1. Haida Gwaii – British Columbia – Canada
Remote, wild, and epically beautiful, Haida Gwaii is in a league of its own. Formally called the Queen Charlotte Islands, this archipelago offers a truly breathtaking getaway. Paddle on the untampered waters when you sign up for a kayaking tour (such as with the popular Green Coast Kayaking) through Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve. And don’t miss a hike along the mossy Golden Spruce Trail, which is more than Instagram-worthy, or a trek along Pesuta Shipwreck Hike that stops in front of the wooden bones of the Pesuta, which was wrecked during a rough storm in 1928.
2. Coronach – Saskatchewan – Canada
If you get a sense of the Wild West when you’re in Coronach, good. Located 12 km above the international border, this area still speaks of days when outlaws and cowboys needed a place to hide out from the world. Coronach is the gateway to Big Muddy Badlands, a red, dusty, unique place that looks something out of Mars. Keep your eyes open for Castle Butte, an odd formation that seems to jut out of the earth just to impress you.
3. Banff/Lake Louise – Alberta – Canada
Be honest: As soon as you read “breathtaking,” Banff popped into your mind. Images of Banff National Park and Lake Louise are nothing short of awe-inspiring. Maybe it’s the jagged green forest trees or waters so blue the sky gets jealous, or maybe there’s just something majestic about being small in a place so expansive. Whatever it is, this area never fails to inspire. While you’re here, make time to see views from Johnston Canyon, Mt. Weed, Sulphur Mountain, and those iconic bright red chairs.
4. Penticton – British Columbia – Canada
Wine vines and sandy shores—aka, the two best things in life. Penticton, British Columbia, is located between two lakes and surrounded by rolling mountains and welcoming vineyards. For scenic views of the landscape, lace up your walking shoes for the Kettle Valley Railway Trail. And once you’re ready for something stronger than water, marvel at 40+ wineries that surround the town. In particular, Bench 1775 Winery has tables that overlook the waters of Okanagan Lake, and Maple Leaf Spirits lets you experience the majesty of the vineyards up close.
5. Rocky Harbour – Newfoundland and Labrador – Canada
As an enclave within Gros Morne National Park, Rocky Harbour has access to some of the most stunning sights in Newfoundland and Labrador. The town’s name itself comes from the rocky reefs that welcome entry into the habour. While in town, you absolutely must sign up for boat tours (like with the esteemed Bon Tours), or kayak your way along the shoreline and past the increasingly tall cliffs. You might also want to stop into Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse and see the views of the shore from this quaint landmark.