Canada's Snow Globe Escapes

The Canadian Rockies

[trip style = active + adventure]

I'm not sure when and where snow globes were invented, but I'd like to think the creator was inspired by what he or she saw in Canada. In the "true North strong and free" our near-magical winter scenes should be immortalized in a collection of snow globes and sent around the world to remind travelers how gorgeous sub-freezing temperatures can be.

Having experienced winter across the country {wrapped in a down jacket, of course}, I recently wrote where to find some of the best Jack Frosted frontiersthink: Log castles, dog sledding, ice fishing and cross-country skiing in an Olympic parkin the Expedia Viewfinder Travel Blog. Here are a few highlights. {Read the full article by clicking the link above.}


Hiding away in Quebec’s Laurentian Mountains between Ottawa and Montreal, Montebello guards a cozy Canadian secret: It is home to one of the world’s largest log cabins. In fairness, “cabin” is an understatement—the cedar-built ode to the outdoors also doubles as a hotel and winter playground situated in 65,000 acres of wilderness. Here, the Fairmont Le Château Montebello takes winter travel into legendary territory, offering 16 miles of cross-country ski terrain, ice fishing, curling, tobogganing, and Canada’s only Land Rover Off-Road Driving Experience. Welcoming everyone from royalty to U.S. Presidents to winter enthusiasts such as moi, Montebello is the ultimate storybook setting for a snow globe getaway.


The Canadian Rockies
The Canadian Rockies offer peaks of exploration and valleys of calm for winter seekers of the extreme and tame variety. While most first-time visitors flock to Banff’s postcard-perfect setting, nearby Canmore should not be overlooked for its local approach to winter. Sporting more Olympians per capita than any other town in the world, Canmore’s powder keg of ski hills and land protected by national parks draw Jack Frost fanatics in droves. Pair the outdoor fun with an abundance of organic chefs {each with their own restaurants} who ski by day and cook by night, and you may even come home from your winter vacation a few pounds lighter than when you left. {In this region, I like to stay at the Paintbox Lodge, an Olympian-owned, five-room retreat in the center of Canmore.}


Constantly hailed as the No. 1 ski resort in North America by the likes of SKI Magazine (and the pile of pro skiers who call it home), Whistler’s winter wonderland is not all adrenaline junkies vying for first tracks. Beginners seeking runs called “cruiser” or “easy street” flock to the hills, too. Beyond every winter pastime you can imagine—including snowmobiling up to a mountaintop hut for fondue!—spas, farm-to-table dining, and the world’s coldest (-25 degrees Fahrenheit) vodka tasting room round out the chilled out environs, making Whistler the ultimate destination to sip <insert your favorite winter bevvie here> while taking in the charms of Canada’s frosted frontier. 

[photos by @tripstyler except whistler and quebec sourced online]