Dreaming of Canada? We got the perfect Canada Bucket list Challenge for you to get started!
We have included the top things that you must do and experience in Canada during your trip. There are some easy to do items, and some breathtaking experiences that you can only experience in C-A-N-A-D-A-H!
Canada Bucket List Challenge: How many have you checked off?
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Escape to the Canadian Rockies
A visit to the Canadian Rockies is a MUST add to your bucket list. The Canadian Rockies mountain range spans the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. Road trip from Calgary to Banff or go all the way to the Yoho National Park in British Columbia.
Go camping, or stay in a luxury hotel with a hot tub and pools – the Rockies has it all.
Lake Louise in summer or winter
In the Canadian Rockies, you cannot miss Lake Louise. Located in Banff National Park in Alberta and the lake is known for its turquoise, glacier-fed lake ringed by high peaks and overlooked by a stately chateau.
Lake Lousie is a delight in the summer – perfect for canoeing, walking, or hiking.
Hiking trails wind up to the Lake Agnes Tea House for bird’s-eye views.
During winters, opt for a romantic staycation at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. There is a skating rink on the frozen lake in winter, including sleigh rides.
The Lake Louise Ski Resort is open in winters, and it features a wildlife interpretive center at the top of a gondola. Get the list of stunning lakes in Canada
Go on a scenic drive on Icefield Parkway
The Icefields Parkway is one of the stunning mountain roads in Canada. It runs through the heart of Banff and Jasper. It is about 230 kilometers long and takes 3 hours – one way to complete the drive.
It serves as a connection between Lake Louise and the town of Jasper and welcomes you with stunning views of the Canadian Rockies.
Visit the Waterton Lakes National Park
The beautiful Waterton Lakes National Park is not to be missed in Alberta. You can visit the park on a day trip from Calgary but plan to spend at least 2-4 days enjoying its natural setting.
There are a lot of hiking trails for all difficulty levels. You can also bike and cruise on the lakes.
The iconic Prince of Wales Hotel is located at the townsite of Waterton, and we recommended paying a visit to the historic site for a stay or afternoon tea.
Did you know that Waterton has a UNESCO distinction? Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park was designated as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1995 due to its unique climate, physiographic setting, mountain-prairie interface, and oceans!
See the “World’s Largest Dinosaur” in Drumheller
Located near Calgary is the dinosaur town of Drumheller. The town is home to the world-class Royal Tyrrell Museum, which showcases the world of dinosaurs. It is quite popular with children and visitors of all ages.
Access to the museum is by entry. The museum has the world’s largest displays of dinosaurs and it is Canada’s only museum dedicated exclusively to paleontology.
In Drumheller, you will also find the world’s largest dinosaur statue and take epic photos.
In and around Drumheller, you can also go hiking, camping, and even check out the ghost towns and bridges.
Discover the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies
Jasper National Park is the largest park in the Rockies, and it is often overlooked by tourists visiting Banff from Calgary, but we highly recommend adding it to your Canada bucket list.
The park extends over 11,000 square kilometres – has tons of hiking trails, camping sites and canyons, and lakes waiting for you to discover.
Visit the Pyramid or Patricia lakes – both are open all year round and are particularly stunning in the winters. You can go snowshoeing, skiing, and winter hiking.
If you love skiing, then head to Marmot Ski Resort – they welcome visitors of all ski levels and are open from late November to March (sometimes early weeks of April too).
Jasper is a Dark Sky Preserve, and in the months of October to early spring, you can also chase northern lights in the national park.
Shop at the country’s largest mall
Edmonton is the capital city of the Canadian province of Alberta. If you love shopping and retail therapy, head to the West Edmonton Mall. It is home to over 800 stores, a Waterpark, Fantasyland Hotel, and 100’s of dining options and attractions!
We dare you to find a parking spot on Boxing Day – December 26th, in the world’s largest parking lot with more than 20,000 spaces, and over 10,000 overflow spaces.
Visit Ice Castles Festival in winter
Edmonton makes way for ice castles in winter. Thanks to the icy cold winters this is one of the reasons to head to the capital city of Alberta.
The event is open for visitors from late December to February, depending on the weather conditions. It is set up at Hawrelak Park in the city, and there are parking spaces available on-site. Entry applies to the visit.
Although you can visit the site at any time of the day, we highly recommend visiting it in the evening as the castle lights are turned on.
