We all know Canada is a land of beauty, but there are some truly wonderful little towns across the country that you might not have even heard of.
Travel + Leisure recently published a list of Canada’s 12 Best Small Towns That “Offer Adventure, Charm and Hospitality” and they look absolutely wonderful.
From coast to coast, here’s a look at some of the most charming little places in the country.
Golden, British Columbia
The city of Golden is a nature lover’s dream. It is surrounded by six national parks and has “spectacular landscapes, iconic hiking trails, waterfalls, lakes and national park heritage sites”. If you’re feeling brave, you can cross one of Canada’s tallest suspension bridges, 426 feet above a canyon.
This postcard-like city has a bit of everything. There are mountains, the bay itself, galleries, museums, and plenty of local produce to explore and taste.
If you love wildlife, you’ll want to visit Churchill, also known as the Polar Bear Capital of the World. It is located 1,000 kilometers north of Winnipeg and can only be accessed by plane or train. You will also have the chance to see the spectacular Northern Lights, which are visible 300 days a year.
Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia
From cute boutiques to unforgettable dining experiences, this small town is full of Instagram-perfect moments. You can spend time on the water in the sheltered bay, alone or with a guide, and enjoy the birds and marine life.
Tofino, British Columbia
This picturesque town is home to the UNESCO-listed Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Region, which boasts “deep biodiversity and environmental culture.” Come for nature, but stay for the vibrant food scene and the artistic and cultural features.
Nicknamed the most beautiful village in Ontario, this city is located on the edge of a gorge. It has lovely architectural features and plenty of local stores to scratch that retail itch.
Victoria-by-the-Sea, Prince Edward Island
Victoria-by-the-sea is a beautiful village on the south shore of Prince Edward Island. The coastal town has less than 200 residents and has lots of family businesses, tree-lined streets and you can even watch lobster fishermen bring in their daily catch. And for theater lovers, you can even catch a performance in the historic community hall.
Nestled in Banff National Park lies the beautiful little town of Banff, Alberta. It’s a dream mountain town with chalet-style buildings and views everywhere you look. It’s perfect for an afternoon of shopping and dining, or even an overnight stay while roaming the park.
Wine lovers can meet in this small Ontario town. Niagara-on-the-Lake sits on the shores of Lake Ontario and if the stunning views aren’t enough, it has a thriving arts scene and of course, thanks to its vast vineyard, plenty of wine. It’s the perfect day trip from Toronto or a weekend getaway with your partner.
St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, New Brunswick
Now this next small town is one of the oldest in the Maritimes. St. Andrews by-the-Sea in New Brunswick is classified as a National Historic District and has turn-of-the-century charm. It’s the perfect stop on the way to Canada’s iconic Fundy National Park and offers several delicious seafood restaurants with the freshest fish.
The northern community of Dawson, Yukon, also fell on the list and is located on the shores of the beautiful Yukon River. The city has a mix of First Nations heritage as well as the history of the Gold Rush after being put on the map by the Klondike Gold Rush. The city also has a rich arts scene and even hosts an annual music festival.
Another picturesque little town that catches the eye is Trinity, Newfoundland and Labrador. Known to locals as Trinity Bight, the town boasts historic 19th-century buildings, old-fashioned signage, and top-notch restaurants and breweries. And if you love the outdoors, you can also hike along the coast on one of the most popular trails in the province.
Before you go, check out our Responsible Travel Guide to be informed, be safe, be smart and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.