Canada Tour Blog by Caravan Tours

Our Caravan Canada travel blog offers great information on what to see and things to do when vacationing in Nova Scotia, PEI or New Brunswick on the east coast or exploring the Rocky Mountains of Western Canada. Read articles about Lake Louise, Jasper Park, and Glacier National Park.

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The Canadian Rockies represent a small segment of the Rocky Mountains, extending about a thousand miles southeastward from northern British Columbia. This mountain range features around 50 peaks that tower above 11,000 feet, with the highest residing in British Columbia.

The Canadian Rockies are home to various wildlife species, picturesque alpine lakes, natural hot springs, and dozens of hiking trails, making it a worthwhile destination for adventurers and relaxers alike. Here are a few tips on how to visit the Canadian Rockies.

Getting There

The first step in visiting the Canadian Rockies is the journey. You’ll need to travel from where you call home to the craggy peaks of these magnificent mountains. But before that, you’ll need to plan your trip. Here are a few things to consider in this phase of the journey:

Choosing the Best Times to Visit

The Canadian Rockies offer stunning views year-round, but when planning your trip, consider the weather conditions. What do you want to do when you’re there? Do you want to curl up in a cozy cabin with the fireplace crackling while you watch the snow fall? Do you want to enjoy skiing, skating, snowboarding, or other winter sports?

Or perhaps you want to enjoy hiking during summer when colorful wildflowers are in full bloom. Either way, your answers will help you decide the best time to visit.


Driving to the Canadian Rockies is entirely doable if you live in the Pacific Northwest. It can be a fun opportunity to go on a road trip with your friends and family! However, flying might be your best option if you live further away or in an entirely different country. Choose the airport closest to the area you plan to visit.

If you decide to fly, you’ll need to determine how you plan to get around. Will you rent a car? Will you rely on public transportation?

Renting a car ahead of time is usually best to ensure options are available.

Entry Requirements

Before visiting, you’ll need to determine entry requirements for visiting Canada from your country. Generally, if you’re visiting from the United States, you’ll need a valid U.S. passport, passport card, or NEXUS card. Children younger than 16 years only need proof of U.S. citizenship, like a birth certificate.

Where to Stay

Once you iron out the details of getting there, it’s time to think about where you’ll stay. Do you want to immerse yourself in nature and camp under the stars? Plenty of campgrounds and RV parks are scattered around the Canadian Rockies, but be sure to research your options and reserve a spot before visiting if necessary.

If you prefer the luxuries of the indoors, consider a hotel, resort, or vacation rental. Many of the towns around the Canadian Rockies are tourist destinations, so there’s plenty to go around. However, these accommodations can fill up fast, so book your stay in advance.

Numerous towns flank the Canadian Rockies, offering unique experiences and phenomenal views of the jutting peaks. Popular options include Banff, Jasper, Canmore, and Lake Louise.


Exploring the Canadian Rockies

The Canadian Rockies have plenty to offer, from lively festivals to calming hot springs. Here are a few ideas for your trip itinerary.

National Parks and Protected Areas

If you love nature’s calm, peaceful expanse, the Rockies are the perfect place to enjoy it. Add a few national parks to your list, such as Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, Yoho National Park, or Kootenay National Park.

Each has something to offer, so visit them all or pick the option nearest you.

Must-See Attractions and Activites

Aside from perusing national parks, there are plenty of other activities to fill your time. For example, take a relaxing soak in the steamy hot springs in Banff, take an invigorating hike up a trail near your lodgings, and enjoy a scenic drive with panoramic views.

Visit an iconic lake, like Lake Louise or Moraine Lake, which boast unbelievable turquoise waters that look almost unreal, like they’ve been edited.

The towns around the Rockies host various lively festivals and other forms of entertainment throughout the year. Take a peek at the options available in the area you’re staying when you plan to be there through a quick Internet search.

Guided Tours and Excursions

This area is teeming with guided tour and excursion options, and a quick Internet search will reveal options in the area you’re staying. Take a horseback ride through the mountain, ride the gondola through Banff, or enjoy a covered wagon ride with a Western cookout.

There’s plenty to go around, regardless of what you prefer!

Outdoor Recreation and Adventure

The Canadian Rockies are full of outdoor recreational activities and adventures. From hikes with stunning views to camping under the stars, there’s plenty to keep an outdoor enthusiast busy.


If you’re an avid hiker, you’ll probably love the Canadian Rockies. Dozens of trails extend across these vast mountains, some reaching lofty peaks and others dropping down to alpine lakes. The sights are breathtaking, teeming with vibrant wildflowers in the summer and fluffy snow in the winter.

When hiking in these areas, exercising caution is paramount. Pay attention to posted signage and restrictions. These mountains are full of wildlife, so preparing for encounters is essential. Bring plenty of water and food to keep you hydrated and satiated on your hike. Wear comfortable shoes and dress for the temperature changes as you climb. Hike in groups of at least two or three, if not more.

Prepare for the elevation changes and ensure you acclimate to the higher elevations when you arrive before scaling nearby mountains. If you experience altitude sickness, stop ascending and walk to a lower elevation. Stop for a few minutes to catch your breath before descending if necessary.

Wildlife Watching

If you enjoy watching the goings-on of wildlife creatures, you’ll find plenty to do in this area. The Canadian Rockies are home to many species, including grizzly bears, bighorn sheep, elk, coyotes, wolves, lynx, mountain goats, and moose.

