1. Banff, Alberta
The crown jewel of Canada’s National Parks, Banff’s best-kept secret isn’t its azure-coloured lakes, nor its snaggletooth spires, but that its ski resorts are largely forgotten by the time spring rolls around. March snowstorms in the Rocky Mountains often make for plenty of fresh powder within the crests and folds of these glacier peaks, so you can swoosh down the slopes as late as mid-May at Banff Sunshine. Even in spring, the snow base remains solid, and you’re less likely to get blasted with sub-zero temperatures during a day spent skiing.
Stay at Sunshine Mountain Lodge, the only ski-in ski-out accommodation in Banff National Park. Sunshine Village offers an on-mountain spa, while nearby Lake Louise Ski Resort sports tubing and childcare for babies as young as three-weeks-old. If you’re not a fan of downhill, a guided snowshoeing excursion along the historic trade routes traversed by Indigenous Peoples and early European explorers will add a cultural dimension to your adventure. No visit to the area is complete unless you take in a performance at the world-renown Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.
Soothe sore muscles after a heavy, leg-burning day with an après-soak inside the lavish mineral pool at Fairmont Banff Springs’ Willow Stream Spa. Or, take to the tranquil waters of Kananaskis Nordic Spa, situated smack dab between Calgary and Banff. Take a circuit through its steam and sauna cabins and one of its many heated outdoor pools before plunging into the invigorating cold pool. End with a brief nap cocooned inside a heated hammock.
2. Dominican Republic
Visit in May and you’ll miss the spring breakers and hurricane season, but you will score major hotel deals. Another upside? Wading in the Caribbean feels akin to a warm soak at this time of year.
3. Norfolk, U.K.
Each spring, Sandringham, the Queen’s beloved country estate, opens its house, gardens and museum to the public. Stopover in April for brilliant blooms and a chance to help bottle feed orphaned lambs at nearby Snettisham Park.
4. Ottawa, Ontario
Tours of Parliament Hill and amazing museums and galleries are yours to discover in the Canadian capital. April marks the end of maple syrup season, so celebrate with a maple treatment at Holtz Spa, which begins with a gentle maple sugar scrub.
[This story appears in the October 2018 issue of WestJet Magazine.]
Why You Should Go to These Neighbourhoods in Toronto, L.A., Edmonton and London
Spend time exploring these recently revitalized neighbourhoods. Sip at brewpubs and cocktail bars in Toronto's Riverside, play at a retro bowling alley in L.A.'s Highland Park, see a hockey game in Edmonton's Ice District or shop at multicultural markets in London's Hackney.