Go glamping in Alberta
Alberta is home to the Rocky Mountains, and one of the Canadian bucket list items is to see and sleep in a traditional tipi. A tipi is a tent, traditionally made of animal skins upon wooden poles.
Sundance Lodges rents twelve hand-painted Sioux canvas tipis in a private hideaway on the Kananaskis River, with breathtaking views. Each tipi features wood-frame beds with foam mattresses, and comfort amenities like kerosene heaters, lanterns, and a permanent wooden floor.
Stay for the weekend or a romantic luxury vacation!
Calgary Stampede – the annual rodeo festival
Go rodeo! An annual festival filled with exhibitions and festivals, the Calgary Stampede is a crowd puller to the city in the summer. Held every year in July, lasting 10 days. The festival celebrates western heritage and values that imbibe in a Rodeo.
When Calgary Stampede is not swinging, the venue serves as a community place and a world-class conference/hosting location.
Sunset tour & star gazing Elk Island National Park
Elk Island National Park is located less than an hour away from Edmonton. During summers – from June to August – there are sunset tours conducted inside the national park by Haskin Canoe, which is SO SO amazing.
You can enjoy the wonderful Lake Astotin, and learn about the park’s history. The national park is also a dark sky preserve area, meaning it is a star gazer’s paradise. Stargazing and northern lights sightseeing are best experienced in September – October here.
Read: Most stunning national parks list in Canada
Take the scenic train ride from Vancouver to Banff
The Canadian Rockies are majestic, and experiencing it from a glass enclosed train is uber romantic and makes for a priceless memory from Canada.
The Rocky Mountaineer offers a two-day luxury train journey through the Rocky Mountains from Vancouver to Banff National Park Alberta.
The First Passage to the West route starts in Vancouver, Kamloops, and stops in Banff. You can experience 2 nights onboard the train with meals, and one hotel stay in Kamloops.
Hike the West Coast Trail in British Columbia
The 75-kilometre trail from Vancouver Island’s Pachena Bay to Gordon River near Port Renfrew is a hiking bucket list item for many aspiring travelers to Canada.
The West Coast trail is a physical challenge, but it welcomes you with unmatched beauty and gorgeous scenery. The trail has boardwalks, wooden ladders, sandy beaches, and the mesmerizing Tsusiat Falls.
Keep in mind, that the area is rugged and needs a lot of attention and care while exploring!
Explore the Stanley Park Seawall
One of the bucket list items to do in Vancouver is to explore the 10-km or 13,123-step seawall loop around Stanley Park. It is Vancouver’s most popular fresh-air attraction.
The beautiful area of Stanley Park is a stunning urban green space. So when in Vancouver head to the Park and walk or bike the paved route that loops around the park.
Glamping on Vancouver Island
Canada allows you to explore and soak in nature in luxury. Like the Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, for example. It is located on Vancouver Island and it gives camping in Canada a serious showstopper look.
Here you can upgrade your tent to a king, or queen-sized bed, en suite bathrooms with heated floors, antique dressers, heirloom china, thermostat-controlled heating, chef-created cuisine, complimentary wireless internet access, and more.
Clayoquot Wilderness Resort pampers guests with warm hospitality for couples, families, or groups!
Explore the capital city of BC – Victoria
Add the capital city of Victoria to your Canadian bucket list. Filled with gems from the British colonial past from Victorian architecture, castle-like the Craigdarroch mansion to the Fairmont Empress, Victoria is a must-visit.
With a stunning waterfront and tons of sightseeing options from ferries and cruises to helicopter rides, your visit to Victoria will be extra special.
You can also go whale watching from Victoria!
See 55 acres of floral display at the Butchart Gardens
Located close to Victoria are the gorgeous 55 acres of floral displays and gardens and fountains at the Butchart Gardens. This is a must-add to your Victoria itinerary. Plan on spending at least 4 hours exploring the views and gardens.
You will find options for photography, afternoon tea, and picnics on a nice warm day!
Explore the oldest Chinatown in Canada
Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia is home to the oldest Chinatown in Canada (and the second oldest in North America).
The history, culture, and traditions seen in Chinatown are testimony to the work of the Chinese immigrants who moved here more than 150 years ago.
Today it is one of the must-visit places in Victoria, where you can find authentic food, and even walk the narrowest alley at the Fan Tan Alley.
Visit the beautiful Emerald Lake at the Yoho National Park
Yoho National Park is located in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, in southeastern British Columbia. The park is adjacent to Banff National Park and Kootenay National Park. Yoho National Park is known for its waterfalls, glaciers, and alpine scenery.
