Canada is home to some of the planet's most spectacular natural wonders, from the Northern Lights to the Niagara Falls, but it is not just the vast and awesome that this country has to offer. Here are 14 of its towns that sit at the other end of the spectrum, whose charm and intrigue lie not in grandeur but in character.
Set in the stunning Banff National Park is the town that goes by the same name. In the summer months, the town becomes a haven for holidaymakers, with its beautiful mountainous surroundings providing a great chance for hikers and bikers to enjoy their hobbies, while its hot springs are a special attraction. No matter how much adrenaline you seek, nothing beats a stroll down Banff Avenue in the shadow of Miss Cascade Mountain. Awe-inspiring.
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
The unique and iconic architecture in Lunenburg makes it Nova Scotia's only UNESCO World Heritage site. Reportedly the best surviving example of a planned British colonial settlement in North America, its identity, layout and appearance has been authentically retained throughout the centuries. For a step back in time, there is no better place to go.
Saint Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick
Canada's oldest seaside resort town may not have as many golf courses as its Scottish namesake but what it lacks in tee boxes and pitching wedges, it more than makes up for in charm. Set on the edge of a peninsula facing the Bay of Fundy, it has been a playground of the affluent since its foundation in the 18th century. Summer is the season to go here, as fans of whale-watching, expertly cooked lobsters and, yes, golf all converge to sample its varying delights.
Twillingate, Newfoundland and Labrador
On the northeast coast of Newfoundland lies the small fishing town of Twillingate. Quaint dwellings set amongst awesome panoramic views make this town reminiscent of the Scottish highlands. While the fishing trade may be on the wane somewhat, the town is becoming a popular destination for wildlife watchers, with seals, dolphins, whales, and even icebergs to be spotted. Don't miss Notre Dame Bay either, as spectacular as its ecclesiastical namesake.
Whistler, British Columbia
Home to one of the world's most famous ski resorts, Whistler is a charming village set between the colossal Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. A purpose-built resort town from the 70s, Whistler offers year-round enjoyment and the perfect balance between adrenaline-pumping black runs and easy small-town life tailored to fit visitor needs.