Birthdays that typically end in a zero seem to frighten us. I remember when I turned 20. For some reason, it was incredibly sad to me. In a way, I had thought that my best years were behind me. Now that I was 20 and no longer a teen, it felt like I instantly had to grow up. Hands up, if you think growing up kind of stinks? Yeah, me too.
Thankfully, even though I wasn’t overly impressed with turning 20 at the time, my twenties were a fantastic ten years. During those years, I finished college, I landed some good jobs, I met my favourite person, and most recently, I decided to travel Canada with that person.
Prior to deciding to full-time RV across Canada, Kate and I have created many amazing memories together travelling with one another. There were trips to Ireland, Scotland, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, the US, Newfoundland, the Canadian Maritime provinces and most recently we went on a Caribbean cruise with my family. There have also been more adventures mixed in there that we often bring up casually when we’re driving around or relaxing in the trailer.
Travelling has created most of our fondest memories together. It’s safe to say that we’re both kind of addicted to travelling now – especially with one another. When it comes to Canada, because it is so massive, neither Kate nor I have seen a lot of what this great country has to offer us. That’s why when we decided to full-time RV, we were pretty set on staying inside of Canada and seeing as much of it as possible.
Last week, I turned 30 and unlike when I turned 20, I was quite positive. I know that over the next year and for the foreseeable future, I will be travelling Canada with Kate. It can’t get much better than that in my opinion. Seeing as there is so much of Canada that we still have not experienced, I decided to celebrate my 30th birthday with an adventurous to-do list – 30 Amazing Places in Canada I Want to Visit.
When the idea first came to me to create this list, I quickly wrote down almost 15 places in Canada that I want to see. Some of those places are cities, some of them are National Parks, and some of them are really remote locations. A lot of these places that are on the list, Kate and I will be lucky enough to experience over the next couple of months as we make our journey from PEI to Vancouver Island. On the other hand, there are quite a few locations on this list that are incredibly difficult and expensive to get to – but I hope that I will get to see all of these amazing places in Canada.
Below is Part 1 of my list. Over the next couple of weeks, I will release Parts 2 & 3 that will complete the list. While you read my list, grab a piece of paper and jot down some of the places that you really want to visit in Canada. Don’t forget to share that list with me below in the comments.
30 Amazing Places in Canada I Want to Visit #1-10
1 – Fogo Island, Newfoundland
If you spend any amount of time with me you will likely hear me tell stories about the trip Kate and I took to Newfoundland. Even though it rained during most of our trip, we had a fantastic time. The landscapes in Newfoundland are unlike any other that we have experienced in Canada. The rugged cliffs, the colourful homes and, well…the weather all make Newfoundland incredibly unique. One of those unique places that we didn’t get to experience was Fogo Island – the largest Island on Newfoundland. According to the Flat Earth Society, Fogo Island is one of the four corners of the Earth. How great is that? Even though, we know that the Earth is round, it’s still pretty interesting. The island is also home to plenty of great artists and the famous Fogo Island Inn.
2 – St. Anthony, Newfoundland
Located at the northern tip of Newfoundland lays the small village of St. Anthony. When we previously visited Newfoundland, Kate and I discussed taking a trip up to St. Anthony from Grose Morne National Park so that we could see some icebergs. St. Anthony is one of the premier locations in Newfoundland to view some of the enormous ice formations as they cut through the frigid waters of the Atlantic.
A short drive from St. Anthony is L’Anse aux Meadows – an archaeological site. Discovered in 1960, the site is home to a Viking settlement believed to date back to somewhere around the year 1000. I wonder how that makes Columbus feel.
3 – Torngat Mountains National Park, Labrador
This spot was the first location that I wrote down on my list of 30. It was in the midst of planning our trip to Newfoundland that I saw this advertisement on tv from Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism…
I was in awe from the moment that I saw that ad. Not long after that I was massively disappointed. The Torngat Mountains are beyond incredible. The only problem is that this is where the Torngat Mountains National Park is located…
I wasn’t completely dissuaded at first. I thought that it was still possible to fit it into our trip to Newfoundland until I read that the park is only accessible by boat or a chartered plane. You also have to get a permit and go through an orientation to enter the park. The Torngat Mountains certainly weren’t an option on our previous trip to Newfoundland & Labrador but one day, it will happen.
