The best places in Canada to visit during winter

December 19, 2016

by Parisima Baha

Canada is the coolest country in the world, making it the perfect destination to head for an authentic winter experience. Here are the top places in Canada you’ll want to check out this winter. [Image credit:]

The best places in Canada to visit during winter

1. Château Montebello

Known as the largest log cabin in the world, Château Montebello is like a scene from a Christmas movie. During the holidays, the massive grounds of this Quebec resort are decorated with festive lights and cheer. Come when there’s snow on the ground, in late January or February, to enjoy outdoor activities like cross-country skiing or dog sledding in the trailed woods. But the resort’s 1930s architecture might have you wanting to stay in, read a book and sip hot cocoa by the lobby’s 20-metre high, six-sided fireplace.

2. Whistler Blackcomb

Craving an adventurous winter getaway? Pack your snow gear and head to Whistler Blackcomb. Located in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, about two hours north of Vancouver, the mountains offer over 8,100 acres of snow-covered slopes for skiing and snowboarding, and a super quaint village for après-ski and evening entertainment. Head to the Coca-Cola Tube Park for over 1,000-feet of sliding adrenaline, or go tobogganing at Olympic Park.

3. Fogo Island

Shhh, you hear that? That’s the sound of peace and quiet. Fogo Island is particularly still during winter, which lasts from November to March. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spent a low-key Easter getaway in 2016 with his wife and kids at this remote Newfoundland and Labrador island. They stayed at the Fogo Island Inn, which is a true architectural masterpiece and was listed by Vogue as one of the top five winter wonderland vacations that are better than the beach. You can enjoy outdoor activities like fishing and seal spotting, or relax in the indoor spa, amongst other things.

4. Mont-Tremblant

Imagine skiing down the mountain with views of an old charming town around you. That’s what Mont Tremblant looks like, located about 80 miles north of Montreal. You can even ski your way into Casino Mont-Tremblant, put on a pair of anti-slip boot covers and conveniently hit one of the 400 slots or 16 gaming tables. After riding the slopes, head to the European-style village to sample some taffy off the snow at Cabane à Sucre.

5. Blue Mountain

Looking to relax this winter? Pack your bathing suits and head to Ontario’s Scandinave Spa in Blue Mountain. Enjoy the cool winter air, surrounded by the natural forest of downtown Collingwood, as you soak in a hot bath, roll in snow and relax in the solariums for a hydrotherapeutic body detox. It’s especially serene at night, when you can watch the skiers coming down the hill, alit by night lights.

6. Banff and Jasper

For an Instagram-worthy view of winter wilderness, visit Banff National Park. Drive on the Icefields Parkway for a scenic view that connects Banff and Jasper national parks. Both parks have their own unique view of the Rocky Mountains and tremendous tourist appeal. Head to Jasper to spot wild animals in their natural habitat, like bighorn sheep, wolves and bears – but be careful to keep your distance. Tip: join a wildlife watching tour like SunDog Tour Co. to ensure you’re in expert hands.

7. Historic Quebec City

Canadians don’t live in igloos, but Quebec City has an ice hotel that’s just as cool. Hôtel de Glace is made entirely of snow and ice, including the furniture. The temperature inside varies between -3°C and -5°C, regardless of how cold it is outside. Overnight, you’ll rest in artic sleeping bags designed to keep you warm in conditions as low as -30°C. There’s also lots of fun winter activities to enjoy in the city, like skating at either Place D’Youville or Village Nordik, where you’ll be surrounded by gorgeous historic architecture.

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