Romantic getaways, Canadian style
Planning a getaway with the one you love? Here are eight romantic Canadian destinations to inspire your next trip.
Romance on the Rock: Newfoundland
The Avalon Penisula may just be the most romantic place in Canada, according to its town names. Just a short drive off the Trans Canada Highway you’re sure to find Paradise, for example. Venture up Route 80 along Trinity Bay and you’ll find your Heart’s Delight, Heart’s Content and Heart’s Desire. The towns were likely named after fishing vessels, but some legends claim early travellers choose them because of how they felt when they arrived.
You’ll also find Cupids nearby, and the province is home to other unusual places like Sweet Bay, Tickle Cove and Little Heart’s Ease. If you plan to tour these picturesque towns, plan carefully — accommodations can be tricky to find. Still, the areas are a nice complement to popular spots like St. John’s and Gros Morne National Park.
For more information, visit www.newfoundlandlabrador.com
Live the Highland life: Cape Breton
If you’re thinking romantic road trip, you can’t beat the scenic views of the Cabot Trail. This nearly 300 km route takes you through charming communities and the beautiful Cape Breton Highlands National Park. With its mix of Scottish and Acadian heritage, there are plenty of ways to immerse yourself in culture with music festivals, heritage sites and tours.
Take the tour at your own pace and be sure to pack a blanket and hamper — the area is dotted with picnic areas perfect. After a day of exploring, settle in for a sumptuous seafood feast for two and discover why the Cabot Trail is also dubbed “the seafood trail.”
An island getaway: Prince Edward Island
Miles of beaches, golf, music festivals, local cuisine, the Birthplace of Confederation, the home of a literary classic, Mi’kmaq culture… We could go on, but the list of things to love about PEI is a long one. If you’re planning a fall getaway, here’s one more: PEI has one of the longest fall foliage periods in the region thanks to the moderating effects of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Northumberland Strait.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy the sights, including three scenic drives — the North Cape Coastal Drive, Central Coastal Drive and Points East Coastal Drive — which loop around different sections of the island. Hold hands while you hike the Confederation Trail, or hop a bicycle (perhaps built for two?) on the cycling routes.
For more information, visit Tourism Prince Edward Island
An Old World escape: Québec City
From the historic stone architecture of the walled city to its bustling seaport atmosphere, you may make you feel like you’ve stepped into another time and place. Though an ideal city for strolling, travellers say one of the best ways to view the French Canadian city is from the water. For a pastoral look into the area’s past, head over to Île d’Orléans and explore the villages and farms. (Don’t forget to sample some of the local fare — such as cider and apple butter!)
Of course, where you stay also sets the seen for a little amour. The Fairmont Le Château Frontenac looks more like a palace than your typical hotel as it presides over Old Québec City. Many hotels in the area offer getaway packages, or you can cozy up to an apartment rental.
A sophisticated stay: Toronto
Canada’s largest city has its historic charms, but more modern attractions like theatre, sports, spas, festivals, shopping and a wide array of dining options attract visitors all year long. Tour one of the city’s world-class museums or get to know one of its distinct neighbours. Want the view from above? On a clear day, the CN Tower offers a spectacular view of the city — and daredevils can try out the new EdgeWalk.
Want to capture a little Hollywood romance? Time your trip for mid-September when the stars come out for the Toronto International Film Festival. (If you can’t make it for the festival, the TIFF Bell Lightbox offers events throughout the year.)
For more information, visit SeeTorontoNow.com.
A secluded hideaway: Manitoba
No matter how luxurious the resort, sometimes it’s hard to feel the love when you’re surrounded by hundreds of other guests (especially kids!) The Getaways Romantic Retreat near Beausejour caters to visitors looking for something more private. Picture a secluded cabin in the woods by a lake with the amenities of a hotel: modern furnishings, a spa tub, king-sized bed, home theatre system, deck, sunroom and full kitchen. The best part? The retreat is strictly for couples.
Of course, the province boasts other romantic getaways like the luxury cabin accommodations in Whiteshell Provincial park. (The park’s website has a full list of accommodations.)
For more romantic ideas, visit TravelManitoba.com.
Ride off into the sunset: Saskatchewan
Inspired by the romance of the West? Try a ranch getaway in the prairies such as the Historic Reesor Ranch in the Cypress Hills. It’s Cowboy Comfort Romance Package includes a night’s stay in a Cowboy’s Cabin — complete with a two-person Jacuzzi tub — a gift basket from a local winery and a hearty ranch house breakfast. While you’re there, enjoy a horse back ride like the two-hour Sunset Ride before turning in for the night.
While Saskatchewan may not be the first place people think of for a romantic getaway, the province has many unique experiences to offer. Visit SaskTourism.com for more ideas.
A mountain getaway: Banff National Park
Go big or go home? It’s hard to beat the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains and the uniquely turquoise hue of Lake Louise. Banff National Park takes in both these sights, along with the town of Banff. The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is a top spot to turn in after a day of adventure with its top-notch dining, luxurious rooms and renowned spa where you and your loved one can receive side-by-side treatments. It’s Couples Getaway Package goes one step further with champagne and truffles on arrival, complimentary movie and in-room breakfast.
However, the area offers a variety of accommodations to suit every preference, from bed and breakfasts and backcountry lodges to chateaus and hotels such as the Banff Springs Hotel.
For more information and ideas, visit BanffLakeLouise.com.
A beach escape: Sooke, British Columbia
You can’t go wrong visiting well-known destinations like Vancouver, Victoria or Whistler — but one name that frequently finds itself on “most romantic” lists is Sooke Harbour House. Located on Whiffen Spit Beach about 45 minutes outside of Victoria, all of the inn’s 28 guest rooms come with an ocean view complete with large windows and a terrace or balcony from which to watch the sunsets. Each room is uniquely decorated with antiques and artwork around a specific theme, and comes with amenities like a wood-burning fireplace and steam shower for too.
When it comes to dining, you can’t get more local than the edible gardens. If you and your significant other like to cook together, be sure to book a Tuesday and Wednesday night package — it includes cooking lessons with the inn’s head chef.
For more romantic ideas, visit HelloBC.com.
Of course, it would take a book to list all of the romantic getaway ideas in Canada — this list is just a small selection to get you thinking. Whether you plan to travel near or far, there are many options for a getaway for two.
What Canadian destination would you head to for romance? Keep this going in the comments section below.