Canada, our friendly northern neighbor, boasts extraordinarily diverse geography, from tall Rocky Mountain peaks to expansive flat prairie land and seaside communities on both coasts. With a smaller national population than that of California, it's perhaps unsurprising that Canada is also full of charming small towns and welcoming rural communities worth planning a trip around. You’ll find salty little enclaves, graced by orcas and world-class surfers in British Columbia; tiny mountain towns with Gold Rush history in the Yukon’s Grizzly country; and, of course, flannel-filled hubs for outdoors lovers who want to bike and hike in the country’s dramatic national parks. What links them together, though, is that small town spirit, and undeniable charm. (Don’t be surprised if your small town trip warrants big time vacation days—please like these are never easy to leave.)
For your next adventure north, here are some of the best small towns in Canada to explore, no matter what time of year you're traveling—or what type of trip you’re chasing.
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The Wickaninnish Inn is a choice stay on this slice of coast.
Book a boat through Tofino Resort and Marina to see the town by water.
Set on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island, Tofino is a surfer's paradise and a nature-lovers retreat. This small, seaside town is located on the land of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations and is surrounded by a UNESCO reserve with over 21 miles of beach break—meaning the water's edge is never more than a short walk away. Tofino has also become a culinary destination with travelers venturing to try creative local dishes at the acclaimed Wolf and the Fog or live-fire dining at ROAR. For a more interactive dinner, you can also book time on a chartered boat through the Tofino Resort and Marina to participate in the Cook Your Catch experience.
Where to Stay: The Wickaninnish Inn
The town of Osoyoos in the South Okanagan is known for its arid desert landscapes that creep onto pristine lakefront beaches. While this region is known for its many wineries, there are plenty of outdoor adventure activities to enjoy, too, from South Okanagan E-Bike Safaris to Wakepilot boat rentals, as well as artistic and heritage experiences at the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre. Begin your wine-tasting adventures at the first Indigenous-owned winery in North America, Nk’Mip Cellars, and continue on to other locally-owned wineries like Covert Farms Family Estate Winery, Kismet Estate Winery, and vinAmité Cellars. If
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Montréal has long been renowned for its gorgeous architecture and charming downtown district, and in the modern era, this storied Canadian city is developing one of the most impressive cocktail scenes in all the nation. While visitors can stumble upon a wealth of polished lounges and cozy speakeasies during a stroll across Old Montréal, the 2023 North America’s 50 Best Bars list has shined a light on specific destinations like Atwater Cocktail Club and Cloakroom—and while the city may not be known worldwide for its stellar cocktail scene, this designation comes as no surprise to local industry professionals.
Canada introduced tax measures on Tuesday to ease a severe rental housing shortage by limiting income tax deductions on short-term rentals on services such as Airbnb Inc and Vrbo, joining many countries that are enacting similar laws.
You’re headed home for the holidays—and hopefully, barring any flight delays, you make it before the turkey hits the table or the holiday festivities get underway. A new report from Upgraded Points, a points and miles website, reveals the airports where travelers are most likely to be delayed during the winter holiday season.
Travel Advisors are experiencing growing demand from clients who want customized itineraries and experiences that meet their personal and changing travel tastes. Customized experiences that will give them a lifetime of memories and a few bragging rights at get-togethers with family and friends—that’s what they’re looking for.
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