Have you heard? Canada is turning 150 this year! To celebrate Canada 150, they are opening up their National Parks for free! Order your free pass here. Pretty sweet, eh?
“The 150th anniversary of Canada, also known as the 150th anniversary of Confederation and promoted by the Canadian government as Canada 150, occurs in 2017 as Canada marks the sesquicentennial anniversary of Canadian Confederation.”
I have been fortunate enough to make several trips to Canada in my lifetime, and I’ve never had a bad time. There are still lots of places I want to visit, like Quebec, Churchill and Novia Scotia. Here are some of my favorite places that I’ve visited in Canada. (Some trips happened before digital photography, so these are scans of printed photos – yes, that used to be a thing!)
Banff & Canadian Rockies
I love ski towns, and Banff was no exception. In 2005, my aunt Donna and I road-tripped from Seattle to the Canadian Rockies and spent 3 days on a horseback trip with Holidays on Horseback, now Banff Trail Riders. We did the Mystic Valley trip and it was so much fun! I would love to go back and do a longer trip with them. The scenery was splendid!
On our way back to Seattle, we also stopped off at Lake Louise, which is Insta-famous due to it’s turqouise blue waters. We took a short canoe trip around the lake. Another place I would love to return, and the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise would be a great place to stay!
I have made a few trips to Vancouver over the years, most recently to celebrate my mom’s 60th birthday. Vancouver might be my favorite city ever – it’s big enough that it has a lot going on, but it’s incredibly clean, green, and easy to navigate. The mountain/ocean/culture trifecta can’t be beat! It is also super pricy, so beware!
I first visited Whistler in 2003 when I was contemplating a move out West. My sister and I drove up for the day (from Vancouver) and I loved it! I love car-free zones, and it seems to be a common feature in Canadian ski towns. Super cute. My ski skills are Midwest Level, so I haven’t sampled the snow here, but it’s supposed to be killer. People were still skiing mid-May on my last visit!
Another ski town! I’m sensing a theme….they’re just so cute! I came here in the fall as a side trip from Montreal. I’ve heard it can get brutally cold here in the winter, but it’s a great add-on to a Montreal visit.
Montreal is a great place for a weekend getaway, just a short flight from Chicago. You can stroll the cobblestone streets of “Old Montreal” and practice your French in the shops and cafes. The botanical garden had a cool exhibit of Japanese lanterns at the time, so we visited at night when everything was lit up. Of course, the fall colors were on full display as well.
Toronto feels like a Candian version of Chicago, so of course I loved it. My BFF and I took a road trip here a week before 9/11 happened. We took our bikes and just roamed around the city. It’s been a while, and I’m much more travel-savvy now, so I’d love to visit again and hit the highlights. (And take photos – I don’t have any from our trip!)
Quetico Provincial Park
Ok, technically I haven’t been to Quetico, but I have paddled the US side, the Boundary Waters, and we did stop off in Canada for a potty break, so it counts. Based on what I saw in the Boundary Waters, I can safely bet that a trip to Quetico would not disappoint!
How will you celebrate Canada 150?