Covered Bridges, Country Lanes
New Brunswick has the most remarkable collection of covered bridges; a miniature road trip adventure with lots of roadside attractions.
Read moreYou’re driving south, following the Saint John River. Turning off the highway onto a charming country road, you climb over a hill and spot it: the old covered bridge. The silver-grey planks shed tiny slivers of light, recalling a world of horse-drawn carriages and young lovers stealing kisses in the dark. You venture through the barn-like entrance; close your eyes and make a wish.
New Brunswick has a bounty of 63 historic covered bridges, with most dating from the early 1900s. Visit the 29 covered bridges of the River Valley Scenic Drive on a romantic journey through rolling farmland, forests and quaint communities.
Your first stop is Hartland, home to world's longest covered bridge (it’s 1,282-ft long) and now a National Historic Site. Turn on your headlights—and tell your passengers to hold their breath and cross their fingers—as you journey across the Saint John River. Covered bridges dot the landscape south all the way to the coast. Pick up guidebooks at most tourist bureaus and talk to the locals to map out a route.
Kings County has 16 covered wooden bridges—the province’s largest collection. Don’t miss Becaguimec River No. 3 in Mangrum, built in 1909. Drive through Fundy National Park to see the elegant, red-painted covered bridge that crosses the Point Wolfe River. Near Sussex, stop by the famous Oldfields Covered Bridge, then head south to St. Martins, famed for its twin covered bridges.
Kayaking Northern Saskatchewan
Journey through a little-known wilderness of 100,000 lakes and rivers in the comfort of a kayak or a canoe.
Read morePaddle through vast Saskatchewan wilderness in the self-contained comfort of a stable, kayak or canoe, on waters unchanged since the time of fur traders and voyageurs. Surge through rapids on the Churchill River or travel silently on tranquil Lac La Ronge, Deschambault Lake or many others. Absorb the stillness of the ancient boreal forest that seems to go on forever. With each turn of your head, see a new horizon beckoning you. Revel in the almost endless days of a northern summer.
Share quiet lakes with feeding moose; count beaver lodges and listen for the slap of beaver tails. Dine on northern pike, walleye or trout that you pull fresh from the waters by your campsite. Learn new wilderness skills and tips from local guides steeped in the geology of the Precambrian Shield and the rich history of the area.
Settle down each night and sleep in the unforgettable tranquility of a northern night. Awake refreshed, breakfast in the bright sunshine on hearty travelers’ fare, then slide your kayak or canoe into the mirrored morning waters. Let each dip of your paddle push you deeper and farther into a world unchanged since the glaciers retreated over 8,000 years ago.
Hike Canada’s Far East
Hike along Canada’s famed East coast trail, experiencing the rugged beauty and fascinating culture of Newfoundland’s coast.
Read moreYou feel blessed as you amble through the wilderness paradise—boreal forest, fresh air and quiet solitude—of Newfoundland’s East Coast Trail. Hike from village to village, marveling at the vivid yellow, green, red and pink houses clinging precariously to ancient cliff faces. Walk along the rugged shoreline past towering cliffs and deep fjords; gaze in awe at the Spout, a natural, wave-driven geyser found midway between Petty Harbour and Bay Bulls.
Enjoy a snack atop a 76-m (250-ft) sea-stack meadow. Duck as thousands of puffins and other seabirds glide effortlessly around you. Catch your breath as you watch thousand-year-old icebergs drift by. Glimpse majestic humpback whales; if you’re lucky, you’ll see one breach, lifting its 36 tons out of the water. Feel your stomach tense as you sway on La Manche's pendulous suspension bridge. See if you can spot the world's southernmost caribou herd.
Visit the quaint community of Petty Harbour-Maddox Cove, situated near Cape Spear, North America’s most easterly point. Smile at the friendly locals, even if you can’t understand their dialect. Check into an inviting B&B, then head to a local pub. Tap your feet and dance a jig to the infectious, fiddle-driven music there, and be sure to sample traditional treats like jam-jams, lassy mogs, bog-apples and figgy duff.
Watch the sun set over the fathomless Atlantic, and understand why the Flat Earth Society says this is one of the four corners of the world.
Commune with belugas and muskox, discover gourmet Arctic cuisine, dream under a duvet in your five-star tent.
