Are you making your first trip to Canada this year?
Canada is a massive country, so it can be difficult to decide exactly where to go on a Canadian vacation. You've got dreamy places like Halifax and Victoria on either coast, great cities like Toronto and Montreal on the interior, and countless national and provincial parks all over the country.
In this post, we're going to give you a hand with your Canadian vacation planning. Once you see the beauty and majesty of this great country, you'll keep coming back again and again until you see the whole thing. Keep reading and we'll tell you exactly where to start and what to see.
Planning a Trip to Canada on a Time Crunch
If you're planning to come to Canada for only a week or two, then you're going to have to select one part and stay there. You can't truly experience Toronto, Vancouver Island, and the Rocky Mountains in 10 days.
First, figure out what type of vacation you're looking to have, and that should tell you where to go. If you're a city person that enjoys restaurants, art galleries, and being around lots of people, then by all means go to Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver. You'll be able to find amazing things to do to fill an entire vacation.
The Best Place to Find an Adventure
When an adventure is what you seek, look no further than the Rocky Mountains of Alberta and British Columbia. Home to Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, and Yoho National Parks - as well as countless other Provincial Parks - this small but striking piece of the Canadian landscape lets you get completely lost in nature.
You'll be able to find hundreds of hiking paths of varying difficulties, each featuring something completely unique. The Rockies offer some of the more renowned skiing locations and resorts in the world, not to mention the incredible scenery surrounding you at all times.
Places like Lake Louise and Moraine Lake near Banff are among the most Instagram-worthy locations on earth. The Icefields Parkway connecting Banff and Jasper offers breathtaking scenery for the entire 3-plus hour drive.
If you're interested in wildlife, you'll rarely be disappointed at the possibility of sighting the beautiful elk, big horned sheep, eagles, lynx, and bears that roam the parks. For those that want a little peace and quiet, you can find utter silence beside Rawson Lake or Minnewanka.
The point is, the Canadian Rockies are a source of peace, fun, and happiness for millions of visitors every year. You can't really say you've seen Canada until you've experienced them.
Where to Stay in the Canadian Rockies
To get to the Alberta side of the Rockies, it's best to fly into Calgary International Airport. From there, the drive to the mountains is only about an hour, where you'll find the gorgeous mountain town of Canmore, AB - just outside Banff National Park.
Canmore is just the first of several quaint outposts that you'll find as you make your way through the mountains. It's equipped with lots of shops, restaurants, galleries, and accommodations, so you can easily spend your entire stay there.
Should you move on, you'll find the town of Banff about 20 minutes down the road. Banff - located inside Banff National Park - is slightly bigger and busier than Canmore.
If you drive all the way through the park, passing Lake Louise, you'll end up in British Columbia's Yoho National Park. Just inside the BC border, you'll find the up-and-coming town of Golden, where you'll find fewer tourist crowds and a friendly local population.
Two more hours further into BC's interior, you'll stumble upon breathtaking Revelstoke. This tiny town of 8,000 is one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of BC. In terms of nature hikes and skiing, there aren't many places better.
All of these mountain outposts are within a 5-hour drive from the Calgary airport. If you want to make the most of your visit, you can book a stay at each one and see the sights that the local area has to offer. There's so much to see and do in the Rockies that you'll find something unforgettable around every corner.
How to Travel to Canada
For a good trip to the Canadian Rockies, there are certain things you're going to want to pack. First, it depends on what time of year you're booking your vacation. The winter months present a few more challenges than traveling in the summer.
Bring proper clothing and footwear. If you're planning on doing a lot of hiking, then you need warm and breathable clothes, as well as good hiking boots. When hiking in the winter, it's best to bring crampons and/or poles along so that you have traction on trails with packed snow or ice.
Don't forget to carry bear spray with you anytime you're out hiking or cross-country skiing, especially in the spring and summer months. You'll also need good sunscreen and bug spray for traversing high ridges and dense forests, respectively.
If you forget anything, there's no need to worry. All of the towns that we mentioned above are endowed with all of the necessary shops to prepare you for hiking, skiing, and the like.
Finding the Best Rocky Mountain Hotels
Vacation planning in the Rockies can be difficult when trying to find affordable hotels that actually make you feel at home. You may pay several hundred dollars per night to get something mediocre just because of where the hotel is located.
If you want amazing accommodations that won't break the bank, then look no further than Basecamp Resorts. Our 4 Canmore locations each offer something unique, while our new Golden and Revelstoke locations are a breath of fresh air in both BC towns.
Whether you want a no-frills room to go back to after a long day of hiking or something where you can cook and entertain a whole family, we've got options for you. Visit our page today to learn more about our 6 locations and how to book a room for your Canada vacation today.