The park was established in 1886 and is named for the Cree word for “awe and wonder”. Yoho National Park is a popular tourist destination, the Emerald Lake is one of the crowd pullers.
Yoho National Park is home to several notable attractions, including the Burgess Shale fossil beds, which contain some of the oldest and most well-preserved fossils in the world.
The park is also home to the Natural Bridge, a natural limestone arch, and Takakkaw Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in Canada.
If you’re looking for an unforgettable outdoor experience, be sure to add Yoho National Park to your list!
Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort
If you love winter sports, you have to add a visit to the Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort to enjoy winter at its best!
Whistler Blackcomb is a ski resort in British Columbia, and it is the largest ski resort in North America and has the greatest uphill lift capacity.
The resort boasts Peak 2 Peak Gondola for moving between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains at the top.
It has over 8,100 acres of snow-covered slopes, 16 alpine bowls, 3 glaciers, world-class terrain parks, and 200+ marked trails.
With an unbeatable après-ski scene, amazing accommodation, and resort stays, your winter adventure escape in Canada is guaranteed to be full of fun!
Play with Polar Bears in Churchill
Churchill in Manitoba is the number 1 spot to see polar bears in entire North America.
It is a good idea to opt for an intimate bear tour with a guide, who will take you to the best spot and keep you safe! The best time to spot the bears in their natural environment is October through November.
Visit the Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg
Even wondered where coins are minted? Well in Canada you can visit the Royal Canadian Mint, located in the capital city of Manitoba – Winnipeg, and learn all about it.
The Mint staff will take you around the facility, and show you the entire process of minting coins. The facility mints over 55 billion coins for more than 75 countries around the world.
If you are a coin collector, don’t forget to drop by the souvenir shop for some rare collectibles to bring back home. (Ottawa is home to the second Royal Canadian Mint facility).
Celebrate the largest Icelandic festival (outside of Iceland)
Islendingadagurinn is the largest festival celebrating Icelandic culture and heritage – outside of Iceland. It is celebrated in Gimli every August long weekend. Gimli is located about 90 minutes away from Winnipeg.
The event is marked by parades, Icelandic exhibits and displays, food, and more.
It is one of the oldest continuous ethnic festivals in North America, and we highly recommend joining the celebrations when you are in Manitoba!
Go whale watching in the Bay of Fundy
A great way to enjoy summers in the Maritimes is to head to Saint Andrew’s in New Brunswick, particularly to the Bay of Fundy.
It is great for whale watching with the family, during the summer months from June to October. Often regarded as the best spot in the world to see the endangered Northern Right Whale, you will also sight various species of dolphins and Humpback Whales.
Opt for a boat tour to get a guided experience. There are a number of boat tour companies to choose from to ensure you get the best views.
NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR
Kayak with icebergs in Newfoundland
If you love adventure travel and LOVE winters, add kayaking with icebergs to your Canada bucket list. The Iceberg Alley is a section of coastline that stretches from Labrador to the southeast coast of the island of Newfoundland.
Most popular places to spot icebergs from the shore or on tour boats include – Twillingate, Fogo Island, St. Lewis, Battle Harbour, Red Bay, Point Amour, St. Anthony, La Scie, Change Islands, Bonavista, St. John’s / Cape Spear, and Bay Bulls / Witless Bay.
All of these locations are accessible by road.
Battle Harbour in Labrador
Battle Harbour is the premier tourist destination in Labrador. This abandoned island has been preserved as a National Historic Site, and the renovated houses reflect an eerie reminder of Canada’s dependence on industry and natural resources.
The permanent settlement of the town began to leave due to reductions in the cod fishery in the 1930s.
Today it functions as a fantastic summer fishing spot.
Check out the Gros Morne National Park
Gros Morne National Park is a world-famous UNESCO heritage site and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Newfoundland. The park is home to some of the most stunning scenery in Canada, with its towering mountains, pristine lakes, and picturesque coastline.
Its UNESCO status is due to the fact that the “park showcases a rare example of the process of continental drift, where deep ocean crust and the rocks of the earth’s mantle lie exposed.”
Today, you can enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, and other outdoor activities in the park. There are also several gorgeous sites and unique ones too from Ten Mile Pond gorge to a fjord-like Western Brook Pond, and desert-like area – Tablelands.