© Parks Canada / Hiko Wittenborn
4 – Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec
This is one of those spots that I wish I could get to this summer, however, it doesn’t look like it will happen at this point. Although the island is geographically closer to Prince Edward Island, it’s actually a part of Quebec. I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of taking the ferry from Souris, PEI to the island but for some reason, we have never planned a trip.
5 – Sable Island National Park Reserve, Nova Scotia
Just thinking of Sable Island, the Rolling Stones song “Wild Horses” pops into my head because that’s exactly what you see on the island. Upwards of 450 wild horses freely wander the secluded island in the middle of the Atlantic. Sable Island is also home to the largest colony of breeding grey seals. Getting there is not easy as you have one of two options – by boat or by chartering an entire 7 seat plane out of Halifax. If I had my choice, I’d go by boat as it seems like a more authentic method of getting to the island. The only thing that makes that choice a bit nerve-wracking is the fact that over 350 boats have previously wrecked in the waters surrounding Sable Island.
© Parks Canada / Doug Harvey
6 – Auyuittuq National Park, Nunavut
Not only is this park likely the hardest place to pronounce on my list, it’s also likely the hardest to get to. If I do make it there, I can tell you that it will certainly be worth whatever the cost might be. Located very, very far north of pretty much anything, lays the park that is filled with craggy mountains including Mount Thor. Not only is the name phenomenal, but Mount Thor is also the Earth’s greatest vertical drop at over 1250 meters. There are people who actually climb Mount Thor. That’s not something that I want to do as I get a bit shaky just climbing the ladder of the RV but I would love to see the dramatic cliff up close and personal.
Peter Morgan via Flickr
7 – Gaspe Peninsula, Quebec
This is one of those spots that I keep hearing about more and more these days. I’m also seeing a lot of articles pop up on the web when reading around. The Gaspe Peninsula features a rugged coastline that is mostly secluded from the rest of Quebec as the peninsula spreads out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The area also features the Forillon National Park which is known for great whale watching and other wildlife.
8 – Quebec City, Quebec
I’ve driven through Quebec City but we never stopped, not even for a bite to eat. I’m really excited because Quebec City is on our itinerary and we should be visiting there during our trip west. The city is rich with history as the city is over 400 years old. I can’t wait to wander the old cobblestone streets of Old Quebec while soaking up the sites and great history. One day I wouldn’t mind travelling back to Quebec City to experience the Hotel de Glace – the hotel that is completely made out of ice. How cool (pun not intended) would that be?
9 – Montreal, Quebec
A lot of people tell me that Montreal is one of their favourite cities to visit, yet somehow, I’ve managed to stay away from it. Like Quebec City, Montreal is on our cross-country itinerary, so it’ll soon be crossed off of this list which is exciting. Montreal has a lot of offer in terms of history and culture but I’ll be honest…I’m really looking forward to a smoked meat sandwich and a poutine. I will be doing some in-depth research to find the best poutine in Montreal. If you know a good spot, let me know ASAP.
Update: Visited September 2016. During our coast-to-coast journey, we visited Montreal & the surrounding area for a couple of days. It was here that we managed to have the biggest and tastiest poutine we’ve ever had.
10 – Point Pelee National Park, Ontario
Kate and I have previously visited the most easterly point of land in Canada at Cape Spear in Newfoundland. Visiting the westernmost and northernmost points of land in Canada are all but impossible, however, the southernmost point is very accessible and it’s located on Pelee Island which is a part of Point Pelee National Park. The park is also known as a great spot to do some bird watching, so we’ll be sure to have our Peterson bird guide with us to identify any types of new birds to us.
© Parks Canada / Lindsay Peters
That’s it for Part 1 of my list. There are some really amazing spots on this first part that I really, really hope to visit someday. Make sure you come back next week for Part 2 of the list and/or subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss it.
Which of these 10 spots would you most like to visit? What place in Canada do you most want to visit or would you recommend others visit?
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