Visit Canada: Luxury Family Travel
September 3, 2019
Have you ever taken a trip to Canada? The weather can be extreme, especially during those long winter months, but the people are friendly, the food is delicious and you’ll learn a lot from the local culture. Canadians love to travel—66% hold a valid passport as compared to 42% of Americans—which means they understand the intricacies of the hospitality industry.
Whether you’re on a solo journey, girls’ trip, couples’ retreat or a family vacation, there is a lot to see and do in Canada. Best of all, there are many luxurious options in major cities across the country. Ready to get started? Here are some suggestions (and save room for us in your suitcase)!
Located in beautiful British Columbia, Vancouver is situated between the Canadian Rocky Mountains and the shores of the Pacific Ocean. The area is known for its commitment to sustainability, nature, and organic living—which is reflected in the local community as well as the tourism sector.
The weather tends to be mild year-round, however, much like nearby Seattle, the winter months tend to be quite rainy. You’ll have a great time, but don’t leave your umbrella at home!
Where to Stay
The Fairmont Pacific Rim is an absolutely stunning property with rooms featuring stunning views of the famous Vancouver harbor, a world-class spa with a rooftop jacuzzi and infrared sauna, and multiple dining options. Make sure to check out the RawBar, which serves fresh sushi sourced from the Pacific Ocean. You can’t go wrong when it comes to eating at the Fairmont Pacific Rim.
Located in the heart of Vancouver’s Financial District, you won’t be far from the action. Ready for an adventure? Rent a BMW electric bike from the Fairmont Pacific Rim for a few hours and explore the downtown area with ease!
Things to Do
There’s a real emphasis on being active and enjoying hands-on experiences in Vancouver. Whether you spend time indoors at the Museum of Anthropology or make your way up to nearby Whistler for some skiing, there is always something fun to do!. Here are some other ways to spend your day:
- Cycle around Stanley Park
- See a Vancouver Canucks hockey game
- Cross the Capilano Bridge
- Take the Sea-to-Sky Gondola
- Visit historic Gastown
- Browse Granville Island
- Lay out at English Bay Beach
Of course, be sure to check the weather forecast ahead of time—you won’t want to visit a Canadian beach in November (unless you’re really, really bundled up)!
A day’s drive from Vancouver, the local scene is quite different in Calgary. With the ranches, cowboy hats and strong oil, gas, and beef industries, it might feel like you’re in Canada’s answer to Texas. That being said, Calgary combines a landscape in the foothills with the wide open spaces of the prairies, and the result is magnificent.
In Calgary, Alberta you’ll experience all four seasons—sometimes in a single day! Heavy snow is typical in the winter, while summers are dry enough to cause wildfires, but regular hailstorms aren’t uncommon.
Where to Stay
The Fairmont Palliser Hotel dates back to 1914 and has an old luxury feel to it. The exterior is majestic and historic, while the inside has all the modern comforts any traveler could want (including a 1920s-themed restaurant!). Splurge on an upgraded room or suite and get access to a private lounge with magnificent city views.
The Fairmont Palliser is in the heart of downtown, just a short distance from the Calgary Tower and Fort Calgary. The area is incredibly pedestrian-friendly, so you can easily take in the sites on foot!
Things to Do
As the host city for the 1988 Winter Olympic Games, Calgary has a lot to offer outdoor enthusiasts and sports fanatics. The province of Alberta, where Calgary is located, is fairly young, but there are fun and interactive ways to learn about its unique history. Consider these activities:
- Go skiing, tubing or even try a bobsled at Calgary Olympic Park
- Take a short drive to Banff and Lake Louise
- Head to Drumheller to see the hoodoos and Royal Tyrrell Museum
- Travel back in time at Heritage Park
- Learn more about the history at Glenbow Museum
- Relax and unwind at Prince’s Island Park
- Get pumped at a Calgary Flames hockey game
Each province in Canada has its own distinct flavor, so if you love a great steak and western culture, you’ll love Alberta. While Edmonton is the capital, Calgary has remained popular for years.
While Canada’s population of 37 million people might be smaller than the population of Calfornia alone, Toronto is the country’s most populated city. With three million people of all ethnicities and backgrounds, there are some of the most diverse cuisines and points of interest in the country.
