Top 5 Canadian Getaways for Couples
Nothing sparks romance in relationships, new or old, like traveling together – and you don’t have to leave this gorgeous country to find perfect destinations for two. Make some memories and sneak a kiss someplace new.
1. The Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
Considered one of the world’s most scenic destinations, the Cabot Trail is jam-packed with culture, nature and an endless list of activities for any type of couple – or it can be taken slowly and deliberately. On “The Island,” the pace is up to you.
The 298 km loop around the northern tip of Cape Breton Island will lead you through a series of towns and blink-and-you’ll-miss-them stops, where you’ll discover local artists and artisans, charming bays full of fishing boats and endless seafood joints serving up to-die-for catches fresh from the ocean.
Allow time for a hike in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, “where the mountains meet the sea.” Find a bench to cosy up to enjoy the spectacular views and keep your eyes peeled for moose and bald eagles.
Elsewhere along the Cabot Trail, you’ll find opportunities for hiking, biking, kayaking, whale watching and general exploring. For a unique experience, stop in at Glenora Distillery, home of North America’s first single-malt whisky. The Glenora Inn also has on-site cabins perched up on the hill overlooking the distillery. Pour yourself a dram and sink into the jet tub built for two.
Before you leave the Cabot Trail, be sure to find at least one Ceilidh, the ultimate kitchen party where you just can’t resist dancing with your love (and maybe a few strangers, too!)
There’s practically nothing more romantic than taking a horse-drawn carriage ride through one of Canada’s oldest cities – snuggled under a blanket, of course. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Old Quebec City has charm in spades.
The best way to admire the old city is to stroll its cobbled streets, peering in windows and ducking into cafes and restaurants along the way. There are plenty of fine dining options (focusing on French cuisine) and dimly lit restaurants tucked into old stone buildings. Inside the Chateau Frontenac, you’ll find 1608 Wine & Cheese Bar, named after the year of the city’s founding on its very site. Cheers to your partner as you look out at the St. Lawrence River.
On other hand, if you’re looking to work up an appetite, take a long walk or bike ride alongside the river. Or, if it’s cold enough (from mid-October to mid-March), strap on some skates and do a few loops of the rink at Place D’Youville. You’ll be surrounded by the city’s old walls and you might feel like the stars of a romantic movie.
Continue your tour through historic sites like the Fortifications of Quebec and the Citadel and religious sites like Notre-Dame-de-Quebec Basilica-Cathedral.
As for accommodations, B&Bs are the only way to go in Old Quebec for true romance. They all have long histories, many of which their owners will be happy to share over breakfast crepes and coffee.
Tofino, often described as Canada’s unofficial surf region, is the ideal getaway for adventurous couples. Sun, sand and surf are its best features. Located in the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve on the west coast of Vancouver Island, the district has a natural climate and vibrant beauty that begs to be explored.
Start your romantic getaway with a bang. After you check into the Wickaninnish Inn, which offers a handful of different romance packages (and where every room has an ocean view and a fireplace, plus access to the on-site spa offering couples massages), hop on a seaplane tour so you can see the area from a bird’s eye view.
Don’t stop the action there. Grab a board and learn to surf, go whale watching or walk hand-in-hand through the ancient temperate rainforest of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, where you can peer up at massive Western redcedars.
If relaxation is what you’re after, daytrip by boat or float plane to Maquinna Marina Provincial Park, about 45 km north of Tofino. There, you’ll find natural hot mineral spring pools, steaming at an average of 50 degrees Celsius. Access it by a boardwalk-covered trail through old-growth rainforest then say “ahhh.”
Continue winding down the end of your trip with a long walk on the beach. Tofino is the perfect spot to dip your toes in the ocean and cosy into the sand with a picnic packed for two.
Couples from around the world flock to Niagara Falls for honeymoons and romantic getaways. You’ve probably seen the falls a million times and been blinded by the town’s touristy, tacky vibe.
Its neighbour, Niagara-On-The-Lake, is its opposite. Charming and much slower, buildings are older and there’s much more worth exploring.
Book a room in a B&B or a boutique hotel, like the Charles Hotel, an 1832 Manor House within walking distance of shops, restaurants and cafes. It’s the perfect home base for exploring nearby wineries.
You can clink and cheers your way around the area in any manner you choose, whether self-guided (but don’t drink and drive!) or with a chauffeur or guide. There are often special events hosted across numerous wineries, so check in with Niagara-on-The-Lake Tourism to see if any special passes are available during your stay.
After a long day of meandering through vineyards, pop open a bottle of your favourite vino (or, if you’ve had enough wine, a cold brew from one of the area’s new microbreweries) and snuggle up under a blanket by a roaring fire with your one true love.
The town of Banff and nearby hamlet of Lake Louise are both located within Banff National Park. Take your pick of snowy activities here: snowshoeing, skiing and ice walks are all wonderful, but we think dogsledding and horse-drawn sleigh rides are perfect options for couples.
Take the Banff Gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain, especially if your sweetheart is afraid of heights – he or she will have to hold on tight! From the top, enjoy stunning views of six different mountain ranges.
There’s a reason Lake Louise is so familiar to all Canadians: it’s so picturesque, it always looks gorgeous. You’ll want to allow plenty of time to admire its beauty and walk around its perimeter (weather allowing) before stopping in at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise for tea.
Once you’ve tired yourself out in the great outdoors with the Canadian Rockies as your backdrop, sink into the steamy restorative waters of the Banff Upper Hot Springs.
It might be tough to take your eyes off your partner, but do try at least for a moment at night: you might catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.