Whether you've lived in Canada your entire life or have only recently moved to the Great White North, there's a whole host of Canadian bucket list experiences that everyone should aim to encounter at least once in their lifetime.
From savouring unique treats at Calgary's famous Stampede to taking in the breathtaking vistas of Banff's Moraine Lake or Lake Louise, or even getting up close to Niagara Falls, Canada is filled with once-in-a-lifetime adventures that you just won't find anywhere else.
Of course, Canada is a huge country and it's not easy (or cheap!) to experience all of its most iconic places first-hand. However, these famous spots should at least be on every Canadian's bucket list – because it's always free to dream!
Taste the snacks at Calgary Stampede
Location: Calgary, AB
Why You Need To Go: Dust off your cowboy boots and get yourself a cowboy hat – the Calgary Stampede is calling!
This iconic bucket list activity celebrates the country's rich Western heritage through its famous rodeo shows, iconic chuckwagon races and impressive live performances. Dubbed the "greatest outdoor show on Earth," more than one million visitors head to Calgary each year to enjoy the festivities.
One of the most popular pastimes at the Calgary Stampede is to indulge in the weird and wonderful snacks on offer, which might include things like a Kool-Aid chicken burger, ketchup and mustard ice cream, a flamin' hot dill cookie and a $100 hot dog. Eek!
See the polar bears in Churchill
Location: Churchill, MB
Why You Need To Go: Nowhere else in the world can you board a custom-designed "Tundra Buggy" and head out in search of polar bears except in Churchill, Manitoba.
This unique place should be on every Canadian's bucket list not only because it's the only place on Earth where you can get up close and personal with polar bears in their natural habitat, but because of its dreamy Arctic landscapes and incredible opportunities to view the northern lights.
This remote destination also gives Canadians the chance to learn more about the region's rich culture and history, while also experiencing activities like dog sledding or beluga whale-spotting.
Sure, Churchill is not easy or cheap to get to. But it's certainly a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Feel the spray of Niagara Falls
Location: Niagara Falls, ON
Why You Need To Go: One of Canada's most iconic and impressive destinations is undoubtedly Niagara Falls.
The world-famous falls are renowned for their thundering waters and there's no better way to bask in their power than embarking on a 20-minute boat journey amidst the glistening mist.
What makes the Canadian side so special is the unparalleled view it offers of Horseshoe Falls, the grandest of the three falls.
After getting your fill of the falls, enjoy all of the kitschy, tourist-friendly delights that the rest of the area has to offer – which is all part of the Niagara Falls experience.
Stand where dinosaurs once stood in Alberta
Location: Dinosaur Provincial Park, AB
Why You Need To Go: Located in the heart of Alberta, Dinosaur Provincial Park is considered one of the world's most prolific dinosaur fossil sites, having yielded a huge number of complete and remarkably well-preserved dinosaur specimens.
With its sunning badlands landscapes, unique eroded terrain and paleontological treasures, this spot is definitely a bucket list destination in Canada – even if it will transport you to another time and place.
Although there are other dinosaur fossil sites worldwide, each with its own unique features and discoveries, Dinosaur Provincial Park in Canada stands out for its unusual richness in terms of fossils and its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
See the northern lights in Yellowknife
Location: Yellowknife, NT
Why You Need To Go: Yellowknife is considered one of the world's best aurora borealis viewing locations due to its prime location beneath the auroral oval (where the northern lights are most vivid and frequent), which means visitors have a great chance of viewing the celestial phenomenon here.
It's hardly surprising then that Yellowknife, the capital of Canada's Northwest Territories, is so popular among stargazers and those hoping to get a glimpse of the elusive natural wonder.
The city also boasts a range of tour operators, guides and accommodations specifically tailored to aurora chasers, which means even visitors with limited experience can embark on this adventure.
What really sets it apart from other similar spots around the world is the minimal light pollution, which makes the colours all the more visible.
Search for spirit bears in B.C.
Location: The Great Bear Rainforest, BC
Why You Need To Go: If you've always dreamed of spotting the elusive and rare white Kermode bear – also known as the spirit bear – there's no better place to go than B.C.'s Great Bear Rainforest.
Renowned globally for its ecological diversity, and for being the only place you can reliably spot a spirit bear, this ancient rainforest promises centuries-old trees, incredible biodiversity and the chance to spot unique wildlife you'd be hard pressed to find anywhere else in the world.
It doesn't get much more off-the-beaten-path than this (the Great Bear Rainforest is generally accessed via boat or floatplane), but because of that you'll have the chance to spot everything from spirit bears and grizzly bears to sea otters, eagles, dolphins, and whales.
See the world's highest tides at the Bay of Fundy
Location: The Bay of Fundy,
Why You Need To Go: Nestled between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the Bay of Fundy is a natural wonder unlike any other.
It's renowned for having the highest tides in the world, with tidal ranges that can reach a staggering 50 feet. This means that at low tide you can walk on the bottom of the bay and at high tide, the water can be as high as a multi-story building.
This relentless tidal action has moulded the Bay of Fundy's coastline into a striking and unique landscape, characterized by towering sea cliffs, sea caves, and rugged rock formations, including the famous Hopewell Rocks.
Step on a glacier among the Canadian Rockies
Location: Athabasca Glacier, AB
Why You Need To Go: Located within the pristine confines of Jasper National Park, the Athabasca Glacier is a must-visit destination for those hoping to experience Canada's most iconic natural wonders.
It's one of the few glaciers in the world that visitors can approach with relative ease thanks to the Columbia Icefield Parkway that provides a direct route to the stunning vistas (although you'll have to take a guided tour if you want to walk on the glacier itself).
The glacier, set against the dramatic backdrop of the Canadian Rockies, is an experience as humbling as it is beautiful, and visiting is a rare opportunity to witness the ice's intricate features up close.
What's more, the Icefields Parkway between Jasper and Banff is considered one of the most scenic road trips in the world – so you can tick off two bucket list experiences in one!
Pose at Lake Louise
Location: Lake Louise, AB
Why You Need To Go: Some of Canada's most iconic vistas, Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, both have a unique combination of geological, climatic and environmental factors that makes them unparalleled anywhere else in the world.
The turquoise hues of these lakes are a result of glacial meltwater mixing with rock particles ground down by glaciers. This specific combination of glacier-fed waters and light-absorbing rock sediments creates a vibrant colour not commonly found in other regions.
Surrounded by the towering, snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies, these lakes are nestled within a postcard-worthy alpine environment, which only adds to their beauty. It's no surprise that they're both often listed among the most Instagram-friendly spots in Canada.
Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.