In addition, many birds frolic through the trees in the spring and summer before migrating to warmer climates in the winter.

As with wildlife watching in any state, remember that this area is their home. Leave them alone and stay a safe distance away. Be respectful of the animals and be cautious when watching them.


The Canadian Rockies are a must-add to any avid camper’s list. This area boasts numerous campgrounds and RV sites perfect for enjoying the environment. Reserve a campsite near a lake to fill your days with water sports like kayaking, swimming, or fishing and wind down with a crackling campfire. You might even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights!

If you go this route, remember to plan ahead. Bring everything you’ll need for the trip, including your camping essentials. Learn about how to safely store food in the area you’re staying to keep wildlife at bay and remember to book a campsite in advance.

Dining and Cuisine

Towns around the Canadian Rockies offer various types of local cuisine, including game meats and fruits or vegetables harvested from the mountains themselves. Browse through local dining options in your area to find the perfect place to satisfy your cravings. There are plenty of options, although some towns have fewer than others.

Some restaurants, like the Sky Bistro in Banff, pair delectable cuisine with stunning views.

Packing and Preparation

As you prepare for your trip, here are a few things to remember:

  • Pack for changing weather: Given the higher elevation, temperatures are often cooler, even in the summer. Prepare for warm days and cold nights if you visit in the summer or cold days and freezing nights in winter.
  • Bring essential gear: Base the contents of your suitcase on the activities you plan to do. Bring your snow gear for winter or your paddleboard for summer.
  • Be smart to stay safe: While traveling through the Rockies, always avoid wildlife, hike with a buddy, and prepare for your activities accordingly.
  • Leave no trace: Whether you go on a hike, stay at a campsite, or stop at a scenic outlook, always leave no trace. Pick up your trash and any items you brought with you to leave the area as you find it.


Take a Trip to the Canadian Rockies

Excited to visit the Canadian Rockies but not sure where to start? We get it. Planning this trip can be overwhelming – there’s so much to do. How do you decide where to go? This is where we can help.

At Caravan, we offer guided trips through the Rockies, visiting many of the picturesque towns framing this mountain range. Our journey takes us from the stunning views of Glacier Park in the United States to the jaw-dropping lakes, rivers, and peaks of the Canadian Rockies. Ready to book a trip? Call us today at 1-800-CARAVAN or +1-312-321-9800.

The Canadian Maritimes are a must-do on the bucket list of any seafood lover. This region is renowned for its picturesque coastal landscapes, exceptional seafood, and rich cultural heritage. Each province in this region has something to offer, from mouth-watering cuisine to lively festivals, making it a worthy addition to your bucket list.

Geography and Composition

The Canadian Maritimes, also known as the Maritime Provinces, features three provinces: Novia Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. With the addition of Newfoundland and Labrador, they form the Atlantic Provinces, stretching along maritime Canada’s eastern coastline.

This area comprises a cluster of peninsulas and islands on the eastern Canadian coast. It’s the northeastern extension of the Appalachian highlands, featuring fertile valleys and ample fishing opportunities.

Prominent cities in this area include Halifax, Saint John, Summerside, Charlottetown, Moncton, and Fredericton.


History and Cultural Heritage

The Canadian Maritimes played a significant role in Canadian history, initially sighted by explorer Bjarni Herjolfsson. Before the arrival of the Europeans, Indigenous

, the Mi’kmaq, inhabited the region. This group constituted a single linguistic and cultural entity, save for their neighbors in the upper Saint John River valley, the Wolastioqiyik, who spoke a different Algonquian dialect.

In the early 17th century, French settlers upended Indigenous reign over the region, challenging the Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik presence. French Acadia soon came into existence, featuring various isolated settlements and united by a common language.

However, by 1763, the French surrendered all of Acadia to the British, passing the power to the monarchy. After Britain took over, people from all over flocked to Canadian shores, including those from present-day Switzerland, Germany, Scotland, and Ireland.

The mix created a melded blend of cultures, heritage, and traditions that formed the Canadian Maritimes as they’re known today. Several historic sites and landmarks remain an ever-present reminder of the past and the nation’s foundation.

Nova Scotia

Surrounded almost entirely by water, Nova Scotia is home to kilometers of coastline, tasty maritime cuisine, and dozens of outdoor activities and natural wonders. It’s known for the picturesque Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse, the historic Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, and the Halifax festivals, including the International Busker Festival and Pop Explosion Festival.

New Brunswick

New Brunswick is a Canadian province featuring sprawling, untouched wilderness, delectable cuisine, and the Bay of Fundy, which boasts the highest tides in the world. Visitors can explore rugged landscapes, scenic forests, museums, and historic sites. Various festivals, such as the Festival Acadien, celebrate the province’s Acadian heritage through music, dance, and traditional food.

Prince Edward Island (PEI)

Prince Edward Island is a small province known for its beautiful beaches, scenic landscapes, lush countryside, and rich heritage. This province is small but mighty, stealing the culinary spotlight and boasting a cultural heritage celebrated through various festivals and events.

Its first inhabitants were ancestors of Mi’kmaq, Indigenous peoples who have lived in the area for thousands of years. Eventually, it became one of the original four provinces of the Dominion of Canada in 1867, playing a significant role in Canada’s history.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador is a Canadian province on the east coast known for its rugged coastline, diverse cultural history, and awe-inspiring natural beauty. It’s home to various animals, from whales and seals to caribou and moose.

