The month of May can be the ideal time to visit some of Canada’s top tourist destinations. Natural beauty abounds in Canada, from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic coast.
Additionally, there are numerous historical sites that offer a look into life for Canadians in the past. You can stroll through old towns and villages where people are still going about their daily lives much as they did a century ago, or you can visit museums and galleries.
Best Places to Visit in Canada in May
Look no further than Canada in May if you want an experience off the beaten path.
1. Ottawa, Canada
Tulips are in bloom year-round; you don’t have to go all the way to Amsterdam to view them. Since 1945, Ottawa has held an annual celebration to honor the tulip bloom, which has expanded to become a three-week citywide extravaganza.
The custom started when Princess Juliana of the Netherlands gave 100,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa as a token of gratitude for providing refuge to exiled Dutch aristocracy and the crucial role Canadian troops played in liberating the Netherlands during World War II.
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That developed into the yearly Canadian Tulip Festival, which continues to honor both the blooms and Canada’s contribution to the Second World War.
The ski season at Whistler Blackcomb is luxuriously long. Whistler is one of the only locations where you can frequently still find snow on the mountains in May when practically another Canadian ski resort has already held its season-ending celebration.
Additionally, it is conveniently located not far from Vancouver, and the drive there along the Sea to Sky Highway is among the most beautiful in all of Canada. As you travel into the mountains in the spring, be prepared for it to be even more stunning.
It seems appropriate to pay homage to Victoria, a city whose name is also the name of one of Canada’s most popular holidays. Victoria Day is a long weekend in May that is named after the renowned British monarch Queen Victoria.
Victoria Day is also the name of the capital city of British Columbia, which is located in a stunning location at the bow of Victoria Harbor on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. It always takes place on the Monday before May 25 (or, in the United States, the Monday prior to Memorial Day).
Calgary and the Canadian Rockies are serene and stunning in May, despite the fact that the Calgary Stampede takes place when the city is inundated with hordes of cowboys and cowboy wannabes in July.
Although a snowstorm in May is not completely unheard of, it is improbable, and the shoulder traffic month means cheaper hotel and flight prices.
5. Labrador and Newfoundland
Head to the eastern province of Newfoundland and Labrador in May to witness two enormous beauties side by side: whales and icebergs, for a taste of nature that you just can’t see anyplace else.
One of the greatest times to witness these icebergs, which may be as large as buildings and float in the Labrador Sea between Canada and Greenland, is in the spring.
You can see more different types of whales in the waters of Newfoundland and Labrador than virtually anyplace else in the world, making it one of the greatest spots to go whale watching. Beginning in May, the whale-watching season, you might see belugas, minkes, humpbacks, sperm whales, and if you’re lucky, a gigantic fin whale.
6. Niagara Falls and Toronto
Visit Toronto in May for a variety of things to see and do, from museums and art galleries to hip districts and restaurants. Toronto is Canada’s largest city.
The month of March is jam-packed with celebrations and activities, including the Toronto Doors Open event as well as numerous eating and neighborhood gatherings.
Visit the Harbourfront or the Distillery District for entertainment. In addition, there are numerous restaurants and bars in Toronto that provide outdoor seating as well as many parks and other green areas to explore.
Make your journey to Vancouver, a city with a wide variety of neighborhoods and cultures, as well as a ton of things to do and sights to see.
One of the many parks in the city is Stanley Park, which has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can stroll around it or ride a bike through it.
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By foot, bicycle, or public transportation, explore Granville Island Public Market. Wine, beer, freshly baked products, artisan meats and cheeses, regional foods, and much more will all be available for sampling.
8. Quebec City, Canada
Quebec City is yet another fantastic location in Canada to visit in May. The oldest city in North America, Quebec City is rich in culture and history.
Along with restaurants and stores, there are many museums, galleries, and other historical attractions to visit. Additionally, Quebec City is situated in a stunning environment along the Saint Lawrence River.
9. National Park of Banff
Visit Banff National Park in Alberta if you’re searching for a more active vacation. The park’s limits include mountains, forests, and rivers, making Banff one of Canada’s most picturesque locations.
There are also plenty of activities to enjoy in Banff, including hiking, biking, and fishing. This month, almost all of the trails are open. Some of the campsites may be closed, so do check before you begin planning.
10. British Columbia (province)
May is a great time to visit Nova Scotia, as the temperatures are mild and the scenery is at its peak. Some of the things you can do in Nova Scotia include visiting the Peggy’s Cove lighthouse, hiking in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, and whale watching in the Bay of Fundy.
There are also plenty of charming towns and villages to explore, such as Lunenburg, Wolfville, and Mahone Bay.
Most visitors arrive in Canada in July and August to enjoy the summer warmth and sunshine (which is still much colder than most of the U.S.). Most of Canada can still feel frigid in the spring, but by May the country is warm and has a lot to offer, including lower prices, fewer tourists, and some unusual springtime activities.
If you adjust your expectations and arrive with a practical mindset (along with some waterproof gear), traveling to Canada in May will be very worthwhile and enjoyable.