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Lakes, forests, mountains… and desert? If you think you know Canada, it may be time think again. Beyond the snow-capped peaks and spearmint-blue waters of the Rockies, you’ll find vineyards where you can sip reds and whites that rival those of well-known wine destinations. There’s the chance to ride horseback across Saskatchewan’s horizon-touching prairies, look for dinosaur fossils in Alberta’s hoodoo-dotted Badlands, fish sustainably for lobster with a New Brunswick local, or get to know First Nations culture through generations-old tales shared with you in a coastal rainforest.

Our specialists have explored beyond the obvious, carving their own path across this vast and varied land. Their quest? To find fresh experiences that appeal to all interests, and which may surprise even those who’ve visited before. From surfing off Vancouver Island’s coast to spotting polar bears as they gather around the frozen waters of Hudson Bay, in Canada, you should expect the unexpected.

Legendary Canada

Our trip ideas for exploring another side to Canada

To get inspired for your Canada trip with a difference, browse our itinerary ideas below. They demonstrate the breadth of experiences you can have in the country, from staying on a working ranch in Saskatchewan to spotting puffins and icebergs in Newfoundland.

Things to do in Canada beyond the obvious

With such a breadth of things to see and do in Canada, you can visit time and again and still have a different experience. Below are a few activities you could include in your trip for a different take on the country.

  • Dinosaur Provincial Park, Canada

    Dinosaur Badlands Tour

    Enter the Alberta Badlands at Horseshoe Canyon and begin an exciting search for dinosaur tracks at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology with a two-hour exploration.

  • Algonquin Provincial Park

    Pathways of the Algonquin — 3 Days

    This three-day adventure is based at the Algonquin Log Cabin Lodge. This small, rustic lodge is located at the northwest corner of Algonquin Provincial Park, famous for wildlife and natural beauty. Situated on Surprise Lake, the log cabin combines a scenic and peaceful location with knowledgeable wilderness guides, warm hospitality and an intimate ambiance.

Further inspiration

Spark inspiration for your next Canada trip with a difference by reading one of our travel guides or blogs, whether you’re interested in exploring Indigenous culture or want to experience places beyond the well-trodden routes.

  • Cape Breton Highlands & the Cabot Trail

    11 ways to experience Atlantic Canada

    Fresh from their recent travels to Canada’s Atlantic region, specialists Matt and Ros share their pick of the best things to do in its four provinces. From exploring maritime and aviation history to fishing for lobster, spotting puffins, and enjoying a beach cookout, there’s plenty to choose from.

  • Winnipeg

    48 hours in Winnipeg

    Not only a gateway to the ‘polar bear capital’ of Churchill, Winnipeg is worthy of your time in its own right. James from our Canada team shares how spending two days here lets you dive deeper into Manitoba’s history, Indigenous culture, and thriving food-and-drink scene.

  • First Nations dancers, Ontario

    A guide to Indigenous culture in Canada

    With an Indigenous population of some 634 different First Nations alongside Inuit and Métis peoples, Canada is a diverse nation, but it can be difficult to know how to explore its rich mix of cultures authentically and sensitively. We share our recommendations.

  • Okanagan vineyards, British Columbia

    Top 10 hidden highlights of Canada

    Everyone’s heard of Canada’s lakes and mountains, but how about its vineyards, Badlands, prairies, and sand dunes? We share ten ways to experience a different side to the country, from fossil hunting and wine tasting to lighthouse and ranch stays.

Stays with a difference in Canada

  • Cross River Cabins

    Cross River Cabins

    Cross River Cabins are a real find. Located in a spectacular area of Kootenay National Park, they offer a great blend of adventure and relaxation, together with warm hospitality from the owners, Rob Patenaude, his wife Marilyn and their son Troy.

  • Spirit Bear Lodge, Klemtu, British Columbia

    Spirit Bear Lodge

    Situated on the edge of the inside passage, Spirit Bear Lodge backs on to the Great Bear Rainforest, the natural habitat of the spirit bear. A community-based ecolodge run by the Kitasoo/ Xaixais First Nation, you can explore ancestral lands, learning more about the region’s culture and wildlife that roams here.

Off-the-radar places to visit in Canada

  • Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta

    Waterton Lakes National Park

    Waterton Lakes National Park is a rare gem tucked into the south-western corner of Alberta. The park blends unusual geology, a mild climate, rare wild flowers, and an abundance of wildlife.

  • La Reata Ranch, Kyle


    Kyle is a small farming town in southwest Saskatchewan in the midst of rich agricultural land. Clearwater Lake Park lies near the town as does one of Canada’s last drive-in movie theatres.

  • Sunset over Forillon National Park

    The Gaspé Peninsula

    The Gaspé Peninsula is made up of some of the province’s wildest and most attractive scenery. Good roads means it is easy to get around and provides some great walking opportunities.

  • View of Cape Smokey from Keltic Lodge


    Ingonish is a collection of small villages situated on two bays and divided by a long narrow peninsula called Middle Head. Each village is a seaside resort located close to the gates for Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

  • Vineyards, Kelowna, Canada

    Naramata & Okanagan Valley

    Naramata is located close to the Okanagan Mountain Park, which is ideal for outdoor and water activities. The Okanagan Valley is one of the warmest regions in all of Canada and the country’s premier wine region.

Canada in pictures

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