Need a 'micro escape'? These Canadian destinations are perfect for winter

WATCH: Travel expert Natalie Preddie shares the country's best travel destinations where Canadians can embrace the beauty of winter.

During long winter months, many Canadians want to take a short vacation just to have an extra break.

A survey by travel site Skyscanner found that 34 per cent of Canadians will be taking part in “micro escapes,” visiting closer destinations for only a few days, said Natalie Preddie, a Toronto-based travel expert.

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There are several travel destinations within Canada that are popular for smaller getaways, Preddie told the hosts of Global News’ The Morning Show.

Lake Louise, Alta.

Lake Louise is a hamlet in Alberta that features stunning mountains and lakes, as well as skiing as a popular activity in the winter, said Preddie.

“It’s in Banff National Park. Even if you’re not a skier, you can go to Banff hot springs, you can go dog sledding and snowshoeing,” she said. 

Its cascading mountains and emerald green lakes make it a great spot for photos as well, she said. 

Lake Louise in the wintertime. (Paul Dunphy / Global News)

Lake Louise in the wintertime. (Paul Dunphy / Global News)

Paul Dunphy / Global News

Tourism to the Banff area has soared in recent years as Parks Canada has done more to advertise the region, according to the Rocky Mountain Outlook newspaper. Between 2017 and 2018, more than 4.2 million people visited Banff, a 28 per cent increase from five years prior.

Churchill, Man.

In northern Manitoba, Churchill is where you can see polar bears, beluga whales and seasonal birds, said Preddie.

It’s a secluded destination, which is perfect if you want to take a step back from the more hectic parts of life, she explained. 

A polar bear mother and her two cubs huddle in Wapusk National Park on the shore of Hudson Bay near Churchill, Man. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Jonathan Hayward

A polar bear mother and her two cubs huddle in Wapusk National Park on the shore of Hudson Bay near Churchill, Man. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Jonathan Hayward

THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Jonathan Hayward

“Here, it’s going to be more of a vacation with just your group,” she said, adding that travellers can now get to Churchill by plane or train. 

You can also go on an excursion to view polar bears in their natural habitat, she said. 

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“We need to really educate ourselves on how important they are to our ecosystem,” she said.

Manitoba’s polar bears are considered threatened under the Endangered Species Act, as climate change has impacted their survival due to melting ice in the Arctic Sea, according to the province’s government.

Quebec City, Que.

A great winter feature of Quebec City is the Carnaval de Quebec, one of the top winter festivals in the world, said Preddie.

“We have gin tasting this year in Quebec City, and they are celebrating 20 years of the ice hotel. This is the place to be in winter,” she said. 

Halifax, N.S.

This year, Halifax is focusing on syrup in winter, as February is sugar season, Preddie said. 

Outside of the city, Sugar Moon Farm is a maple farm you can visit and taste delicious maple products, explained Preddie.

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“You can… have a maple brunch and dinner,” she said. “These are so many fantastic things to do in our country.”

For more winter travel destinations, watch Natalie Preddie in the video above. 

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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