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What to Pack for Japan in Winter

In short order I am heading off on a trip to Hokkaido - Japan's most northerly main island. I have been warned by the group that invited me to be prepared for chilly temperatures. They obviously don't live in Calgary where chilly takes on quite a different meaning. Hokkaido, which is at the same latitude as Toronto, is famous for its spectacular mountain scenery, volcanoes, natural hot springs and ski areas. I am told that…

Top Things to do in Fernie, BC in Winter

Fernie, BC is a true mountain town with a laid-back vibe and great community spirit. Most of the 5,000 plus residents live here because they want to. They like what the town has to offer, not just in winter but on a year-round basis; things like great recreation out the back door, excellent dining, loads of locally owned shops to visit and most of the services of a far larger town. If you're a visitor…

Prepping for Winter: 15 Must-Haves to Keep You Warm & Stylish

Have a look outside. Do you see snow? I do. In some parts of Canada like Alberta we've skipped a season and arrived in winter. It looks and feels like late November which can mean only one thing. It's time to get serious about prepping for winter. When it comes to clothes and footwear these 15 must-have items will keep you warm and stylish. They won't change the season but at least if you go…

What to do on a Winter Trip to Riding Mountain National Park

Let's face it. If you're heading to Manitoba in winter, you're heading into real winter. Don't come here looking for daffodils poking their heads out of the snow. Instead expect regular dips of the thermometer below -20°C. Do plan to bring your warmest clothes and boots - and the right attitude. If you're willing and ready Manitoba is awesome in winter, especially a trip to Riding Mountain National Park. Why? There's a quiet, unspoiled and…

A Winter Hike in the Canadian Badlands of Alberta

A visit to Drumheller, a town in the Red Deer River Valley in the Canadian Badlands of Alberta, offered a few surprises on a recent January weekend. With the goal of a winter hike, I was disappointed to find that Horseshoe Canyon, 17 kilometres outside of Drumheller was closed. Horsethief Canyon, a popular hiking spot north of Drumheller off of the Dinosaur Trail was open but icy. I was ready to give up on a winter…

Things to do in Edmonton over a Winter Weekend

Let's face it. Winters are long in Canada. To survive them - and actually enjoy a winter I think you need lots of things to look forward to - like mini vacation breaks to the mountains and/or to cities you perhaps don't know much about. Over a January winter weekend John and I immersed ourselves in activities in and around Edmonton. You'd be amazed at the diversity of things to do in Edmonton and how much fun…

Sundance Lodge: Banff’s Secret Winter Destination

I wouldn't call myself a creature of routine. I thrive on change and new experiences. But there are exceptions and a winter ski trip into Sundance Lodge in Banff National Park is one of those exceptions. I first learned about the lodge through a blog a number of years ago but for the most part this place remains a secret in winter. Few people have heard about it or even know that its open in…

Crazy and Fun: Winter Fat Biking in Calgary

Fat biking in Calgary is an awesome way to see the city in winter. While the thought of bundling up and heading out in the cold may not sound appealing to many, it's actually a lot of fun. The trails around Calgary are plowed after a snowfall as are the bike lanes so getting around the city in theory is easy. I say in theory because fat biking takes way more energy than regular biking.…

Things to do in Canmore on a 2 Day Winter Visit

Can you picture yourself soaking in a hot tub minutes after finishing a day of cross-country skiing in the mountains? Or drinking a local beer after an icy walk in a mountain canyon? If you answered yes, head to Canmore, a gem of a mountain town where there are lots of things to do in winter. It's only an hour's drive west of Calgary and just minutes from the gates of Banff National Park. If…

10 of the Best Winter Adventures in Quebec

If you were a giraffe and you lived in some parts of Quebec you would barely be able to see over a snowbank by the time March rolled along. The province of Quebec is truly one of the exceptional places to visit if you love everything about winter - fresh air, outdoor adventures like downhill and cross-country skiing, skating, snowshoeing, fat tire biking along with superb local food, lovely places to stay and Quebecers infectious…

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