In such a vast and diverse country, it is difficult to narrow down the attractions to only ten "must sees". However, there are some stand-out sights and activities that shouldn't be missed. The following top ten list covers Canada from west to east, north and south. These ten attractions highlight Canada in all its glory.
Take a Train Ride through the Canadian Rockies
One of the Canada vacation packages that allows visitors to see a lot while sitting back and relaxing is the Rocky Mountain train. VIA Rail offers service from Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Vancouver to Jasper. The Rocky Mountain Rail Tour Company will take you from Vancouver to Banff and on to Calgary. The latter company offers a service called the “Canadian Rockies Highlights” which consists of 5 nights and 6 days on the train. Highlights include some of the most popular tourist attractions in Canada, such as: tours of Yoho National Park and Banff Townsite, accommodation at the amazing Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, and admission to Vancouver Observation Deck at Harbour Centre and Calgary Tower.
Catch a Chinook on the Campbell River
Fishing in Canada is an experience like no other. Imagine snagging a 70lb. King Salmon on your line! If you've dreamt of bragging to your friends about catching “the big one,” the Campbell River is the place where your dream could be realized. Set on the east coast of central Vancouver Island, the Campbell River has long been known as the “Salmon Capital of the World” and boasts some of the best fishing in Canada. Some fishing tour companies in this area cater to wealthy corporate clientele, but there are also many options for the budget-minded fisherperson. Fishing is not the only highlight of the Campbell River. Tours, day trips, workshops and family events also focus on species of wildlife such as bears, eagles, and of course, salmon
Live It Up at the Carnaval de Quebec
You don't have to buy expensive Canada vacation packages to have a good time in Quebec. One of the greatest tourist attractions in Canada, the Quebec Winter Carnival, is very affordable. Only $7 CDN buys a pass for 17 days of festivities and gives you access to over 300 activities and shows. The world"s biggest winter celebration and third largest carnival, the Carnaval de Quebec in Quebec City, is an attraction not to be missed. This two and a half week party is held annually beginning in late January. People from all over the world come for the unique winter attractions. Ice fishing, concerts, dogsled rides, slide runs, snow baths, parades, Ice Tower, skating, snow sculptures and horse-drawn sleigh rides are some of the highlights. For a truly one-of-a-kind winter experience, spend a night at the famous Ice Hotel.
Be a Whistler Ski Bunny
The term "skiing in Canada" has become synonymous with the words "Whistler Blackcomb", one of the sites of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Whistler Blackcomb is one of the largest ski and snowboard resorts in the world with around 8,000 acres of terrain. Skiers and snowboarders alike flock to Whistler, British Columbia for world-class snow conditions. Whistler Blackcomb is skiing in Canada at its best. Even those who don"t care for snow sports will enjoy Whistler Village's charm. Top-notch hotels, restaurants, spas and shopping make it a place worth visiting any time of year.
Take a Wine Tour in the Okanagan
The Okanagan Valley put Canada on the vintner"s map by producing outstanding wines with authentic British Columbian flavor. B.C. is gaining a reputation as being the “California of the north” in its production of outstanding vintages. The arid climate and terraced landscape of the Okanagan Valley make it an ideal region for wine production. During the spring summer and fall, wine festivals and tasting abound in this region. The public is welcome at most wineries for tours and tasting. You may be able to see the entire process of winemaking, from crushing to labeling. Set in a picturesque mountain setting, the Okanagan Valley vineyards and wineries are at their best when weather is warm.
Play Anne of Green Gables
If you are a fan of Lucy Maud Montgomery's classic novel, Anne of Green Gables, seeing the inspiration for the book will be an unforgettable experience. On Prince Edward Island, part of the P.E.I. National Park, Green Gables has been named an historic site. In real life, Montgomery's cousins called Green Gables home. A monument and plaque were erected in 1948 to honor Lucy Maud Montgomery at the Green Gables farm. Perhaps it is not the most common of tourist attractions in Canada, but for all of those Anne lovers, it is an important one.
Watch a Hockey Game
To experience something authentically Canadian (and to make some easy friends) the formula is simple: try out the sport that Canada loves. You don"t have to strap on skates and try your luck at shooting the puck. You don"t even have to shell out big bucks for game tickets (but if you can, go for it!). All you need is a sports bar and a game schedule. Hockey games are on from fall through spring, so it's easy to find a time that works into your travel schedule. Sit back, sip a Kokanee, and enjoy.
Admire Haida Totem Poles
Named a World Heritage site, the Haida totem poles on SGaang Gwaii are a piece of Canadian history. SGaang Gwaii, also known as Anthony Island, is located off the west coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia. You'll find the poles in the village of Ninstints (Nans Dins). Carved mortuary and memorial poles along with remains of houses reflect the Haida people"s way of life. The Haida people, who still inhabit the area, have a close relationship to the land and sea, which is commemorated at this site.
Spot a Polar Bear in Manitoba
It's not difficult to figure out why the tiny town of Churchill, Manitoba is known as the “polar bear capital of the world”. Every year around September, residents greet some very special visitors: polar bears. Polar Bear watching tours catch a glimpse of the bears as they move between the ice and the land at this time of year. If you aren"t lucky enough to make it to Churchill in September, try passing by from late June until late August. Churchill is also known as the “beluga whale capital of the world” during these months. Stay and enjoy the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), one of the most spectacular tourist attractions in Canada.
Skate Through Town on the Rideau Canal Skateway
From late December until late February, the Rideau Canal freezes and the result is the longest ice-skating in the world. Enjoy 7.8km (4.5 miles) of uninterrupted skating on this "roadway" of ice in Ottawa, Ontario. The Rideau Canal Skateway is ideal for people of all ages who want to skate, walk or sled through the capital city.