The World’s 8 Most Remote Hotels

Imagine touching down somewhere that few people have ever been, discovering a remote world that you didn’t know existed. Travelers are becoming more interested in places that offer more remoteness, that often take a journey to get to. Luckily the call for these types of places have been answered and throughout the world, remote hotels are popping up in places you didn’t even know existed. From a beachfront hotel in Iceland to a surfing getaway in Samoa, these 8 remote hotels all have a few things in common- exceptional accommodations, stunning scenery, delicious cuisine and an air of privacy.

8. Hotel Budir, Iceland

The only real beachfront hotel in Iceland lies next to a lava field with views over the Snaefellsnes glacier. The accommodations here are simple, chic and unpretentious offering a variety of rooms including eight rooms in the attic, one suite, nine deluxe rooms and ten standard rooms. In the wintertime, guests cozy up by the fireplace in the lobby while staring out the large windows at the breathtaking surroundings.

Summertime brings bonfire parties on the beach and swimming during the day. Guests here will be treated to exceptional service, an exquisite restaurant and one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. The possibilities for activities here are endless and hotel staff is delighted to help guests plan whatever their heart desires, whether they want to take a tour by helicopter, go horseback riding, fishing and more.

Via Iceland Times

7. Fogo Island Inn, Newfoundland, Canada

Fogo Island is a remote island off the coast of Newfoundland, halfway between the North Pole and the Equator and home to the simple yet charming Fogo Island Inn. Open all year round, guests here are treated to the floor to ceiling views of the North Atlantic Ocean in one of 29 guest suites. Every piece of furniture and textile in the rooms are handcrafted, from the quilts to the chairs to the wallpaper.

Three meals a day are catered to suit your personal preferences along with snacks and focuses on fresh seasonal ingredients. In wintertime watch, as winter storms crash through, try your hand at cross-country skiing or ice fishing. In the spring the gigantic icebergs float by, bonfires are lit and wildlife viewing is at its finest. To get here, visitors have to take a ferry from Farewell Harbor or arrive in style in a helicopter.

Via Hospitality Net

6. Ultima Thule Lodge, Alaska

Deep in the Alaskan wilderness, hundreds of miles from paved roads sits this incredible remote lodge, taking people to places where nobody has gone before. It is a six-hour drive from Anchorage and then a 90-minute flight into the Wrangell Mountains to reach this lodge, set amongst the largest protected wilderness on earth. Visitors here should expect luxurious like bearskin rugs, floor-to-ceiling windows, a wood-fired sauna, freshly baked goods and stunning scenery.

There are no set itineraries at this lodge; every day is customized depending on the time of year, flying conditions and interests. Activities range from kayaking in a glacier-fed river, flying over the largest vertical rock face on earth, driving over glacier fields, and hiking across arctic tundra. Every experience at this lodge is unique and unforgettable and entirely worth the journey.


5. Aganoa Lodge, Samoa

Surfing is the main draw at this ultra-remote lodge, located on Savai’i, the more remote of the two main islands of Samoa. This lodge offers fully guided surfing experiences for a maximum of eight guests while catering to non-surfers and families who want an active travel experience. Eight open-air bungalows set the stage for this beautiful experience, each one constructed of reclaimed timber and lava rocks that were collected on site.

Beautiful white sand and crystal clear water beckon guests to swim, snorkel, surf, kayak and more; with the included equipment from the lodge. Dinner is served nightly in the open lounge and features the fresh catch of the day, along with other incredible seasonal ingredients. Whether you are looking to surf, dine or relax; this remote lodge will appeal to you.

Via PegasusLodges

4. Lyngen Lodge, Norway

The ultimate remote getaway for winter sports enthusiasts is Lyngen Lodge, a remote lodge offering luxury accommodation, top quality cuisine and epic adventures in the world’s most beautiful and undisturbed arctic regions on earth. The lodge only caters to 18 guests at a time so expect a personalized retreat with incredible cuisine and exceptional customer service. Relax in the center of the lodge where large panoramic windows offer spectacular views of the Lyngen Alps and a crackling fireplace keeps you warm.

Activities here include dog sledding, snowmobiling, skiing, Northern Lights viewing, boat tours, water sports, and Heli-hiking. Whether you choose to come in the winter for the unforgettable skiing or the summer for the abundance of activities, chances are, the experience will be unforgettable.

Via Natural World Safari

3. Yemaya Island Hideaway, Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Little Corn Island is literally a speck in the in Caribbean Ocean, 43 miles off the east coast of Nicaragua. Getting here requires multiple forms of transportation including flight, taxi, panga boat and your own two feet. The reward is well worth it though, 16 private cabanas nestled among swaying coco palms with views of the crystal clear ocean. Private outdoor verandahs, a rainforest shower, and beautiful handcrafted furnishings await you.

Dining is done in the open-air restaurant that serves up local and organic ingredients grown on site along with fresh seafood. Guests here can enjoy activities such as daily yoga, sailing, kayaking, snorkeling, paddle boarding and incredible spa treatments. This hideaway offers the chance to reconnect, explore nature and live carefree, if only for a few short days.

Via Small Luxury Hotels

2. The Oberoi Vanyavilas, India

Situated just ten minutes from Ranthambhore National Park, this is a chance for visitors to get up close and personal with the incredible Royal Bengal Tigers in the wild, while staying at an amazing remote hotel. Accommodations are in luxury tents, complete with a four-poster bed, a claw-footed tub, personal stocked bar, silk bathrobes and more.

Dining is done in the main hall of the restaurant in the winter time in front of an open wood fireplace while the outside courtyard becomes transformed into a restaurant in the summer complete with bonfires, candles and folk musicians. Explore the national park with its incredible ruins, elephants; hundreds of species of birds and of course the majestic tigers. Pamper yourself at the beautiful spa, have a private candlelit dinner or learn how to cook with Indian Spices; whatever your heart desires, you will find it here.

Via Jetsetter

1. Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador

Perched at 3,116 feet above sea level in between rainforest and cloud forests sits an incredible lodge, surrounded by plants, orchids and a staggering 500 species of birds; along with monkeys, pumas and an abundance of waterfalls. Luxury and nature merge here at this five-star lodge where rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows and glass walls that look out into the lush forest.

The towering two-story dining room features fully panoramic views and seasonal menu items that are prepared fresh by fine dining chefs. Top naturalist guides are on hand to take you through the surrounding trails and explain the flora and fauna that surrounds you. Voted as one of the most unique lodges in the world by National Geographic; this remote hotel is not to be missed.

Via Mashpi Lodge

7 Small East Coast Towns with Big Appeal (Canada)

The east coast of Canada is known for its charming seaside fishing villages, hospitable people, and amazingly fresh seafood. From New Brunswick all the way to Newfoundland, small towns are everywhere. Despite popular opinion that these small towns all over the same, they are in fact quite unique and different from one another in a variety of ways. Discover the birthplace of Canada, colorful floating houses, icebergs right at your fingertips and miles of endless beach in these 7 small east coast towns that offer up a big appeal to visitors.

7. Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

This town of just over 2,000 people is touted as being one of the most beautiful towns in all of Canada. The location itself is simply amazing, along with a harbor and bordered by beautiful dramatic hills. Add in the fact that this town is dotted with pastel color buildings from the 18th and 19th century and you will soon understand the draw here.

Lunenburg also happens to be a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, winner of the prettiest painted places in Canada and located just one hour from Halifax. The downtown area buzzes with activity from art galleries to boutique shops to fresh seafood restaurants. Walkable streets, friendly people, an interesting history and some of the best lobster in the country all await you here at this small town with big appeal.

6. Twillingate, Newfoundland and Labrador

This town located on the northeast coast of Newfoundland is home to around 2,000 residents. This small fishing village features friendly locals, stunning coastline, and quiet scenic roads. The town also happens to be located right next to Iceberg Ally, a corridor of the ocean that runs down from Greenland and is home to whales, dolphins, and seals, and of course icebergs. Fishing boats, colorful fishing stages, wharves and dories dot the coast of this town.

Hiking trails, museums, beaches, coves, an astronomy observatory, a winery, lighthouse and plenty of cozy cafes set the mood for this quaint charming town. Visit in the right season (May to July) and come up close and personal with the incredible icebergs, or spot one of 22 species of whales that live in the area.

5. Cavendish, P.E.I

This small rural town located on the tiny Prince Edward Island is home to only 300 residents, give or take, although summer tourism makes that number jump up. The claim to fame here is that this particular town was home to Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of the famous Anne of Green Gables. Visitors here flock to this town to check out her home and surrounding landscape, which the books are based on. But Cavendish offers so much more than just one famous house.

Red sandstone cliffs, sand dunes, warm crystal blue waters and endless stretches of beach set the stage for a magnificent setting. Activities range from world-class golfing to deep sea fishing to touring the art galleries to parasailing or even fine dining. Treat yourself to an ice cream as you walk the quaint streets, stopping to talk to the friendly locals as they ask you how your vacation is going. After all, this is the east coast, where some of the friendliest people reside.

4. St. Andrews, New Brunswick

This charming seaside town has a population hovering around 2,000; although summertime months bring many people to the area. This dreamy little town in New Brunswick boasts scenic architecture, rich marine life, and stunning scenery. Designated as a National Historic District you can be sure that the turn-of-the-century charm awaits you, along with a slew of modern amenities.

Dine on delectable lobster rolls and the catch of the day, sink your feet into the white sand and warm ocean and don’t miss out on the art galleries and museums. The local farmer’s markets and boutiques offer handmade one of a kind creations and the downtown is bursting with independent shops. From whale watching to touring gardens to festivals; there is something happening all year round.

3. Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

Known as Canada’s birthplace, this small town is home to just 500 residents. If you are looking to dive into Canadian history, this is the place, as it features over 150 historic sites and heritage buildings. The town is nestled between mountain and sea offering visitors a spectacular waterfront setting for dining, shopping and staying. The town is home to St. George, Canada’s oldest street, on which you’ll also find the country’s oldest wooden house.

Guided tours of the area are a great way to learn more about the fascinating history of this town and make sure to do the National Historic District Tour and the Candlelight Graveyard Tour. A waterfront boardwalk teems with shops, a farmers market shines out with fresh produce and handmade arts and crafts and the people are as welcoming as one would expect.

2. Trinity, Newfoundland

Located three hours from St. John’s, this 18th century fishing port is home to just around 200 residents, with a slew of visitors coming to discover this charming town. Historic buildings, art galleries, museums, old churches and a beautiful scenic harbor are what draw visitors here. Hiking trails lead hikers up granite slopes and through beautiful beaches, while whales, birds, and icebergs float by in the distance.

The people of Trinity are really the forefront of what makes this place so spectacular though, known for their genuine hospitality and talent in entertainment and performing arts. Visitors should not miss out on taking the scenic walking tour where you are whisked back to the past. Make sure to stay in one of the charming B&B’s, cottages or guesthouses located throughout the town.

1. Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia

This picture perfect marine town is home to just over 900 people and sits in the perfect location, a bay with access to over 100 different islands. The surroundings are simply stunning, protected waters and magnificent vistas, perfect for sailing, kayaking, hiking, and cycling. There are 100 miles of groomed trails, world-class beaches, and islands galore to explore. The main street is lined with charming shops, boutiques and unique eateries.

Local art studios are open and invite visitors to watch as they create masterpieces, whether it is rug hooking, sculpting or painting. The town is full of 19th century architecture but what draws visitors here are the three iconic churches along Edgewater Street that are one of the most photographed views in Canada. Great scenery, welcoming locals and an abundance of things to see and do make this one awesome small town with a big appeal in Eastern Canada.

The Best Things to See and Do in Newfoundland

They say you will never run out of things to see and do in Newfoundland, whether you plan your trip from start to finish or just show up and go with the flow. If you are a lover of the outdoors, plan on plenty of wildlife and bird watching opportunities, along with endless hiking trails and sea kayaking opportunities. Explore the bustling city of St. John’s, kiss the cod and take in some live East Coast music. Here are our top 8 things to see and do in Newfoundland.

8. Go Whale Watching

It is one of the most spectacular whale watching places in the world, featuring 22 species of whales including the minke, sperm, blue, orca and the world’s largest population of humpbacks. Between May and September is the best time of year to see these magnificent beasts breach the surface and play along the shores. Although there are plenty of spots on land where you can look out onto the water and see these mammals, the best way to see them is to get out on the water yourself. Sea Kayaking is by far the most exciting way to see these gentle giants as you paddle your way through the open ocean. If you prefer to stay a little further away and perhaps a little higher up while you view the whales, there are plenty of tour boat operators that will take you out on the waters.

Whale Watching Newfoundland

7. Iceberg Viewing

When it comes to viewing towering icebergs, Newfoundland is one of the best places in the world to do so. When the sun is shining these 10,000-year-old glacial giants can be seen from many points along the northern and eastern coasts. They range in shape, size and color, providing visitors with an awe-inspiring experience. The best time to view the icebergs is during the spring and early summer, in particular late May and early June. Iceberg Alley is the area to head to, a stretch of water from the coast of Labrador to the northeast coast of Newfoundland and some of the most popular places to view them form shore, or by boat are St. Lewis, Battle Harbour and Red Bay. Although we suggest hopping on a tour boat where you can get up close and personal with the icebergs, even if you view them from land, they will always be magnificent.

David P. Lewis /
David P. Lewis /

6. Visit Cape Spear

The Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site is located just 11 kilometers south of St. John’s and is hailed as the most easterly point in North America. It also happens to be one of the best places to watch the sunrise, spot whales, seabirds and icebergs. It is home to Newfoundland’s oldest lighthouse which dates back to 1835 and was in operation until 1955. The site is home to an informative visitor’s center along with concrete bunkers and gun barrels that date back to the Second World War. Along with wildlife viewing, visitors can go on an interpretive walk throughout these concrete bunkers and learn more about this little-known outpost where Canada and American soldiers stood guard from 1941-1945.