It boasts strong cultural traditions, including a musical heritage filled with an assortment of styles, from traditional folk music to contemporary pop and rock. Its stunning landscapes and remarkable national parks make it a popular destination for visitors around the world.

Culture and Festivals

Canada’s Maritimes boasts a rich history teeming with a cultural blend of stories, music, and folklore. The region’s history, geography, and blend of people lend to the diversity of its culture, creating a beautiful fusion.

This region hosts numerous festivals, including the Celtic Colors International Festival, which draws crowds throughout October and features Celtic music, dance, storytelling, workshops, and lectures. The Halifax International Busker Festival livens the streets in August, featuring a rowdy celebration of music, comedy, and circus arts.

The list of festivals continues, featuring celebrations like the Atlantic Fringe Festival or the Festival Acadien de Clare.

Maritime Cuisine

Atlantic Canada offers various types of delectable cuisine, from tasty seafood dishes to traditional dishes and desserts. Cuisine in this area reflects the cultural diversity and coastal heritage of this area, featuring a blend of seafood and locally sourced ingredients.

Given the location, the options are heavily influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, which offers fresh seafood such as scallops, oysters, lobster, and mussels. Certain areas are known for specific foods, like Novia Scotia, which offers its world-famous lobster in delicious lobster rolls, poutine, and more.

Outdoor Activities

The Canadian Maritimes are teeming with opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. There are plenty of hiking opportunities and campsites spread across national parks in the areas, including Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Kejimkujik National Park, and Prince Edward Island National Park.

This area is also great for water sports and activities, including kayaking or canoeing and whale watching during the summer and fall. During the winter, the activities list remains impressive, with ample snowboarding, sledding, skiing, skating, and ice-climbing opportunities.

Practical Travel Tips

When visiting the Canadian Maritimes, there are a few things to keep in mind, including the following:

  • Best time to visit: Early summer to early fall is an ideal time to visit the Canadian Maritimes. However, since this is generally peak season, late fall can be an excellent time to visit as well.
  • Pack for changing weather: Weather conditions can change based on the time of day and your proximity to the ocean, so pack accordingly.
  • Be respectful: As you travel through these areas, be respectful of local communities and their heritage. Ask permission before entering private property or taking photos.
  • Plan ahead: If you travel during peak season, plan ahead and book your accommodations in advance. Hotels, motels, and other lodgings often fill up fast during this season.
  • Plan your route: Public transportation isn’t available in all areas, so if you don’t want to rent a car, plan your route around the transportation options available.
  • Swim with care: The water in the Canadian Maritimes is much cooler than the warm water of tropical climates. Be mindful of those chillier temperatures, tides, and strong currents when swimming.


Schedule a Tour of the Canadian Maritimes Today

Exploring multiple Canadian Maritimes in a single trip can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know the best places to visit. At Caravan, we handle the details, so you don’t have to.

Our guided tours take you through the Canadian Maritimes, stopping at key points along the way to maximize your experience. We explore numerous cities, attractions, and activities, enjoying tasty food and beautiful views. Ready to schedule a tour? Call us at 1-800 Caravan or +1-312-321-9800.

Canadian Rockies vs American Rockies

The Canadian Rockies and American Rockies are two of the most stunning mountain ranges in the world. Both regions offer breathtaking natural beauty, unique wildlife, and endless outdoor activities. However, there are some significant differences between the two mountain ranges that are worth exploring.

If you’re trying to decide between visiting the Canadian Rockies or the American Rockies, the short answer is: it depends on your preferences. If solitude and turquoise glacier-fed lakes appeal to you, go Canadian. If you’re after diverse landscapes, from high alpine regions to wildlife-rich parks, consider the American Rockies.

Let’s dive deeper into what each of these incredible mountain ranges has to offer, to help you decide which one should be your next adventure destination.

Geography and Location

The Canadian Rockies and American Rockies are part of the same range, but they are separated by the international border between Canada and the United States.

The Canadian Rockies are located in Western Canada, stretching from the province of British Columbia to Alberta. In contrast, the American Rockies are found in the Western United States, running from New Mexico to Montana.

The Canadian Rockies are part of the larger Rocky Mountains range, which stretches from Alaska in the north to New Mexico in the south.

The Canadian Rockies are known for their stunning peaks, crystal-clear lakes, and abundant wildlife. The region is home to several national parks, including Banff, Jasper, and Yoho, which attract millions of visitors every year.

The American Rockies, on the other hand, are known for their diverse landscape, which includes towering peaks, desert landscapes, and stunning canyons. The region is also home to several national parks, including Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Rocky Mountain National Park.

Landscape and Scenery

One of the most noticeable differences between the two mountain ranges is the landscape and scenery. The Canadian Rockies are famous for their glaciers, crystal-clear lakes, and towering peaks. The region’s most iconic landmarks include Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, and Lake Louise, which attract millions of visitors every year.

Banff National Park is the oldest national park in Canada, and it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.

The park is home to some of the most stunning scenery in the world, including the turquoise waters of Lake Louise, the majestic peaks of the Canadian Rockies, and the breathtaking glaciers of the Columbia Icefield. The park is also home to a diverse range of wildlife, including grizzly bears, elk, and wolves.

