Whether you've got two days, two weeks, two months or two years, planning a trip to Canada can take a bit of work. It's a big place, after all, and a lot goes into getting the most out of your visit.
WHERE TO GO
Start with a couple things: an idea of where you might start and finish your trip, plus a wishlist of all the places you want to see. This may be far from your final plan but it'll get you started. One of the biggest surprises for visitors to Canada is how far apart places can be ? it's not just a matter of cramming in as many stops as possible, there's transit time to take into consideration, too. From there, whittle down your itinerary based on your budget and how much time you have.
Want mountains? Head to the western provinces of Alberta and BC.
Want a laid-back maritime feel? Head to the eastern provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.
Want Canada's biggest cities? Toronto and Montreal were built for you.
Want to avoid the snow? Stick to the very west coast with Vancouver and Vancouver Island (or just come in the warmer months from April to October).
Want all the snow? Head to Ontario or Quebec in the winter, or the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia and Alberta.
Want wide-open spaces and fields that stretch on forever? The Prairies, in the middle of Canada, are definitely calling your name.
Want a bit of everything? Give yourself some time, and start on one side and head to the other.
WHEN TO GO
Canada has four pretty distinct seasons. While summer (June to September) is the high season across the country, winter in Canada is definitely something you should experience if you can. Classic winter with snow and below-zero temps hits much of the country, except the west coast of British Columbia, where a mild winter sets in between November and March. Come summer, average temperatures range from about 20 degrees to 35 degrees across the board (and yes, we work in Celsius here).
WHAT TO DO
Spoiler alert: you're not going to run out of things to do in Canada. You might have heard that we have a bit of a thing for the outdoors here, and that's the truth. While hiking up mountains, canoeing down rivers and jumping in lakes are stereotypical Canadian activities, they're also awesome, which is why we Canadians try to do them as much as possible. But we also like to cap off our outdoor adventures with a bit of urban life, and we've got the bars, restaurants and festivals to prove it.
On your visit to Canada, you can't go wrong by combining a bit of citylife with your outdoor explorations. Canada has 46 national parks and tons of provincial parks and recreation areas, which are all great places to get out and work up a sweat or to spot some of our unique wildlife (hello, chipmunks). Hiking, skiing, swimming, boating, surfing, biking and beach lazing ? you name it, you can do it somewhere in Canada.
Don't leave the cities out of your itinerary and hit the streets as you go ? from the laid-back West Coast attitude of Vancouver to the hubbub of business-minded Toronto and the laissez-faire European flare of Montreal. Canada prides itself on its multiculturalism and you'll find no shortage of ethnic foods and vibrant entertainment options wherever you go.