Blue Mountain Ski Resort, a little over two hours north of Toronto, is one of the top ski resorts in Ontario. This is a a fun, family focused hill, with all kinds of activities and facilities. What Blue lacks in elevation, it makes up for in overall terrain, stretching along the Niagara Escarpment, with plenty of room to accommodate the crowds that descend on this resort on weekends.
While this used to be a small-town ski hill, it has grown into a posh ski resort with luxury hotels, great restaurants, and a good selection of high-end stores. One of the best places to stay at Blue Mountain is the luxury Westin Trillium House. From here, you can easily walk to the lifts, as well as the shops and restaurants in the village.Blue Mountain is one of the best ski resorts near Toronto. People come to the mountain year-round for activities, dining, and weekend getaways.
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Another of Canada's iconic grand resorts, the historic Fairmont Banff Springs has provided tourists with luxurious stays in a stunning location for more than 125 years. Built in the style of an old Scottish castle, the resort sits at the base of the magnificent Rocky Mountains, peeking out over tall pine trees and offering incredible views of the surrounding wilderness.Despite its size - the resort boasts an impressive 764 suites and rooms - there's plenty of space for guests to spread out, ensuring a real sense of seclusion. Popular summer activities include exploring the many nearby hiking and biking trails, or taking in a round of golf at the Banff Springs Golf Course, widely regarded as one of the most beautiful courses in all of Canada.Designed by golf architect Stanley Thompson in 1928, this unique 27-hole championship course is as suitable for those new to the game as it is for the pros. Popular winter activities include snowshoeing, snow tubing, snowmobiling, dogsledding, and fun sleigh rides.
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Lesser known on an international scale, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, outside of Golden, BC, is a three-hour drive from the city of Calgary, and is frequented by both families and hard-core skiers. The mountain, bragging 4,133 feet of vertical, features incredible expert terrain, with steeps and great hike-to powder runs. The mountain is north facing and as a result, good snow conditions tend to endure. Three bowls drain down into more gentle terrain, where you'll find intermediate and beginner runs.Kicking Horse is located about 15 minutes from Golden, and skiers can base themselves here or at Kicking Horse Resort.
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Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
Set amid some of the most idyllic scenery to be found anywhere in Canada, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise overlooks the famous emerald waters of glacier-fed Lake Louise. Framed by majestic mountains and thick forest, this large resort, located in the heart of Alberta's Banff National Park, prides itself on its environmental stewardship and adherence to responsible tourism.
Popular as a base from which to explore the surrounding wilderness, this more than 100-year-old resort is a big draw for visitors year-round and is one of the attractions of Banff National Park. Popular summer adventures for outdoor enthusiasts include guided tours of the mountains and neighboring Victoria Glacier, as well as hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking, white water rafting, and fishing. For younger guests, the resort puts on a fun kids' camp. Come winter, it's all about activities such as snowboarding, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, skating, and snowmobiling.
In addition to enjoying a choice of luxury one- and two-bedroom suites (the hotel boasts 552 rooms altogether), guests can indulge in some downtime at The Spa, which offers everything from massages to facials and body wraps, as well as salon services. There's also a full-service health club with a large indoor swimming pool, steam room, and fitness center.
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Lake Louise, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, and less than an hour from the town of Banff, is one of Canada's most well-known resorts. From the slopes, majestic views stretch out over the Bow Valley and surrounding mountains and beyond to the palatial Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.This is a mountain for all skiers, from the die-hard extreme skiers to families coming here to learn the sport. With 4,200 acres of skiable terrain, the resort offers a mix of alpine bowls, steeps, chutes, and plenty of groomed runs.Lake Louise Ski Resort does not have on-site accommodation but does have fantastic day use facilities at the base, with restaurants serving tasty meals, as well as other on-mountain restaurants. Skiers can base themselves in the nearby village of Lake Louise or in the town of Banff.Most skiers doing a multi-day ski trip to the Banff area plan on skiing at both Lake Louise and Sunshine.
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Whistler Blackcomb, owned by Vail Resorts, is Canada's premier ski resort with world-class skiing and facilities. The combined terrain of these two mountains makes it the largest ski resort in North America. At the base of Whistler and Blackcomb is the enchanting Whistler Village.You don't even need to ski to enjoy a trip to Whistler, but if you do, you'll find seemingly unlimited terrain that can accommodate any level of skier, from first timers to extreme skiers. The resort has five terrain parks, beautiful wide-open bowls on Whistler Mountain, and incredible groomed runs all over both mountains. On Blackcomb, the Horstman Glacier provides year-round skiing.
The famous PEAK 2 PEAK gondola, more than three kilometers in length and the world's longest unsupported lift span, connects both mountains. Skiers and non-skiers can enjoy this gondola ride for outstanding views over the mountains and ski runs.
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West Hawk Lake is deep and clear, popular with scuba divers, and known for a large beach, called Crescent Beach, located at the southern end. The lake was created in a mighty cataclysm when a meteor struck the rock of the Whiteshell Provincial Park 100 million years ago.
The lake has no rivers draining into it, so when you dip your toe into the chilly waters, you'll be swimming in pure rainwater. On the shore of the lake is a small town with shops, restaurants, and a small grocery store.West Hawk Lake campground is a popular camping area. It's spread out over a rolling set of hills under large pine trees, and is a perfect family destination.West Hawk is an ideal place to use all your water toys while you enjoy a picnic on the sand. For a snack later on, wander up the street and grab an ice-cream at one of the takeout places in town.
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