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I can completely understand why everyone loves the Rocky Mountains. They’re incredible. I jump at every opportunity I have to cross the country and visit them myself. But I find it crazy when international travelers (or even Canadians themselves) check Canada off their bucket list after only visiting the Rocky Mountains. Canada is a huge country – its land mass is about equivalent to ALL OF EUROPE.

I get it, okay? The Rocky Mountains are objectively beautiful. I’m just saying there are other beautiful areas in Canada
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you click one of them, I may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) that helps me run the site. Read my full disclosure.

I’ve already seen and experienced a lot of Canada myself, but there are still so many destinations on my bucket list! So for both the international travelers and Canadians reading this, here are some Canada trip ideas that aren’t the Rocky Mountains.

Do a Canoe Trip in Ontario

If you know me at all, you knew I was going to list canoeing in Ontario as my first trip recommendation. Ontario get’s a pretty bad reputation (likely because it’s synonymous with the Greater Toronto Area which is a place you probably don’t want to visit). But just a few hours north is the Canadian Shield with its network of lakes and windswept pines and granite hill tops.

If you want to experience a taste of wilderness, come to Canada for a week long canoe trip in either Algonquin Provincial Park or Killarney Provincial Park. Both of these destinations are a reasonable driving distance from Toronto Pearson Airport and have services and outfitters to get you set up with all the equipment you’ll need. If you need help or advice for planning your first canoe trip, please send me a message and I’ll help you get started!

Need more inspiration? Read on:

Incredible Backcountry Camping in Ontario

Beginner’s Guide to Canoe Tripping

Take a Road Trip to the Yukon

You can actually drive to the Yukon from Calgary or Vancouver. It’ll take you a long time, but you can do it and I hear it’s a beautiful drive. Alternatively, you can fly into the Yukon and start your road trip from there. Once you’re in the Yukon, there are places to paddle, opportunities for hiking and you may even see the northern lights.

Need more inspiration? Read on:

7 Reasons You Must Road Trip in Yukon

Join an Arctic Safari in Nunavut

Nunavut is the largest and most underrated area in Canada. There are a few ways to best experience the territory. If you have a smaller budget, plan a trip to the capital city, Iqaluit. Among many other activities, you can go kayaking amidst icebergs, snow mobile on the frozen arctic ocean, and hike on the tundra. If you have a larger budget, I’d recommend joining a remote arctic safari with an outfitter like Arctic Kingdom or Weber Arctic. Follow the caribou migration, witness polar bear cubs on the sea ice, kayak near beluga, heli-ski on a glacier – the possibilities are pretty much endless.

Need more inspiration? Read on:

5 Reasons to Visit Canada’s Most Underrated Territory (and how to do it affordably)

Canoe Expedition in the Northwest Territories

Some of Canada’s most incredible rivers are in the Northwest Territories, and you can join a guided canoe expedition even if you don’t have a lot (or any!) paddling experience. Black Feather and Canoe North Adventures both offer guided trips on some of the best paddling rivers in Canada, like the Nahanni and the Coppermine. While I can’t speak to this experience first hand (mainly because they are super expensive), I’ll hopefully be able to in the near future as my dad and I are planning on paddling the Nahanni River next summer – it’s at the very top of his Bucket List!

Need more inspiration? Read on:

Guided canoe expeditions with Canoe North Adventures

Road Trip through the Dramatic Landscapes of Newfoundland & The Maritimes

When I was young, my family and I did a road trip through the Northeastern United States and the Maritime Provinces and it was absolutely stunning. The Maritime Provinces include Nova Scotia, PEI, New Brunswick and Newfoundland. Here you’ll find colourful wooded houses, kayaking with the highest tides in the world, fantastic hiking, icebergs and more.

Need more inspiration?

An Outdoor Getaway to The Bay of Fundy

Visiting Newfoundland and Labrador

Adventures on the West Coast

When I talk to people about visiting British Columbia, a lot of people circle back to the Rocky Mountains. While British Columbia does have the Rocky Mountains, it also has the Coastal Mountains (home to Whistler), Vancouver Island (amazing surf) and Haida Gwaii (magical island of coastal rainforest). And, of far as cities go, Vancouver itself is an amazing place to be. You can’t really go wrong with a visit to the West Coast!

Need more inspiration?

Go Haida Gwaii (official tourism site)

So what are you waiting for?

Feeling inspired yet? There are so many incredible places to visit in Canada – do not limit yourself to the Rocky Mountains. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please let me know. I’d be happy to help you in your trip planning process!

Note: This post contains a lot of outbound links to other guiding companies. I have not been compensated to write about them or link to their websites. These are companies/organizations either I have experienced myself or my friends have experience with.

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13 thoughts on “Dear International Travelers, there’s more to Canada than the Rocky Mountains

  1. V says:

    I grew up in BC but I’ve been lucky enough to see a fair majority of this country as well and I’ve got to say, your post is making me think that I need to start exploring again.

    • voyageurtripper says:

      I would love to spend more time in BC. I’ve been around Vancouver, but that’s the extent of it. So many amazing places in Canada to explore!

      • voyageurtripper says:

        Oh that’s great! I’m hoping to get out west this summer so I’ll definitely have to get those from you before then 🙂

  2. josypheen says:

    I agree with you soooo much about this post!

    We visited friends on the Ontario and Quebec and loved every second of it. I really love all those lakes. I am completely love with the mountains around Vancouver, the Lower mainland and the surrounding Islands. The more I explore this country, the more I want to explore. 😀

    We didn’t spend long in the Rockies, although I have to admit, i loved it there too, despite the crowds.

    • voyageurtripper says:

      Yeah the Rocky Mountains are definitely spectacular, there’s just so much more to Canada than that! Are you from Canada yourself? Sounds like you’ve explored more of Canada than a lot of the Canadians I know!

    • ourcrossings says:

      Wow, great post and fantastic photos, Road trip around Vancouver Island sound amazing as well as arctic safari, Canada really is a word of wonder and deserves at least one encounter if not more, Happy travels

      • voyageurtripper says:

        If you have the money for it, the arctic safari is one of the coolest things to do in Canada (in my opinion). I’d love to see caribou and polar bears! I’m glad you liked the post, Canada is something special!

  3. Jane says:

    I feel like everyone who comes to Canada and goes to Toronto and Niagara Falls needs to go visit all the small towns on the Great Lakes too. We might not have as much beautiful architecture like Europe but we have lots of great beaches and water!

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