Cape Spear Newfoundland

5. Hike, Hike, Hike

Newfoundland is loaded with hiking trails, over 200 to be exact and offers 29,000 km of pristine coastline, historic footpaths and unspoiled wilderness to explore. Serious hikers will want to hike the East Coast Trail that runs 265 km via a series of 24 connected paths. Expect fjords, cliffs, headlands and sea stacks for the views. The 5.3 km Skerwink Trail on the Bonavista Peninsula offers a less strenuous trek and offers more scenery per linear foot than any other trail in Newfoundland. Make sure to hike this trail in a clockwise direction to get the most out of the views. The Alexander Murray Trail in King’s Point is an 8 km round-trip hike that is considered one of the best kept secrets in Newfoundland. It includes a whopping 2,200 stairs and an elevation gain of 1100 feet, and visitors will be treated to a spectacular summit view, where on a sunny day you can even spot icebergs.

Philip Mowbray /
Philip Mowbray /

4. Visit Gros Morne National Park

This World Heritage Site is located on the west coast of Newfoundland and is the second largest national park in Atlantic Canada. If you only have time for one hike in this park, make sure you hike to the summit of Gros Morne Mountain. It is here where you will be rewarded with amazing views of Ten Mile Brook Pond, the Long Range Mountains and Bonne Bay. It’s at least a 4-hour hike and you climb over 2,265 ft. but the chance to stand on the second highest peak in Newfoundland is well worth it. Wildlife viewing is also plentiful in this park with moose being the most notable animal, along with caribou, black bears, red fox and beavers. Camp, cycle, hike, picnic, kayak, swim; the opportunities for activities are endless in this park. In the winter the park is popular with skiers, snowshoers and snowmobilers

Gros Morne National Park

3. Visit Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve

If you have come to Newfoundland to bird watch, this is the place to head to. Thousands of gulls, razorbills, common murres, black-legged kittiwakes, northern gannets, and double-crested and great cormorants nest here. In the winter 20,000 scoters, oldsquaw, harlequin, dovekies and thick-billed murres hunker down here. It is the most accessible seabird rookery in North America and the site overflows with perching, diving and scrambling birds from edge to edge, providing a spectacle of color and sound. An interpretation site teaches visitors about the lives of seabirds as you watch them soar from a giant viewing window. During the summer an annual concert series takes place with traditional music, dancing, food and drinks. With the site open all year round, and the visitors center open from May to October, it is certainly worth stopping here to see the birds in action.

Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve

2. Explore St. John’s

The capital of Newfoundland occupies a wonderful site on one of the finest natural harbors in the world. The city is the oldest “European” town in North America and the harbor has been used by various countries as a base for fishing vessels since about 1500. Today the colorful houses paint a picture perfect setting for those wanting to explore the city. It is here where you can join in on the haunted hike and discover the deepest darkest corners of the city. The city is where you will find The Rooms, a collection of museums and art galleries that tell the history and local culture. Make sure to visit George Street, the pedestrian only street that features restaurants and bars, offering live East Coast music. The Basilica of St John the Baptist is found here, Newfoundland’s architecturally most important building.

St. John’s Newfoundland

1. Kiss the Cod

It is a tradition that began here in this province and continues to be a long standing tradition that amuses visitors from all over the world. The tradition involves a codfish as well as a type of Newfoundland rum known as screech. The tradition is often referred to as a “Screech-In” and is used to welcome newcomers to the island. Visitors should not miss out on this tradition and should head to a pub on George Street in St. John’s to participate. It must be a Newfoundlander who performs this ceremony and nowadays Cod is hard to find, so any fish will do. Once you kiss the fish, you must repeat a saying (it varies depending on where you go) and down the full shot of screech, and thus you have officially been screeched-in.

Photo by: Newfoundland by Motorcycle
Photo by: Newfoundland by Motorcycle

The Best Urban Parks in Canada

Canada is known for some of its incredible National Parks but often what gets overlooked in this great nation are the incredible urban parks that have popped up from coast to coast. What makes one urban park better than another? Great access to activities, varied landscapes, incredible scenery and plenty of things to see and do, are what sets these eight urban parks above the rest. From the famous Stanley Park in Vancouver to the largest urban park in Canada to lesser known parks in the east coast; here are the best urban parks in Canada.

8. Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg

This park is considered to be one of Winnipeg’s crown jewels and offers over 113 hectares of woodland and plains along the River’s south side. Attractions here include the park zoo whose star attraction is the Polar Bears and the comprehensive exhibit that they are housed in. Known to be one of the most comprehensive zoological exhibits of its kind in the world, visitors have the chance to watch the playful bears in a stimulating environments inspired by their natural habitat. The park boasts more than just the zoo though, including gardens, playgrounds, restaurants, nature trails, a steam train and more. The park conservatory boasts over 8,000 flowers, trees and plants while the Gallery Museum features local artists and a permanent Winnie the Pooh artifact collection.

Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg

7. Beacon Hill Park, Victoria

Located on Victoria’s southern shores, Beacon Hill Park is an oasis of both landscaped and natural beauty, offering spectacular views during every season. The outer rim of the park is where nature lovers flock to, to Oceanside bluffs where paragliders and kite enthusiasts often can be seen. The inner park is where visitors will find most of the activities though. Wander through the manicured gardens and over bridged streams while music drifts out of the Cameron Bandshell. Or take the kids the the miniature golfing or petting zoo. Wildlife is abundant throughout the park with over a hundred species of birds, river otters, painted turtles and more. This park also happens to have the important status of being the western terminus, the Mile “0” of the 8,000km Trans-Canada highway and so happens to be a very popular tourist photo opp.

Mile 0

6. Pippy Park, St. John’s Newfoundland

At the northern boundary of St. John’s lays one of Canada’s greatest urban parks, Pippy Park, abundant in scenery and breathtaking views. The 27-hole golf course features some of the spectacular views of both the oldest city in North America and miles of rugged coastline, chances are you might even see an iceberg or whale while walking this course. If visitors want to spend more than just a day exploring this awesome park, the campground offers 216 sites on private treed lots that are steps away from playgrounds and the Botanical Gardens. There is a plethora of scenic trails that allow visitors to explore a variety of landscapes including wetlands, rivers, parklands and more. The rare Leopard march orchid can also be spotted here in the Botanical Gardens and offers visitors a once in a lifetime opportunity to see it up close and in person.


5. Fish Creek Provincial Park, Calgary

It is the largest urban park in all of Canada, and just so happens to be one of the best, located in the southern part of Calgary and over three times the size of Vancouver’s famous Stanley Park. Fish Creek flows the entire length of the park and joins the Bow River at the east side, offering visitors a plethora of wildlife viewing opportunities. Visitors here will be privy to 200 bird species, deer, owls, beavers and coyotes which all call this park home. One of the most popular features of the park is Sikome Lake, a man-made lake where thousands of people flock to each summer to swim. A variety of unpaved walking, hiking and bicycle trails are also prevalent throughout Fish Creek Park. Two restaurants are located here, one which offers fine-dining and the other a bakery and café and an Artisan Garden is located in the east end. There are a ton of things to see and do here and if you happen to be a resident of Calgary, consider yourself lucky that you get to enjoy this park anytime at your leisure.