Jasper National Park is another popular destination in the Canadian Rockies. The park is known for its stunning peaks, alpine lakes, and glaciers. Visitors can explore the park’s many hiking trails, take a scenic drive on the Icefields Parkway, or relax in the park’s natural hot springs.

Lake Louise is one of the most iconic destinations in the Canadian Rockies. The lake’s turquoise waters are fed by glaciers, creating a stunning sight that has become synonymous with the region. Visitors can hike around the lake, take a canoe ride, or simply relax and enjoy the view.

The American Rockies, on the other hand, are known for their colorful canyons, desert landscapes, and unique rock formations. The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, and Rocky Mountain National Park are just a few of the spectacular sights found in this region.

The Grand Canyon is one of the most famous natural wonders in the world. The canyon is 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide, with depths reaching up to a mile. The canyon is home to several hiking trails, as well as a variety of wildlife, including bighorn sheep, coyotes, and mountain lions.

Yellowstone National Park is the first national park in the world and is known for its geothermal features, including the famous Old Faithful geyser. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including bison, wolves, and grizzly bears.

Rocky Mountain National Park is located in the heart of the American Rockies and is known for its stunning peaks, alpine lakes, and abundant wildlife. Visitors can explore the park’s many hiking trails, go horseback riding, or take a scenic drive on Trail Ridge Road.


Both the Canadian Rockies and American Rockies are home to a diverse range of wildlife species.

In Canada, visitors can spot grizzly bears, wolves, elk, and moose, among other animals. The Canadian Rockies are home to over 53 species of mammals, including the iconic Canadian lynx, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep.

The region is also home to over 300 species of birds, including the majestic bald eagle and the elusive peregrine falcon.

In the United States, visitors can encounter bison, bighorn sheep, mountain lions, and bald eagles, among other species.

Yellowstone National Park is known for its population of gray wolves, which were reintroduced to the park in the 1990s after being hunted to near-extinction. The park is also home to a herd of bison, which is one of the largest in the country.

Outdoor Activities

The Canadian Rockies and American Rockies are paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.

In the Canadian Rockies, visitors can enjoy hiking, skiing, snowboarding, camping, and wildlife viewing. Banff National Park and Jasper National Park offer a plethora of outdoor activities, from skiing and snowboarding in the winter to hiking, mountain biking, and kayaking in the summer.

In the American Rockies, visitors can explore national parks, go hiking, whitewater rafting, skiing, and mountain biking. Rocky Mountain National Park is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering over 350 miles of hiking trails, as well as opportunities for rock climbing, fishing, and horseback riding.

Accessibility and Tourist Infrastructure

The Canadian Rockies have an extensive tourist infrastructure, with well-maintained roads, numerous accommodations, and a plethora of tourist services.

The region is also easily accessible from major Canadian cities, such as Calgary and Vancouver. Banff and Jasper National Parks are both located on the Trans-Canada Highway, making them easy to reach by car.

In contrast, the American Rockies can be more challenging to navigate due to the vast distances between parks and attractions.

However, the United States has a well-developed tourist industry, with a wide range of accommodation options and tourist services. The region is also easily accessible by car, with several major highways running through the area.


The Canadian Rockies and American Rockies are two of the most stunning mountain ranges in the world, each with its unique features and attractions.

The Canadian Rockies are known for their glaciers, crystal-clear lakes, and towering peaks, while the American Rockies are known for their diverse landscape, which includes colorful canyons, desert landscapes, and unique rock formations.

Both regions offer a wide range of outdoor activities, from hiking and skiing to wildlife viewing and camping.

The Canadian Rockies have an extensive tourist infrastructure, making them easy to navigate and explore, while the American Rockies are more spread out but offer a well-developed tourist industry.

Regardless of which range you choose to explore, you are guaranteed an unforgettable experience that will leave you in awe of nature’s beauty.

Whether you’re standing in front of the turquoise waters of Lake Louise or hiking through the colorful canyons of the Grand Canyon, the Canadian Rockies and American Rockies will take your breath away and leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.

Your Guide to Viewing Northern Lights in the Canadian Rockies

When it comes to natural wonders, few are as mesmerizing and awe-inspiring as the Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis.

This spectacular light show is caused by the collision of charged particles from the sun with atoms in Earth’s atmosphere, resulting in a dazzling display of colors and shapes.

While northern lights can be seen in various parts of the world, one of the best places to view them is in the Canadian Rockies.

In this post, we’ll explore when and where you can see northern lights in the Canadian Rockies, and how to make the most of your viewing experience.

Understanding the Northern Lights

Before we delve into the specifics of northern lights viewing in the Canadian Rockies, it’s important to understand what northern lights are and how they form.

In simple terms, northern lights are a natural phenomenon that occur when charged particles from the sun collide with atoms in the Earth’s atmosphere.

These collisions create a beautiful display of lights in the sky, with colors ranging from green, yellow, and pink to red, blue, and purple. The shape of the northern lights can vary from simple arcs to complex, swirling patterns that dance across the sky.

Best Times to See Northern Lights in Canadian Rockies

While northern lights can be seen year-round in the Canadian Rockies, the best time to view them is during the fall and winter months, when the nights are longer and darker. The prime months for northern lights viewing in the Canadian Rockies are from late September to early April.

Within this time period, the best time of day to view northern lights is between 10 PM and 2 AM, when the sky is at its darkest.

