Lake Louise, Quebec City, Niagara-on-the-Lake: what do all these iconic Canadian locations have in common? Romantics love these destinations for the ultimate couples’ getaways.
What if we told you Canada has a secret treasure trove of romantic vacation hotspots for you to explore?
These scenes are truly breathtaking, and they also boast that novel feeling of something different—something perhaps yet undiscovered. These hidden gems fly under the radar, meaning smaller lines, fewer tourist traps and truly unique photo ops.
If you’re looking to step out of the box and try one of these lesser-known but equally breathtaking romantic getaways, read on.
For the foodies and thespians: Stratford, Ontario
Located just 150 kilometres west of Toronto, Stratford offers couples small-town charm, delectable gastronomic experiences, and a captivating arts scene. Known as “Canada’s Art Town” and celebrated as a top road trip destination, Stratford makes for the ultimate creative couple’s getaway.
Does a multi-course meal followed by a Broadway production sound like the perfect date to you? Then Stratford should top your destinations list.
Spend a weekend testing out a variety of different eats:
- Braai House offers an elevated atmosphere serving South African-inspired live-fire meals;
- The Planet Diner takes guests back in time to a retro-themed restaurant with a 90% plant-based menu;
- Cafe Bouffon delivers a taste of Paris in a Victorian-style atmosphere. Try their three-course prix fixe menu if you like to leave the decisions to the chef; or
- The Bruce Hotel serves as an ideal stop for afternoon tea or to indulge in the tasting menu before heading to the theatre just down the street.
If you’re interested in a sampling of many different venues, Visit Stratford has you covered with themed self-guided culinary tours. Check out The Chocolate Trail or The Bacon and Ale Trail to make your foodie dreams come true.
The best time of year to visit Stratford is during the festival season, which runs from May to October every year. Thespians will revel in the Shakespeare Festival, and melomaniacs will thrive at the Summer Music Festival.
For the adventurers: Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador
If you and your partner love exploring nature and if the smell of the trees and the wind in your hair are the ultimate love languages, then Gros Morne National Park is the romantic getaway you’ve been waiting for.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site covers 1,805 square kilometres of heart-stopping landscapes. From skyscraping summits to expansive lakes to trails that stretch beyond the horizon, this national park offers outdoor enthusiasts nearly every type of terrain to explore.
Throughout the park there are small towns scattered about, offering visitors entertainment along their journeys. Check out Cow Head, Trout River, or Woody Point to break up your hiking excursions.
In Gros Morne National Park, some of the top hiking trails are:
- The Tablelands, where Harold (Hank) Williams refined his theory of plate tectonics;
- Western Brook Pond fjord’s mountain overlook, where you begin your experience aboard a water shuttle and hike to the very top of the gorge; and
- Green Gardens Trail, where you trek through boreal forests to enjoy the payoff of seaspray and ocean breeze along the beach.
Gros Morne National Park offers guided or unguided multi-day hiking tours. Gros Morne is for you if you and your sweetheart love to unplug and get out in nature. Be sure to double check the hours of operation before you make your way to the park, though! Certain areas are only open during specific times of the year.
For those who want a little bit of everything: Prince Edward County, Ontario
A weekend in The County (as the locals call it) gives hopeless romantics a well-rounded experience no matter what they are searching for. Wineries, breweries, hiking trails, theatre performances, world-class beaches, and cozy bed and breakfasts await in this charming travel destination.
Located midway between Toronto and Ottawa, and nearly entirely surrounded by Lake Ontario, Prince Edward County makes for the perfect weekend getaway or day trip.
Couples looking for a mixed bag of entertainment and activities will revel in the array of options available, including:
- the Wellington Farmer’s Market;
- the iconic Lake on the Mountain (try to solve the mystery of this no-source body of water);
- the Taste Trail;
- the Arts Trail; and
- time well spent in great company at one of Prince Edward County’s many wineries.
For the wine lovers: Naramata, British Columbia
Speaking of wine, a must-visit destination for couples who love to connect over a tasty glass of vino is Naramata in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley.
The Okanagan has been a long-coveted tourist destination in Canada. What visitors don’t often know is that nestled at the southern end of the valley exists a stunning town, offering couples a getaway with a slightly more relaxed cadence than the bigger cities.
The grapes grown in Naramata are uniquely exquisite thanks to the rich soil in the Okanagan Valley, the vast array of microclimates, the high level of sun exposure, and the longstanding tradition of agriculture in the region.
Naramata offers visitors more than 40 wineries to choose from. Popular wine varieties in the area include Merlot, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. Relax on one of the many vineyard patios at sunset with your significant other, and let your worries melt away with a delicious glass of award-winning wine in hand.
Discover Naramata has created an app for visitors to easily book a wine tasting, restaurant reservation or find places to stay during their visit.
For the bucket listers: Aurora Village, Northwest Territories
Nothing says romance quite like sleeping under the stars with your loved one, and what could make an experience more spectacular than dozing off as the famous Northern Lights (aurora borealis) dance above you?
Couples looking for a truly unique romantic getaway should check an experience of a lifetime off their bucket list and visit Aurora Village in the Northwest Territories.
Located just a short drive out of Yellowknife on the Ingraham Trail, Aurora Village offers visitors the ultimate location to see aurora borealis in action. Sleep in a teepee village at night and enjoy one of the many tour packages during the day, like a dog team ride, snowshoeing, or an ice fishing expedition.
Yellowknife is the ideal location to take in the Northern Lights as it has limited light pollution, flat lands that don’t trap clouds, cold weather with low moisture content, and is located in the centre of the Auroral Oval.
Let your love grow stronger by experiencing one of the world’s seven natural wonders together. Visit between October and April for your best chance at seeing the lights.
Canada offers residents and tourists alike a breadth of romantic experiences that’s difficult to match. Whether you’re looking to enjoy time in nature, experience local art and culture, indulge in mouthwatering meals and libations, or check a once-in-a-lifetime experience off of your bucket list, Canada delivers in spades.
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