I’m sitting at my laptop today looking through photos of travel experiences from around the world and realizing that my wandering spirit needs a new experience, and soon. I’ve loved exploring more of Canada over the last few years and recently I was introduced to several destinations that have become favourites, alongside a few experiences I can’t wait to book for the first time!
We visit Kingston “officially” for the blog a few years ago and try to get back as often as possible ever since. Not only is this picturesque city the perfect halfway point for us from Ottawa and friends from Toronto, but its food scene is one of my favourites in Ontario. Film festivals, pride celebrations and seasonal activities make it the perfect destination to explore for the first or fortieth time this year.
I would encourage you to check out some of their epic packages that take the guess work out of planning an amazing trip as soon as you can.
Southeastern Ontario and the Bay of Quinte area is one of the most magical regions of Ontario and last summer I was lucky enough to immerse myself in the magic of it all. I actually just planted the beans I was giving during an Indigenous seed class and they have sprouted in the office while we wait for garden weather in Ottawa.
Belleville, Tyendinaga, Nappanee and so many other towns, cities and regions – not to mention wine country – make this one of my favourite places to explore on solo travel actually. Though families, couples and BFFs are of course welcome, this is a place that offers the energy you need when you need to find yourself.
Banff was one of the first cities I explored in Canada outside of Ontario and Quebec in my early twenties and to this day remains one of the most picturesque and energy charged places I have been lucky enough to visit. Most recently on a trip alongside Rebecca in partnership with Pursuit – read about it here – I realized that this place soothes my soul in a way that is hard to express.
I encourage you all to book your experience to Banff and Jasper with the Pursuit team for a one of a kind experience that will quite literally take your breath away.
Of course if you’ve been reading and following along with me over the last ten years, you’ll know that Vancouver holds a special place in my heart and to Julio & I as a couple. A few years ago we went to celebrate our wedding anniversary and have been back once since then, but the west coast is so immensely majestic and the energy is palpable. The forrest, the ocean, and the food are hands down so incredible I could see us moving there permanently. Maybe one day!
Destination Vancouver is the perfect place to find everything you need to book your next visit or your first.
Whistler was one of those trips that was on a whim while in Vancouver and was one of the best decisions of my life. Not only is the drive from Vancouver STUNNING, but the mountains make you stop and appreciate life by reminder you how small we are in comparison to how big our egos can allow us to feel. I mean that in the best way possible because I’m the kind of person who NEEDS to be reminded to stop and be more present in the now.
DEFINITELY a destination to be seen and felt in real life.
Cottage country and The Kawarthas offer the space and nature to reset in the summer months. We were lucky enough to book at The Trace Resort last year for a few days and it was the disconnect I needed to recharge with Julio and Canela.
Probably the best rental experience we’ve had together, this is the place to book (and quick because they ALWAYS sell out the season) for a few days or a week with your special people. Bring your favourite food and drink, and let yourself have an adult summer camp kind of experience that you will always cherish. We’re headed back at the end of May and I can’t wait!!!
The city where I was born of course is a must whenever we can make the drive up. Montreal offers french culture, cuisine, and Julio’s favourite – French Canadian men 😏 Obviously like going home each and every time, I’m hoping to work with more festivals, the fierte team again, the OSHEAGA team again and as many opportunities to explore the city and what it has to offer.
Once place to start planning your next visit is of course the Tourism Montreal website, but don’t forget valuable resources such at MTLaTable and Queer MTL.
Of course let’s not forget how amazing Ottawa is – Bluesfest and incredible festivals have me so excited for the summer months. But let’s not forget that Ottawa is a city to celebrate all year long. And can we talk about how amazing the drag scene has become?!
The Tourism Ottawa website is a valuable resource to find what’s going up, the best hotels and the best experiences for your next visit.
Some of the experiences I would love to try for the first time this year include
Getting back to Nova Scotia, Going to New Brunswick again, and trying to visit Prince Edward Island for the first time ever. I’d love to explore the east coast this summer!
I’ve also been having something calling me to explore the north. I’ve always wanted to see the Northern Lights and recently I was introduced to Destination Indigenous which has experiences across the country and I want to try them all.
What is Indigenous Tourism?
ITAC has endorsed the following definitions specific to Indigenous tourism, as they resulted from previous national and extensive consultation of industry, Elders and community.
Indigenous Tourism – all tourism businesses majority-owned (51%), operated and/ or controlled by First Nations, Métis or Inuit Peoples that can demonstrate a connection and responsibility to the local Indigenous community and traditional territory where the operation resides.
Indigenous Cultural Tourism – meets the Indigenous tourism criteria and in addition, a significant portion of the experience incorporates Indigenous culture in a manner that is appropriate, respectful and true to the Indigenous culture being portrayed. The authenticity is ensured through the active involvement of Indigenous people in the development and delivery of the experience.
There are tourism businesses that are neither majority-owned nor operated by Indigenous People who offer ‘Indigenous tourism experiences’. Authentic Indigenous Cultural Tourism is by Indigenous People, not about Indigenous People.
If I can speak one adventure into existence and manifest, it would be to travel with them to the Yukon and see the Northern Lights for myself. But honestly I’d love to experience them all as I continue on my own Indigenous identity journey.
Click here to find Indigenous experiences across the country and near you.
Here is to all the adventures that all of us can have this year. I hope that this post has inspired you to start thinking about planning and booking these destinations in Canada.
Come along with Julio & I if you aren’t following us yet at @dothedaniel & @fashionights on all social media platforms.
Photos: Daniel Reyes Cocka and all participating brands above
Don’t forget to be kind & laugh a little more this year
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