However, it’s important to note that viewing northern lights is dependent on several factors, including the weather, the level of light pollution, and your geographic location.

Locations for Northern Lights Viewing in Canadian Rockies

The Canadian Rockies offer several excellent locations for viewing northern lights. The most popular locations include Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, and Lake Louise.

These areas are known for their dark skies, which provide optimal conditions for viewing northern lights. In Banff National Park, the area around Lake Minnewanka and the Bow Valley Parkway are great spots for viewing northern lights.

In Jasper National Park, the Athabasca Glacier and Maligne Lake are popular locations for northern lights viewing. In Lake Louise, the Lake Louise Ski Resort and the Moraine Lake are great spots for viewing northern lights.

Tips for Viewing Northern Lights in Canadian Rockies

To make the most of your northern lights viewing experience in the Canadian Rockies, there are a few tips to keep in mind.

Firstly, dress warmly and in layers, as temperatures can drop significantly at night. Secondly, bring a tripod and a camera with a high ISO and a wide-angle lens to capture the beauty of the northern lights. Thirdly, avoid areas with high levels of light pollution, such as cities or towns.

Lastly, be patient and flexible, as northern lights viewing is dependent on several factors and can sometimes require waiting for several hours in the cold.


Viewing the northern lights in the Canadian Rockies is an unforgettable experience that should be on every nature lover’s bucket list. By understanding when and where to view northern lights, and following some simple tips, you can make the most of your viewing experience and witness one of nature’s most stunning displays.

So grab your warmest clothes, pack your camera, and head out to the Canadian Rockies for an unforgettable northern lights viewing adventure!

The Canadian Rockies are one of the most breathtaking natural wonders on the planet. With towering peaks, glistening glaciers, and pristine alpine lakes, this region is a favorite destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

But with so much to see and do, it can be tough to know when the best time to visit is.

The short answer is: it depends on what you want to do and see. For snow sports and magical winter scenery, aim for the colder months. If hiking through wildflower-strewn meadows and enjoying warmer weather is more your style, the summer season is a great fit.

But, to truly identify the ideal time for your visit, let’s explore what each season in the Canadian Rockies brings, and how it can shape your adventure.

Spring: A Time of Renewal and Wildlife Watching

Spring in the Canadian Rockies is a time of transition. The snow begins to melt, and the valleys come to life with vibrant greenery and wildflowers.

It’s a great time for wildlife watching, as the animals come out of hibernation and become more active. Elk, moose, bighorn sheep, and mountain goats are just a few of the species that you might see during your visit.

Spring is also a great time for birdwatching, as migratory birds return to the region. However, the weather can still be unpredictable, and many of the higher elevation trails and attractions may still be closed due to snow.

Summer: Peak Season for Outdoor Adventure

Summer is the peak season for visitors to the Canadian Rockies. The weather is generally warm and sunny, and all of the attractions and trails are open.

There are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and rafting. The lakes are also warm enough for swimming, making it a popular time to visit for families. However, the crowds can be quite busy, and accommodations can be expensive.

Fall: A Stunning Season of Colors and Wildlife Activity

Fall in the Canadian Rockies is a magical time of year. The leaves on the trees turn to vibrant shades of yellow, orange, and red, creating a stunning backdrop for your visit. The temperatures are cooler, making it a great time for hiking and outdoor activities.

The crowds also begin to thin out, making it a more peaceful time to visit. One of the highlights of fall in the Rockies is the wildlife. The animals are more active during this time of year as they prepare for winter, and you may be lucky enough to see elk, deer, and other species during your visit.

However, the weather can be unpredictable, and many of the higher elevation trails and attractions may also be closed.

Winter: A Winter Wonderland for Snow Lovers

Winter in the Canadian Rockies is a true winter wonderland. The region receives an average of 360 inches (30 feet) of snow each year, creating a winter wonderland for visitors.

There are plenty of opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and other winter sports. The scenery is also breathtaking, with snow-capped peaks and frozen lakes. However, the weather can be extreme, and some of the attractions may be closed due to snow or ice.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Time to Visit

When deciding when to visit the Canadian Rockies, there are several factors to consider. These include your interests and preferred activities, your budget, and your tolerance for crowds and inclement weather.

It’s also important to research the specific attractions and trails that you want to visit to determine when they are open.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Visit to the Canadian Rockies

No matter when you visit the Canadian Rockies, there are plenty of ways to make the most of your trip. Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather and bring plenty of sunscreen and insect repellent.

Research the attractions and trails that you want to visit in advance, and make reservations as needed. Consider hiring a local guide or joining a tour to enhance your experience and learn more about the region.

When Will You Visit the Canadian Rockies?

The Canadian Rockies are a truly magical place, offering something for everyone no matter what time of year you visit.

Spring and fall offer the chance to see wildlife and stunning natural colors, while summer is perfect for outdoor adventures and family vacations. Winter brings the opportunity for winter sports and stunning snowscapes.


The Canadian Rockies offer some of the most stunning and awe-inspiring natural beauty in the world. Exploring the region by train is a unique and memorable way to experience the mountains, with breathtaking views of towering peaks, cascading waterfalls, and crystal clear lakes.

Planning Your Train Trip

Before embarking on a Canadian Rockies train trip, it’s important to plan out the details to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. Here are some key things to consider when planning your train trip:

Choosing the right train route is essential. There are several different train routes available that traverse the Canadian Rockies, each offering its own unique views and experiences. Popular routes include the Rocky Mountaineer and the VIA Rail Canadian.

