Though we all love an extravagant trip abroad, there is something magical to be said about the understated “staycation”. One of the most crucial things travellers can do for themselves, is experience the country they live in. Thus, while this is a guide for anyone that wants to experience the charm of a Canadian small town, we hope that some locals feel inspired as well! Read our top picks for charming small towns across Canada below!
From the turquoise waters of Bruce Peninsula National Park, to hidden grottos and breathtaking hikes, Tobermory has earned its title as the eighth wonder of Canada. Although these attractions are captivating during the winter season, they truly shine in the warmer months. During the summer, Canadian divers, climbers and lovers of the great outdoors congregate here. In fact, the only challenge with visiting this destination is that everyone wants to go! As a result, campsites and reservations typically sell out fast. With that being said, reservation dates only opened in January, so a trip to this iconic town is still possible for summer 2022! In addition to the outdoor attractions, the warm and welcoming harbour community will make any traveler’s stay feel special.
Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia
Peggy’s Cove is famed for its picturesque East-Coast lifestyle. With a long history as a fishing community, much of the culture in this small town is interwoven with the sea. As a result, this is a wonderful destination for foodies and seafood lovers. Peggy’s Cove is also home to one of Canada’s most photographed lighthouses: Peggy’s Point lighthouse. In addition to locals’ appreciation of the landscape, the protection of this town’s charm and wellbeing is thoroughly enforced, as it has become a designated preservation area. So grab a copy of Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea and visit Peggy’s Cove for an authentic taste of the Maritime spirit.
This cozy town feels as though it was plucked from the pages of a storybook. Saturated with local charm and colour, Baie-Saint-Paul is an idyllic getaway spot for anyone looking to travel to Québec. Visitors can spend hours browsing through multicoloured shops dotting the main roads, and visiting local farms to sample cheese and honey. During the evening, the downtown area is a wonderful scene for those looking to enjoy a nightcap, flavourful cuisine or live music. When booking a trip, keep an eye out for the famous Le Festif! event. This annual festival is organized in the heart of downtown Baie-Saint-Paul and brings together a variety of talented performers.
Nelson, British Columbia
Many refer to this Kootenay gem as British Columbia’s ‘Hippie town’. While many are drawn to Nelson for its unusual combination of cosmopolitan amenities and small town charm, they come back for the welcoming atmosphere. Across the board, Nelson is referred to as an authentic, inclusive and carefree community. The funky vibe of the art scene and eclectic specialty shops are also significant attractions for creative entrepreneurs. Taking a stroll down Baker Street is all that’s required to understand why Nelson is one of Canada’s finest heritage cities.
Trinity, Newfoundland and Labrador
Calling all coastline lovers! This town is a harmonious balance for those that love history as much as they do the sea. Each year, tourists gather along the Trinity coastlines to see the migrations of humpback, minke, fin, sperm and other whale species pass by. To a keen eye, dolphins, puffins and eagles can also be observed. In this town, there is something to appreciate at every turn. For history lovers, this town is home to the Rising Tide Theatre. This theatre company organizes scenic walking tours that make participants feel as though they’ve stepped into a time machine. Throughout the tour, actors and singers provide a glimpse into the daily lives, traditions and trials of their ancestors. The tour also allows visitors to see historic churches, homes and cemeteries. Whether at a local antique shop, museum, quaint breakfast nook or nature trail, there’s always something to do in Trinity.
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By: Briahna McTigue