Read moreYour travel compass pointed north, and here you are: at the top of the world—500 miles above the Arctic Circle on Somerset Island in the territory of Nunavut. The adventure is everything you imagined, and more. Kayak through ice-chunky waters teeming with ghostly white belugas; watch as the whales blow steamy plumes. Glimpse stampeding muskox while on a mountain bike. Laugh as feather-light summer snowflakes dust your face on river-raft ride; your heart races when a distant white spot turns into a polar bear or snowy owl.
Guided by a renowned polar explorer, you’ll visit an Arctic fox den to watch the furry cubs play, and investigate mysterious Thule ruins crafted from giant whale bones.
At day’s end your small group returns to Canada’s northernmost adventure lodge, a remote, tented complex filled with the heady aroma of roast muskox with all the trimmings, paired with fine wine.
Then, with the midnight sun lighting your way, retire to the rustic luxury of your "cabin," a high-tech permanent tent amid an outback silence so profound it will lull you into the deepest sleep.
Howl with wolves, swim with belugas, stalk muskox, count grizzly bears, ride with buffalo, watch caribou run.
Read moreThrough binoculars, spy grizzlies prowling a shoreline. Hear eagles cry from their rainforest nests. Focus on a landscape swarming with caribou. Marvel as a cloud of white geese—it looks like a field of snow—launches skyward. Strap on a snorkel and swim with belugas. Munch lunch with a moose in your sights. Laugh at a puffin’s awkward antics.
It’s wild out there in our great big backyard. Canada has the world’s largest wolf population—get out there and howl with them. Track mysterious blonde Kermode “spirit bears” with an Aboriginal guide. Trek amid mountains where big-horned Dall sheep perch on precarious cliffs. Canoe past whooping cranes dancing on ballerina legs amid wildflowers. Stand on the frozen ocean’s edge watching pods of unicorn-tusked narwhal tumble and play; listen to Inuit tales about the magical creatures. With all that going on, grab your camera and learn about wildlife photography in the field from a professional. Then practice your new skills on two muskoxen butting heads as your subject.
When the critters head to bed, dine gourmet and local out there in the bush, where fish fill the streams and veggies thrive in long daylight hours. Then slide beneath a duvet or into a sleeping bag beneath the midnight sun.
Enter a world where artistic and cultural boundaries are blurred, creating experiences that will illuminate your soul.
Read moreYou step off the subway in downtown Toronto, one of the most multicultural cities in the world, and immediately encounter an eye-opening art installation by internationally exhibited artists such as LAb[au]. Welcome to Luminato, the Toronto festival of arts and creativity.
Tonight, you’re headed to Yonge-Dundas Square to rock out at Luminato’s free, opening night party. But you’re here for the theatre and dance, too. You’re determined to see the critically acclaimed Lypsynch, directed by the famed Robert Lepage. As for dance, what’ll it be—the National Ballet of Canada’s groundbreaking, genre-bending interpretation of Carmen, the Canadian premiere of Nederland Dance Theater or the world premiere of Tono by Red Sky Performance? Decisions, decisions.
The next day it’s off to The Distillery—a historic, pedestrian-only district—to stroll and enjoy more music, art installations and interactive events celebrating the city’s multiculturalism. Afterwards you make your way to the Berkley Street Theatre for 5 O’clock Bells, the critically acclaimed one-man show on jazz legend Lenny Breau by Pierre Brault—a highlight of the Luminato Guitar Festival.
Meantime, you’re on the lookout for the Red Ball, which has bounced into Toronto for Luminato during its global trek. Finally, you head down to the waterfront for the closing weekend celebrations—a feast of celebrations that feature Cirque du Soleil.
Canada, Aboriginal Style
Paddle a dugout canoe, mush sled dogs, stomp to a beat at a Pow Wow, nibble caribou jerky, sleep in a tipi.
Read moreDance a jig to a Métis fiddle tune. Savor wild salmon grilled on a fragrant cedar plank. Paddle a canoe down a river wilderness. Toss aside your shyness and launch into throat-singing. Hike through ancient towering rainforest and touch damp moss. Smell sweet grass smolder in a purifying ritual. Cheer on a walrus using his tusks to haul himself onto an ice floe. Weave a basket.
Aboriginal folks are proud to share their culture, so join them at a traditional feast or walk through the woods as native healers do. They can teach you how to carve a totem pole or feel the freedom of riding horses across the prairie. Visit cultural centers shaped like longhouses. Party at Pow Wows where elaborate dresses, masks and feathers whirl in a blur of color. Or watch an Inuit carver calmly unleashing a polar bear from a chunk of soapstone.
