Guide to the Best Family Vacations in Canada
Whether your family loves wildlife, cities, or cultural attractions, Canada has something for everyone. It’s the world’s second-largest country and offers visitors a huge diversity of landscapes.
Here you can find glacier-peaked mountains, prairies, coastlines, forests, and lakes. The best part about your family vacation to Canada is you can enjoy the wilderness and exciting cities, towns, and remote destinations.
Canada is a big place that makes for a great road trip or adventure. Explore the icy tundra of the Yukon, mountains of Calgary, rainforests of Vancouver, or the beaches of the east coast.
We have outlined our top choices for your next family vacation to Canada below:
1. Niagara Falls
Many consider Niagara one of the best natural wonders of the world. The sheer scale of the falls has attracted many stunts over the years.
When your family sees the Niagara River gushing to the 188-foot waterfall at 20 to 30 mph – it’s difficult not to be captivated. The speed of the river falls creates a misty fog that you can see from miles away.
Nearby you can find the ice wine vineyard of nearby Inniskillin Winery as well as the beautiful landscape found at Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens.
Things to do in Niagara Falls: The waterfalls are the main attraction. If you want to get up close to the falls, you can take a ride on the Maid of the Mist boat tours. Away from the falls, you can visit both the New York and Canadian sides. There are many family-friendly attractions here which include Old Fort Niagara and the Niagara SkyWheel.
Dining at Niagara Falls: Like any big tourist attraction, you will find a lot of chain restaurants around the falls. If you’re looking for a restaurant offering the flavor of the region, then you should try a farm-to-table menu. Try AG, Tide & Vine, or Weinkeller to taste the local ingredients.
Many think the Ontario side of the falls offers the best selection of restaurants. However, if you choose to stay on the New York side there are still some great restaurants to be found.
When is the best time to visit Niagara Falls? The best time to visit Niagara falls is June to August. Summer is the peak season. This is because the weather is great in the low 80s and you get cooling mists and breezing from the waterfalls. It’s generally a more expensive time and you have to cope with more crowds, but you will really be able to enjoy the weather and attractions at this time.
Vancouver is known as a relatively young city. You will find what it lacks in history it makes up for in stunning scenery. Here you can find mountains and beaches. It offers both urban and natural adventures. The city has been a favorite for movies and TV shows – it’s likely you discover the backdrop to your favorite scene.
Vancouver is full of adventure. If you enjoy hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, or skiing – Vancouver is the place. Or if you are looking for something more low-key, there are 11 miles of beaches to lounge.
In the winter months, you can find some warmth exploring museums with family. Or you can even take your kids to some of the family-friendly sites like Granville Island or the Capilano Suspension Bridge.
Things to do in Vancouver: Vancouver is a city to be explored outdoors. It has a temperate climate as well as a lot of rain, this creates green outdoor spaces. The best known is Stanley Park.
You might also enjoy some other outdoor spaces this city has to offer. Attractions like the VanDusen Botanical Garden and also Queen Elizabeth Park are two favorites.
If your family is looking for a bit of adrenaline, then you can take a walk across the Capilano Suspension Bridge. This bridge hovers 230 feet above the Capilano River.
We recommend visiting Granville Island for some tasty market eats and also Lonsdale Quay. Foodies should definitely look to sign up for food tours to get the best taste of the region.
Best hotels in Vancouver: If you’re looking for the best place to stay, you might be interested in one of the top three hotels on TripAdvisor: 1. Rosewood Hotel Georgia, 2. Fairmont Pacific Rim and 3. Wedgewood Hotel & Spa.
Dining and Restaurants in Vancouver: As Vancouver is located on the Pacific Coast, you will find a lot of delicious seafood. Markets like Granville Island (a must if you’re a foodie) will offer something like fish and chips. If you are looking for more of a formal dining experience, go to Yaletown. This area is where you can find two of the city’s most famous restaurants – Rodney’s Oyster House and Blue Water Cafe.
If you’re looking for an international menu, you can find that in Vancouver too. Only two miles north of the city center is Vancouver’s Chinatown. If you’re looking for Indian food, you can find that in Punjabi Market.
We would also like to mention that apart from offering fresh and regional dishes, you can also enjoy the beautiful backdrop at many of the best restaurants. If you want an amazing view we recommend the Teahouse Restaurant, Bridges Restaurant, or the Lift Bar Grill View.
When is the best time to visit Vancouver? The best time to visit Vancouver is from March to May and also from September to November. This is when the weather is pleasant and hotel room prices are reasonable. Summer is the most popular time for visitors due to the warm weather. However, if you are planning a trip at this time, you should reserve your hotel a few weeks in advance. Vancouver is also a great place for a winter trip. If you’re a skier or snowboarder you might enjoy visiting Whistler or Grouse Mountain.
Snow-capped mountains, waterfalls, and lakes. Whistler has hiking trails as well as fine dining restaurants. It’s a great place to visit year-round. However, its most popular attraction is Whistler Blackcomb. This is a huge resort with 8,100 acres of land and it gets 40 feet of snowfall a year. Here you can find one of the most well-known ski spots in North America.
Even when it heats up, Whistler can be enjoyed in warmer months. You can enjoy hiking or biking in the mountains. If you want a picture-perfect setting, then the Coast Mountains are the place to go. Here you can enjoy the best views on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola. This ride spans Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.
Things to do in Whistler: If you are an outdoor enthusiast, then Whistler is the perfect destination. For skiing and snowboarders, you can enjoy Whistler Blackcomb. And if you want to find some culture you can explore the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre.
