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Major Canadian cities have lots to offer to travellers, but sometimes the real adventures lie outside city limits. Rent a car, hop a train, or join a tour and check out these seven cool destinations that all are less than two-and-a-half hours from the city.
Quebec City: Ride The Cable Car At Parc De la Chute-Montmorency
Sorry, Ontario, but Quebec’s biggest waterfall makes Niagara look like a kiddie pool. Hike up the falls or take a cable car ride up for around $12. Once you’re there you can cross the falls on a suspension bridge… So, start practicing your “300 feet off the ground is no big deal” face now.
Travel time from downtown Quebec City: Just 15 minutes. Find a map here.
Vancouver: Ride The Ferry To Nanaimo
Pretty, serene and comforting Horseshoe Bay! Take me away, to and island or beyond the horizon. #vancity #vancouver #vancitybuzz #vancouverisawesome #view #instaview #ocean #harbour #sail #sailaway #dock #bay #adventure #adventuretime #ferry #amazing #boat #blue #exploring #getoutside #marina #sky #waterfront #horseshoebay #endoftheworld #island #horizon
It’s actually really hard to take a get on a BC Ferry and not see something incredible. One of the best routes to do this is from the Horseshoe Bay terminal to Nanaimo. The ferry terminal has mountains on one side and the Salish Sea on the other. Once you arrive in Nanaimo, go for a beer and some really good Mexican food at Pennys Palapa—the floating restaurant at Nanaimo’s Inner Harbour.
Travel time from downtown Vancouver to the Horseshoe Bay terminal: 28 minutes. The length of the ferry ride to Nanaimo: 1.5 hours. Find a map to the terminal here.
Winnipeg: See all the snakes, all at once
Like snakes? What about thousands of snakes? What about a big mass of snakes getting their snake on in a snake pile? Like… this? If you said yes, then Manitoba is where you want to be in either late April or late September. That’s when seventy thousand garter snakes converge in a literal snake pit to mate in spring and prep for hibernation in fall. It’s insane. And yeah, you’re allowed to touch them.
Travel time from Winnipeg: one hour and 41 minutes. Find a map here.
Toronto: Ride The Country’s Second Longest Zipline On The Niagara Escarpment
The Thunderbird Twin Zip at Scenic Caves on the Bruce Trail is 2,550 ft of either pure thrill-seeker exhilaration or total terror, depending on how you feel about heights. Handbrakes let you control the ride so you can stop to take photos or go all out and fly to the bottom at 70mph. The park also has one of the longest suspension bridges in the province. After your hike, head to Wasaga for a bonfire on the beach.
Travel time from downtown Toronto: Two hours and 10 minutes. Find a map here.
Halifax: Check Out The Seaside Caves In Lunenburg County
The Ovens are coastal caves that look like they’ve been moved to Riverport, Nova Scotia, from somewhere in South America. In photos, they seem impossible to enter, but there are actually trails, stairways, and passages that lead you right inside. Admission to the park is just eight bucks and nearby Lunenburg has plenty of great places to get a bite once you’re done caving.
Travel time from Halifax: One hour and 27 minutes. Find a map here.
St. John’s: See A Whale, A Puffin, And Maybe Even An Iceberg
I didn't know puffins could walk on water! Magical! They are very hard to photograph because of their small size and erratic movements – but when they are on the water they begin running and flapping their wings, taking of like a plane on a runway. #puffin #water #takeoff #flying #fly #newfoundland #witlessbay #baybulls #explorecanada #explorenl
Hit the water for a whale-watching expedition with one of the many tour companies (like this one or this one) on the Bay Bulls harbourfront. Spotting a whale fluke in the waves is as awesome as you’d imagine but who knew Puffins were so cool? Cold weather bonus: getting up close with icebergs. Not like Titanic close, but almost.
Travel time from St. John’s: 26 minutes. Find a map here.
Edmonton: Go Tubing Forever On The Pembina River
The towns of Entwistle and Evansburg are where Albertans go to escape the summer heat in the best way possible: by tubing down the Pembina River. No need to pack your own like a local, the Pembina River Tubing company will supply everything you need (plus a ride back to your car) for between $20 and $30, depending on how big a tube you want.
Travel time from Edmonton: one hour and nine minutes. Find a map here.
Like this post? Check out 8 Amazing Day Trips Out Of Montreal and Watch This Couple’s Epic 10-Day Newfoundland Trip In 180 Seconds, too!