Planning a Perfectly Romantic Canada Honeymoon

Head north of the border for an adventurous getaway for two.
On the road to Canadian Rockies in Alberta, Canada
Photo: Francesco Riccardo Iacomino | Getty
Suzie Dundas - The Knot Contributor.
by
Suzie Dundas
Suzie Dundas - The Knot Contributor.
Suzie Dundas
The Knot Contributor
  • Suzie is a freelance writer for The Knot, with a focus on honeymoon content and couples’ travel.
  • She’s written for publications like Outside Magazine, TripSavvy, Insider, Playboy, Forbes, SkyLife Magazine, Popular Mechanics, the SF Chron and more.
  • Suzie is an avid traveller, and she’s both stayed in luxury over-the-water villas in the Maldives, and slept in the plastic tube of an indoor playground at an airport when he...
Updated Apr 08, 2024
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Oh, Canada. Sure, it's the country's national anthem, but it's also what you'll be saying after spending a few days on your Canada honeymoon. From the cobblestone streets of Old Québec to the wild and rugged coastlines of British Columbia, there's plenty to explore.

With its immense size and dynamic landscape, it's no wonder it's one of the best honeymoon destinations for couples who love adventure. Some travelers are drawn to a Canada honeymoon due to the natural beauty of Banff and Jasper national parks, while others love the culture, art, festivals and food of urban getaways like Vancouver and Montreal.

Of course, if you're willing to travel further north to the Yukon or Northwest Territories, you'll find plenty of ways to explore the country's rich indigenous culture; there are so many places in Canada that couples will love. You can go on a luxury polar bear safari in Manitoba or take a sunset cruise past the Nova Scotia coastline.

When planning the perfect Canadian vacation, remember that you'll have to narrow things down a bit unless you're planning on a very extended road trip. Canada is 5,780 miles wide and bigger than the US, so you'll need ample time to scratch the surface of what the country has to offer. From the best months to visit to the top hotels and things to do, use our expert tips to plan an unforgettable honeymoon in Canada.

Canada Honeymoon Tips in this Article:

    Montmorency Falls in autumn
    Photo: Vlad G | Shutterstock

    Best Time to Honeymoon in Canada

    The best time to visit Canada entirely depends on what it is you want to do. If you're a skier, you'll want to visit between December and April. March is a great time of year for fantastic snow at resorts like Whistler Blackcomb, Sunshine Village (at Banff) and Kicking Horse (in central Canada's Rocky Mountains). Most ski resorts close in late April, but there's still snow in the ground through much of the country past that. Remember that most of the snow in Canada falls at higher elevations in the mountains and in the interior of the country; coastal areas around Vancouver Island are much milder.

    If you want to hike or enjoy the trails, you'll have to wait for the snow to melt. Plan a trip between June and early October if you want to hike, camp or take advantage of summer activities like winery tours, kayaking or attending outdoor festivals (of which there are many). If you're planning on staying near cities, any time of year will be fine, though remember that cities in Canada can get far colder than those further south in the States.

    Best weather: May to October (or December to April, if you're looking for snow).
    Festival highlights: The Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Calgary Stampede, Québec Winter Carnival, Toronto International Film Festival in September.

    Canada Honeymoon Planning Tips

    Canada is huge—in fact, it's about 1.6 percent larger than the US—so of course, you'll find all kinds of unique experiences across the country. Ideally, you'll want to decide what kind of experience you want before deciding on where to go.

    You can plan an urban adventure in Vancouver, learn to tap a maple tree in Québec or hike next to grizzly bears in Banff National Park. You can enjoy excellent wine in Ontario's Niagara region, and foodie honeymooners can visit some top-notch restaurants in the area, too. It's the second-biggest country in the world, so if you can't find something to love, well, you're just not looking hard enough. From British Columbia to Newfoundland and everything in between, there's enough to do and see to fill a lifetime of honeymoons.

    Aside from having just about every activity in the world at your fingertips (yes, Canada even has some pretty amazing beaches), it's also easy to reach for newlyweds in the US. Because it has so many international airports (and many of the most popular places to visit are in the southern part of the country), you should be able to find a direct flight from almost every airport in the US.

    You can easily drive to Canada, which may be better if you want to bring bigger items with you like mountain bikes, skis or your favorite fly-fishing gear. Add to that a friendly exchange rate compared to the US dollar, and you'll see why Canada is the second-most-popular country in the world for Americans to visit.

    The only real disadvantage to a honeymoon in Canada is that it's not a traditional choice. While Canada does have beaches, tiki bars and plenty of cities that get downright hot on summer days, it's not tropical, and you won't find hotels with overwater bungalows or places to snorkel in warm oceans (though Lake Louise and the water bodies of the Canadian Rockies are astonishingly blue).

    Aside from booking your accommodations and activities in advance, here are a few other things to keep in mind before buying your plane tickets to Canada.