4. Rockwood Park, St. John New Brunswick

This park offers an abundance of activities to enjoy in an unspoiled setting where unusual topography and geography are prevalent. The billion years of history here can be seen in unique rock formations, caves and waterfalls and this park often refers to itself as an all-season natural amusement park. Sports enthusiasts will enjoy the opportunity for hiking, fishing. Boating, climbing, camping, golfing and mountain biking while those looking for something a little more low key can visit the Cherry Brook Zoo, located in the north section of the park. Other awesome amenities include beaches, gardens, stables, campgrounds and picnic sites, along with 890 hectares of forest and the beautiful Lily Lake.

rockwood park NB

3. High Park, Toronto

It is Toronto’s largest public park and in recent years the city has invested a lot of time, energy and money into making it one of the greatest urban parks in Canada. High Park is home to a greenhouse, zoo, restaurants, off-leash dog park and more. The signature Sakura cheery blossom trees in Hillside Gardens are the star attraction during April and May when they are in full bloom. Grenadier Pond is the place to head for fishing off the south rim while visitors who want to swim or skate can head to the designated pool and rink. From wandering through the nature trails to playing on one of many playgrounds to taking in a sport at one of the great facilities, there is certainly no shortage of things to do here.

high park

2. Mt. Royal Park, Montreal

It is the best urban park in all of Montreal and so happens to be one of the best in all of Canada, laying in the midst of Montreal island and including 200 hectares and the highest spot in the city. The park is home to over 180 species of birds and 20 mammals and enough hiking and biking paths to keep any active visitor busy. In the winter time enjoy the 20km of cross country trails, horse drawn carriage rides and an awesome tubing and tobogganing run. Other features of this impressive park include Beaver Lake, a sculpture garden, Smith House – an interpretative center, and two belvederes. Designed by famous architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed New York City’s Central Park, visitors can assure that there is no shortage of spectacular views of the city below and varied landscapes to explore.

mt royal

1. Stanley Park, Vancouver

It is known for being one the best parks around the world, and recently held the title of “best park in the world” by Trip Advisor, therefore no trip to Vancouver should be complete without visiting Stanley Park. This lush green space covers over 400 hectares of parkland and west coast rainforest. Things to do at this park include visiting the indoor/outdoor aquarium, walking the 8.8km stretch of seawall and discovering the Brockton Point’s First Nations totem poles. The park is also absolutely loaded with gardens, beaches, landmarks, sculptures and lookout points, along with a golf course and a Lost Lagoon. Whether you spend an hour, a day or three days exploring this park, one thing is for sure – it is easy to understand why this is truly the best urban park in Canada.



The 8 Most Romantic Cottage Destinations in Canada

From coast to coast, the country of Canada is packed with magnificent scenery, charming small towns, snow-capped mountains, rolling hills, and thick, lush nature. If you are looking for a romantic getaway there is no need to look further than this country packed with hospitality and romance. Choosing to stay at a cottage rather than a hotel doesn’t mean sacrificing comfort and amenities. What it does mean is more privacy, seclusion and opportunity to rekindle that romantic spirit. From Newfoundland to Ontario to British Columbia, these eight romantic cottage destinations are sure to make you swoon.

8. Heart’s Delight, Newfoundland

With a name like Heart’s Delight it would be hard to expect anything but romance from this destination. Located on the Atlantic Coast in rural Newfoundland, it is truly a getaway from everything and everyone. Visitors looking for romance coupled with nature should put this small town on the top of their list. With views of Shag Rock, icebergs outside your window and visiting whales that you can see from your porch; the conditions are ideal for a whole lot of snuggling, candlelight and romance. There are many choices to choose from in terms of cabins and cottages along Trinity Bay and if you fancy a road trip, make sure to check out the two neighboring towns, Heart’s Content and Heart’s Desire. Take a sunset hike, watch the fisherman gather their catch and enjoy the tranquil and peaceful nature of beautiful Newfoundland.

Heart's Delight

7. Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

Whatever season you choose to visit Cape Breton, one thing remains the same. The slow paced laid-back lifestyle is perfect for a romantic getaway. Choose a cottage located along the Cabot Trail and awake to the sound of the waves crashing against the cliffs. The beauty of the landscape here is almost poetic and it’s as if you have stepped into another world once you cross over to the island from the mainland. Delicious seafood dinners in cozy pubs with fiddlers playing a quiet jig are ideal for reconnecting with your partner. There are plenty of opportunities to explore the landscape by hiking or cycling in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter. If you are looking for the ultimate relaxation getaway to rekindle the romance, where cell phones are turned off and the only sounds are the waves crashing and the birds chirping, Cape Breton should be at the top of your list.

Cape breton highlands

6. Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

It is known as one of the prettiest small towns in all of Canada, with its historic houses and theatres, garden boxes lining the streets and boutique shops. With every season come new surprises in terms of landscape and scenery, making it a year-round romantic destination. The cottages here are more than likely houses that are hundreds of years old, adorned with original features and charm. In a region full of world-renowned wineries, it isn’t hard to find romantic experiences here. Winery tours and dinners are a must for anyone visiting Niagara-on-the-Lake and prepare to open your senses to an exhilarating culinary experience. Get around town by horse-drawn carriage or rent a bicycle and tour the historic downtown. The Niagara River meets Lake Ontario here and days are passed by sitting on the sandy shores, or walking the trails along the river. One of Ontario’s best kept secrets; this town was made for the romantic couple.

Niagara On The Lake
LesPalenik /

5. Algonquin Park, Ontario

The pristine wilderness setting of Algonquin Park sets the stage for romance for the true nature lovers. Thousands of lakes, rocky ridges and forests are yours to explore on one of many romantic getaways that await visitors. Most of the romantic cottages you will find around Algonquin Park feature luxury accommodations and fine dining. Think wood burning fireplaces, handcrafted furniture and private hot tubs on the deck. This region of Ontario is full of upscale, high profile cottage owners and for the right price; you could have the romantic getaway of a lifetime. Paddle your way through one of the thousands of lakes without seeing another soul, hike through the wilderness to watch bears and moose in their homes and return to your cottage retreat for a 5 star dining experience. It is one of the most breathtaking natural scenic experiences in Ontario and begs to be explored, made better only by the company you are with.