Deciding on your travel dates and duration is also crucial. Consider the time of year you’d like to travel and how many days you have available for your trip. Keep in mind that peak tourist season in the Rockies is from June to August, and some routes may only operate during certain times of the year.

Booking your train tickets in advance is recommended. Once you’ve decided on your route and travel dates, it’s important to book your train tickets as soon as possible to secure your spot on the train. Many train trips offer different levels of service, such as GoldLeaf and SilverLeaf, which offer different amenities and perks.

Considering accommodation options is also important. Many train trips offer overnight stays in nearby hotels or lodges along the route. It’s important to research and book your accommodation in advance to ensure availability and to find the best option for your needs and budget.

Planning out the details of your train trip in advance will ensure a stress-free and enjoyable experience. In the next section, we’ll explore what to expect onboard and the unique experiences offered by a Canadian Rockies train trip.

The Train Experience

The train journey itself is a major highlight of a Canadian Rockies train trip, offering breathtaking views and unique experiences. Here’s what you can expect onboard:

The train provides comfortable seating with ample legroom, and some even have lounge cars for relaxing and enjoying the scenery. During the journey, passengers can expect to see stunning views of the mountains, glaciers, lakes, and forests. The train travels at a leisurely pace, allowing passengers to take in the beauty of the scenery and to spot wildlife.

Depending on the train route and level of service, meals and snacks may be provided onboard, often featuring regional cuisine and local ingredients. Many train trips also offer commentary from knowledgeable guides, providing information on the history, geology, and wildlife of the region.

Destinations to Visit

One of the best aspects of a Canadian Rockies train trip is the opportunity to explore the many destinations along the way. Here are some popular destinations to consider:

  • Banff: Known for its stunning scenery and outdoor activities, Banff is a must-visit destination in the Canadian Rockies. Highlights include Banff National Park, Lake Louise, and the Banff Gondola.
  • Jasper: Located in the heart of Jasper National Park, Jasper offers an abundance of natural beauty and outdoor adventures, such as hiking, wildlife viewing, and kayaking.
  • Lake Louise: Famous for its turquoise waters and surrounding mountains, Lake Louise is a popular spot for hiking, canoeing, and scenic drives.
  • Whistler: Although not located directly in the Canadian Rockies, Whistler is a popular destination along the Rocky Mountaineer train route. Known for its world-class skiing, Whistler also offers a variety of summer activities such as hiking, biking, and ziplining.

Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures or cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone along the Canadian Rockies train route. By planning ahead and considering the many destinations and experiences available, you’re sure to have a memorable and enjoyable trip.

Tips for a Successful Train Trip

To make the most of your Canadian Rockies train trip, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Pack appropriately: The weather in the Rockies can be unpredictable, so it’s important to pack layers and be prepared for all types of weather conditions.

Bring binoculars: Wildlife sightings are common along the train route, so bringing a pair of binoculars can enhance your experience.

Take advantage of the stops: Many train trips offer stops at popular destinations along the route, so take advantage of these opportunities to explore and take in the sights.

Be respectful of other passengers: Train travel often involves close quarters with other passengers, so it’s important to be considerate of others and respect their space.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can ensure a successful and enjoyable Canadian Rockies train trip.


A Canadian Rockies train trip is a unique and memorable way to explore one of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders. By planning ahead, considering the different train routes and destinations, and keeping some key tips in mind, you can have a stress-free and enjoyable journey through the heart of the mountains. From the comfortable train ride to the breathtaking views and unique experiences along the way, a Canadian Rockies train trip is a must-do for any nature lover or adventure seeker.

If you’re looking for things to do in Quebec City and want to experience French Canada, then you can’t go wrong here in the province’s capital.

There are so many unique things to do in Quebec City, Canada. Get ready to fall in love with the rich history, picturesque streets, and vibrant festivals that happen all year long!

This European-inspired city is located along the Saint-Lawrence River, just a few hours’ drive from Montreal.

While not as busy as Montreal, Quebec City is far more walkable – so long as you don’t mind a bit of snow!

If colder temperatures don’t make you squeamish, try to plan your visit in the winter to take advantage of the unique festivals the city is famous for.

Here are some of the reasons you should visit Quebec City and what to do when you’re there!

Wander Through Old Quebec

No visit to Quebec would be complete without experiencing Old Quebec, the historic heart of the city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The neighborhood of Old Quebec City, or Vieux Québec, is the only city north of Mexico City to have preserved walled ramparts. Now is your chance to glimpse what it was like to live inside a fortified city centuries ago!

When you’re done with your siege re-enactment, take a walk along the streets of Upper Town and gaze over the cliff for a stunning view of the Saint-Lawrence River. You can take a guided tour of Old Quebec or explore on your own.

Old Quebec City is home to several iconic landmarks, including the Château Frontenac, the Citadelle, and the Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral.

Here are some other things to do in Old Quebec City.

Explore the Quartier Petit Champlain

The Quartier Petit Champlain is a charming neighborhood located in Old Quebec City. It is known for its narrow cobblestoned streets, colorful houses, and vibrant atmosphere.

Quartier Petit Champlain is a great place to shop, dine, explore, or simply grab a coffee as you walk between the historical monuments and beautiful churches sprinkled throughout the area.