Chase Northern Lights in Northwest Territories
There are a few spots to sight the Northern Lights in Canada, but the Northwest Territories without a doubt, is the place you should be!
If you have never seen the green dancing lights, head to Yellowknife join the aurora borealis tour, and check it off your bucket list. Yellowknife is the capital city of Canada’s Northwest Territories, and it sits under the northern auroral oval, which makes it an ideal location for catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
Bike the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island
One of our must-do items on the Canadian travel bucket list is to head to the trail on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia and explore on a bike!
This 300-kilometer loop includes some steeper climbs and rides, so this is perfect for those who love adventure!
The biking trail is open all year long. However, for the best road and weather conditions opt for a trip between June and October to soak in those mesmerizing views.
With such wonderful views, it rivals the Icefields Parkway for the most beautiful road in Canada, the Cabot Trail is also one of the world’s most highly rated cycling routes.
Joggins Fossil Cliffs
Joggins Fossil Cliffs located in Nova Scotia exposes one of the most inspirational creations in the world. The fossil cliffs, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are filled with remnants of the ‘Coal Age’ from over 100 million years before the dinosaurs.
Located in the province of Nunavut, Baffin Island is the largest island in Canada and the fifth largest in the world. The island is totally undisturbed by time and is beautifully enveloped by icy Arctic waters.
Travelers can experience Baffin Island from 35,000 feet above while transiting between Canada and Europe, as well as the cruise ships.
The best way to explore the Islands is via a cruise, where you can take in the views of icebergs, snaking glaciers, and untouched tundra.
Learn about Inuit Culture
For a complete Canadian bucket list experience, a glimpse into the aboriginal cultures is important.
Inuit culture primarily refers to aboriginal people who make their homes in the Arctic and subarctic regions of Siberia and North America. They live and survive in extreme climatic conditions; and use essential skills for survival like hunting and trapping.
In Nunavut, go to Iqaluit for experiencing Inuit culture, and traditional arts, and partake in their festivals.
Niagara Falls Ontario
One of the most iconic images of Canada is the stunning and gushing Niagara Falls. The Niagara Falls are perfect for a day trip from Toronto, it is also a great romantic getaway option.
The falls are linked with the U.S. by the Rainbow Bridge, which can be seen from various viewpoints. At the Niagara Falls, there are elevators that take visitors to a lower, wetter vantage point behind the falls (similar to the Maid of the Mist).
You can walk the beautiful promenade or dine at 520-ft.-high Skylon Tower. The tower also has an observation deck, which offers stunning views of the waterfalls and light shows.
Go edge walking at the CN Tower
The CN Tower graces the Toronto skyline. It has been luring visitors for years, with its glass floor lookout and city views from its observation deck.
Built to serve as a telecommunications tower, it also has a revolving restaurant that makes dining for special occasions even more special!
You can make your trip to Toronto and Canada even more memorable, by walking outside the restaurant to the Tower’s rim.
In the CN Tower EdgeWalk experience, for $195 CAD you are guided and provided with a special “walk suit” and harnesses to enjoy stunning city views, from the tower’s exterior!
Skate at the largest ice rink in the world
Are you surprised that the world’s largest ice rink is in Canada? Yo, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Rideau Canal in Ottawa is the largest ice skating rink in the world.
The stunning frozen canal is like accessing 90 Olympic-sized skating rinks, with stunning sights of the Parliament building and chalets in the backdrop. Don’t forget to warm up with hot cocoa and BeaverTail sugar drops!
Add this to your Canada bucket list today!
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
Walk the Confederation Trail on Prince Edward Island or Cycle tip to tip
Located in the Canadian province of PEI – Prince Edward Island, the Confederation Trail is a 470 kilometre recreational rail-trail system, which was developed following the abandonment of all railway lines in the province by the Canadian National Railway.
This trail is a shared-use walking and cycling trail in the summer and a snowmobile trail in the winter. All along the way, you will be welcomed by stunning rolling hill scenery, quaint villages, and beautiful bay seascapes.
Many local tour operators offer luggage-transfer services and bike rentals to the area. Get the trail information from PEI Tourism here
Green Gables house
Located in Cavendish is the famous Green Gables house. The house was glamorized and popularized by the best-seller book – Ann of Green Gables – by Lucy Maud Montgomery.
The author, Montgomery actually never lived in the house but based her epic 1908 tale around it. This site attracts tourists from all over the world.
Visit the colorful city of Charlottetown
Charlottetown is the capital and largest city of the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, and the county seat of Queens County.