As a waterfront city, Toronto is fairly humid year round, which can make you feel sticky in the summer, but chilled-to-the-bone in winter. As is the case throughout most of Canada, most months are cool or cold in Toronto, but if you visit between June and August, there is still plenty of good weather!
Where to Stay
The Ritz-Carlton Toronto is the home of the only Spa My Blend by Clarins in North America. You’ll definitely want to check out these one-of-a-kind spa services during your stay. Club Level rooms come with access to the Club Lounge which serves meals, hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and desserts throughout the day. You won’t ever need to leave the hotel if you don’t want to!
Toronto has a robust transit system, allowing you to get around the city quickly. As is common in Canada, the streets are lined with sidewalks and bike paths, which makes exploring the area very easy! Located near the CN Tower, Rogers Centre and Scotiabank Stadium, The Ritz-Carlton is right in the middle of the action, so you won’t have to go far to find something to do.
Things to Do
If you’re a sports fan, there will be no shortage of things for you to see and do in Toronto. After all, they are the home of the Toronto Raptors, 2019 NBA Champions! The city is also a playground for foodies and history buffs—and we can’t forget the vibrant nightlife! Here are some ideas to help you get started:
- Ride the record-breaking Yukon Striker roller-coaster at Canada’s Wonderland
- Do the EdgeWalk atop the CN Tower
- Watch the Toronto Maple Leafs (likely) lose a hockey game
- Or see the Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Raptors or Toronto Argonauts play!
- Eat your way through St. Lawrence Market
- Shop til you drop at the Eaton Centre
- Check out the Aga Khan Museum
- Walk through the Hockey Hall of Fame
It won’t take you long to figure out why some refer to Toronto as Canada’s New York City. The city has something for people from all walks of life and you’ll never get bored!
Montréal is the largest French-speaking city in Canada, so if you plan to visit, be prepared! Along with that, the culture, architecture, and fashion, will make you feel like you’ve been transported to Europe. The city itself is located on a dormant volcano (Mount Royal), but it hasn’t made a peep in years!
As a port city, the weather in Montreal is very similar to Toronto. It’s cold most of the year, humid through all four seasons and enjoys beautiful summers.
Where to Stay
There are so many novel places to stay in Montreal, but one cool spot is The Loft. Not only is it affordable, but each room (as the name suggests) is a loft that includes a full bathroom, kitchen, and living area. If you visit, be sure to take the rear elevator for a treat!
Weather-permitting, you can easily walk anywhere you need to in Montreal, but you’ll also find underground tunnels that connect major areas downtown. Along the way, Metro (subway) stations and bus stops to help with your commute.
Things to Do
Montreal is a city of festivals. It doesn’t matter if it’s mind-numbingly cold or blistering hot, there’s always something going on. Aside from the incredible landmarks, there are events suited for people of all ages. Of course, it’s also home to the Montreal Canadiens, the winningest team in NHL history!
- See Beaver Lake, the center of the old volcanic crater on Mount Royal
- Be reverent at the Notre-Dame Basilica or St. Joseph’s Oratory
- Sing along at the Montreal International Jazz Festival
- Try your luck at the Montreal Casino
- Take a food tour (make sure you try poutine!)
- Tap maple syrup at Cabane a Sucre (sugar shack)
- Take in all that Old Montreal has to offer
- Day trip to Quebec City!
No matter when you plan your trip, you’re sure to find something interesting and unique happening in Montreal. It’s unlike any other place in Canada.
WestJet’s Refreshed on Board Program
Traveling across Canada? Be sure to book a flight on Calgary-based WestJet to take advantage of their new Refreshed on Board program. The airline has committed to providing a distinctly Canadian experience for guests throughout the entire flight. Here are some of the features to look for on-board:
- Sean Jones Boarding Sessions — Board your flight to the welcoming sounds of a custom playlist created by the Canadian Juno Award-winning recording artist.
- Business Cabin Amenity Kits — Designed exclusively for WestJet by Montreal’s Matt & Nat, the collection includes high-quality, natural skincare products sourced from each Canadian province. How cool is that?
- Premium Cabin Amenity Kit — Crafted exclusively by the Rocky Mountain Soap Company, this kit includes products sourced from Canmore, Alberta. The hand wash is also used in the Premium and Economy lavatories throughout WestJet’s fleet.
Sometimes it’s hard to feel fresh when you’ve been traveling, but WestJet’s Refreshed On Board is the perfect way to fly if you’re looking for a luxury trip in Canada!