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Must-Do Canada: Your Travel Bucket List for 2019

New year, new you, new adventures! At CanadaStays, we think that 2019 should be the year to explore the Great White North and discover everything this beautiful country has to offer. From record-breaking ziplines to breathtaking northern views and whale watching on the coast, there are enough sights and experiences across the country to fill your Canada travel bucket list for years to come.

In the mood for a year of adventure? Here are our top picks for the the top 10 Canadian experiences to add to your travel bucket list this year.

Kayak Iceberg Alley (Twillingate, NL)

The best time to visit Canada? In Twillingate, it’s May to June to catch the icebergs!

Canada is called the Great White North for a reason — famous for the cold and snow, we’re also home to an impressive amount of Icebergs! The province of Newfoundland and Labrador is an iceberg hotspot, with between 400 to 800 icebergs floating down south each year. Taking a kayaking tour to chase them is an exhilarating, unforgettable and unique Canadian vacation that should be near the top of your 2019 travel bucket list.

Hire a guide and head out on the water to witness this impressive event between May and early June. Be on the watch for caves and rock formations in the icebergs for snap-worthy views, and keep your eyes peeled for animal visitors — whale and bird watching go hand-in-hand with iceberg watching.

If you’re lucky, you might even get to watch an iceberg crack or roll, a delight for the senses, but be sure to stay a safe distance away. One way to witness the beauty of this yearly spectacle without heading out on the water? Rent a charming place near the shore and pack your binoculars — the season is short and accommodations can be very limited, book now for the best pick of cabins!

Explore the shipwrecks in Fathom Five National Marine Park (Tobermory, ON)

 Seeing these sunken wrecks for yourself is one of the best experiences in Canada

Take a trip to Tobermory on the Bruce Penninsula in Ontario and you’ll find the Fathom Five National Marine Park, home to peaceful, protected freshwater ecosystems and over 20 historic sunken shipwrecks. The numerous scuba, snorkelling, and glass-bottom boat tours available let visitors explore the shipwrecks up close make this bucket list entry one of the top must-see places in Canada!

Some of the shipwrecks in the marine park date back to the 19th century, while others are more recent. Whether you’re a novice snorkeler or a diving enthusiast, Fathom Five is a unique, intriguing and truly Canadian experience.

After a day in the water, enjoy the lush local landscapes from the comfort of your own cabin rental in Tobermory!

Drive the Icefields Parkway (Banff, AB)

 Take the day and drive one of the best experiences in Canada

From coast to coast, Canada is a country filled with picturesque landscapes. Even our highways boast beautiful views — which is why the Icefields Parkway should be on your 2019 Canadian travel bucket list! Considered one of the most scenic highways in the world, spending a day exploring the Icefield Parkway means taking in impossibly blue waters, crisp clean air, healthy lush nature, and inspiring mountain views. Nature lovers need this on their bucket list!

The Icefields Parkway takes you through two of Canada’s most famous national parks, so if you’re taking the drive in the winter, be sure to stop for some skiing at Banff National Park — we’ve written a guide to get you started on this slope!

Stops along the way give you the chance to walk a glacier, hike to a roaring waterfall, picnic in peaceful meadows, see local wildlife, and more.If you’re a nature-loving traveller, this is a bucket list idea for summer or winter. Before you hit the road, why not start the trip off in a cozy lodge in Banff?

Catch a wave in Pacific Rim National Park (Tofino, BC)

 Looking for a new must do? Canada’s surf capital awaits

Surfs up in this 2019 Canadian travel bucket list entry! You don’t need to head south to ride the waves — just put Tofino, British Columbia, on your bucket list and head west. With a sandy shoreline that provides a wide variety of swell windows, Canada’s surf capital has the perfect waves to get you started.

You’ll catch the best waves in the winter, but don’t let the weather worry you. Tofino’s swells are a consistent 10°C all year long, and a wetsuit will protect you from the ocean chills. Check out a cabin in Tofino and hang ten!

See the Northern Lights (Whitehorse, YT)

 The aurora borealis makes for a unique Canadian vacation

If you love the enchanting romance of the northern lights, Canada is a great destination for viewing the aurora borealis — particularly between October and March. A trip to Whitehorse in the Yukon to watch this phenomenon with friends or family is a simple bucket list idea that everyone should consider this year!

Open skies, untouched landscapes, and undisturbed nature make the Whitehorse area one of the best places to visit in Canada if you’re looking for the clearest view of the northern lights.

