KEEP IT CLOSE
Get away to BC’s Sunshine Coast.
Canada offers great March break destinations
Though spending a week being coddled at a Caribbean resort seems tempting or the annual family trek to Florida would be nice, the ever-changing pandemic situation may have you re-thinking plans for what many value as their favourite week of the year. Experiencing new places, foods and activities in our own country will provide time away while keeping the family safe. Here are some fresh ideas to consider when choosing a March Break destination.
Walking on Sunshine
Who does not look for sun and fun on a March Break trip? Canada’s answer:
BC’s Sunshine Coast.
Though somewhat of a misnomer, this area’s usually mild (but often damp) spring weather can provide escape from Ontario’s snow and freezing temperatures. There are plenty of ways to enjoy British Columbia’s abundant natural beauty.
Your adventure will begin right away, trying to spot whales and dolphins, since most tourists fly to Vancouver and then enjoy a ferry ride to the coast, which is not accessible by car.
Get away to BC’s Sunshine Coast.
Be Bad in the Badlands
If you had a trip to Arizona planned, heading to Drumheller, Alberta will satisfy your taste for rugged natural beauty.
From ambling along the city’s 18-kilometre pedestrian trail to more challenging hiking through the rugged beauty of the Badlands, on the Hoodoos Trail or through Horseshoe Canyon, there are options to match your desired level of exertion. But dress warmly because though the weather is dry the temperatures can be cold, often below freezing.
No trip to this area would be complete without a stop at the Royal Tyrrell Museum to visit its large collection of dinosaur skeletons. There is a reason that Drumheller is called the ‘dinosaur capital of the world.’
Walk on the wild side in Alberta’s Badlands.
Twinkle Little Star
Little ones who are into astronomy will love it when you plan a spring sojourn to Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park in Saskatchewan.
Designated a Dark Sky Preserve in 2004, it lets visitors escape light pollution under an enormous blanket of stars and hear stories of the constellations from park rangers.
Rough it at the Dark Sky Campground in a heated tent or go for a more luxurious experience at the Resort at Cypress Hills.
Star watch at Saskatchewan’s Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park.
Get Your Thor On
On your selfie-tour of Canada, Gimli, Manitoba is a must. A shot of you standing with a giant Viking (4.6 metres) is reason enough to visit this little town located along the shore of Lake Winnipeg, 90 kilometres north of the capital city.
In March, you can enjoy the tenth annual Gimli Ice Festival, the first weekend of the month. You may want to visit again in the summer to enjoy its beach life and the annual Viking Festival, called Islendingadagurinn.
Founded by former Icelanders, the town’s statue and annual festival pay tribute to that heritage.
Pose like a Viking in Gimli, Manitoba.
Most often when Niagara Falls comes to mind, it is with touristy Clifton Hills or one of the several mammoth family-friendly hotels. But there are many natural wonders to consider when planning a trip to Niagara.
Hike through verdant Carolinian forest in the Niagara Gorge. You will get a workout traversing the staircases that take you through this hiking area. It is worth it because Niagara Glen overlooks the river and its amazing whirlpool.
Niagara Glen Park, Niagara River
A French Kiss
Named one of the prettiest streets in the world by Architectural Digest Magazine in 2021, Rue du Petit Champlain in Quebec City is a taste of Europe. Best viewed at the top of the famous Escalier Casse-Cou (breakneck stairs), this colourful, winding pedestrian alley takes you by quaint shops and sidewalk cafes.
You will also find the Funicular on this street; it will transport you up to Dufferin Terrace to look out over the St. Lawrence River, and the beautiful Fairmont Le Château Frontenac.
Just a few minutes further is another mustsee spot in one of Canada’s oldest cities – Place Royal, where the final scene in the movie “Catch Me If You Can” was filmed.
Walk down one of the word’s prettiest streets in Quebec City.
Seafood lovers will want to get a selfie with the world’s biggest crustacean in the ‘lobster capital of the world’ – Shediac, New Brunswick.
At 11 metres long and five metres tall, this big catch weighs 90 tonnes and is the creation of Canadian artist Winston Bronnum.
If you have had your picture taken with Jumbo the Elephant in St. Thomas, then you are already an admirer of his work.
Love the large lobster in Shediac, New Brunswick.
Run on the red sand beaches of PEI.
A Different Beach Experience
For those who regularly head to Florida during March Break to enjoy beach time, a trip to the red sand beaches of Prince Edward Island is a colourful substitute.
In much of the province, the soil, potatoes and sands are all a deep coppery red. Anne of Green Gables fans won’t be disappointed in a visit to Cavendish to experience Green Gables Heritage Place.
Another Kind of Flowerpot
The Bay of Fundy’s topography defines the East Coast as the red rock formations of Alberta’s Badlands define the west.
Identified as one of the world’s natural wonders, you can walk under the giant “flower pots,” formed by the Bay’s famous high tides, at Hopewell Cape, New Brunswick.
There are many spots to see the ocean floor when the high tides recede.
Find your favourite flowerpot in the Bay of Fundy.
Time to Climb
Gros Morne National Park is the tip of the Appalachian Mountains that run through the eastern United States. Camping, hiking, viewing and being awed are all on the agenda when visiting Gros Morne, located on the west coast of Newfoundland.
Many fly to the island, especially for a shorter March Break visit, but the ferry that runs year-round provides a more adventurous start. Either way, you will want a car to enjoy all the spectacular sites of the area.
Hike the trails of Newfoundland’s Gros Morne National Park.