Dine gourmet on the wild, the original organic. Grilled elk, caribou stew, muskox sausages, caramelized sky apples. Drop a fishing line into a remote lake or sink into a sauna bathed in the glow of the midnight sun. Then, turn in to your tipi or your stylish Aboriginal lodge to awaken in the morning to the aroma of freshly baked bannock bread.
Signal Hill History
Climb Newfoundland’s historic Signal Hill; stand where fierce battles were waged and the first transatlantic broadcast received.
Read moreTravel to St. John’s, Newfoundland—the oldest city in North America—and you can’t miss it: a rugged, barren hill that is this port city’s preeminent landmark. It looms over the entrance to the harbor, capped by the ominous, wind-worn Cabot Tower. Welcome to Signal Hill.
The view is spectacular from this National Historic Site, stretching from the harbor out to open waters of the Atlantic. You marvel at the distance and the world-changing event that took place here on Dec. 12, 1901—the world’s first wireless transatlantic broadcast. At the Waves over Waves exhibit you learn about the day Guglielmo Marconi launched a kite, with an antenna attached, 509 ft into the air. Moments later he received a Morse code signal that traveled 2,175 mi from England.
A trip to the Visitor Interpretation Centre reveals that as early as 1704, flags raised on the hill conveyed strategic information about approaching ships to the harbor tucked below.
You hit the trail and tour shore batteries constructed on either side of the Narrows back in the late 1800s. Then it’s time for the period costumes, guns and cannon fire of the Signal Hill Tattoo, a reenactment of 18th-century military exercises on the same grounds as where the final North American battle of the Seven Years’ War was waged between the British and the French in 1762. As the day winds down you enjoy a picnic, a sunset and a glorious view of St. John’s Harbour.
Okanagan Wine Tours
Sniff, swirl, savor and spit on a wine-tasting tour in BC’s Okanagan Valley, the “Napa of the North.”
Read moreSniff, swirl, savor and spit surrounded by spectacular mountains and beautiful lakes in British Columbia’s sunny Okanagan Valley, often called the “Napa of the North.” Sample an astonishing riesling or an exquisite cabernet franc. Meditate on the merits of a pyramid-aged wine. Enjoy a panoramic view of 96-mile-long Okanagan Lake as you dine on pork chops and jumbo prawns paired with a crisp pinot gris. Even though you can’t tell a shiraz from a syrah, you’re determined to visit as many of the region’s 100-plus wineries as you can.
Delight in “nectar of the gods”: icewine made from grapes harvested at 14 to 17.6 degrees Fahrenheit or lower—often by moonlight—and pressed while still frozen. Secretly gloat as you buy labels not available in any liquor store, anticipating the envy of your oenophile friends. Listen as owners reveal the stories behind names like Laughing Stock, See Ya Later Ranch, Elephant Island, Golden Beaver and Blasted Church. Try to get your hands on some of the valley’s last remaining Maréchal Foch, or to get your tongue around a Qwam Qwmt from Nk’Mip (pronounced “in-ka-meep”), an Aboriginal-owned-and-operated winery.
Come during one of the Okanagan’s seasonal wine festivals; watch grape stomping in the fall, and learn about storing, aging and food pairing. Treat your taste buds to a fruit wine made from apricots, blackcurrants or Fuji apples; you can branch out, there are more fruits than grapes!
Shediac Lobster Tales
Let real lobster fishermen put you in the action. Haul in lobster traps, learn about lobster cuisine and finally savour one yourself.
Read moreYou discover your sea legs on a boat in Shediac Bay, standing next to experienced lobster fishermen. You’re shown the correct way to haul in lobster traps (yes, you do it yourself!), then shown how to cook these famed Maritime crustaceans (the secret’s in gauging the boil time to get just the right tenderness). When all is ready, you sit down on board to savor a mouth-watering, freshly cooked lobster dinner. No regular knives and forks here—just a lobster cracker and fork, plus your two hands, will do!
As you cruise these scenic waters, sip a cool drink and enjoy panoramic views of Northumberland Straight from your top-deck chair. Make a note to explore some of finest beaches in Canada; Parlee Beach boasts the warmest saltwater north of Virginia.
While on board, you’ll hear a few “old salt” tales shared by folks who live and work in the fisheries. The people here are deeply proud of their New Brunswick Acadian heritage; you’ll find their hospitality in songs, smiles and of course, in that succulent lobster supper.
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