Winter Vacations in Canada
Oh, Canada. Larger than the U.S.A but with roughly one tenth the population, there is plenty to see and do here, and plenty of room to do it. Urban metropolises like skyscraping Toronto, European-influenced Montreal, and oceanside Vancouver are its biggest draws for city people. But what really makes Canada breathtaking is its expanse, from the Rocky Mountains and Lake Louise to the iconic Niagara Falls.
They don’t call it the Great White North for nothing; Canada earned its nickname because of snowy paradises like Whistler, British Columbia and Mont Tremblant, Quebec, making ski bums and frost-seekers warm with joy year after year. Some of the world’s best skiing is found in this winter wonderland thanks to mountainous terrain, cool winters, and heavy snowfall. Two of our favorite destinations are Whistler and Mont-Tremblant, internationally-renowned ski towns on either side of the country.
Ski Like an Olympian
A mainstay atop the rankings, the only thing higher than Whistler Blackcomb’s usual spot at the top of Canada’s Best Skiing lists is the peak of its towering, dust-powdered mountains. Whistler Blackcomb is the largest ski resort in North America at 8,171 acres. Try and conquer as many of its 200 world-class runs as you can! Your planning is made easy with our Whistler cabin rentals, many of which allow you to directly access the hill via ski-in-ski-out or a short walk. If you’re adventurous, you will definitely want to try heli-skiing: off-trail, downhill skiing accessed only by helicopter. British Columbia is the perfect region to try it – 90% of the world’s heli-skiing is found here. Good to know: Whistler hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics’ alpine skiing events and in doing so received millions of dollars in upgrades to make what was already a skier’s paradise even better.
Je Ne Sais Quoi
If Whistler is the west coast’s ski heaven, Mont-Tremblant is its equivalent to the east. Home to incredible runs thanks to its state-of-the-art snowmaking system, Tremblant’s charming ski town feel is hard to match and easy to love. Tremblant Village exudes an old-fashioned allure with modern amenities and is bustling all season long with tourists and locals alike. Our Mont-Tremblant chalet rentals are ideally situated; many offer direct access to Tremblant’s best runs while remaining close to the village. Mont-Tremblant’s highest peaks boast a breathtaking view of Quebec’s Laurentian mountains. With an average of 156 inches of snow per year and 96 trails, impeccable ski and snowboard conditions are inevitable all winter long. Practice your French before your vacation, but keep in mind that even if the town evokes old-world Europe, the locals - les Québecois - speak a dialect unique to the province with an accent that hardly resembles the French you may have heard in Paris or Provence.
Outdoor Travelers Vacations
Summers are warm across the country’s southern portion, and from there, rural meccas and small vacation villages with with luxury villas are not far away. Massive stretches of its land are dominated by forest, lakes, and tundra, while its national parks and waterfalls are just some of the many natural attractions that must be a part of any vacation to Canada, and in particular, Whistler and Mont Tremblant.
Summer Fun in the Sun
With Canada’s reputation as a winter wonderland in mind, don’t sleep on the idea of a summer vacation to the great land up north! Believe it or not, there’s more to Whistler and Mont Tremblant than skiing - much more. With warm summer climates and plenty of adventurous summer activities to do, each is also just a day-trip away from one of Canada’s major metropolitan cities.
Peaks and Valleys
Winter is Whistler’s main event, but its hilly nature lends itself to lots of summer fun - from mountain biking to rafting. While leaving Whistler won’t be easy, the beautiful city of Vancouver - the country’s third biggest city - is just an easy 90-minute drive away. A drive (or bike ride) through Stanley Park is a great place to see greenery, totem poles, and views of the city; a stroll on downtown Vancouver’s Robson Street is perfect for shopping and people-watching; and the swaying Capilano Suspension Bridge stretches 450 feet over a canyon and the Capilano River 230 feet below. Back in Whistler, you can take advantage of its peaks to find new perspectives. Hike the alpine trails of Whistler Blackcomb and experience its natural beauty from the top; bike the Valley Trail network’s 40 km of paved trail and boardwalk; or take on the 2010 Olympic bobsleigh ice track, even in summer.
Tremblant Village is brilliant all year round. In summertime, strolling its cobblestone streets can be magical, a throwback to a simpler time, with bright, multi-colored facades and red roofs. This quaint little Quebec ski town is just 90 minutes from Canada’s cultural capital, the euro-centric Montreal, making for a perfect day trip. You’ll want to visit Old Montreal for its horse-drawn carriages and rooftop terrace bars; Saint Catherine Street for world-class shopping and potential celeb-spotting; and Mount Royal for a glorious hike and a dreamy city view from the top. Quebec’s history and culture can be felt here as well as in Tremblant, where each season brings something unique. In spring, you’ll absolutely have to visit a Cabane a Sucre during maple season for a maple-infused meal, the likes of which you’ve never seen or tasted before. In summer, bring your golf clubs to challenge both Le Géant and Le Diable, each just a short drive from Tremblant Village.
Experience Luxury Villas in Canada
At the end of a long day on the slopes, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better way to relax than at a private slopeside villa. Cuddle up under a blanket, sink into the steaming hot tub, or cozy up to the warm fireplace at one of our spacious Whistler cabin rentals, with plenty of room to store your ski equipment. Many of our Mont Tremblant villas have direct access to the slopes and a free shuttle service to the village so you can take advantage of all its restaurants and shops. In true ski lodge fashion, you’ll be privy to hot tubs and fireplaces to warm up, and equipment rooms to heat your gear after a long day on the mountain.
In summer, take advantage of our lakeside Whistler cabin rentals, where you can explore the water in a kayak or canoe, or enjoy a cold drink on your private dock with a view of those beautiful BC mountains. If the lake isn’t your thing, choose a vacation rental nestled among the tall pine trees for optimal privacy and with plenty of lawn space, or high up in the mountains with a view of the town. Our Mont-Tremblant chalet rentals are primed for summer too; whether situated along the shores of one of the region’s many lakes, or with your own backyard swimming pool to cool down, your villa is a perfect spot for a hot summer vacation! Barbecue dinners are a must every night, and when the sun goes down, you’ll appreciate a private backyard fire pit where you can huddle up, roast marshmallows, and sing campfire songs.