35 Most Beautiful Destinations in Canada

Certain Canadian cities get all the glory. We’re looking at you, Vancouver and Calgary, with your sparkling cityscapes and lush emerald tree lines. Meanwhile, some of the most beautiful destinations don’t get any credit. Like Beyoncé’s backup dancers, these pretty places in Canada are just as fantastic as vacation headliners—but rarely get acknowledged. We searched for places that pack a major visual punch with unique charm, postcard-worthy scenery, and breathtaking landscapes.

We always did love an underdog (Rudy! Rudy!). So, in no particular order, here are 35 of the most beautiful destinations in Canada.

  1. Lunenburg, NS

    Photo via Chris Shervey Via Flickr/Chris Shervey This port town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Yeah, that’s a big deal. By day, the crayon-coloured houses along the water will make you smile, and by night you’ll watch lights bounce off the water like shooting stars. Art galleries are plentiful, so take home a canvas.
  2. Squamish, BC

    Squamish British Columbia
    The fact that Squamish has a “sea to sky gondola” says it all. They have huge views and you can’t deny. Sage-coloured mountain sides and shiny water meets azure sky to create picturesque panoramas. Hike to a peak on the Stawamus Chief and take it all in.

  3. Gaspe, QC

    Gaspe, Quebec
    Red rocks carve their way into blue water and green cliffs tower over coastal roadways. It’s easy to see why Gaspe has people gasping. Mid-sea, ombre stones emerge out of the water and beg you to come over via kayak. Yes, this place has beautiful down pat.

  4. Peggy’s Cove, NS

    Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia
    Just a quick peek at St. Margaret’s Bay and you’ll turn your phone on airplane mode. Peggy’s Cove is a place where you’re more interested in counting boats than emails. Grab a lawn chair and sit with your toes facing the glittering open water, or take a twilight walk past the Peggy’s Point Lighthouse.

  5. Waterton, AB

    Waterton Lakes National Park
    From the bright red Prince of Wales hotel perched on a perfectly manicured hillside to the unspoiled waterfalls nearby, Waterton is a post card come to life. The Rocky Mountains in Waterton Lakes National Park are as surreal as they are humongous. You’ll expect a cartoon princess to skip past as birds fold her laundry nearby—it may not happen, but you can dream.

  6. Whistler, BC

    Whistler
    Whistler while you work, erm, play. By winter, you’ll be shredding the slopes and by summer snapping pictures of powerful waterfalls. With so many hotels near Whistler and a charming downtown, you won’t want to leave (don’t say we didn’t warn you).

  7. Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

    Niagara on the Lake
    Niagara-on-the-Lake sits where the Niagara River blends into Lake Ontario. We say it’s also the crossroads of quaint and regal. Bright garden blooms greet you in warmer weather and vines dangle down the side of Victorian architecture. Then, when the leaves change colours…just, wow.

  8. Victoria, BC

    Victoria, British Columbia
    Victoria beaches and lakes are all the rage. The sandy terrain at Esquimalt Lagoon or China Beach is as popular as a snow cone cart in the middle of the desert. Everybody wants a piece. Fortunately, there is plenty of sand to go around in Victoria and more than enough beautiful architecture to complement the striking natural landscape.

  9. Collingwood, ON

    Collingwood, Ontario
    Collingwood is proud of its hospitality, but its views of Georgian Bay are nothing to sneeze at. In town, the brick clock tower and tree-lined streets are perfect for a leisurely stroll.

  10. Mont-Tremblant, QC

    Mont Tremblant Village
    With the Laurentian Mountains serving as a backdrop and Lake Tremblant within its boundaries, Mont-Tremblant is practically out of a fairy tale. Red and green roofs just add to the charm, and a walk beneath the trees on one of the many local hiking trails will ease any worry you woke up with.

  11. Grand Falls, NB

    Stand before the rolling waterfalls with a cliffside at your back, and see if you don’t think “Wow, this is beautiful.” You’re welcome.

  12. Paris, ON

    Eiffel Tower, Shmeiffel Tower. This Paris calls itself the “Prettiest Little Town in Canada.” Walk through Downtown Paris where the Grand and Nith Rivers meet, and allow yourself to be tempted toward the stunning woodland scenery just a short walk away. Just leave a trail of bread crumbs so you’ll find your way home.

