Stay in an ice hotel, attend a winter festival and wander through an ice castle.
Florenceville-Bristol, New Brunswick
Train-lovers will want to check into Shamrock Train Inn and Suites. In 2018, the inn opened two suites inside refurbished train cars parked just a five-minute walk from its main location. The Romancing on the Rails suite is housed in a converted tourist car built for the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1919. Taking up half the car’s length, it features a queen-size bed, a small kitchenette stocked with drinks and snacks and an electric fireplace. The car housing the Adventure on the Rails suite was built in 1939 and may have been used as part of a tour of Canada by King George VI. It includes three bunks—two with double beds and a third with a queen—separated from the main living space with headboards and footboards that stop just shy of the ceiling. Each bunk has a privacy curtain, reminiscent of early sleeper cars.
Nearby: Located a 20-minute drive south in Hartland is the world’s longest covered bridge, which crosses the scenic Saint John River. —Dean Lisk
St. John’s, Newfoundland
With its white exterior and burgundy roof, it’s easy to spot this 69-room hotel located in downtown St. John’s. Built in 1846 as mercantile buildings for the fishing industry, this National Historic Site is a jewel on the city’s harbourfront and one of its oldest structures, having survived the Great Fire of 1892. The property, which is just steps away from the main shopping and entertainment areas, was converted to a hotel in the early 2000s, but some of the original architectural details remain, including the exposed wooden beams. Accommodations range from standard rooms to spacious business suites, but all include thoughtful extras such as towel warmers, electric fireplaces and a complimentary continental breakfast. The Gypsy Tea Room’s courtyard is the perfect spot to unwind after a day of exploration.
Nearby: A trip to St. John’s isn’t complete without a night (or two) enjoying the live music on George Street, two blocks packed with lively pubs and restaurants. —Sara Samson
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Set in historic downtown Charlottetown, The Great George is made up of a collection of restored heritage homes and carriage houses in a variety of architectural styles. Many celebrities visiting the island (think Sir Elton John, Rod Stewart and Kelly Ripa) use this boutique property as their base. Staying here, you’re a quick stroll from the city’s attractions, including the Confederation Centre of the Arts. Perks at the hotel include a hosted happy hour on weeknights in the lobby lounge (a great place to sink into an overstuffed leather chair by the fire). While the decor is modern, the architectural integrity of the buildings and the exteriors are preserved. Amenities include gluten-free options, complimentary bicycles, Aveda bath products and heated floors in some of the bathrooms.
Nearby: Sample handcrafted ales and great fish and chips at The Gahan House, a brewery and restaurant housed in a 19th-century brick mansion. —Lola Augustine Brown
[This story appears in the April 2019 issue of WestJet Magazine]
The Anatomy of a Canadian Festival
From St. John’s to Whistler, Canada’s festivals are as diverse as its landscapes, but there are four traits you’ll find at many of the country’s most beloved events, including the Calgary Stampede, the George Street Festival in St. John's and Cavendish Beach Music Festival in P.E.I.