Stroll Along the Terrasse Dufferin

The Terrasse Dufferin is a beautiful boardwalk that offers stunning views of the St. Lawrence River and the surrounding landscape.

It is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike and is a great place to relax and take in the views.

Appreciate the Architecture

You can’t walk through the streets of Quebec City and not notice its distinct blend of French and British heritage.

Beautiful architecture is everywhere, from mundane row homes to grand buildings and churches. If you had to narrow it down to three buildings, you must visit:

  • Le Chateau de Frontenac
  • The Basilica de Notre Dame
  • Maison de la Littérature

We recommend you brush up on your reading at the Maison de la Littérature. The library blends contemporary design with neo-Gothic architecture and is often called the heart of Quebecois literature. Its stunning interior is a popular picture location. Just make sure you are respectful of others using the library.

Visit the Basilique Notre-Dame de Québec

The Basilique Notre-Dame de Québec is a stunning cathedral located in Old Quebec City. It is known for its beautiful architecture and is a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can take a guided tour of the cathedral or attend mass to experience the beauty and grandeur of the church’s interior.

Visit Chateau de Frontenac

Chateau de Frontenac in old Quebec City is probably one of the world’s most photographed hotels and always appears in city skyline images.

The Chateau was designed in the 19th century and has been considered a National Historic Site of Canada since 1980.

Experience The Winter Festivals

Quebec City is known for being a festival destination, but the most famous is, hands-down, the Carnaval de Quebec.

The Carnaval takes place every winter and lasts a couple of weeks from late January to mid-February so weather-appropriate clothing is a must.

Many activities will keep you occupied, from the sleigh and canoe races to snow sculptures, food, and fireworks.

Make sure you sample some iconic Canadian maple taffy! This dessert is popular at Canadian winter festivals and is made by spreading hot maple syrup in the snow, where it instantly cools and thickens before rolling it on a stick.

Quebec City is known for its delicious cuisine, and a food tour is a great way to sample some of the local specialties. Some popular dishes worth trying include poutine, tourtière, and tarte au sucre.

Stay at The Ice Hotel

Ever wanted to spend the night in an upscale igloo? Well, now is your chance!

Located only minutes from downtown Quebec City is the Hôtel du Glace (Ice Hotel), and it’s an unmissable experience! The hotel sits on the slopes of the Laurentian Mountains and is made from 30,000 tons of snow and 500 tons of ice.

Beds are constructed on a solid ice base with a wooden box spring and mattress placed on top. Don’t worry. They have lots of blankets, and guests sleep inside arctic sleeping bags, but interior temperatures still average 23°F to 26°F (-5°C to 3°C).

Has an overnight stay lost its appeal? No problem. There are tour and day packages available too. If you’re feeling romantic, you can tie the knot inside the hotel’s ice chapel!

Come Experience Quebec City with Caravan Tours!

For nearly three-quarters of a century (since 1952), Caravan Tours has remained a family-run tour company based out of Chicago IL.

We use only very knowledgeable local tour guides for all of our tours including tours in the United States and Canada, plus in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, and Mexico.

Our two newest tours, including our Montreal Tour and Quebec City, will be offered to the public very soon. In the meantime, our guests can book the following Canadian tours:

If you still have questions about our upcoming Quebec City tour or any Canadian tour we offer, or to book one of our USA or Central American tours, please:

Quebec City FAQs

Is Quebec City the capital of Quebec?

Quebec City is the capital of the French-speaking province of Quebec, Canada.

What Time Is It in Quebec City?

Quebec City is Eastern Standard time which is the same Time Zone as the New England States and New York.

What language do they speak in Quebec City?

French is the primary language of Quebec City and English is their second language.

How far is Quebec City from Montreal?

Quebec City is 262km (163 miles) from Montreal Canada.

How Far Is Quebec City from Toronto?

Quebec City is 806 miles (1,297km) from Toronto, Ontario.

How Far is Quebec City from Ottawa?

Quebec City is 276 miles (444km) from Ottawa, Ontario.

Caravan Tours will be adding a Montreal Canada tour in 2023 but until then, we wanted to share with you some of the wonderful things to do in Montreal.

There are few Canadian cities with a character that rivals this French (and English) speaking city.

With nearly one hundred festivals a year and a vibrant art and music scene, those seeking a cultural getaway don’t have to look much further than this vibrant city.

Montreal is often called the “Paris of Canada”.

While it may not be the capital of the province, this city is the principal metropolitan center in Quebec.

Its current population is approximately 4.3 million making it the second-most-populous city in Canada behind Toronto.

Visitors will love the delicious cuisine, ample sightseeing, and European-inspired flair unique on this side of the Atlantic.

There are plenty of things to do in Montreal making it a perfect weekend getaway destination. There are so many unique sights, accommodations, and restaurants to suit every type of traveler and budget.

Read on to discover why you should visit the city, and what to see while you’re there!

What To Do in Montreal

Experience The Culture

There is never a dull moment here for those who appreciate art and culture.

From the many festivals that happen year-round to the art, cinema, music, and dance available every day, there is always something exciting happening in the city.

To see what’s scheduled during your visit, be sure to visit the Quartier des Spectacles. The Quartier is a dedicated hosting space as seen by its many indoor and outdoor stages.

