For some, vacation means sleeping in till noon, lazing at the beach, sunbathing, reading, and sipping iced beverages in tropical locations. But for those with an adventurous spirit, that kind of vacation sounds like torture. For them, vacations should be thrill-seeking, adrenaline-filled, and action-packed. Adventures vacationers may think they need to visit far-flung places on the globe, but in reality, the beautiful landscape of Canada offers a variety of different adventures for every vacation.
Vancouver, British Colombia
A young city by anyone’s standards, Vancouver has far more to offer than a hip, pop culture vibe. While some typical vacationers may come for the chic boutiques and the city’s “North Hollywood” reputation, the adventurers come because of Vancouver’s landscapes, which combine mountains and oceans. Enjoy the surfing, kayaking, or white-water rafting on the water or head into the mountains for hiking, mountain biking, skiing, or snowboarding. When you’re tired out from a full day of excitement and activity, enjoy some excellent inner-city dining and night-life.
Whistler Mountain, British Colombia
So famous it deserves its own mention, the Whistler-Blackcomb Mountain has the highest ski-drop on the North American continent. Principal location for the 2010 Winter Olympics, Whistler offers over 200 long, challenging trails for skiers and snowboards. Brave the 1609 meter vertical drop , or head to the Ruby Bowl to enjoy the beautiful powder that falls on the 600 meter continuous slopes. If heading down the slopes isn’t your thing, Whistler also offers a ten-lined zip line course that will allow you to fly between the two mountains 70 meters above the forest. A series of suspension bridges is also available for a less intense option.
While you’re in Western Canada, you can’t miss a trip to Banff, a swiss-styled mountain village tucked into the Canadian Rockies. Surrounded by its namesake national park, Banff offers thrilling outdoors activities during both winter and summer seasons. During the winter, ski or snowboard down Mount Norquay for extreme slopes. During the summer you can hike a wide variety of trails up to mountain peaks, glaciers, and waterfalls. Go mountain-climbing or “scramble” up to the top of a peak like Stoney Squaw. The many trails mean that mountain bikers never run out of options. The park offers national campgrounds that provide a great place to set up your tents, or stay inside the Banff village in cabins or hotels for a more luxurious version of the adventure vacation.
St. Johns, New Brunswick
Before you think the West is the only place to find adventure, you need to take a trip to St. John’s New Brunswick for its beautiful landscape offerings. The city is an industrial center filled with oil tanks, shipping yards, and factories, but outside of the city limits lies beaches on the Atlantic Ocean and natural wonders like the Bay of Fundy. Sightseers and hikers will find joy here, traversing the beautiful coastlines and even getting some chances to glimpse some whales. For the most extreme adventurers, you can raft the Shubenacadia tidal bore created by the collision of the river’s flow with the extreme tides of the Bay of Fundy.
The Trans Canada Trail
Quickly becoming the world’s longest recreational path, you’ll need several vacations and a couple years to hike the entire Trans-Canada Trail. Stretching across Canada and beginning at the most eastern point in North America, this trail is around 21,500 kilometers long, about half the circumference of the earth. Hike it, bike it, or ride it, this multi-use path allows bikes and horses along with the pedestrians. This is no easy task, but the journey is well worth the preparation.
Nahanni National Park, Northwest Territory
Most of the world has been visited, but the northern areas of Canada are far from settled, and these areas provide amazing adventures within its wild outdoors. For some truly thrilling river canoeing or kayaking, head north to the Nahanni National Park and its powerful South Nahanni River. This river runs over 500 kilometers within the Mackenzie Mountains with a 125 meter drop over Virginia Falls. Your trip will begin where the bush planes can land you and will provide you with chances to see moose, wolves, grizzly bears, and mountain goats.