Our (Ice) Bucket List
There’s nothing like Canada in the winter and we’ve compiled our unofficial list of five places and activities to be experienced at least once in a lifetime.
Whether it’s the overpowering waves on Cox Bay or the wild wind at Chesterman Beach, Tofino is the ideal place for storm watching. The official storm season just began (Nov. 1) but lasts till early in the new year so you can book now for a pre-or post-holiday experience. Trust us, this is dramatic, awesome and truly spectacular. Our fave place to stay is The Wickannish Inn (nothing better than watching the weather from the warmth of their elegant dining room).
Quebec’s Charlevoix region is eye-candy on its own – the dazzling St. Lawrence River, the rugged Laurentians, historic villages. So when you throw in some fab outdoor activities, like tubing, skiing or snowshoeing and follow those up with world-class pampering, you’ve pretty much mastered a perfect vacay. Rent a local cabin or check into Le Germain (the Nordic spa here is divine).
Canada’s got bragging rights! Yellowknife is indeed the best place on earth to see the Northern Lights and now is the perfect time to see this kaleidoscope of colours, which are in action until spring. This tiny city is on top of it too – it is dotted with mini lighthouses that light up when active aurora is expected. We recommend a guided tour like those offered by North Star Adventures.
We’re not sure what we loved more – the winter-wonderland hike to New Brunswick’s Midland Ice Caves or the caves themselves. Nestled amongst beautiful woods on private land, the caves are behind a wall of ice fronting a small ravine. Enter through holes in the ice wall to experience this natural wonder and snap some in-it-for-the-likes Insta posts.
If it’s on Travel + Leisure’s radar you know it’s got to be good. Huntsville’s renowned Arrowhead Ice Skating Trail lives up to its hype of a “fairy tale skate through a Canadian Forest.” The ice trail offers a 1.3 km stretch through the thick, lush forest – and it’s even more picture perfect if it’s snowing. There are resorts nearby but we prefer to rent a private cottage. This is the perfect family activity.