Up in the Great White North, there’s plenty of ways to celebrate the winter. Go all out and enjoy a helicopter-accessible hot spring in Whistler, try your hand at ice climbing in Banff or take part in French gastronomy in Montreal. Here are five great winter getaways in Canada.
Escape to the castle in the Rockies
Winter adventures are ready to be had in Banff National Park, where admission is free all year to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. For skiing, tackle one of the Big Three resorts: Lake Louise, Sunshine Village and Mt. Norquay.
Head to Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel and go for sled dog tours in Bow Valley, horse-drawn sleigh rides, snowshoeing, snow tubing, snowmobiling, ice climbing and plenty more.
Celebrate French cuisine in Montreal
Sample Montréal en Lumière, which takes over the city through March 11, and celebrates the joy of the city in the winter with plenty of unique experiences taking place across town. Gourmands can bask in an incredible variety of events showcasing Lyonnaise cuisine. From culinary workshops and cheese or wine tastings to special dinners with international guest chefs, many events are taking place at the Four-Star Ritz-Carlton Montreal at Four-Star Maison Boulud. Stay and enjoy an overnight package like the Suite Winter Getaway, which offers suite accommodations for a mere $20 CDN (about $15) more than the price of a regular room.
Celebrate Festi Lumiére in Quebec City
Throughout the winter (your last chance to view it is March 3 to 11), Quebec City’s Festi Lumiére fashions a magical outdoor winter wonderland with an enchanted forest — with animals and snowmen — at the Aquarium du Quebec. The fanciful space, which is lit by over 500,000 LED lights, is the perfect spot for a family-friendly excursion. Enjoy outdoor fireplaces, live music and light projections.
For an extra treat, book the Celebrate Quebec City special at Auberge Saint-Antoine. Overlooking the St. Lawrence River in the city’s Old Port, the Four-Star hotel is a stone’s throw from Old Quebec and its historic sites, a fortified city recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Explore winter experiences in Whistler
Take a part in the best that winter has to offer in the Canadian Rockies, with world-class skiing and snowboarding at Whistler Blackcomb, just a couple of hours north of Vancouver. The Five-Star Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler offers luxury accommodations, complete with a heated outdoor pool, daily wine tastings and a Four-Star spa.
Hit the slopes at Whistler Blackcomb, which has more than 8,000 acres of terrain for skiing or snowboarding. Or try the Extraordinary Experience, which starts with a private helicopter flight over Pemberton Icefield to explore the stunning ice caves, and is followed by a private spa experience in a remote hot spring and a chef-catered meal onsite.