When it comes to Insta-worthy destinations, there’s only one name to know: Canada. From the glittering jewel tones of Emerald Lake, to the awe-inspiring glaciers of Jasper National Park, to under-the-radar highlights like the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary, Canada is full-to-bursting with some of the most Instagrammable places on earth — #nofilter required. Read on for 9 of the most breathtakingly beautiful places to visit in this naturally blessed country.
1/ Whistler, British Columbia
Whistler in British Columbia is not only home to one of the biggest ski resorts in North America (Whistler Blackcomb was a key venue for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games) it’s also one the most magnificent places to visit in summer, offering an incredible abundance of vantage points all year round. Must-dos: book into the famous hot/cold Scandinave Spa, take a ride on the Whistler PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, hike or bike around or take a dip in Green Lake, stay at the eye-wateringly luxurious Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler and, for the foodie ‘Gram, dine out at Araxi Restaurant & Bar.
2/ Jasper National Park, Alberta
A UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies, Jasper National Park holds all the Insta aces. Think glaciers, hot springs, lakes, waterfalls and mountains. Pit stops to add to the itinerary include the Glacier Skywalk with to-die-for views of Jasper National Park’s snow-capped peaks and valleys, easily accessible from the Icefields Parkway; a stay at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge on the shores of the pristine Lac Beauvert; a sunset stop at Medicine Lake; a sunrise trip to Maligne Lake taking in Spirit Island.
3/ Prince Edward Island
The lush green fields, rich red soil and reddish sandy beaches of Prince Edward Island inspired the setting for one of the most beloved fictional novels of all time, Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. And it’s a must-visit on any Canadian road trip, with so much happy-snap social media potential thanks to the picturesque beaches, verdant countryside, quaint lighthouses and historic architecture, particularly evident in well-preserved downtown Charlottetown.
4/ Niagara Falls, Ontario
Whether you want an aerial moving shot from a helicopter, a bird’s eye view from the Skylon Tower observation deck or high-low snaps from the Niagara Skywheel — this Canadian town has it all. Try the Journey Behind The Falls Tour, which takes you through 130-year-old tunnels carved into the bedrock of the Falls, offering unique viewing portals for an inside-out perspective of this natural phenomenon.
5/ Quebec City, Quebec
The capital of the Canadian province of Quebec is one of the most beautiful cities around, packed with so much ‘Gram potential even the least accomplished snapper would be hard-pressed not to get a knockout shot. On arrival, head directly to the historic district of Old Quebec for snaps of one of the best examples of a still-intact fortified city, ensuring you satisfy your castle photo quotient with a shot of the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. From there, visit Montmorency Park for the sensational Montmorency Falls, then dine at Quebec’s only revolving restaurant, Ciel!, for 360-degree views of the city. If you and your phone are game, pack your bag for a Nordic-style stay at North America’s only genuine ice hotel, Hôtel de Glace.
6/ Tombstone Territorial Park and Emerald Lake, Yukon Territory
Charge your phone battery: this is one of those places you’ll leave with thousands of photos. The craggy peaks of Tombstone Mountain provide an awe-inspiring backdrop to the hikes and skiing trails in the valleys below, where you’ll pass alpine lakes, glaciers and an abundance of wildflowers (in spring, at least). Renowned for its brilliant green hue, Emerald Lake is so vivid no filter could do it justice. If you’ve got time (and a good night flash) the mesmerising northern lights can be viewed in certain areas of the Yukon between October and March.
7/ Canmore, Alberta
The Rocky Mountains town of Canmore is an ideal base to explore the sublime surrounding areas including the stunning Three Sisters mountains, Banff National Park (think: unbelievably blue Peyto Lake), Bow Valley Provincial Park, Heart Mountain and Kananaskis Country (don’t miss Barrier Lake). Canmore’s main street is also a draw for the foodie ‘Grammer with its cute-as-pie Rocky Mountain Bagel Co store front. Wildlife fans will love the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary, 45 minutes away in Cochrane, where you can have up-close encounters with tame wolfdogs.
8/ Northwest Territories
So much to explore in this huge area of Canada including forests, mountains, tundra, lakes, rivers, waterfalls and hot springs. The capital, Yellowknife, offers the perfect jumping off point to explore beautiful Great Slave Lake and is an ideal place to score prime pics of the northern lights. World UNESCO Heritage site Nahanni National Park is another standout, both for the views (Virginia Falls is a must) and the all-important Insta likes.
9/ Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba
Riding Mountain National Park has to be seen to be believed. Perched atop the Manitoba Escarpment, this protected forested parkland contains three diverse ecosystems: grasslands, boreal forest and upland deciduous forest. Spend a few days exploring more than 400 kilometres of hiking and biking trails, including Gorge Creek Trail, a 12.8-kilometre return hike that takes you up the Manitoba Escarpment and into the gorge itself, through aspen, hazel and old oak forests. For the ultimate wildlife experience, take a self-driving tour to Lake Audy for an up-close encounter with more than 40 protected bison. Warning: bison are friendly beasts and likely to saunter right up to your vehicle!
10/ Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick
This striking bay between the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia has the highest tidal range on earth and makes the cut as one of the seven wonders of North America. Insider tip: for the money shot, visit Hopewell Rocks on the New Brunswick shore of the Bay of Fundy. Walk the ocean floor at low tide and then return six hours later to observe the highest tides in the world: the difference is astounding.