  13. Kelowna, BC

    Rows of vineyard grapes give way to crystal blue water. Overhead, a purple sunset whispers across the sky. No, that’s not from the back of a romance novel. That’s just what it looks like in Kelowna.

  14. Sherbrooke, QC

    What will you do first? Walk past the rushing waterfalls of the Magog River Gorge or breathe in some fresh oxygen beneath the leafy greens of Bois-Beckett Park? Much like choosing a doughy confection at Tim Hortons, you can’t go wrong. Sherbrooke offers natural serenity and beauty in equal measure, so leave your worries at home and enjoy a tour of the purple Bleu Lavande fields.

  15. Edmonton, AB

    Despite being a capital city and having a sizeable concrete jungle, Edmonton is still as beautiful as lots of mountain towns. Hop in a chopper and take an aerial trip above the green Alberta landscape, or drive 35 km east to Elk Island National Park. Stay up late and throw on some mittens during winter; the Northern Lights are on full display.

  16. Halifax, NS

    The public gardens in Halifax will inspire your green thumb, while the gentle waves created by boats off shore mesmerize you while you’re standing at the coast. Take in the natural coastline from Duncan’s Cove Trail, which winds through valleys and coves and gives a view of nearby dolphins.

  17. Canmore, AB

    Canmore is a quintessential mountain town. Towering mountain peaks reach for the sky in the distance, and a friendly main street serves as the chief thoroughfare. Book a stay at one of the coziest Banff hotels, and the fresh mountain air and glimmering lake water of the entire region is your oyster.

  18. Fredericton, NB

    Flourishing leaves and brick facades make up much of this city’s scenery. The capital of New Brunswick, Fredericton is also on the Saint John River, so you can soak up water views before you marvel at the Georgian homes in the city.

  19. Port Hope, ON

    The Ganarska River runs right through Port Hope, which was a boomtown once upon a time. These days, the streets are no longer crowded with carriages. Instead, the draws include changing leaves and ducklings swimming under local bridges.

  20. Goderich, ON

    Goderich is surrounded by wide open spaces. As the Dixie Chicks would say, you have room to make your big mistakes (though a relaxing trip to Goderich won’t be one of them). Go fishing in Lake Huron, traipse across local tree-lined trails, and visit the courthouse in the centre of the uniquely octagonal town square.

  21. Trinity, NL

    The barn red buildings and crisp white porches in Trinity are reminiscent of the English countryside. Look just past them toward the sea, and rocky cliffs add a touch of brooding ambiance here—in a good way.

  22. Victoria-by-the-Sea, PEI

    A picturesque lighthouse stands watch over Victoria-by-the-Sea, which is on the south side of the island. Meanwhile, quaint chocolate shops and boat launches help comprise the cultural landscape here.

  23. Cranberry Portage, MB

    Stately pine trees and the dazzling water of the East Arm set the stage for a relaxing vacation in Cranberry Portage. Once an important location on the trade route with Cree and Assiniboine First Nation people, the community has erected the world’s largest tipi and hosts aboriginal art events.

  24. Tobermory, ON

    Bright row buildings along the coast will remind you of Amsterdam while sparkling clear water is reminiscent of the Caribbean. But you’re neither in the Netherlands nor on an island, you’re in Tobermory. Pull up a candy-coloured lawn chair and enjoy the view.

  25. Gimli, MB

    Book yourself a waterfront room near the shores of Lake Winnipeg, and pay a quick visit to the Gimli Viking statue. Beyond that, the only thing on your daytime itinerary will be grabbing a patch of sand and gazing out at the lake. Watch a spectacular multi-colour sunset over the water, and you’ll see why Gimli is the perfect place to unwind.

  26. Ottawa, ON

    Parliament’s Peace Tower touches the clouds in Ottawa’s skyline, and spectacular Victorian buildings dot the landscape. The majesty of the city permeates the air, while the serenity and sparkle of the Ottawa River is never far. Yes, it’s a beautiful place, indeed. Visit in 2017, and you can celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary in the capital city.

