Canada is a vast country, full of destinations that are just as gorgeous but far less traveled than hot spots such as Banff, Whistler and Montreal. And with the American dollar riding high, you’ll get a 25 percent bonus when you cash in your greenbacks for colored Canadian bills. Now’s the perfect time to consider visiting these wonderful, lesser-known areas of Canada.
I’m lucky enough to have poked around many corners of Canada, and this province is far and away my favorite. Easily reached by flights from Toronto, Montreal and Halifax (roughly three hours from Toronto, only an hour or so from Halifax) or by car ferry from Sydney in Nova Scotia (seven hours), Newfoundland is a massive piece of land almost the size of Ohio, but with only about 500,000 residents. The hiking is fantastic. Some of the best spots include the 3.3 mile Skerwink Trail (take it slow to enjoy the spectacular coastal views) near Port Rexton on the east coast; beautiful Gros Morne National Park, home to moose and caribou, on the western side of the province; and in and around the delightful capital of St. John’s.
A fun way to get a taste of Newfoundland culture is to stay at A Schooner Inn, a small B&B outside the capital. Co-owner Colette Kavanagh is a character-and-a-half who likes to get willing guests up and dancing to roaring, seagoing tunes, as well as teach them how to make fried cod cheeks, a Newfoundland specialty.
Farther north on Fogo Island, renowned as one of the four corners of the planet by Flat Earth believers, is a super-luxurious inn on a rocky oceanside plateau that was opened a few years ago by Zita Cobb, a former high-tech worker on Wall Street. The food and design at Fogo Island Inn are out of this world (whether you believe the world to be round or flat).