One of the city’s most famous events is the Montreal International Jazz Festival,  a 10-day event that takes place in the summer. If you can, try to plan a trip during this time so you can experience great international music!

Visit Old Montreal

This city was established in 1642, a full 151 years before Toronto.

If you’re looking for a dose of history, then don’t skip out on visiting the neighborhood of Old Montreal.

Situated near the Saint Lawrence River waterfront, this is a distinct cultural hub that houses historical sites dating as far back as the 17th century.

Take a walk along the cobblestone streets and be sure to visit the Place d’Armes, a beautiful historical square in the heart of Old Montreal.

There you’ll see the famous Notre Dame Basilica, a ‘mini’ version of Paris’ Notre Dame, which is great for a photo op.

Not far from the Place d’Armes is the Hôtel de Ville (city hall) which was built in the Second Empire style to emulate the Hôtel de Ville Tours in France.

Check Out the Underground City

Planning your visit during the cold winter months?

That’s all right, you don’t even have to go outside if you don’t want to! Travel instead through the RÉSO, also known as the Underground City.

Montreal’s Underground City is a downtown subterranean network that covers 33 km and is composed of walkways, subway stations, shopping centers, restaurants, movie theatres, and more.

Shop and experience a taste of the city’s style with retail destinations that – while not quite rivaling those of Paris – give the rest of Canada a serious run for its money.

Try The Local Flavours

Poutine anyone? Whether or not this famous dish originated in Quebec (there’s some debate), there’s nothing exaggerated about the claim that Montreal has a great food scene.

The city has more restaurants per capita than any other North American city, making it the perfect destination for foodies.

Explore everything from food festivals that celebrate local chefs, to food trucks that can be spotted throughout the city, to the 24-hour poutine at La Banquise. You can happily eat your way through Montreal for an unbeatable holiday.

Believe us, it’s worth the few extra pounds!

Appreciate The Architecture

Montreal’s unique blend of architectural styles can be attributed to its rich and diverse history.

Often referred to as the most European city in North America, on account of its French colonial roots, each ensuing wave of immigration has left its mark upon the city.

The façades throughout the city bear witness to a mix of historical, religious, and modern architecture.

From the old-world beauty of Old Montreal, distinct row homes of Plateau Mont-Royal, and sprawling mansions in Westmount and Outremont, every corner of this city tells a story.

Get lost and wander the streets, you’ll never run out of things to see.

Looking for more in-depth knowledge? Then be sure to visit the Canadian Centre for Architecture to stock up on facts before you hit the streets.

From foodies to shoppers, to culture-seeking travelers, there’s something for everyone in this unique city!

Don’t miss this stop next time you’re passing through Canada. Make it a weekend getaway and return to work on Monday with an unforgettable experience under your belt.

Come Experience Montreal Canada with Caravan Tours!

For more than 70th years (since 1952) travelers from around the globe have enjoyed affordable, fully guided tours by our family-run tour company.

Every tour we offer includes knowledgeable local tour guides to ensure our guests get the most out of their travels with us.

Caravan Tours offers multiple guided tours in Canada, the United States, and Mexico, plus unique tours in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Panama in Central America.

Dates for our Montreal Tour and our new Quebec City Tour will be announced soon. We also offer the following Canadian tours:

If you still have questions about any of our Canadian vacations, or to book one of our other Caravan fully guided tours, please contact us.

Montreal Canada FAQs

Where Is Montreal?

The city of Montreal is in the French-speaking province of Quebec, Canada.

Is Montreal an Island?

Yes, the city of Montreal is located on an island on the St Lawrence River in southern Quebec.

What Time Is It in Montreal?

Montreal is in Eastern Standard time which is the same Time Zone as New York, Ohio, and Washington DC.

Do They Speak French in Montreal?

Montrealers are bilingual with French as their first language and English as their second language.

How Far Is Montreal from Toronto?

Montreal Quebec is 336 miles (541km) from Toronto, Ontario.

How Far Is Montreal from Quebec City?

Montreal is 163 miles (262km) from Quebec City.

How Far from Montreal to Ottawa?

Montreal is 102 miles (165km) from Ottawa, Ontario.

How Far from New York to Montreal?

New York City is 372 miles (599km) from Montreal Canada.

How Far Is Boston to Montreal?

Boston MA is 307 miles (494km) from Montreal Canada.

Take An East Coast Canada Tour with Caravan Tours!

Caravan’s all-inclusive east coast Canada tours are also fully guided!

Our east coast Canada tour is extremely popular and a “must do” for even the most avid traveler. Why not add a Canadian Maritimes tour to your bucket list?

A Canada east coast road trip is like entering an enchanted world that transports you to a mixture of quaint old world charm and new world wonders. Driving through the maritime provinces, Caravan’s Canadian east coast bus tours offer tourists a mixture of aquatic adventures, urban experiences, cultural diversity, historic Canadian sites, scenic tours, and hours of fascinating activities. Read more

Tour western Canada all inclusive with Caravan Tours and explore the Canadian Rockies!

Canada’s Western Provinces

The western provinces of Canada include Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, and most are land locked. The exceptions include a small portion of northeastern Manitoba that borders the Hudson Bay (home to the Port of Churchill) and of course the Pacific Coast on the west side of British Columbia.

Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta are all considered “Prairie Provinces” and at one time the vast majority of the “Prairies” consisted of flat grasslands. Today, the majority of the grasslands have been converted for farm use. Read more