  27. Wolfville, NS

    Colour abounds in Wolfville. From green fields to orange cliffs to red strawberries—it’s like you walked into an artist’s canvas. And, hey, if you happen to suck down a fuchsia cocktail while you’re in town, we won’t judge.

  28. Mahone Bay, NS

    The water of Mahone Bay is blue, but the playful buildings nearby are turquoise and pink, among other shades. A skyline filled with church steeples and flourishing trees create a peaceful and welcoming ambiance.

  29. Fort Smith, NT

    During the day, Fort Smith might look like just another quaint Canadian town. But much like Superman spinning around in a phone booth, when the sun goes down Fort Smith has something magnificent up its sleeve. Between August and March, just look up to spot some of the best views of the Northern Lights in the world.

    Oh, and you say you like wood bison? Wood Buffalo National Park, the largest dark sky preserve in the world and the largest national park in Canada, is full of the (cute) hairy beasts.

  30. Bowen Island, BC

    Just a 20-minute ferry ride from many Vancouver hotels, Bowen Island is the stuff adventurers’ dreams are made of. You can hike Mount Gardner to get a panoramic view of the scenic surrounds, or go on a peaceful kayak trip from one of the island’s four beaches.

  31. Peachland, BC

    Imagine sitting on the end of a dock, your toes dangling in the water, the faint sound of leaves in the wind in the distance. Combine your fantasy with breathtaking mountain views and easy access to hundreds of wineries and breweries—and you’re practically in Peachland already.

  32. Placentia, NL

    Castle Hill, Placentia’s National Historic Site, provides an amazing vantage point. From just beside the landmark’s cannon, the best of land and sea come into perfect view. A sunset walk along the coast isn’t half-bad, either.

  33. Charlottetown, PEI

    By land, Charlottetown is a historic treasure. Walk by the charming brick homes on Victoria Row to see what we mean. By water, the city’s green gardens and rocky shores have a beauty all their own. You may just pull an Anne of Green Gables and move to PEI.

  34. Kingston, ON

    Town hall stands tall and proud above Ontario’s oldest city, and the Frontenac Arch Biosphere in Kingston is the only UNESCO Heritage Site in the province. So, yes, you can have a FAB time here. Stunning stone buildings and epic views of Lake Ontario round out the beauty of the Limestone City.

  35. St. Andrews, NB

    The setting of St. Andrews-by-the-Sea is the stuff rom-coms are made off. Is that a Drew Barrymore character boggling a relationship in the distance? A sprawling green golf course and saltwater cove will lure you to town, and the lobster rolls at seaside restaurants will make you stay.

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About Author

Lara Vukelich

Lara is a writer, runner, and advocate of all things chocolate. When she isn’t binge-watching a new Netflix series or exploring the world, she’s trying to convince you to get out beyond your own backyard. Her favourite place to be is a quiet corner of London’s Hyde Park, but she would (and has) also considered herself happy while eating her weight in Roman pasta and hiking the forests of Greece.

11 Comments

  1. I certainly agree with Grand Falls. It has one of the most beautiful streets too. Broadway Blvd. Gimli Manitoba is also a very pretty place…as mentioned in the post.

    Reply
  2. How could you miss Cape Breton? The Cabot Trail has been called the second most scenic drive in the world and the island itself one of the world’s must-see islands. This is not my opinion. This is widely recognized fact. I’m not upset; it just makes it look like you don’t know your subject area.

    Reply
    • The sun does set behind you, but the pastel colours of the huge lake and sky that are a result of the back light, are unlike anything you’ll see anywhere in Canada. It is like being inside a surreal painting. Truly incredible sunsets!

      Reply
  3. The article preamble lessor known visiting cities in Canada. Yet, 75% of the list are tourist attractions in their own right, and have been for quite some time. Peggy’s Cove? Kelowna? Peachland? Victoria? Niagra? Whistler?
    I don’t get it.

    Reply
  4. Great list. One tiny error. You can’t watch a sunset in Gimli, Manitoba. It’s located on the western shore of Lake Winnipeg. Sunrises, on the other hand, are spectacular.

    Reply

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