Photo: whistlerblackcomb on Instagram
Whether you have young kids of your own or you’re simply a kid at heart who is coveting those good old playground days, March Break is always a great chance to escape from fast-paced everyday life. It doesn’t really matter if you’re taking your own young family on a getaway or simply taking a few days off from the office- few things can beat the tranquility of a relaxed, late winter break. Unlike the frantic family affair that signifies Christmas and the sweltering temperatures of summer, March Break is typically a low key respite. Following on the heels of the recent Winter Olympics, we may as well keep the Canadian pride going strong and explore the True North this March. From sand and surf (yes! even in the winter) to the last of this season’s snowy hills, there is so much to see and do in Canada’s majestic West Coast. Here are some must-see Canadian vacation destinations for this month, whether you are with the family, with friends or even travelling solo.
Tofino, British Columbia
Contrary to popular belief, you can surf in Canada. Tofino, located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, is where you will find the most spectacular year-round surfing. Known as surfers paradise, the community is a great place to soak up some surf culture. Offering more than just waves, the charming resort town has a variety of accommodations from luxurious beach front rentals to rustic cabins and cozy bed and breakfasts. As the tail-end of Tofino’s storm-watching season, visitors have the chance to sit by the shoreline and witness dramatic 20-foot swells crash along the edge.
Whistler, British Columbia
Would it really be winter without a visit to a ski hill? It’s not too late to make it out to one of Canada’s most popular winter sporting destinations. With over 160 kilometres of trails, skiers and boarders of all levels can glide for days. When it’s time to give the slopes a rest, travelers can chill out in their home away from home – the Whistler Village. A quick stroll along the stone walkway will reveal all of the comforts you need. From shopping to cafes and restaurants, there is always an upbeat energy floating throughout the town’s crisp air.
If you’d like to steer clear of the Whistler crowds, Banff is another winter wonderland escape. With warmer temperatures yet plenty of snow on the slopes, skiing in the Canadian Rockies is often at its best near spring. Whether sticking to the winter classics of snowboarding or tubing or craving a little extra adventure with snowmobiling, dog-sledding or ice-climbing, there is no shortage of activities. When all of the adventure has knocked you out, relax in the mineral rich waters and harness the healing powers of nature at the Banff Upper Hot Springs.
Activities For First-Time Visitors To Montreal
As first time visitors to Quebec’s most popular destination, Montreal, you might be wondering what to see, where to eat, and what to do. Well, we’ve created a list of local-approved activities and destinations for you to get the authentic Montreal experience. Why not brush up on your french while exploring the old city and inhaling french fries drenched in gravy and cheese curds? Check out the list below for some of the best views, foods, and architecture in the French Canadian city.
Visit Mont- Royal
Take a stunning walk up Mont-Royal for beautiful views of downtown Montreal. It’s a great place to catch the sunrise, sunset, and have a photo shoot. Don’t be surprised to find a wedding shoot or hordes of teenagers dressed for prom posing for pictures at the Belvedere Observatory. You won’t find better views of the south bank of Montreal from any other spot in the city.
Eat Classic Montreal Foods
Montreal boasts an impressive number of restaurants. In fact, the French Canadian city is home to more restaurants per capita than NYC. Check out Patiti Patata on 4177 St-Laurent Boulevard for some of the best poutine the city has to offer. Shwartz’s is just a stone’s throw away at 3895 St-Laurent Boulevard and is a go-to for smoked deli meats. Before your visit is over make sure to pop into one of the many bakeries, like Dizz’s Bagels at 6160 Chemin de la Cote-Saint-Luc, for some classic Montreal bagels, the crème de la crème of the city’s cuisine.
The architecture and cobble stone roads on Saint-Paul Street is often said to transport people to the European streets of France. The buzzing atmosphere among restaurants, art galleries, and pubs is a great way to enjoy Montreal for a fair price. However, the old city is known to draw in large crowds, so keep that in mind if you’re planning on dinning at a restaurant nearby.
Tour the Basilique Notre-Dame
This Gothic chapel from the 1830s is absolutely breathtaking and most definitely worth putting on your itinerary. The massive church features colorful stained glass that stand out as true works of art. The tour of the chapel located at 110 Notre-Dame Street West won’t take too much time out of your day and will leave you with a potent memory and a couple photos to return home with as free souvenirs.
Visit the Urban Beach
Montreal’s first urban beach is located at the Old Port. This small escape from the city bustle is the perfect summer destination. Take the day off to sunbathe, catch a bite to eat, or stroll down the boardwalk. Although swimming is not permitted, there is a misting station to cool down from the sun’s heat.
The Four Most Underrated Ontario Museums
Photo: sciencenorth on Instagram
Ontario has some amazing museums for curious minds looking to explore the past and the present. These museums feature magnificent art, ancient artifacts, and interactive exhibits for people of all ages to expand their knowledge and delve into history. Museums are a particularly great activity for rainy summer days, which we seem to have a lot of in Ontario. Sometimes you just need a change of scenery when you’ve been cooped up in the office or the kids need to burn off some steam and a museum is an educational way to do so. If you live in Ontario or are planning a trip in the near future, you’ll definitely want to visit at least one of the four museums listed below.
Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa
The Canada Science and Technology Museum located in Ottawa on 1867 St. Laurent Boulevard is the largest of its kind. The museum, which is open throughout the week from 9 am – 5 pm provides visitors with a first-hand experience of science and technology. The museum aims to show people Canada’s technological transformation from the earliest days of exploration to today. Many of the exhibits feature communication technology, space technology, computers, and both land and water transportation vehicles. Admission costs range from $11-$17. However, for a few extra dollars visitors are granted access to The Art of the Brick by Nathan Sawaya. This exhibit features recreated famous art work such as Van Gogh’s Starry Night through the use of the most recognizable toy in the world, LEGO blocks.
Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto
If you can relate to Carrie Bradshaw’s love for shoes, than this is the museum for you. In fact, the Sex in the City character’s favorite shoe brand currently has an exhibit on display until January 6, 2019 called Manolo Blahnik: The Art of Shoes. The exhibit, which is open to everyone visiting the museum, will allow visitors to see the 45-year evolution of the Spanish fashion house up close. The five-floor award winning structure designed by Raymond Mariyama houses over a thousand shoes ranging from Chinese bound footwear and ancient Egyptian sandals to bedazzled stilettos worn on the red carpet. For $14 you can see over 4,500 years of history at 327 Bloor Street West in Toronto.
Photo: batashoemuseum on Instagram
Canada’s Design Exchange
Canada’s Design Exchange Museum situated in downtown Toronto showcases Canada’s wealthy design heritage. The museum, which is open Wednesday – Sunday with varying hours, is located on 234 Bay Street. The permanent collection features designs from 1945 to current day which demonstrate beauty, innovation, and the historical relevance of Canadian design. Peggy Sue, the winner of the 2017 Emerging Designer Competition currently has her work on display. Stop by to see the exhibits for free or pop in on the last Friday of every month from 12 pm – 1 pm for a tour.
Science North in Sudbury
Sudbury is home to one of the largest science centres in Canada, Science North. The museum located at 100 Ramsey Lake Road features a butterfly gallery, digital planetarium, IMAX theatre, and many other exhibits including an escape room. Currently, Engineering Earth presents a mix of engineering and science for visitors to explore. The exhibit allows visitors to walk through time as they explore replicated mining tunnels throughout the years to see the evolution of mining. General admission tickets range from $18-$50, escape room tickets range from $22.50-25.00, and theatre tickets range from $5.40-$15.00.
Adventurous Vancouver Summer Bucket List
Are you planning a trip to Vancouver this summer? If not, then maybe you should because we’ve created the perfect bucket list filled with must-do summer activities such as flying, kayaking, and bungee jumping all within an hours drive from the Canadian west coast city. Sometimes the heavy traffic, fast pace, and flashing lights of the city become overwhelming. A nature submerged adventure is a great cure for the city blues. These activities are for those who are true adventurers at heart as they offer blood pumping experiences that are sure to leave you physically exhausted but aching for more.
1. Camp on Vancouver Island at Free Spirit Spheres
Although vacation spots such as Bali, Paris, and New York might be cluttering up your Instagram feed, none compare to the stunning tree-houses nestled among the trees on Vancouver Island. Each of the three uniquely handcrafted tree houses comfortably holds 1-3 guests and provides a cozy atmosphere. The giant skylights and sounds of nature truly create a one with the wilderness vibe. Depending on the time of year and which treehouse you choose to stay in the prices ranges from $175.00-$314.00 a night.
2. Go Bungee Jumping and Tree Top Trekking in Whistler
Bungee jumping is voted by Whistler locals as one of the most extreme activities in the area and is guaranteed to provide thrill seekers with an unforgettable adrenaline rush. The 160ft. fall over Cheakamus River is breathtaking and only a one-hour drive from West Vancouver. Whistler Bungee allows you to jump solo, tandem, or in a wheelchair year round (weather permitted) for the price of $140.00 per person. There are also memberships and group rates available.
If you prefer climbing to jumping, embrace your inner Tarzan at The Adventure Group’s treetop trekking adventure in Whistler. The courses, which offer over 70 elements ranging from mild to wild, are great for kids, friends, and families. There’s no need to worry about safety because everyone gets harnessed in and given helmets. This fun aerial course starts at $39.00 a head for the kids course and goes all the way up to $339.00 a person for an adult personalized adventure.
3. Fly in a Seaplane
Get an aerial view of the stunning Vancouver Islands in a Harbour Air Seaplane. Choose to fly between Vancouver and Nanaimo or Victoria for a fee ranging from $59-$99. There’s no better way to view British Columbia’s beautiful west coast then from among the birds in the sky. The water landing adds an invigorating end to a jaw-dropping experience.
4. Kayak Around Deep Cove and Hike Quarry Rock
North Vancouver provides a slice of nature only minutes from the city. The escape from the hustle and bustle can be a welcome de-stress from work life. Deep Cove Kayak offers boat rentals for kayaks, paddle boards, surf-skis, and canoes. Prices, which vary based on hourly rates, range from $39-$189. You can also book an instructor-led lesson in a Dragon Boat for the ultimate Deep Cove Olympic experience.
5. Join a drum circle on Galiano Island
Galiano is the magical Gulf Island closest to Vancouver and is home to rocky cliffs, ancient forests, pebbled beaches, and gorgeous scenery. Take part in water-sports, whale watching, art shows, or even join a drum circle.
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