special anniversary to reconnect and spend quality time together with so many truly romantic weekend getaway destinations to explore à deux. Although the iconic Niagara Falls attracts thousands of honeymooners each year to experience its majestic waterfall, the nearby Niagara-on-the-Lake with its quaint buildings, charming boutiques and colourful gardens makes it the ideal romantic destination for those looking for a tranquil weekend escape.
One of the top-rated spots for romance is the delightful Harbour House, a charming hotel that feels more like a home-from-home. Enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride through town, a wine-tasting tour and relaxing spa treatments or just make the most of the luxurious Harbour House rooms with Egyptian cotton sheets, Frette robes and whirlpool tubs.
Head to: W Montréal – Montreal
Party animals who are fed up with the same old bars and nightclubs in their own town should head to the undisputed hub for late-night entertainment in Canada, Montreal. With bars and clubs open till 3am and the legal drinking age of just 18, Montreal is top billing on the party scene.
For a weekend of fun, the only place to stay is the W Montréal. This stylish and modern luxury hotel is ideally located in the city centre, perfect for reaching all the city`s hot-spots. Want to party closer to where you rest your head? The W is also home to three of the best cocktail bars and night-spots in the city where guests can party through till dawn before falling into their luxurious room or suite.
Head to: Atlantis Suites – Toronto
As a thriving, metropolitan city, it’s not surprising that Toronto has emerged as a major fashion destination with some of the best luxury, high-street and independent boutiques in the Great White North. Shopaholics can spend days exploring the vast indoor malls including the iconic Eaton Centre, pick up a bargain in the vintage stores on Queen St. West (named by VOGUE magazine in 2014 as one of the world’s hippest shopping districts) or take home a designer item from the Bloor-Yorkville boutiques.
Toronto is home to an abundance of accommodation from high-end hotels to unique home-stays. The luxury self-catering apartments of the Atlantis Suites offer the best of both worlds. Ideally located in Downtown Toronto, these fully furnished apartments really feel like a home-from-home where you can relax after a full day of credit card swiping, enjoy the on-site swimming pool or whip up dinner with fresh ingredients you’ve picked up from nearby St. Lawrence food market.
Head to: Iceberg Properties — Newfoundland
If you love nothing more than to be seaside, the historic fishing village of Twillingate in Newfoundland is a waterside haven. This small town offers the opportunity to escape the tourist crowds while still being one of the best whale-watching sites in the region. Staying here means living like the locals and the Iceberg Properties offer just this experience.
These four beautifully appointed self-catering cottages are available on a nightly or weekly basis, ranging from a charming wooden studio with panoramic ocean views to a spacious two-bedroom cottage with full kitchen and living area just steps from the beach. You’ll be able to spot a huge array of ocean dwelling wildlife including humpback, minke and finback whales, dolphins and seals and a huge array of birdlife including puffins and bald eagles. Twillingate is also home to one of the top hiking trails in Canada thanks to its picture perfect views and spectacular flora and fauna at every turn.
Head to: Albert House Inn – Ottawa
As the capital city, Ottawa should certainly be on everyone’s Canadian staycation wish-list, particularly if you’re a history buff. From its origins as a trading hub for indigenous people to the construction of the Rideau Canal and being chosen as the capital of Canada by Queen Victoria, Ottawa is rich with history.
The charming Albert House Inn, a heritage designated B&B built in 1875, is a historical site itself. Located in the heart of downtown, the inn is within walking distance of the Library Archives Canada, Parliament, the Rideau Canal, the Canadian War Museum and Museum of History. Expect the inn’s heritage ambiance, caring service and extensive breakfast choices to turn you into a regular guest.
Where are your favourite Canadian destinations?
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