4. Quebec City, Quebec

Quebec City remains one of Canada’s top romantic getaway destinations year after year. The Rue du Petit Champlain has been called one of the prettiest streets in all of North America and while taking in the sights from the top of the stairs, it is easy to see why. Visiting in the wintertime is actually when Quebec City is at its most romantic. The charming shops and boutiques are decorated with twinkling lights, horse-drawn carriages clop along the cobblestone streets and fires crackle in the confines of your cottage. Choose to stay in a cottage outside of the city where you can escape from it all and take in the breathtaking landscape. Many have beautiful views of the Saint-Lawrence River or are placed on the banks of the many surrounding lakes. Cozy up in a quaint café, stroll hand in hand through the historic city and dine in luxury at one of the award-winning restaurants.

quebec city

3. Whitehorse, Yukon

The choice is yours, the Northern Lights or the Midnight Sun. Whichever one you choose, visiting the Yukon is like visiting another planet all together, and although it may not be your first thought when you think romance; this cottage destination has it all. The luxury log cabins that are located outside of Whitehorse offer everything from outdoor hot tubs to saunas to luxury linens to satellite TV. Combine that with the endless opportunities to explore one of the most uninhabited regions in the world and this promises to be a trip of a lifetime. Couples can hike, canoe, mountain bike, horseback ride, ice fish, ski, snowboard and more through the Yukon’s epic landscapes. The Yukon also happens to provide incredible views of the breathtaking natural phenomenon referred to as the Northern Lights. What’s more romantic than witnessing this incredible natural light show that occurs in the sky?

Yukon, Northern Lights

2. Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia

Peggy’s Cove is full of cozy cottages, romantic B&B’s and picturesque landscapes that will create unforgettable memories. The small fishing village is famous for its lighthouse and the story of Peggy, which can be romantic or practical, depending on who you ask. Nestled amongst glacier rock formations and surrounded by nature, this romantic getaway is best spent relaxing and exploring the landscape. Long walks on the beach, sunset picnics with a nice bottle of wine and ocean views as far as the eye can see are just a few of the activities that romantic couples do here. Bask in the sun, feel the ocean salt as it hits your cheek and dine in one of the intimate seafood restaurants nearby. Above all, Peggy’s Cove gives couples the chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and experience the sounds of nature around them.

1. Banff, Alberta

The West Coast of Canada is truly breathtaking with its awe-inspiring mountains, colorful lakes and romantic hot springs. Lake Louise in Banff has been named as one of the top honeymoon destinations in Canada year after year for its romance factor. Secluded, pristine, cozy and unbelievably beautiful; this area of the country offers hidden cottages in the mountains and a setting for romance unlike any other. Vacation goers can choose from luxury cabins on the shores of the lakes or secluded cottages hidden in the mountains reached only by hiking. Winter brings wood fires, snowshoeing and the experience of a  winter wonderland while summer lets visitors canoe, swim and hike through the beautiful land. Whichever season you prefer, we promise this won’t be your last romantic cottage getaway here.

Banff National Park

The World’s 10 Best Whale-Watching Destinations

The practice of observing whales in their natural habitat is most often reserved for recreational purposes, but can also serve as great assistance to marine biologists and those conducting scientific study alike. A 2008 study showed that 13 million people took part in whale watching that year, generated approximately $2.1 billion in global tourist revenue, and employed around 13, 000 people. In this ever-expanding industry, the number of locations and those providing the opportunity to go whale watching has grown significantly. Regions such as the Atlantic, Pacific, Caribbean and even the Mediterranean offer the chance to see the gentle giants of the see roam about their natural surroundings. Perhaps the best part of such a journey is the fantastic intelligence and kindness of the species, making the expedition a much safer experience than a safari for example. Here, for your reference, are some of the best whale-watching destinations around the world:

10. Wailuku, Hawaii

Not only is heading out to the island of Hawaii an experience simply for the great weather and history but, between October and May every year humpback whales visit the warm, tropical waters of the region for the purposes of breeding. These whales are of particular note for their specialized vocalizations sometimes referred to as songs. Humpbacks are usually seen slapping the water with their tails as they interact, as well as making hops in and out of the water. Also in the area are harbor seals, turtles and dolphins but that’s not all. Different bird species can be seen including herons, albatrosses, frigate birds and more. Manta rays and several pieces of the aforementioned turtles make this whale-watching location more of a marine researcher’s dream. Some tours are able to offer guaranteed whale sightings between January and April which means an experience is sure to be had, making this an excellent vacation spot.

whale watching Hawaii

9. Baja, Mexico

Gray and orca (killer) whales are another great reason to visit Mexico. Just off the coast of Baja is where gray whales give birth to their young before making the unimaginable migration to Alaska in order to capitalize on the summer feeding. The story goes that these gray whales are particularly interested in interacting with humans and feeding their curiosity. Since the early 1970s the whales approached small fishing vessels in the San Ignacio Lagoon. These days the tour boats will carry occupants close enough to encounter the 30-ton beasts during their breeding season which lasts from December to April. Blue whales, finback and sperm whales can also be seen amongst an array of dolphin species. Pelicans and other birds nest in the same area, but as an added treat, tourists may catch a glimpse of California sea lions, too. Offers for turtle conservation trips in the area are available as well should any traveler desire.

Grey whale mexico

8. Reyjavik, Iceland

Some of the most beautiful species swim their way through the remote seas that surround the remote nation of Iceland. Some of these whale and wildlife watching excursions include minke whales, white-beaked dolphins and orca whales. The Icelandic whale-watching expeditions can also offer a different type of unique experience than any other trips taken elsewhere in the world. Included in some tours, a boat ride to puffin nesting colonies also allows for a showcase of the northern lights. The auroras are caused by particles entering the atmosphere resulting in optical emissions. Basically, breathtaking lights seemingly float off the edge of the globe. The auroras combined with the beauty of the mammals make this trip one that can potentially knock two items off even the most specific bucket lists. Enjoy the unique culture of Iceland that only few travelers know about.

Whale watching Iceland

7. Island of Azores, Portugal

Way out in the Atlantic Ocean approaching the coasts of Portugal and Morocco lay many remote islands that make up the region known as the Azores. During the peak season (May to October) blue, finback and sperm whales call the mild climates of the island waters their home. Like many other whale-watching locations, an array of bird species is not far off. Egrets, kittiwakes, storm petrels and more flock to this region in the Azores making it an animal lover’s paradise. Some of the lesser-seen species may include pilot whales, killer whales and certain dolphin species skipping across the water. These porpoise species are the classic, gray and white combination that people have come to know and recognize. Put them in crystal clear Atlantic Ocean water and this is where images that may seem to be photo shopped come from. It should be noted that if time and money warrant it, trips between Iceland and Azores can be to taken to extend the experience.

Whale watching Azores

6. Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Far away from major cities on the Northeast coast of Canada there are opportunities to see whales off the coast of some Atlantic provinces. Particularly in the north of Newfoundland & Labrador where the Gulf of St. Lawrence opens up to the Atlantic Ocean and offers the opportunity to meet many spectacular species. The history is rich where beluga, minke, humpback, fin, blue and sperm whales are located. As usual a plethora of seabirds will have heads looking up and out right after they were looking down at the backs of the sea beasts. Enjoy trips to many of the large parks in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia or New Brunswick before heading out onto the ocean. The east coast culture is great and the folks are friendly, but don’t expect special treatment. The water may be choppy; however these locations offer some of the best whale sightings in the entire world. Prepare for potentially frigid temperatures in the more northern locations depending on time of year.