    Entry requirements: A valid US passport.
    Language:
    English and French, with over 70 Indigenous languages spoken across the country.
    Location:
    Canada is located in North America, stretching from the Pacific Ocean in the west to the Atlantic Ocean in the east, with the Arctic Ocean to the north.
    Currency:
    The Canadian Dollar (CAD).
    Flight time to Destination:
    Because of Canada's vast size, flight times really depend on where you're flying to and from. Flights from New York City to Toronto can be as quick as an hour and a half, but flights from New York City to the wilderness of the Yukon can take as long as 16 hours (and multiple layovers).
    Getting around:
    Canada offers all kinds of transportation options, including domestic flights, trains, ferries and reliable bus networks. Renting a car for a road trip honeymoon is a great option, too, along with cycling and walking.

    Pro tip: Invite a honeymoon planning expert to join your vendor team. You can find travel agents near you on The Knot Marketplace for Canada honeymoon expertise, reviews and more.

    Best Canada Honeymoon Hotels and Resorts

    From cozy cabins and cottages to boutique hotels, you can find just about every kind of honeymoon accommodation in Canada. Here are some of our top picks for couples.

    The Woodbourne Inn in the Niagara on the Lake region of Canada surrounded by greenery
    Photo: Woodbourne Inn

    Woodbourne Inn

    For an authentic Canadian experience in Ontario's wine country, book your honeymoon suite at Woodbourne Inn. This 1839 manor has been fully restored, featuring eight elegant bedrooms with plenty of amenities—some rooms even have their own fireplace and soaker tub. Guests who have left reviews on Trip Advisor consistently rave about the inn's chef, highlighting the delicious breakfast included with their stay.

    Nestled in the heart of Niagara-on-the-Lake (and very close to the US border), this charming B&B is just a 10-minute drive from everything you'd want to see in the region. We're talking world-renowned wineries, amazing restaurants, live theater and, of course, the natural beauty of the area. It's perfectly positioned for convenient access to the Niagara Falls, yet distanced enough to ensure a tranquil retreat from the flurry of tourism you can get in the city.

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Fairmont Chateau Whistler

    The Fairmont properties in Canada are some of the largest and most luxurious in the country—or anywhere in the world, for that matter. For an ideal mix of luxury and adventure in British Columbia, book a room at the ski-in, ski-out Fairmont Chateau Whistler on the Gold Level. You'll check in on the private floor and have access to an all-day lounge with afternoon tea and evening martinis.

    Of course, the rooms get the luxury treatment, too, with French aromatherapy diffusers, soaking tubs, fireplaces and oversized windows looking out on the stunning mountain views. You can find equally amazing accommodations at their Banff and Lake Louise locations in Alberta, too.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Fogo Island Inn

    If you've always said you'd go to the ends of the Earth for your spouse, well, here's your chance to prove it. Stay at Fogo Island Inn, one of the most architecturally stunning hotels in an otherworldly destination. And yes, you have a great chance of seeing the northern lights.

    For starters, this hotel is consistently rated as one of the most sustainable in the world. You can learn boat-making and quilting, hike with Newfoundland dogs, go on a caribou snowshoe tour, or learn to forage for wild berries. It's extremely remote and definitely on the expensive side, but the premium experience (plus fine-dining meals) is totally worth it.

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Hotel William Gray

    Couples who would like to experience a Quebéc honeymoon should definitely book a room in whimsical Old Montreal. Hotel William Gray provides a unique, boutique stay within two historic buildings. With tasteful rooms and on-site amenities including a library, bar, vinyl collection and thermal circuit spa, you'll have everything you need for a relaxing and romantic getaway.

    The hotel is located just steps away from picturesque cobblestone streets, vibrant art galleries, chic boutiques and world-class dining, all of which will immerse you in Montreal's vibrant culture.

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Wickaninnish Inn

    If you want to be stunned by the sheer beauty and power of Canada's West Coast, spend a few days on Vancouver Island at the Wickaninnish Inn. The luxury oceanfront hotel has everything you could ever want in a honeymoon destination, like hot tubs, nearby hiking trails and dining options ranging from a gourmet restaurant on the side of a cliff to a beachside cafe.

    Where the hotel really shines is in its offerings, many of which are due to its prime location. The hotel can arrange for honeymooners to sip wine on a private seaplane tour or head to Tofino to visit art galleries and attend festivals with a Nuu-chah-nulth Nation guide. Other romantic experiences include picnic lunches on the rocky beaches at low tide and whale-watching tours on Clayoquot Sound.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Pro tip: If you're looking for unique Canadian accommodations like treehouses, yurts or even ice hotels, consider checking out Airbnb for more.

    Things to Do on a Canada Honeymoon

    Canada is a playground for couples, with great places to visit and endless things to do for all kinds of tastes. Explore the cosmopolitan streets of Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver, take in the natural beauty of the Canadian Rockies, experience the charm of Québec City, or relax in the coastal beauty of the Maritime provinces. Just take your pick!

