Are you looking for a romantic getaway this summer? Don’t let your travel agent trick you into believing that romance can only be found with a trip to Italy or France. Instead, take a look at these three Canadian destinations, which might actually be more romantic than their European counterparts…
Montreal: Paris without the problems
You might be mislead into thinking that Paris is the most romantic city in the world. And true, if you are a hunchback of Notre Dame, you might find love on the Parisian streets. But will you actually enjoy your getaway, with the pressure to fulfill Paris’ endless romantic clichés?
Why not make your own romantic traditions in the second-largest French-speaking city in the world: Montréal? Aside from its exceptional food and culture, this city is one of the liveliest in North America, with over 30 kilometres of underground arcades and malls—in Paris, the only things underground are metro lines, a sewer system, and catacombs filled with bones. And in France, you’d be criticized for having an improper French accent. Only a hypocrite would tell you so in Montréal.
But what could take replace Paris’ Eiffel Tower? Perhaps the romantic feel of old Montréal, with its cobblestone streets and vieux-port: where ice skating or a show at the Cirque du Soleil offer attractions that aren’t easily found in France.
Banff: Even better than the Swiss Alps
A romantic getaway to the mountains can make hearts race and heads feel light. But there’s no need to go all the way to the Swiss Alps to find love. Canada’s Rocky Mountains offer an equal experience of grandeur, and the town of Banff is a perfect stage for your own romantic tale.
From Banff, the postcard views of Lake Louise and Cascade Mountain are only minutes away. A beautiful mix of grey rock, green forests, and blue waters makes the region a work of art in summer. But it is best experienced in winter, when skiers dot the slopes and lovers kiss in the cold.
The luxurious Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel is a perfect getaway any time of year. Rising like an enchanted castle from the woods, the hotel is both trendy and historical. For history, the now hundred-year-old building has incredible room décor and a high-end spa (for those who haven’t made use of the natural hotsprings nearby). For trendiness, the best sculptors in the world compete right outside its doors every year in the Ice Magic Festival, carving elaborate and beautiful statues out of ice.
Lake of the Woods: Lake Como of the North
Since Roman times, Lake Como has been a hotspot for romance and luxury in the mountains of Italy. But if you like to find your romance in a place of natural beauty, why not go to the destination where you can truly get out and experience the trails—the Canadian Shield region around the Lake of the Woods.
At the Lake of the Woods, men can charm by showing off their rugged side: canoeing, building campfires, and fishing. And none of the spacious apartments around Como are are as intimate as a tent or lavish cabin in Lake of the Woods. What better way to get ready for bed than by snuggling up beside a roaring fire?
Most of Lake Como’s beaches are made of stones that are hard on the back and hot on the feet. But beaches around the Lake of the Woods are made of the softest sand, perfect for true relaxation. And when the sun goes down, spectacular sunsets can be seen over the waters, accompanied by the soft music of the loon.
But Lake of the Woods isn’t only for couples that love the outdoors. The city of Kenora is a cultural gem in the middle of the wilderness, and there’s more history found in the nearby native pictographs than in any Italian museum—with rock paintings dating back 5000 years. And while you might not run into Lake Como frequenters like George Clooney in the Lake of the Woods, the region entertains celebrities of its own, including comedians Will Arnett and Amy Poehler!Adam Kroeker is a freelance writer from Winnipeg, MB. Read more at adamvincenttyler.wordpress.com/