Humpback whale Newfoundland

5. Georgia Straight, B.C., Canada

With such an enormous amount of coastline (the most anywhere), Canada is known as having some of the world’s best whale watching expeditions on the planet. The Atlantic has been covered, but the Pacific offers a great variety of species and not just whales. Along with the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Georgia Strait is home to populations of highly-social orca whales. Take boats from Victoria and Vancouver between May and October in order to see the whales and other animals that inhabit these waters. Also present are humpback whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins and of course sea lions. Unfortunately, the sea lions while adorable and cuddly to humans are the favorite tasty snack of the orca; which is what gives them the moniker of ‘killer whales’. While the sea lion pups are looking precious along the beach lines, the orcas use their sonar to swoop in for their meal. This is an astonishing opportunity to see the food chain in action.

Killer whales BC

4. New York/New Jersey, USA

When one thinks of New York, the last thing on their mind is likely to be whales. This is even more so when referring to New Jersey, which is more known for Atlantic City and the place where the mob operates their “construction company” out of. The reality is the waters off the coast of the great state see thousands of watchers waiting for a glimpse each and every year. From April to November (peak season is June through August) humpback, minke, fin, blue and sperm whales feed along the continental shelf. They can also be seen simply migrating through the area. Bottlenose dolphins and killer whales are in the area. Where orcas are of course, seals are as well, and we know why (thanks to the previous slide). The birds aren’t far away either; harlequin ducks and scoters are visible of the coast of New York City and New Jersey. The fact that there is so much accessible coastline here is what makes for an unforgettable whale-watching experience.

Whale watching New York

3. Newport Beach, California

Marine mammals and birds are available in large, diverse numbers here with many easy-to-access points available through tours. Blue, gray and humpback whales are seen due to migration patterns, while fin and minke whales can be seen almost all year round. Some dolphins and orcas are noted to be in the area, as well. Gray whales have a migration season from January to May, with a peak in March. Humpbacks are in a similar pattern, while fin and blue whales have their sightings peak in the summer. Offshore islands are where harbor seals, sea lions and sea otters call home, while gulls, pelicans and puffins nest in the same area. Some of the birds follow the same seasons as the humpbacks, as they travel to the arctic in the summer and return south in the winter. No matter if early in the year or during the heat of August, California provides a plethora of whale-watching opportunities.

Whale California

2. Seattle, Washington

Take a day-long trip for a whale-watching tour from Seattle to navigate all the surrounding islands including the stunning Deception pass and the San Juan Islands. Along with Bellingham, there are many places to learn about the wildlife, marine life and the ecosystem in its entirety. Orcas are spotted hunting harbor seals and porpoises, adding to the unfortunate list of creatures orcas set their eyes on when it comes to dinner time. Minke and humpback whales are the competition, as different breeds of sea lions hunt salmon in the late spring and early autumn months. The circle keeps going when bald eagles or ospreys dive down from the sky to pick off unsuspecting fish while great blue herons stand idly by on the shore line to haul their catch in a different manner. The variety of species in this area is simply outstanding and is sure to please wildlife lovers of all kinds.

Orcas Washington

1.  Juneau, Alaska

Our number one pick due to the amazing scenery, southeastern Alaska is said to provide life-long memories from the wildlife encounters during whale-watching trips. Migratory humpback whales spend the summer feeding in these waters, and set up something spectacular that is seen on many nature programs. Humpbacks create an underwater cyclone or “net” of bubbles around schools of fish and then lunge to the surface in a display of their natural power. Minke whales also use this technique. Gray whales are seen on their migration patterns, while orcas patrol the coast year-round looking for their prey. Steep-sided fjords and open waters are open to explore, while porpoises, seals, otters and sea lions play chicken with the aforementioned killer whales. The largest population of bald eagles in the world can be found here due to the abundance of salmon. From Juneau to Homer, the possibilities (and photo opportunities are endless) making Alaska #1 on the list.

Whale Alaska

Canada’s Natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Discovering and visiting Canada’s Natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites is an achievement many people would love to accomplish; not just for the beauty of these sites but also for the rich history among them. From world famous fossil sites that date well before the age of the dinosaurs to the first international peace park; Canada is home to some unbelievable locations. Canoe through rivers where wild bison graze on the shores or catch a glimpse of the endangered whooping crane. Visit the largest ice field in North America’s subarctic interior or soothe your aches away in the natural hot springs. From snow capped mountain tops to rocky fossil beaches we have rounded up Canada’s Natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Tag along with us as we explore what makes these sites so unique and discover the beauty and history that surrounds them.

1. Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks

Rugged snow covered mountain peaks and ice fields in the winter, towering waterfalls and shimmering lakes in the summer are just a slice of what awaits you in the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks. Included in this list are Banff National Park, Hamber Provincial Park, Jasper National Park, Kootenay National Park, Mount Robson Provincial Park, Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park and Yoho National Park.

Millions of visitors visit these parks annually to discover such significant natural landscapes as the Columbia ice field; the largest in the North America’s subarctic interior and the dividing line between Jasper and Banff. The visitors looking for relaxation flock to the natural hot springs in Banff to heal their aching bodies and the ones looking for adventure discover extensive cave systems throughout these parks. Besides the natural wonders, these parks house many species of wildlife including mountain goats, bighorn sheep, bears, puma and moose. The Burgess Shale fossil site is also located amongst the parks and is one of the most important fossil sites in the world housing information about how our world evolved. Whether you can explore one or many, it is easy to understand why people flock to these breathtaking parks.

Columbia ice fields Jasper National Park

2. Dinosaur Provincial Park

This beautiful park is located right in the heart of Alberta’s badlands and contains fossils from over 35 species of dinosaurs dating back 75 million years ago. That makes Dinosaur Provincial Park one of the most important fossil sites in the world regarding these ancient creatures that once roamed the very land we live on today. Twisted pinnacles of rocks among the barren landscape makes it hard to imagine a time when trees and flowers flourished in the subtropical paradise that was once here. The fossils and skeletons collected in this park are in over 30 major museums throughout the world.

Visitors to this provincial park are encouraged to explore the landscape while keeping in mind most of it is a protected reserve. Hop on one of the fabulous bus tours for a closer look and guided activities at stops along the way. Check out the visitor’s center with interactive exhibits and short films about fossils and dinosaurs. Choose from one of five self-guided hikes or sign up to go on a real fossil safari. A trip to Dinosaur Provincial Park is unlike any other park you have been to so allow yourself a number of hours to truly enjoy this step back in time, more than 75 million years ago.

Badlands Dinosaur Provincial Park

3. Gros Morne National Park

Heading all the way across Canada to Newfoundland’s west coast is where you will find a park that illustrates some of the world’s best examples of the process of plate tectonics. Gros Morne National Park is a combination of sheer cliffs, freshwater fjords, perched lakes and much more spectacular scenery. Deep ocean crust and the rocks of the earth’s mantle lie exposed in this true natural wonder as the demonstration of glaciations in an island setting truly makes the scenery spectacular.

