A Guide to the Best Family Holiday Destinations in Canada

Are you trying to decide where to go for your next family holiday? Canada might not be the obvious choice to explore with your family but it really should be on your list. Canada is the second largest country in the world, spanning six time zones, so you’re bound to find something to suit everyone. From the wilderness of the Arctic, the magic of the Northern Lights, the bustling cities of Toronto and Vancouver to the picturesque national parks in Banff and the Rockies. Not forgetting Niagara Falls! This country has all the makings of an unforgettable adventure for you and the family. 

Getting there

You can comfortably fly direct to the east coast of Canada from the UK and Ireland in under 7 hours. There are many flight options from London, Manchester and Dublin, all which vary in cost. Budget flights booked early can range from £300 – £400 return with some being even cheaper. It’s a good idea to check out flight comparison sites like Skyscanner or Kayak and to create a flight notification, this will tell you the best time to book your flight to ensure you get the best price.

If you are looking to travel to the west coast of Canada to destinations like Alberta, The Rocky’s, Vancouver and British Columbia, you will expect to pay more for flights. This journey will also be a lot longer as you’ll be crossing the span of the whole country! Direct flights from London to Vancouver take over 9 and a half hours and start off at around £550 return, but this can go up depending on the airline. Direct flights are only available from London and Dublin, so if you decide to take the non-direct route it will take substantially longer. 

The journey and flight time is something to consider when traveling with a family as are luggage delivery services, especially if you are flying with younger children who wouldn’t enjoy long-haul flights.

Destination guide

Ontario

Ontario is home to Toronto and Niagara Falls. The area also boasts national parks, parkland and picturesque hiking spots. With plenty of activities from the city to the country to the shores of Lake Ontario, there is something for everyone in this region of Canada. For an out of this world experience visit during the winter months to catch the Northern Lights and see the majestic Niagara falls frozen over!

Quebec

Quebec is a distinct region in Canada that is French-speaking and eludes French charm. Visit Montreal to explore a little bit of Europe in North America. English is also widely spoken but the region has its own culture and feels that is very different from the rest of Canada. 

Alberta

Alberta is located in Western Canada and is a landlocked region that boasts spectacular natural beauty. Visit Alberta to take in the sights of the Rocky Mountains, Banff National Park and the desert badlands. The region offers a variety of different terrains and many opportunities to enjoy outdoor adventures such as skiing, kayaking, hiking, mountaineering and rock climbing. The cities of Calgary and Edmonton are the most popular with tourists. This is a region to head to if you fancy exploring the great outdoors, there are many campsites and facilities for families that want to sleep out under the stars.

British Columbia

British Colombia is home to the city of Vancouver and the Pacific Ocean. This region offers the mildest climate you can find in Canada and ticks all the boxes for a fun-filled family holiday. Here you can enjoy everything the bustling city of Vancouver has to offer, from great cuisine, shopping and heritage spots to getting back to nature in one of the many national parks in BC. Enjoy cycling, hiking, skiing, camping and more, this is another region popular with those after an adventure holiday that is outdoors focussed. 

Other regions

Other regions in Canada include Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, and the Northern Territories and Nunavut. These regions each have their own unique draw for exploration, however, they are more out of the way and take a little more time and money to get to. 

Why is Canada so ideal for families?

Canada is the ideal destination for families who love exploring the outdoors. No matter what region you decide to visit you will be able to find national parks, hiking trails, cycling and plenty of adventure activities. There is also a great variety of camping and campervan sites throughout the country so there are plenty of facilities for families looking to get back to basics and sleep out under the stars. 

Canada offers unrivaled activities that will bring your family closer to nature. Go whale watching off Vancouver Island or go bear spotting in Tofino. Watch Canadian Moose from the comfort of your kayak in Algonquin National Park, Ontario or put your nerves to the test and walk across the Capilano Suspension Bridge in British Columbia. Canada offers something for everyone!

Accommodation guide

Canada offers a huge variety of accommodation from budget motels to luxury resorts, eco-retreats and national park campsites. We’ve put together a few examples of what is available depending on your budget. 

Budget hotels

Econo Lodge Inn & Suites Downtown Hotel, Toronto
$57CAD per night

This 2-star hotel is located in the downtown area of Toronto close to the University of Toronto. It is the perfect place to stay for a no-frills hotel in a central location. 

B&B Atmosphere, Montreal

$54CAD per night

The B&B is a pleasantly restored 19th-century building that beautifully encapsulates the architecture of Montreal. Close to La Fontaine Park, you are only 2.5 km from the historic town center. 

Indulgent hotels

Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, Vancouver Island 

Cost: $ 4,500 CAD + (3 night package)

This unique wilderness resort is a high-end luxury experience of the outdoors in British Columbia. You have to stay via a package, which includes your accommodation and activities such as horse riding, hiking, and fishing all on offer. The accommodation itself ranges from luxury camping to cabins with private decks. Situated in Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve, this protected area is teeming in nature and wildlife. 

Shangri-La, Vancouver

$400 CAD per night

A firm favourite to stay in, when visiting Vancouver. The Shangri-La benefits from a popular downtown location, fine dining and a luxurious spa. Perfect base to explore the city in comfort. 

Fairmont, Banff Springs

$800 per night

Often referred to as, ‘the castle in the Rockies,’ this hotel’s impressive gothic architecture makes it stand out amongst the formidable mountains. Facilities available include an onsite restaurant, spa and activities such as horse riding, hiking, skiing and golfing are available. 

Airbnb

However, there are plenty of other options, instead of a traditional hotel or resort why not opt for an Airbnb? This accommodation will give you the chance to explore like a local and enjoy all the comforts of home with your family during your holiday. It can also work out substantially cheaper, as you can cook your own meals and won’t be eating out constantly. 

Camping

Canada boasts plenty of breathtaking campsites that offer unrivaled views and spectacular locations. Some offer onsite facilities, however, some will be off the grid. You have the chance to really immerse yourself in nature and the beauty of this country. We’ve selected a few of our favorite campsites below.

Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta

One for the budding paleontologists in your family! This park is a UNESCO world heritage site and has an onsite visitor center and restaurant covering all things dino. You can camp at this park year round and it has the benefits of free Wifi. It’s the perfect location for those wanting to explore via hiking or cycling. Why not take a dinosaur checklist and see what you and your family can discover in this ancient national park.

Achray Campground, Algonquin Park, Ontario

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and head to this remote, quiet campsite in Algonquin Park, Ontario. 

Alice Lake Provincial Park, British Colombia

Relax and unwind in this remote campsite in British Columbia. Featuring hiking trails and plenty of forest woodland to explore, this is the ideal campsite to leave the city behind.

When to travel to Canada

The best time to travel to Canada will all depend on what you plan to do there. If you want to see the Northern Lights then the perfect time to visit is from October to March. 

The most popular season to visit in July and August. You can expect to experience warm and pleasant weather across the country with averages of 25 and 26 C common. 

If you fancy beating the crowds and also taking in some spectacular sights, why not visit during Autumn? The months of September and October offer pleasant temperatures averaging 19-14 C although at night it can get cold. This is a good time to experience the changing colors of the leaves, think golds, browns, and reds. It will also be off season so a lot cheaper than the summer months. 

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