Named after Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, queen consort of the United Kingdom, Charlottetown was originally an agricultural settlement that became a strategic colonial port and a major commercial center for the maritime provinces.
Charlottetown’s history dates back to the 1700s when it was just a small agricultural settlement. In 1764, the British government made Charlottetown the capital of St. John’s Island (now Prince Edward Island) and it became an important port city for the Maritime provinces.
Today, Charlottetown is a vibrant and bustling city in PEI. The city is home to the University of Prince Edward Island, the Confederation Centre of the Arts, and many historical landmarks including quaint shops, and charming restaurants.
Try out Poutine
Poutine is a dish made of french fries and cheese curds topped with brown gravy. Sounds delicious right?
The dish originated in the Canadian province of Quebec, and is probably one of the best places to try out poutine in Canada.
Our top picks: Au Pied de Cochon – Montréal, Quebec; Fritz European Fry House – Vancouver, British Columbia.
You can find poutine in most cities and restaurants in Canada. Eat it for lunch, brunch, snacks, dinner, or even breakfast -just do it!
Stay or stare at the most photographed hotel in the world
Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac is the most photographed hotel in the world! It is located in Québec City, next to the federal government land of archeological site Chateau St.
It was built by the Canadian Pacific Railways Company. They also built many castles and chateau-like hotels in the country in various provinces. This particular hotel was first opened in 1893 and has 18 floors, with 611 rooms, with a vintage and a royal-like ambiance.
The hotel is managed by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts today.
Stay at the Ice Hotel near Quebec City
Fancy staying in an Ice Hotel? Head to Quebec City, and book a room at the Hôtel de Glace. It is the only kind of hotel in the whole of North America.
The Ice Hotel comes up with unique themes each winter, and they will surely take your breath away. From ice artwork to winter wonders, the hotel will leave you awestruck and wanting more!
Rooms/suites for one, start at $350 CAD. Hôtel de glace is about 20 minutes drive from Quebec City.
Visit a living history museum
If you love history, you will love venturing into the world of living museums. There are many in the country, but Saskatchewan takes it up a notch!
The Western Development Museum is a network of 4 museums, which showcases historic details about Canada’s social and economic development in the Prairie province of Saskatchewan.
Visit all 4 WDM museums – located in Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, North Battleford, and Yorkton.
Explore the largest sand dunes in Canada
Athabasca Sand Dunes Provincial Park is a provincial park located in northern Saskatchewan, Canada. The park is situated in the aspen parkland biome on the south side of the Athabasca River.
It is the largest protected area of dunes in Canada and is home to a variety of plants (including many rare and endemic) and animal species.
The sand dunes were formed over 10,000 years ago and are still slowly moving today. The park is a popular destination for hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing.
Located in the wilderness, getting there is also an adventure in itself! You can book an organized tour with Saskatcewna Tourism or charter a plane from Alberta.
The Athabasca Sand Dunes are a popular destination for hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing. There are several trails that wind through the dunes and offer views of the river and surrounding landscape. You can also go canoeing in the dunes.
So, if you are looking for an adventure, Athabasca Sand Dunes Provincial Park is the perfect place to explore. With its unique landscapes, diverse wildlife, and endless possibilities for recreation, the park is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.
Watch a game of Ice Hockey
Canadians LOVE hockey, it is our national sport. If you love sports, join us and watch a game of ice hockey (or hockey) in one of the popular arenas across Canada
- The Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec
- BMO Field, Toronto, Ontario
- Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta
- Mosaic Stadium, Regina, Saskatchewan
- Tim Hortons Field, Hamilton, Ontario
Embark on road trips
Canada is an amazing destination to embark on road trips. It is one of our favorite ways to explore the country (road-tripping from cities, towns, and parks). Learn how to plan a Canada road trip yourself.
Stop by Tim Hortons
Our MOST loved, found, and seen-everywhere coffee shop – Tim Hortons. It is a fast-food restaurant chain run by franchisees in various places, all across the country.
Tim Hortons specializes in coffee, doughnuts, and other fast food items. A coffee double double (coffee with 2 cream and 2 sugar = double double) is a popular drink, followed by Iced Cappuccino (especially in summer) and donuts.
This is an easy Canada bucket list item. Get one for yourself or treat someone and hang out at a local Tims!
We hope you enjoyed this list of Canada bucket list items. We will be updating this list often so that you can experience the best of Canada! Happy Travels!
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