The park offers visitors the chance to hike through the wild uninhabited mountains, tour by boat under the towering sheer drop off cliffs formed by glaciers and lay their head down at night at a campsite on the beach. Shoreline communities with colorful houses, friendly locals and an abundance of wildlife make this an area you want to put on your bucket list. Minke and finback whales along with harbor seals are a common site from the park in the waters as well as arctic hare and caribous on land. Discover a new side of Newfoundland in the stunning beauty of Gros Morne National Park.

Granite cliffs Gros Morne National Park

4. Joggins Fossil Cliffs

Sticking in Eastern Canada the next stop on our list is Joggins Fossil Cliffs, located on the beautiful Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia. Stretching almost 15km down the shoreline is a paleontological site home to some of the world’s best examples of Carboniferous fossils. Dating back 300 million years ago this collection is the most comprehensive of its kind and demonstrates the best examples of the terrestrial life from the Pennsylvanian strata age.

What was once a buzzing lush tropical forest home to towering giant seed fern trees, insects and reptiles is now a landscape made of beach, sea cliffs, low bluffs and rock formations. Visitors are encouraged to visit Joggins Fossil Cliffs and seek out the fossils along the shoreline. There is no “finders’ keepers” here though, everything must be left in place as every piece of rock is a potential historical find. The visitor’s center offers interactive exhibits and the chance to book your guided tour of the cliffs.  Home to the largest and most comprehensive fossils from 300 million years ago, Joggins Fossil Cliffs is truly a spectacle of nature.

Joggins Fossil Cliffs

5. Kluane / Wrangell-St. Elias / Glacier Bay / Tatshenshini-Alsek

Heading back west the parks Kluane, Wrangell-St. Elias, Glacier Bay and Tatshenshini-Alsek make up an international park system that is home to the largest non-polar ice field in the world. Located in both Canada and the United States bordering Yukon, Alaska and British Columbia; these parks were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its long and spectacular glaciers along with its important habitat for grizzly bears, caribou and Dall sheep.

This North American “Mountain Kingdom” contains a variety of landscapes ranging from high mountain peaks to valleys to lakes and streams and glacier systems. This wide range of landscapes encourages many climate zones and the different elevations encourage a variety of ecosystems to thrive. On the Canadian side Kluane Park offers incredible ice field viewing and is home to the highest peak in Canada; Mount Logan. Tatshenshini-Alsek Park draws visitors who like to kayak and canoe to the two magnificent river systems that run through the park. Whether you have the chance to explore the Canadian Side or the American; this natural World Heritage Site is home to some incredible natural wonders of glaciers, ice fields and more.

Kluane Park

6. Miguasha National Park

Stepping back over 370 million years ago; Miguasha National Park was the very location where life on earth was making the transition from the sea to land. Today, thousands of beautifully preserved fossils have been extracted from the Escuminac cliffs. Most of these fossils are fish species from the Devonian period. These lobe-finned fish gave rise to the first four-legged air-breathing terrestrial vertebrate. Pretty impressive we must say.

This national park located in south-eastern Quebec welcomes visitors and encourages them to learn more about this history rich area. The Natural History Museums offers a close-up look at the well preserved fossils along with the opportunity to take a guided tour throughout. The “Evolution of Life” trail leads you on a 3km hike along the fossil rich cliffs with plenty of breathtaking views and photo opportunities. Miguasha National Park and the Natural History Museum will lead you down a path in history where you can discover and understand how life on earth really started.

Miguasha National Park

7. Nahanni National Park

Nahanni National Park runs along one of the most spectacular wild rivers in North America in the Yukon. This breathtaking national park is comprised of deep canyons, huge thundering waterfalls, mountain ranges, and a unique limestone cave system. This national park is also one of the least visited parks in the country with only one thousand visitors per year.

The Nahanni River with all of its enormity and impressive landscape is deserving of its UNESCO designation as a World Heritage Site. The rivers are older than the mountains they dissect and throughout the park there are examples of almost every category of river and stream known to mankind. Coupled with one of the largest North American waterfalls; Virginia Falls has pushed this national park into the spotlight. The undisturbed natural setting with its abundance of natural hot springs and caves to explore begs to be discovered. Getting here is not always easy and only accessible by air or foot. The reward is a landscape so diverse and awe-inspiring that words cannot possibly explain it.

Nahanni National Park

8. Waterton Glacier International Peace Park

The world’s first international peace park is a combination of Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park and Glacier National Park of the United States. The international peace park sits on the border of these two countries in both Alberta and Montana and offers awe-inspiring scenery as well as an abundance of wildlife and diverse plant species. It is unusual in its landscape as it offers a sudden transition between prairies and mountains without the usual foothills most other landscapes include.

The diversity of its flora and fauna is what earned this park its place on the UNESCO World Heritage rating. Plant communities and ecological complexes that can be found here are nowhere else in the world and the high concentration of animal species in a small area is unique. Visitors can spend endless hours hiking through the valleys, forests and around the lake. The Canadian side tends to have slightly better scenery and a must stop is the Prince of Wales hotel; a grand hotel set amongst the beautiful mountain setting. Wildlife, plants, mountains and more are what make this National Park so stunning.

Waterton Glacier International Peace Park

9. Wood Buffalo National Park

The home to North America’s largest population of bison and the natural nesting place of the whooping crane along with the fact that this area has the world’s largest inland delta makes the value of this park enough to land it on the list of UNESCO’s World’s Heritage Sites. The largely undisturbed grass and sedge meadows provide the perfect home for the threatened wood bison while the boreal forests protect a number of species including the endangered whooping crane.

Hiking or paddling is the best way to explore this extremely large National Park which borders northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Trails such as the Salt River Trails will take you along a saline creek to sinkholes and large strangely shaped rocks scattered throughout the land. Be sure to be on the lookout for bison and wolves, as this remains one of the few remaining places that this predator-prey relationship between the two species still exists. The three rivers throughout the park are calm and gentle allowing you to hop in a canoe and paddle your way along. With an abundance of wildlife, sinkholes and even a salt dessert; you never know what’s around the corner at this interesting and downright beautiful National Park.

Wood Buffalo National Park

Canada’s Cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites

From the very northern tip of Newfoundland to a tiny island located off the west coast of British Columbia; Canada’s Cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites are both breathtaking and awe-inspiring. Travel back in time and learn about the only Viking settlement in North America, or sail aboard a fishing boat and discover the picturesque town in Nova Scotia known for its colorful 18th century houses. Discover what a Buffalo Jump is, walk in a whaler’s shoes or cruise through the infamous Rideau Canal. Rich in both history and culture all of the following sites have gone through a rigorous selection process and have been named Canada’s Cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Travel with us as we explore these interesting and stunning places of cultural importance.

1. Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

One of the world’s most important hunting sites; as well as being the largest, oldest, most well-preserved buffalo jumps in the world is the claim to fame for the Cultural UNESCO World Heritage Site located in South-Western Alberta. A buffalo jump was as method used by the aboriginal people nearly 6000 years ago as a way to kill their prey and involved chasing the buffalo over a steep rock cliff.

