Guide: 8 of the most underrated winter destinations across Canada
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It’s hard to pick where to vacation in Canada when it’s cold. You should still be enjoying this amazing country even if it’s a bit chilly! We thought that a list of the most underrated winter destinations in Canada would be a more interesting read than rehashing places that everyone knows about. So, we picked some spots that are just as beautiful as their better-known cousins, without the popularity. Sorry, Whistler, but it looks like you’re sitting this one out.
Here are the most underrated winter destinations in Canada.
We’re going to start on the west side of the country. Why Whitehorse? We’ve got two really good reasons for you. The first is that you can time your trip with the final leg of a dog sled race longer than the Iditarod. The second is that enRoute named a Whitehorse restaurant as one of the 10 best new ones nationwide. Not bad.
Sure, you could go to Tofino, but you’ll be paying extra for the name. Want to have a truly memorable experience? Book a stay at the oceanside Black Rock Resort. Leave the hotel, walk around some old-growth forests, then return for a little spa treatment.
Nelson is one of the best-hidden gems of the BC interior. Not only is it sitting beside Kootenay Lake, it’s also a stone’s throw away from Whitewater Ski Resort, which is one of the best spots for powder skiing in Canada. No, seriously, we’ve been there during a good year and it is insane.
Much like Ucluelet, Jasper enjoys a less touristy winter thanks to Banff, the more popular neighbour. That makes things better for us though- we get to experience the beauty of the Canadian Rockies and the world’s 2nd largest dark sky preserve without worrying about 4 tour buses at the local lake. Bonus points if you scrape together enough money to stay at the Fairmont Lodge up there.
Great Slave Lake, NWT
This is a ‘two birds one stone’ destination. Not only do you get access to some of the best ice fishing in Canada, but you can also sneak one of the best possible peeks at the northern lights worldwide. Considering seeing them is on every Canadians bucket list, we’d rather go here and hang out in Yellowknife than trek out to Churchill only to realize that it’s too cold to do anything in the winter.
When people think of winter festivals in Canada, they usually think of Carnavale in Quebec City. But! Montreal has a ton of winter festivals worth checking out, plus they’ve got some of the best infrastructure for winter in the country. Perfect for those that want to mix true Canadian winter weather with a more cultured getaway.
So, you think that the true East Coast is calling your name? Well then, you’ve probably already written off the idea of a tropical (or even cozy) winter getaway. On the plus side, you’ll get to see some of Canada’s most incredible scenery and eat so much delicious seafood that even standing up will be problematic. On second thought, we’re kind of down with this idea.
Little Bear Lake, SK
We joke that we wouldn’t go to Saskatchewan for anything. It’s all fun and games, though! Northern Saksatchewan is a winter wonderland in every sense. While it’s sparsely populated, kilometre after kilometre of untouched snowmobiling terrain and sparkling northern lights await. Little Bear is a great starting point- meet some locals, grab a sled, and take to the forest for an unforgettable, off the beaten path experience.
And that’s our guide to the most underrated winter destinations in Canada! Now get out there and get exploring. We’re not one of the biggest countries in the world, which means there’s so much to see and do!