In addition to being a winter wonderland, it’s also a great spot for the summer months. Water sports at Lost Lake Park are popular. You can also find plenty of hiking opportunities at Whistler Train Wreck as well as Brandywine Falls Provincial Park.
Best hotels in Whistler: If you’re looking to stay at one of the best hotels in Whistler, here are the top three rated hotels on TripAdvisor: 1. Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler, 2. Fairmont Chateau Whistler and 3. Nita Lake Lodge.
Dining and Restaurants in Whistler: Dining in Whistler centers around the whole ski experience. You can enjoy bars and restaurants around Whistler Blackcomb for pub food and brews. There is also the option for outdoor seating at many of the restaurants to enjoy views of the mountains. Or in colder months, indoor seating allows you to warm up by the fire with a warm drink.
Many of the restaurants here offer local ingredients. Expect to find fresh game and fresh vegetables as well as local live music. We recommend trying Basalt Wine & Salmeria and 21 Steps Kitchen and Bar.
When is the best time to visit Whistler? The best time to visit Whistler is from June to August or from December to March. In December and February, the mountains have the best skiing conditions. In March you can enjoy warmer weather and there is still quality snow. From June and July, Blackcomb Mountain reopens for glacier skiing and the rest of Whistler is a base for camping and outdoor enthusiasts.
4. Quebec City
If you’re looking for the feeling of being in France then Quebec City is the place to go. Here you can find cobblestone streets, cathedrals, lattes, and buttery croissants.
Quebec City is the capital of the Candian province of Quebec. As the birthplace of New France, it is known for maintaining the culture of its motherland.
Things to do in Quebec City: To enjoy the charm of this city, take a stroll through the ancient cobblestone streets found in Old Quebec.
This is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the only walled city north of Mexico. Within the walls, you can enjoy cafes, antique shops, and attractions such as the Notre-Dame Basilica and the Citadel.
For some open space, head to Battlefields Park or Montmorency Falls. For both nature and a walk, you can visit the Terrasse Dufferin which also offers stunning views.
Best hotels in Quebec City: If you’re looking for the best hotels in Quebec, we have found the top three rated hotels on TripAdvisor. These hotels include 1. Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, 2. Auberge Saint-Antoine and 3. Hotel 71.
When is the best time to visit Quebec City? The best time to visit Quebec City is from June through September and also from December to February. In the summer and winter months, you will have no problem finding things to do in the city as there are many festivals happening. The spring and fall seasons have the lowest level of tourists because of the lack of special events taking place. However, this also means you could take advantage of the lower rates and seasonal perks. For example, in spring you can enjoy maple syrup season, and while in autumn there is stunning fall foliage.
When is the best month to visit Canada? What is the best season to visit Canada?
The best months to visit Canada are in the summer months from early May to the end of June. During these months there are sunny days and pleasant temperatures. It is also a time when there aren’t a lot of tourists and you can find reasonable prices. It is the start of the summer tourist season although the first two weeks of May are generally quiet. You will also find that many attractions are also still closed as well.
What is the most visited place in Canada?
The most visited cities in Canada include Montreal with 2,240,00 visitors a year, Vancouver with 3,900,000 visitors a year, and Toronto with 4,520,00 per year.
The number 1 tourist attraction in Canada is Niagara Falls. This is the most natural attraction that brings in millions of visitors each year.
The most visited Canadian province and territories include in order from most to least: 1. New Brunswick, 2. Alberta, 3. Quebec, 4. British Columbia and 5. Ontario.
Where do most of Canada’s tourists come from?
Most tourists visiting Canada have historically come from the United States. According to Statcan.gc.ca, in 1947, 98% of all tourists who visited Canada were Americans. By 1990, that number had fallen to 80% and by 2015 Americans made up 70% of Canadian tourists.
Is it expensive to visit Canada?
Canada can be a relatively expensive travel destination. The reason for this is because it is a big place with a lot of travel between places and taxes. If you carefully plan your trip, it’s possible to do it on a budget.
How much is a vacation to Canada? How much is a trip to Canada for a week?
The average price for a week-long vacation to Canada is around $1,079 for a solo traveler. For a couple, it is around $1,633 and for a family of 4, you can expect to spend $2,081 (according to ChampionTraveler).
Canada hotels range from around $45 to $245 a night and an average price of $87. Vacation rentals cost from $170 to $490 per night if you are looking to rent out an entire house.
Is food expensive in Canada?
Food can be on the more expensive side. This is because Canada is a big country with a low population. A high percentage of food comes from the USA. Since the Canadian dollar is only worth 75% of the American dollar, this makes the food there more expensive.
How much does a meal cost in Canada?
You should expect to pay the following prices for meals: breakfast at around $7 to $25 with an average price of $10, Lunch at $9 to $25 and an average of $14 and dinner from $12 to $50 with an average price of $20 (AuthentikCanada).
Travel to Canada during Covid – Travel Restrictions & Entry in 2020
As the Coronavirus pandemic continues, Canada has measures in place to stop the spread of the virus. These measures affect foreign travelers. Make sure to review Canada travel health requirements while planning your trip.
There are temporary travel restrictions in place that the government hopes to lift once things improve. Canada has special health entry requirements in place such as documentation, a Canada health declaration app: ArriveCan, PCR test, and also quarantine requirements upon arrival. The government of Canada has outlined entry requirements for travel during Covid-19 on their website. Here you can find the most up-to-date information on travel.
They also have a comprehensive guide on travel and tourism to Canada that you can find here. Here you can find travel advice and advisories, Covid-19 travel information for Canada, information on flights, and also Canadian attractions, experiences, and more.