This world heritage site has been extremely well-preserved and has added an extremely informative and educational interpretive center to its grounds. Explore the multi-level structure and learn facts like how the stampeding buffalo can reach up to 50km/hour or take in the short film that explains exactly what the site used to be. There are plenty of trails to be explored; whether you choose to hike them independently or hire one of the informative guides that will tell you more detail. The artifacts, the views and the history of this site makes it a great place to visit while in Alberta.

Jeff Whyte /
Jeff Whyte /

2. Historic District of Old Québec

Founded in the early 17th century by French explorer Samuel de Champlain, Old Quebec remains one of the last walled cities in North America. The Historic District of Old Quebec is comprised of two parts; the Upper Town which is perched on the cliffs and known for its fortified defense walls whereas the Lower Town is built around the harbor. This World Heritage Site is the best and most complete example of a fortified colonial town in North America.

The breathtaking range of architecture gives this city the reputation for being “a piece of Old Europe” and it doesn’t disappoint with architectural styles ranging from Classic Revival to International Style. Explore places of historical significance including The Plains of Abraham, The Citadelle and the Promenade des Gouverneurs. Get lost in the cobblestone streets, history rich churches and museums that date back to the early 17th century. Immerse yourself in the culture of the city and educate yourself on why this city was the capital of New France until 1760. The towering defense walls still in place, the rush of the St.Lawrence River and the breathtaking beauty will make your tip to this World Heritage Site unforgettable.

Old Québec

3. Landscape of Grand Pré

The Landscape of Grand Pre is located on the Bay of Fundy’s Minas Basin in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley and is the third World Heritage Cultural Site. Rewind to the 17th century where Acadians first established the dykelands in an area where extreme tidal ranges made this almost impossible. This area is of importance because not only does it demonstrate the polder technique of developing farmland but it demonstrates the permanency of the hydraulic draining system the Acadians set forth.

This site is also the well known symbol for the deportation of Acadians from Nova Scotia. Thousands of people were forcibly removed from their colonies and dispersed amongst the thirteen American colonies or sent back to Europe. The Grand Pre historic site contains commemorative gardens and memorials to the Acadian Deportation along with cemeteries and the Memorial Church. This amazing landscape is a collection of symbolism, harsh environments and the amazing farming systems built and maintained by the Acadians. Stretching over 1,300ha this World Heritage Site offers a glimpse into the adaptations the first European settlers had to make while facing Mother Nature’s toughest conditions.

Grand Pre Nova Scotia

4. L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site

The only confirmed Viking settlement in North America; L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site sits on the tip of Northern Newfoundland. This archaeological site contains the evacuated remains of an 11th century Viking settlement. The Vikings were believed to have come from Greenland as part of a Norse exploration and discovered this “land of meadows”.

The site was rediscovered in 1960 when a Norwegian explorer and his wife excavated the site. What they found was a temporary Viking settlement comprised of eight houses, one forge, four workshops, and artifacts such as stone oil lamps. The houses found used the same building techniques and materials as those found in Norway during the same period; wood frame structures with grass sod dug into the ground. Visitors can enjoy the interpretation center where a short video is played to explain the significance of the site and are encouraged to check out the artifacts and reconstructions. Outside there is a trail that leads you to the remains of the workshops and houses and also takes you by the reconstructed houses. As the oldest settlement of European origin in America, this World Heritage Site is an amazing experience.

L’Anse aux Meadows Newfoundland

5. Old Town Lunenburg

A picturesque fishing town in Nova Scotia is the next World Heritage Cultural Site on the list. Narrow streets, captivating architecture and the rows of colorful houses dating back to the 18th century make Old Town Lunenburg not only breathtakingly beautiful but rich in culture and history. The fact that it is the best surviving example of a planned British colonial settlement in North America catapulted it into World Heritage Site status.

The original layout has remained throughout the years and the residents of this town have carefully cared for and preserved much of the original buildings and houses. Historically fishing and shipbuilding were the main industries and as time has gone on; they have remained so in this harbor town. It remains Canada’s base for the largest fish-processing plant and fleet of deep-sea trawlers. Visitors can wander the docks and buy fresh lobster and fish, sail the waters on a tall ship or pop in to see the Bluenose II being restored. Step back in time to a simpler world where locals love to chat, you can buy fresh fish off the boat and the houses are bursting with vibrant colors.

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

6. Red Bay Basque Whaling Station

Positioned in Labrador on the shores of Strait of Belle Isle, Red Bay comprises the largest known 16th century Basque whaling station in North America. Perhaps the most comprehensive, intact and earliest testimony to pre-industrial whaling; the Red Bay Basque Whaling Station was used as a base for all major elements of Basque whaling. Including hunting, butchering and rendering of fat to be used for oil; this base was used daily in the summer months for over seventy years until the whale population was depleted.

Visitors can stroll through Red Bay and discover artifacts such as rendering ovens, temporary dwellings and cooperages. A cemetery, look out points and interpretation center complete this archaeological site. The underwater wrecks of vessels and whale bone deposits play a major role in learning about the whaling station and although visitors can’t access these items; the interpretation center does an excellent job educating people about them. Walk where the whalers walked, pay tribute at the burial ground and discover one of the most fascinating sites in Canada.

Red Bay Basque Whaling Station

7. Rideau Canal (2007)

Dating back to the early 19th century; the Rideau Canal was built mainly for military purposes and became the first of its kind to be build specifically for steam-powered vessels. Since that time it remains the oldest continuously operated canal system in North America. History tells us that the canal played a significant role in allowing British forces to defend the colony of Canada; thus creating the two political and culturally different entities in North America.

The waterway has a total of 45 locks, all of which are operated manually by the same mechanisms that were used in 1832, with the exception of three automatic locks. The timber gates and cut stone walls make the Rideau Canal an impressive piece of architecture. Visitors come from all over the world to sail through the locks, visit the parks and beaches and explore the historic sites that surround it. This North American slack water canal remains one-of-a-kind with its European design and a must visit to anyone in the Ottawa area.

Rideau Canal

8. SGang Gwaay

Located on a small island off the West Coast of British Columbia is the village of Ninstints; a site which commemorates the lives of the vanished Haida Indians. The culture of the Haida people was based on fishing and hunting and their relationship with the land and sea. The remains of the large cedar long houses along with carved memorial poles are what remain on this island. The towering intricately carved poles have been subject to Mother Nature and have suffered from erosion but still remain the most impressive example of the power and artistry of the Haida Indians.

Set amongst the majestic Christoval Mountains, this small island is crawling with unique wildlife and island flora along with the 1.5 million seabirds that nest along the shorelines. The waters hold marine life including a number of species of whales, octopus, starfish, dolphins and harbor seals.   The Haida lived on the wealth of the sea and forest and lived here for thousands of years. Explore this beautiful island and the surrounding area and understand why this magical place still exists.


Photo by: Clifford Bourke
Photo by: Clifford Bourke