If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, Canada is a deep December holiday destination that’s guaranteed to deliver snow-flecked festivities. Freezing winter temperatures, spectacular natural surroundings and adrenalin-fueled outdoor activities combine to create a snow-clad winter wonderland.
Venture into Canada’s cities, towns and high elevation hamlets and you’ll find comfortable lodgings, where you can unwind at the fireside and quaff countless Christmas cocktails after an active day on the slopes. Although you can enjoy the festive season just about anywhere, there are a few destinations that offer a distinctly different Canadian Christmas.
Let’s take a look at the top three destinations in Canada, each of which offers a unique but equally exciting Xmas experience:
White Christmas: Banff National Park
Just two hour’s drive from Calgary is one of the most majestic places on earth – the Banff National Park. It’s a wild and wonderful natural environment featuring emerald coloured glacial lakes and picturesque coniferous forests backed by the soaring peaks of the Rockies mountain range.
Chocolate box vistas are even more enchanting when thick winter snow blankets the area. It’s a place of rare beauty where elk, moose and carnivores roam free and people come from all over to party and play. Accommodation varies from snug chalets to opulent chateaus teetering on the lake’s edge.
If that’s not enough to entice you to wild Alberta for a white Christmas, perhaps the awesome activities and attractions will. Snowboarding, heli-skiing, thermal hot springs and concerts held in a cave are a sample of what you can enjoy at Banff National Park!
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Magic Christmas: Québec City
Québec City is the perfect blend of old world charm and big city boulevards, boutiques and all night bashes. It’s one of the oldest and easily the most enchanting of Canada’s provincial capitals. Over the Christmas season, when the cobbled streets of Vieux-Québec are lightly sprinkled with snow and decked out in festive decorations and lights, Québec City is completely captivating.
In fact, the charming old town was voted North America’s best winter wonderland in 2016. As in all world cities, there are special little areas that set the scene for the end of year festivities. The best places to visit in Québec City’s historic old neighborhood are the Place-Royale, Rue du Petit-Champlain and Place de d’hôtel-de-Ville!
With a packed holiday schedule featuring endless concerts, the annual QuebecAdabra Festival and themed guided tours and the Old Port and German Christmas markets offering hours of festive season flavoured entertainment, Quebec City promises the traditional holiday spirit with a European twist.
‘Wet’ Christmas: Niagara Falls
During December and January, the Niagara Falls is arguably at its most spectacular. Due to the winter freeze, natural ice sculptures flank the active part of the falls to create unique imagery that’s further enhanced by the nightly illumination. Over the festive season, the parkway is transformed into a kaleidoscope of colour and visitors are treated to fireworks as part of the dazzling Winter Festival of Lights.
In addition to the usual activities, such as embarking on an expedition behind the falls, visiting the butterfly conservatory or bird kingdom and splashing around in the waterpark, you can intoxicate the senses by viewing the majestic floral showhouse that’s arranged with Christmas in mind.
You can gamble on blackjack, slots, craps or Texas Hold’em at the casino… and hopefully win crates of Canadian dollars. And if a bit of true blue Canadian culture beckons, there’s always a jazz festival, art exhibition, musical or serious show on the schedule over the holly holidays!