    Two wild polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada.
    Photo: CherylRamalho | Shutterstock

    Go Somewhere Remote

    When it comes to finding remote areas in Canada, you've got options. If you'd like to know what the center of the country is like, head to Churchill. Based in Manitoba, Churchill Wild runs several remote eco-lodges in polar bear territory—it's the polar bear capital of the world, after all. Newlyweds can watch polar bears amble by from the comfort of their luxurious glass-walled rooms, and outdoor tours and photography classes (for learning to shoot bears, wolves, belugas and more) are included with the price of safaris. If you don't want to stay in the eco-lodges (or you prefer a more budget-friendly option), you'll find several day and overnight tours with operators in the Churchill area.

    If you'd prefer to feel like you're away from civilization during the day but have restaurants and bars at your disposal come evening, head to one of Alberta's parks. Both Banff National Park and Jasper National Park offer options for extremely remote day hikes or overnight trips, but the towns have plenty of facilities and amenities once you're off the trails. It's also the part of Canada most known for hot springs, including the famous Banff Upper.

    Take the Railroad to a National Park

    If you want to snuggle up with a glass of wine next to Canada's most beautiful views but you aren't especially keen on driving yourself over twisty mountain passes, hop aboard the Rocky Mountaineer instead. The luxurious train line runs three three-day routes, all starting or ending in Vancouver. The routes pass by some of Canada's most beautiful scenic areas, like Lake Louise, Castle Mountain and the Fraser River Valley. On board, you'll enjoy gourmet cuisine and wine tastings, as well as narration from a knowledgeable host.

    But don't worry—you won't be sleeping in a train berth. All trips include lodging in elegant or extremely elegant hotels, depending on whether you choose the gold or silver service. Both classes of service have excellent views, but guests in gold are treated to roomy seats under the train's all-glass ceiling.

    Visit Québec

    The old neighborhood of Québec City is one of the most beautiful places in North America. Located in eastern Canada, Québec is an entire province that includes the towns of Montreal and Québec City, among other fantastic spots. Visit in the winter to ski and snowboard at resorts like Mont Tremblant and Le Massif. Non-skiers can take the funicular down to the cobblestone streets of Old Québec to explore quaint European cafes or just stroll under the sparkling white lights that hang from every storefront. You can also take part in the famous Québec Winter Carnival, take a bobsled ride through town, grab a hot toddy at an outdoor ice bar, or take a sleigh ride along the St. Lawrence River.

    Visiting in the summer months? While the town of Old Québec is charming in the summer, you may be tempted to spend more time outside the city limits. There are world-class hiking trails in the region, and at nearby Montmorency Falls, you can cross a via ferrata high above the rushing water. You can also visit the small Île d'Orléans to spend a romantic day touring organic farms, vineyards and historic waterfront homes.

    Spend a Day at Stanley Park

    If you'll be in Vancouver on your honeymoon, visit Stanley Park. It's Canada's answer to New York's Central Park, though Stanley is actually much larger. It protects one of the few rain forests in North America, and has more than enough to fill several days of your honeymoon. While it's tempting to take your time walking hand-in-hand through the impressive park, you can also get around via a railroad, horse-drawn carriage or bike tour—there's a lot of land to cover.

    In the park, you'll find the Vancouver Aquarium (home to 65,000 animals, including sloths, seals and penguins), a 55-acre botanical garden, a Chinese garden and teahouse, and the world's longest waterfront cycling and walking path (17 miles long, but only 6 of them are within the park).

    Also in the park are several places for a picnic or wine-tasting lunch, including the very highly regarded Stanley Park Pavilion. If you're an artistically inclined couple, you'll want to follow the self-guided art tour of the park, passing by all nine of the park's famous indigenous-crafted totem poles.

    Pro tip: Add Canada honeymoon experiences to your gift registry so friends and family can give you one of these memorable couples activities. Make sure to post your amazing honeymoon snaps to your wedding website and social feed for your guests to see.

    What to Pack for a Canada Honeymoon

    A couple putting skates on in the winter in Canada
    Photo: AJ_Watt | Getty

    There's no specific packing checklist of what to pack for a honeymoon in Canada since it entirely depends on what you want to do, where you want to go and when. Just keep in mind that evenings can get cold, even in the peak of summer. If you're camping, glamping or spending nights outside, you'll probably want a puffy jacket and possibly a beanie year-round.

    Otherwise, pack your honeymoon luggage for what you're doing. If you're spending time in Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto or other hip cities, bring your high heels and button-down shirts, and feel free to dress to impress. Because Canada and the US are so culturally similar, you don't have to stress too much if you forget anything at home. You'll be able to easily find most of your favorite brands in Canada, right down to mouthwash and makeup.

    Brittany Barber contributed to this article.

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