As the year inches to an end, we are hit with a bevy of holiday get togethers, office parties, and new year celebrations, all of which are filled with good intentions but often come with their own unique set of stressors. The kind of stressors that make you want to get away for a while. Fortunately, there are plenty of places to go see, right in our own backyard—throughout the Canadian provinces.
So, if you’re looking for a long weekend getaway ahead of the New Year, or to decompress for a few days before the holiday rush, we have our Top 10 stay-cation destinations that are a short jaunt away, right here in Canada.
1. Langdon Hall
Originally built in 1900 by English aristocrat, Eugene Langdon Wilkes, this old-Ontario Estate was purchased and renovated in 1980 and repurposed as a bed and breakfast retreat, with spa services for couples looking to vacation like the famous old-world socialites that once stayed there. In fact, Langdon Hall is considered to be one of the most sought after stays in North America. With mixes of American and French-Canadian architecture, this stunning property is the perfect retreat for couples looking to indulge in romantic, relaxing weekend.
2. Prince Edward Island Winery, Brewery, and Distillery Tour
Imbibe (responsibly) on this scenic and savory tour as you visit some of the tastiest beverage stops on Prince Edward Island. Along the five tour stops, you’ll also have a chance to take in some stunning views and mingle with other connoisseurs. Perfect for young couples, this spirited adventure is a great way to spend an afternoon together.
3. Niagra Falls
Perhaps one of the more famous destinations in Canada (as well as in her landlocked neighbor, the United States) the wonderous Falls of Niagra are a spectacle unlike any other. Formed by the Niagra River, which flows from Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, the three combined falls (Horseshoe, Bridal Veil, and American) have the highest flow rate of any waterfall in North America. The sheer power and beauty of the falls have made it a hotbed for tourists around the world. Hop aboard Maid of the Mist for an exciting up-close experience, or journey through the thunderous Cave of the Winds at Clifton Hill.
4. Bruce Peninsula National Park
Just a 3.5-hour drive from Toronto, Bruce Peninsula National Park is the perfect quick trip for the nature lover and avid outdoorsmen. There, you can join a scenic coastal hike and check out Big Tub Lighthouse and Inglis Falls. Then you can stop off and have lunch in the fishing village of Tobermory. Afterward, relax at your campsite along Lake Cyprus and experience the cliffs and boulder beaches that make this destination so spectacular.
5. Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada
Take to the skies at the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada in Winnipeg for a thrilling day-trip. Here, you’ll find over 70,000 aviation artefacts and countless exhibits chronicling the rich history of the Canadian Royal Air Corps, and the stories from pilots who lived it. Model aircraft, flight simulators, and stunning exhibits all are grounded in this incredible facility.
6. Banff National Park, Alberta
If the great outdoors is your idea of a perfect weekend getaway, then look no further than the breathtaking natural beauty of Banff National Park and Lake Louise, located in Alberta. Home to extraordinary hiking trails and picturesque views, this renowned national park is dotted with cabins and lodges for those looking for a rustic weekend adventure. In addition to wildlife and hiking, the winter season in Banff is also famous for its fresh powder which is a hotbed for skiers and snowboard enthusiasts alike.
7. Montreal, Quebec
If shopping and dining is your ideal vacation activity then a quick trip to Montreal should be high on your list of places to go. That’s because, in addition to the countless museums and old-world Victorian architecture, this cultural epicenter is loaded with festivals and markets throughout the year. Walk along the boulevards and see the stunning Christmas lights while you sip hot chocolate, or warm up inside the McCord Steward Museum and learn more about Montreal’s rich history.
8. Vancouver, British Columbia
Like the previous destination on our list, Vancouver is also a popular destination for Canadians looking to experience an exciting outdoor activity or a fulfilling adventure in the city. Situated on the edge of the wilderness, this bustling metropolis is full of things to do. From whale watching out of the historic fishing village of Stevenson to the mountain surfing gondola at Grouse Mountain. Just be sure to bring your sense of adventure.
9. Winnipeg Blue Bombers Game
For the avid football fan, a game-winning trip idea would be to see the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Considered by many to be one of the greatest franchises in the CFL, the Blue Bombers are champions of 12 Grey Cups. Home games at IG Field are thrilling and memorable for the whole family. If you have a chance to catch a weekend game with this team, it’s a sure-fire touchdown.
10. Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta
If your party has a few future paleontologists, then you don’t want to miss the Jurassic action of Dinosaur Provincial Park. Fun for the entire family, this blast from the past park is an excellent way to spend a weekend together bonding. Be sure to check out the Family Dino Stomp, or the Bare Bones Bus tour to get an up-close look at some of the best-preserved prehistoric fossils in North America. There’s also accommodations for camping, and a plenty of hiking trails.
Canada is filled with incredible destinations just waiting to be explored. Its unique mix of urban excitement and natural landscapes means there is something to do for everyone. No matter where you decide to travel, you may want to consider purchasing a travel insurance plan through Allianz Global Assistance before taking the trip.
Travel insurance is underwritten by CUMIS General Insurance Company, a member of The Co-operators Group of Companies, administered by Allianz Global Assistance, which is a registered business name of AZGA Service Canada Inc.