Given that Whitehorse is a land of midnight sun and daytime moonlight, heading up north during the winter offers you the best chance to see the lights multiple times. Rent a cozy cabin or condo in the heart of Whitehorse and take in the lights on your own schedule!

Canoe the sparkling lakes (Muskoka, ON)

 Muskoka is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Canada

If you’re looking for things to do in eastern Canada, the Muskoka region is famous for over 1,600 lakes, with Lakes Joseph, Muskoka, and Rosseau topping out the most-popular lists. Dubbed Canada’s cottage country and considered one of the best places to visit in the country, the Muskoka region is an easy two-hour drive north of Toronto, making it the perfect spot for a weekend getaway from the city.

No visit to Muskoka is complete without time on the lakes. One of the best ways to experience the area’s breathtaking landscape is by canoe, and there are several places to rent a canoe in the region. The sheer number of lakes and rivers means there are paddling spots for everyone from the most to the least experienced, and everything in between. 

As one of the most beautiful places in Canada, the Muskoka region deserves a top spot on your 2019 Canadian travel bucket list. Rent a cottage in Canada’s cottage country and get paddling!

Go whale watching in the Bay of Fundy (St Andrews, NB)

 Whale watching is a great bucket list idea for couples, friends, and families

Looking for some bucket list ideas for the summer? Take the family to Saint Andrews in New Brunswick — the Bay of Fundy is great for whale watching, particularly between the months of June to October.

This is one of the best spots anywhere in the world to see the endangered Northern Right Whale, but that’s not all you’ll see, Humpback Whales and various species of dolphins are also fans of the bay. There are a number of boat tour companies to choose from but they tend to work together to make sure tourists get to the best views. If one boat spots a whale, the others will soon follow. If you visit Saint Andrews during the peak season, you’re sure to spot a marine animal or two.

Stay right in Saint Andrews and explore the Bay of Fundy for an experience that should definitely be on your 2019 bucket list!

Ride the longest zipline in North America (Whistler, BC)

 Whistler’s zipline is one of the best experiences in Canada!

Craving an adrenaline rush? The Sasquatch Zipline is the longest zipline in North America, with over 2 kilometres of high-speed scenic thrills. Whistler is one of the top places to visit in Canada and the perfect choice for a unique vacation that will make the whole family smile — kids as young as 10 can ride.

Starting from Blackcomb Mountain and ending at Whistler Mountain, this zipline provides you with an incredible aerial view of the landscape any time of year. Take in the old-growth rainforest, the Whistler Sliding Centre, and more!

With the Sasquatch Zipline just one of the many adventures to explore in Whistler we have to recommend (don’t miss skiing Whistler/Blackcomb as well) — you’ll love being able to curl up in your own cabin at the end of the day.

Hike the Laurentian Mountains (Mont Tremblant, QC)

 Spending time in the Laurentian Mountains should be at the top of your bucket list for Quebec

Want to see vibrant natural colours you won’t find anywhere else? The Laurentian Mountains should be one of your top bucket list ideas for travel in 2019! One of the oldest and most picturesque mountain ranges in the world, the Laurentians feature numerous trails of varying difficulties for hikes that suit any group.

The Laurentians are truly a year-round destination, so slot this entry onto your bucket list for any season. Heading out in the summer or fall? Hike the Grand Prix des Couleurs and take in colours so rich, you’ll think you’re in a painting. Feeling like a winter trip? Mont-Tremblant is a charming ski spot with fluffy, fresh snow. Spring traveller? The local sugar shacks — or cabanes à sucre in the local vernacular — will be in full swing tapping the delicious maple sap.

Find your own charming cottage in the area and don’t miss this 2019 Canadian travel bucket list must-see!

Bike the Cabot Trail (Cape Breton Island, NS)

Maritime bucket lists need to include the Cabot Trail

Our final suggestion for your 2019 Canadian travel bucket list involves grabbing a bike and hitting the trail on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia! With views so scenic it rivals the Icefields Parkway for the most beautiful road in Canada, the Cabot Trail is one of the world’s most highly rated cycling routes.

This 300 kilometre loop includes some steeper climbs and advanced rides, so this is a trip for anyone who wants to add a challenge to their bucket list. Though the trail is open all year long if you’re looking for the best road and weather conditions to take in all the incredible coastal views and highland scenery, book your trip between June and October.

After long days of biking, you’ll want a cozy cottage to relax in and enjoy the sunsets.

With captivating sights and experiences from coast to coast, Canada is a country we could (and should) spend years exploring — what better time to start than now? Check you travel bucket list, book your perfect rental, and hit the road!