In honour of Canada Day and the unofficial start of the summer travel season, Hotels.com wants Canadians who are sticking close to home this year to visit these 10 off-beat places for a full dose of Canadiana. Take advantage of the Canada Day Sale on Hotels.com to save up to 50 per cent on room rates on select hotels in Canada’s most popular destinations** or kick off yoursummer coupon and get 11 per cent off your booking price.
1. Roll up the rim at Canada’s first Tim Horton’s donut shop (Hamilton, Ontario)
You could buy a coffee and a donut for 10 cents each when the first Tim Horton’s opened in 1964 on the corner of Ottawa and Dunsmure in Hamilton. It might cost you a bit more today, but make a pilgrimage to the birthplace of the double-double to show your Canadian pride. Average HPI hotel price in Hamilton in 2015: $137
2. Marvel at the world’s largest beaver (Beaverlodge, Alberta)
Canada’s highways and byways host a menagerie of giant roadside attractions meant to lure travellers for a visit. The tiny town ofBeaverlodge, Alberta, about 30 minutes west of Grande Prairie, boasts the world’s largest beaver statue, a loving tribute toCanada’s national rodent. Average HPI hotel price in Grande Prairie in 2015: $148
3. Drop the puck at the birthplace of hockey (Montreal, Quebec)
Hockey is such a potent symbol of Canada that several cities claim to be its parent, but the first indoor game played with written rules was at the Victoria Skating Rink in Montreal in 1875. The original rink was long ago replaced by a parking garage, but today’s hockey fans can take tours year round of the Bell Centre, home to the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens. Average HPI hotel price inMontreal in 2015: $160
4. Ride your horse to the RCMP Academy (Regina, Saskatchewan)
Since 1885, every Mountie that wears the Red Serge gets his or her basic training at the RCMP Academy, Depot Division, in Regina. Visitors can watch daily parades or the rousing Sunset-Retreat ceremony that is performed weekly in the summer. A tour of the RCMP Heritage Centre on site is also a must. Average HPI hotel price in Regina in 2015: $139
5. Visit the home of two of the Greatest Canadians (Kingston, Ontario)
What do Canada’s first prime minister, John A. MacDonald, and hockey commentator Don Cherry have in common? Both men, who were voted by fans of the CBC as among the 10 Greatest Canadians of all time, once lived in Kingston, Ontario. The city that is halfway between Toronto and Montreal also happens to have been Canada’s first national capital. Average HPI hotel price inKingston in 2015: $142
6. Tip your hat to the Fathers of Confederation (Charlottetown, PEI)
Canada wasn’t forged in war or revolution, but in a series of conferences attended by guys with big, bushy beards. If you fell asleep during that part of history class, then head out to Charlottetown to spend some time at Province House National Historic Site to get a refresher course on how this country came to be. Average HPI hotel price in Charlottetown in 2015: $158
7. Feel tiny at the polar bear capital of the world (Churchill, Manitoba)
Canada’s most ferocious predator is the polar bear. Normally, these giant carnivores roam the Arctic ice looking for seals to eat, but during the summer they congregate on the shore. Large numbers of them are notably concentrated near the northern Manitobatown of Churchill where visitors can get up close with these marvelous creatures. Average HPI hotel price in Winnipeg in 2015: $136
8. Rock the boat at the Canadian Canoe Museum (Peterborough, Ontario)
They say Canadians know how to make love in a canoe, but don’t test that theory at the Canadian Canoe Museum. Instead, learn about how this First Nations watercraft helped early explorers chart this vast nation and open it up for the fur trade to today become a fixture on cottage lakes across the country. Average HPI hotel price in Toronto in 2015: $155
9. Be sweet with maple syrup (King’s Landing Historical Settlement, New Brunswick)
Nothing is more Canadian than the maple leaf. Species of the tree grow in every province. Sugar maples are best for producing maple syrup with Quebec and Ontario being Canada’s biggest suppliers of this sweet treat, but don’t forget New Brunswick where a spring visit to the sugarbush is an annual tradition. Get a taste during your visit to King’s Landing Historical Settlement, a recreation of a 19th-century village. Average HPI hotel price in Fredericton in 2015: $135
10. Immerse yourself in First Nations culture (Whistler, BC)
First Nations people are the original Canadians. You can interact with their living cultures in different ways all across this land, but for something especially engaging, spend some time at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre. Part museum and part art gallery, this spectacular centre highlights the heritage of the Squamish and Lil’wat aboriginal people. Average HPI hotel price in Whistler in 2015: $215
With a selection of more than hundreds of thousands Canadian properties available to book on Hotels.com, there are accommodations for every taste and budget in any of the places mentioned above, no matter how big or small.
Hotels.com is encouraging travellers to share their most memorable hotel accommodations on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the #ObviouslyCanada hashtag.
* The HPI is a regular report on hotel prices in major destinations across the world, tracking the movement in prices that people actually paid for their accommodation and providing valuable insight into the reasons behind these changes. The data is drawn from bookings made on the hundreds of thousands of hotels on the Hotels.com websites worldwide.
**Book by July 1, 2016 for travel until July 15, 2016. Rooms and prices subject to availability at the time of booking. Discount is only available at participating hotels and may require a minimum night stay. The discount is based upon the total hotel priced excluding taxes and other fees. Discounts are subject to availability and may be discontinued without notice. Additional restrictions and blackout dates may apply.