The Best Places in Canada for a Relaxing Vacation

Yoho National Park
John Lolos
John Lolos

Ready to recharge? A vacation in Canada — vast, varied, filled with places of immense beauty, quiet, and all the room you need to unplug and rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul — is what you need.

 

Try sitting on the deck of a century-old home in coastal Newfoundland, a glass of Screech rum with 10,000-year-old iceberg rocks in hand, perhaps an iceberg floating just off shore. Or try a hot tub with a view of the snow-capped Canadian Rockies, a jade-green lake shimmering in the distance. Sound good? We’re just getting started listing some of Canada’s most incredible places to relax and unwind.

Sooke Harbour House, British Columbia

There’s something instantly soothing about Sooke Harbour House on Vancouver Island near Victoria. Is it the scent of fresh lavender and fennel wafting through the salt air? Or the serene, artwork-filled rooms overlooking the Pacific? Get out for a paddle or whale watching, or just retire to the balcony by the sea.

Dorset Suites and Huit Huit Tours, Nunavut

It’s not too busy at the top of the world, but it is exotic — and unforgettable. Let Timmun and Kristiina Alariaq of Huit Huit Tours show you the Arctic in all its stark beauty from an Inuit perspective. Take refuge in one of four rooms at the serene Dorset Suites, inspired by the qammaq (traditional winter stone house), in Cape Dorset on Baffin Island. Dogsled, spot polar bears and narwhal at the ice floe, and meet talented Inuit artists at the globally-renowned local co-op.

A house in Bonavista and Cape Race Adventures, Newfoundland and Labrador

A photo posted by Derek Lapp (@dereklapp) on

A place of soul-stirring beauty and foot-tapping Celtic music, Newfoundland and Labrador is special. You’ll want to meet the big-hearted locals. And that’s where Cape Race Adventures comes in, connecting you with folks who can invite you to an authentic “kitchen party” or show you the best place to watch puffins perched atop stunning cliffs. Take up residence in a 100-year-old salt-box house on the windswept Bonavista Peninsula — and wait for a friendly knock on the door.

Lake O’Hara Lodge, British Columbia and Alberta

Beloved Lake O’Hara Lodge isn’t the fanciest backcountry accommodation in the Canadian Rockies of British Columbia near Alberta. But it is super-friendly, laidback, relatively accessible, and the setting — spectacular. Not too far from Lake Louise, the place is so popular, that regulars return year after year to hike the trails or ski, savor the outdoor grandeur, and play in or on the lake, depending on the season. Guides come with the deal, and visitors plan their adventures over a hearty breakfast.

Fairmont Le Château Montebello, Quebec

It may be the “world’s largest log cabin,” but Fairmont Le Château Montebello really is about sanctuary in an elegant, exclusive setting. In Montebello, Quebec, it’s a rustic-luxe resort on the Ottawa River, formerly a private 1930s club that has played host to numerous VIPs and world power brokers. Just rest and spa, or do as much or as little as you like: there’s certainly no need to leave the 65,000-acre property that's also a wildlife refuge. Onsite is a golf course, four dining options, three lounges, a health club with indoor and outdoor pools, and so many activities, there’s an entire guide.

La Reata Ranch, Saskatchewan

Cowboy lifestyle sound good?  Take it easy at La Reata Ranch, a working family cattle and guest ranch in Kyle, southwest Sasktatchewan, known for its warm hospitality. Ride the rolling hills of the open range under the sweeping sky, and if you like, walk down to the lake for a swim, boat ride, or leisurely fishing expedition. You can also pitch in with ranch work if you’re so inclined. Play darts, horseshoes, or pool, roast marshmallows by the campfire, or just sit and watch the sun melt into the golden prairie.

White Point Beach Resort, Nova Scotia

Sometimes it’s hard to have fun if your vacation is breaking the bank. Relax, and head to White Point Beach Resort on Nova Scotia’s south shore, a budget-friendly oceanfront resort near Halifax. The place looks like a postcard for summertime: a red-roofed 1920s pavilion with old-style charm on a white crescent beach right on the Atlantic. Stay in rustic cottages or the main lodge and join the nightly beach bonfire, plus the occasional mussel bake. Stroll the long, sandy beach looking for the cute resident bunnies and take a surfing lesson. Or just sit and listen to the waves lap the shore — Nova Scotia-style therapy.

Langdon Hall, Ontario

Add romantic to relaxing on your getaway to Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa, a prestigious Relais & Château property, also voted top in Canada by Condé Nast Traveler readers. With manicured grounds, elegant sitting rooms, walking trails, croquet, tennis, and a restaurant garden, the Georgian manor in Cambridge, Ontario is ready to cater to your any indulgence. Massage, food, fireside R&R — it’s all here. The six-course tasting menu features expert wine pairings and unexpected, but delicious desserts. Free wine tastings and cooking demos are on offer, too, if you decide to leave the cushy armchair by the crackling fire.

 

If you’re like most people nowadays, you’re long overdue for that relaxing vacation — a Canada vacation.

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