Special from Booking.com
With the day of love on the horizon, you should count yourself lucky that your very own backyard is home to some of the world’s most love-inducing locations. Canada’s reputation for natural beauty makes it an ideal setting for a romantic getaway.
Our friends at Booking.com, the global travel leader with a mission to make it easier for everyone to travel, have put together the destinations in Canada, from Quebec to Alberta, where romance is abound, definitely making for a Valentine’s Day to remember.
Niagara on the Lake, Ontario
While its namesake Falls often grab the headlines, nearby town Niagara-on-the-Lake is the quieter sibling, and in many ways the more romantic. Filled with old-world charm, it’s a jumble of Victorian houses on tree-lined streets, with fragrant flower gardens at every turn. Stroll past the little boutiques of Queen Street in the town’s Heritage District before grabbing a bite at one of the many eateries nearby – try Zee’s Restaurant for upscale dining.
If you’ve got a car, drive out and explore the town’s wineries and vineyards, which claim to be some of the best in Canada. Ravine Vineyard is suitably romantic with its grand white building and selection of tasting options. Continue a little further on and you’ll reach the renowned Niagara Falls, for sweeping views and hypnotic mists. If you’re feeling daring, take a trip into the Cave of the Winds – a 53 metre descent into the Niagara Gorge where you’ll experience the full throttle of the Falls from the Hurricane Deck. Once the adrenaline rush fades, drive back to Harbour House – a pretty hotel down by the marina.
You’ll find the popular ski resort of Saint-Sauveur-des-Monts burrowed in the Laurentian mountains. Only a 60km drive from Montréal, city-dwellers and day-trippers alike flock here throughout the seasons. The town itself is fairly small but a trip up to Mont Saint-Sauveur will greet you with wide open pistes and spectacular views over the valley below.
For the true romantics, night skiing is an ideal option – the pistes are quieter to glide down, while the glittering lights of Saint-Sauveur in the distance make for the perfect backdrop. Warm up with a well-deserved après-ski, before a soak in the outdoor hot tub or snuggling up by the fireplace at Auberge Sous L’Edredon B&B.
Québec City, Québec
Québec City immediately feels romantic, with its rickety cobblestone streets, fairy-tale spires, hushed squares and low-lit bistrots that simmer with the ebbing and flowing of locals. Soulful and historical, it’s a city worth exploring by foot – meander down the Terrasse Dufferin, a 425 metre-long boardwalk overlooking the St Lawrence River, before you eventually pass Le Chȃeau Frontenac; the stately and magnificent property that’s allegedly the world’s most photographed hotel.
If you’re among the 69% of Canadian travellers who’ve reported that eating locally sourced food is important to you while on a getaway, head to Le Lapin Sauté for dinner, where you can sit out on its twinkling terrace and indulge in an array of rabbit-centric dishes. As night falls, prolong the indulgence by checking in to Hotel le Priori – just be sure to brush up on your French.
Look past the glitzy boutiques and nightclubs and you’ll see Banff as its purest self – the gateway to some of Canada’s most spectacular wilderness. Smack in the heart of Banff National Park, this is suited to those looking for romantic escapes in nature while still holding onto a few basic luxuries.
In the winter, ice skate out on a frozen Lake Louise, while in the summertime, journey out at dusk on a wildlife safari to see elks and bears graze as the Rockies tower overhead. When in Banff town, stay at Banff Boutique Inn – Pension Tannenhof where the deluxe king room is styled as an upscale mountain chalet.
The town of Magog is nestled in the Eastern Township of Orford, bordering Lake Memphremagog and with Mount Orford in the distance. Picturesque and autumnal, its postcard appeal transcends all seasons, but opt for a romantic break in the autumn and you’ll be treated to a constellation of burnt orange and red trees that frame the town and lake in true toytown fashion.
While it’s now considered to be a popular resort destination, don’t let that deter you – skip out of downtown to the nearby vineyards of Cep d’Argent or Vignoble Chemin de la Rivière. Another option is the Orford Express for dinner, where you’ll wind through pale fields of wheat and across bridges over gushing rivers. Get a good night’s sleep and treat yourself to a massage at À L’Ancestrale B&B.
Blue Mountains, Ontario
For those after a romantic ski break, the Blue Mountains are one spot to brush up on your powder skills while treating loved ones to a weekend away. The Blue Mountain ski resort serves as the commercial hub and bustling nexus of the town, and is one of the largest resorts in Ontario with 42 ski runs.
Though primarily recognised for its abundance of slopes and snow, the wider area has its own lesser-known charm; nearby Collingwood with its serene lakeside views of the Georgian Bay is a quieter and altogether less touristy spot than its neighbour. For an alternative to skiing, head out to discover Ontario’s pretty apple country – food-lovers should try the Apple Pie Trail. When you’ve had your sweet fix, The Westin Trillium House has space to spread out in, along with TV and mountain views.
These destinations were picked based on Booking.com’s endorsements for ‘romance’ and each had more than 2000 endorsements.