Taking a trip to Canada might not be on everyone’s bucket list. For those planning a vacation in the near future, you’re probably focused on white sand beaches and tropical vibes. But who made the rule that a vacation needs to be in the form of a beach getaway? The world is a big place, and Canada is home to some of the most beautiful destinations in it.
Although Canada is lacking in tropical beaches, it makes up for this in plenty of ways. You could spend your time here exploring cosmopolitan city streets, shredding down mountain slopes, or perusing through quaint French towns. Whatever your travel plans might be, chances are Canada can cater to them.
Whether you’re a Canadian native or just stopping in for a visit, it’s time to experience what this Maple Leaf country has to offer. Here are a few things that will keep you busy in Canada for 2019.
The Monkey’s Paw in Toronto
There are tons of reasons to visit Toronto as it is, but the Monkey’s Paw makes it a necessity. This is especially true for book lovers and collectors. The shelves at this bookstore are lined with unique literary works that you would not find anywhere else. Each book you can find here has been specifically selected for its random quirkiness.
You won’t just find shelves lined with books and books and more books at Toronto’s Monkey’s Paw. It is home to the world’s first Biblio-Mat. This is a coin-operated vending machine, but instead of dispensing candy or soda you get something much better.
For $2 the machine will dispense a book to feed your knowledge, rather than your hunger or thirst like a normal vending machine. It will most likely be a book you’ve never heard of, but that is all part of the excitement of using the Biblio-Mat. Even if you aren’t an avid reader, the Monkey’s Paw is a quirky stop for those travelling to Toronto.
Get some much-needed fresh air at Banff National Park
Visiting Canada’s first national park should be on everyone’s bucket list, and not just to say you did it. You won’t see natural wonders quite like the ones within Banff National Park. The park’s famous glacier-fed lake – Lake Louise – that is nestled between peaks of the Canadian Rockies will take your breath away.
Even if you don’t consider yourself the outdoorsy type, Banff National Park is worth exploring. You can easily spend the day surrounded by nature, then head back to your luxurious hotel room. If you prefer to rough it, there are campgrounds dotted throughout the park as well. For those who are up for it, sleeping under the stars in Canada’s first national park is an adventurous addition to 2019.
Get high at the 420 Music & Arts Festival in Calgary
We all know that Canada became one of the first countries to legalize recreational marijuana. Legalization was in the works for years, and it finally happened on October 17th, 2018. Weed smokers within Canada and throughout the world are loving these new laws. So why not celebrate this victory for weed smokers at some point in 2019?
A great way to show your appreciation for legal weed is by attending the 420 Music & Arts Festival in Calgary. The first fest took place in 2017 and was such a hit that it has continued on. It takes place each year over the weekend of April 20th. This festival doesn’t just celebrate cannabis; it is a 3-day event filled with music, eccentric art, and food vendors from the area.
So come and get high at the 420 fest while you sing, dance, eat, and indulge in life. But first you should purchase some top-grade weed from one of Canada’s online cannabis dispensaries. Some of the best in the quality comes from all the different provinces, so read online dispensary reviews and make a choice. Luckily, you have lots of quality CBD oil and marijuana to choose from regardless of where you visit.
Experience art and culture in Old Quebec
Your time exploring Quebec should not be spent solely in Montreal. Although Montreal is an amazing city with tons to see, you’d be missing out if you didn’t visit Old Quebec in Quebec City. Chances are you have heard of Chateau Frontenac, the most photographed hotel in the world, but there is so much more to see and do.
You could essentially spend your entire time in Old Quebec eating enormous amounts of food. This area is a foodie’s dream; you’ll find everything from lavish steak houses to charming bistros. There are a few options for Old Quebec food tours to choose from, and they typically make 5 stops over the course of three hours.
Not only are there plenty of opportunities to eat, you can also drink your time away in Old Quebec. One of the best ways to experience classic architecture while also sipping on a beer is at Pape Georges V Tavern. This tavern is tucked within a stone building from 1668 and is famous for a drink called the Black Velvet. This half-cider, half-stout mixture is the best way to get a taste of Old Quebec.
Skate along Rideau Canal at Winterlude Festival in Ottawa
Winterlude Festival in Ottawa may not be “new” perse, but regardless it is a must-do for those visiting Canada in February. We all know that Canada has some brutal winters, and you can either despise this or celebrate it! Winterlude is the perfect place to embrace the wintertime, cold and all.
This annual fest happens every year in Canada’s Ottawa-Gatineau region and brings visitors from all over the world. It gives Canadians and foreigners the chance to celebrate winter to the fullest; Winterlude includes everything from ice carving competitions to massive winter playgrounds.
During your time at Winterlude, skating down the Rideau Canal is a must. It is the world’s largest naturally frozen outdoor skating rink that stretches nearly 8 kilometers. After you’ve bundled up and gone for a skate, be sure to explore the restaurants, shops, and bars of the trendy Byward Market area.
Embrace traditional culture at Nova Scotia’s Celtic Colours International Festival
For nine days in October – October 11th to the 19th – you can get a true taste of the Irish culture found within the province of Nova Scotia. The Celtic Colours International Festival celebrate the Irish roots of Cape Breton Island. There are literally hundreds of events and activities during this time across the entire island.
You’ll experience everything from traditional Gaelic concerts to local dance traditions. This is also the perfect time to see the vibrant colors of the changing autumn leaves and embrace the fresh brisk air. Since many of the activities are spread throughout the island, your best bet is to rent a car and explore Cape Breton.
Bust a gut at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal
Every year in July Montreal hosts the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival featuring some of the world’s biggest comedians. This year the festival will be held in mid-July (10th-28th) and will include gut-busting comedians like Kenya Barris, Wanda Sykes, and Andy Kindler.
The festival isn’t the only reason to visit Montreal. This culture-packed city is filled to the brim with things to do. When you’re not chuckling at a comedy show, you can spend your time exploring Mount Royal, the Notre Dame Basilica of Montreal, and the Montreal Botanical Garden.
These are just a few of the things that will keep you busy during your Canadian adventure of 2019. No matter if you’re into hiking, snowsports, comedy, cannabis, or just want to be around some friendly northerners, you’ll find what you’re looking for in Canada. Forget about that bikini and snorkel gear for your next getaway and experience a real adventure!