By Joshua Rivero
From the breathtaking waters of Niagara Falls to the snowy mountains of Vancouver, Canada is rich with iconic attractions. If you’re planning a trip to Canada and looking for places to visit, people may recommend all the same popular places. In this guide, we’ll introduce you to some of Canada's best hidden gems!
This peculiar location holds a formation of rocks known as the ‘Flowerpot Rocks,' named for their unique shape that resembles flowerpots. What finishes up the image are the trees growing on top of the rocks, which make them seem like humongous flowerpots.
Hopewell Rocks is located in Hopewell Cape, a village set in the far east of Canada in the province of New Brunswick. It’s right at the Bay of Fundy which is one of North America’s seven wonders. It’s assumed that these rocks, which stand over 60ft tall, were formed solely by erosion some centuries ago. The weathering tides still continue and are some of the largest tides in the world.
Seeing these rocks really help you acknowledge the ebb and flow of life. As these rocks have withered down over time, it’s a great metaphor for how even we as people (despite being so small) evolve and adapt over time. Hopewell Rocks definitely serves as one of the greatest spots in Canada to reflect and meditate on the wonders of our existence.
Have you ever been inside an underground bunker? Here’s your chance!
Located in Ottawa, Ontario, this bunker and museum hybrid is an oddity amongst the other museums in Ontario. It’s a four-story, 100,000ft tall metal underground bunker that is home to Canada’s Cold War Museum.
This bunker was designed by the Foundation Company of Canada as an emergency underground vacancy for the Canadian government during the Cold War. In 1994, it was given National Historic Site Status only to remain completely vacant until 1997 when it was reopened as a museum. You can now book individual or group tours, host events, or even do a virtual tour.
Black Squirrel Books & Espresso Bar
Looking for the perfect way to recharge after taking a tour through the Diefenbunker? We’ll be staying in Ottawa for this next destination, Black Squirrel Books & Espresso Bar, where you can order a latte and browse used books.
This dreamy local shop has everything you need to relax after a long day. It’s a vast bookstore that sells hundreds of used books all for a great price. What’s even better is that they keep their catalog updated online, so you can browse ahead of time.
When you’re done shopping for classics, visit the coffee shop at the front of the store to order yourself a nice treat. Combine that with the antique, rustic design of this store, and you’ll be feeling zen in no time!
Sucrerie de la Montagne, Québec
One of the greater known facts about Canada is that it's famous for maple syrup. Unfortunately though, getting to an authentic sugar shack in Canada can prove tough if you don’t time your trip sufficiently. Not all sugar shacks are open year-round.
There is one exception though: Sucrerie de la Montagne. It rests within the 120-acre maple tree forest on top of Mont Rigaud. The Sucrerie de la Montagne is definitely a favorite among locals, but quite overlooked by travelers and tourists alike. They cater delicious cuisine to large groups of people, and their menu alternates year-round.
Aside from the sugar shack, you can enjoy a sleigh ride, play in the snow, attend live shows, and view real maple trees. Truly a sweet sight to see.
Haida Gwaii, British Columbia
Known as the Galapagos of the North, Haida Gwaii is a collection of islands only accessible by water or air. Previously known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, this location was renamed in 2010 to honor the native Haida people. Haida Gwaii translates to “islands of the people” in Haida.
There’s more than a handful of activities to do on this beautiful island congregation. Aside from witnessing the very unique land and culture, you can visit some of the many hot springs or beaches located here. Take a trip to the Delkatla Wildlife Sanctuary to see over 100 different species of birds, or try a traditional Haida feast served by local shops.
The best times to visit are between Winter and Spring, when you can see the true beauty of the islands!
Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta
Dinosaur Provincial Park is a desert-like region just a few hours west of Calgary, Alberta. Upon first seeing this location, you’d probably think it's an old Western ranch. Surprisingly, over hundreds of dinosaur bones were discovered here, proving the existence of around 40 different species.
The best thing to do is to take a safari trip (about two hours in length) around the area. Tour guides will show you locations of plentiful fossil discoveries, and even let you see some up close. Just remember — don’t take any with you!