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Winter Wonderlands in Canada

Sure, it’s great to sprawl out on a beach over the holiday season. But nothing says the holidays are here quite like snow-lined trees decked with twinkling lights. In Canada, travellers can take their pick of charming vacation spots that become perfect winter wonderlands. Here are a few:

Quebec City, Quebec: Known for its historical beauty and charm not unlike Europe, it’s got everything for a fabulous winter getaway. From holiday shopping to concerts, all these winter activities and more are amongst streets blanketed in snow. Stays at the Hotel Pur, in the popular Saint-Roch neighborhood, are now US$94/CA$95 per night. Guests receive free espresso and cappuccino to warm up after an active day outdoors.

Whistler, B.C.: Located in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, just two hours north of Vancouver, Whistler is not just for ski and snowboard enthusiasts. Winter activities range from wine tasting, Scandinavian spas, snowmobiling and much more. The Summit Lodge and Spa is offering two- or three-day ski packages that start at US$228/CA$229. Another discounted option in Whistler is the Aava hotel, where a stay-and-ski deal is US$284/CA$286 per person for three nights.

Ottawa, Ontario: Take a skate down the Rideau Canal, the world’s largest naturally frozen skating rink, and take in the skyline of Canada’s capital city, which is lit with thousands of LED holiday lights from December through early January. The Radisson Hotel Ottawa Parliament Hill has rooms at US$98/CA$99 per night through the end of January. The all-suites Les Suites near Rideau Centre has a discount in which rooms are now US$114/CA$115 per night. A two-bedroom suite is available for $30 more.

Banff, Alberta: Home to Alberta’s “Big Three” ski resorts -- Sunshine Village, Lake Louise, and Mount Norquay -- Banff National Park is simply breathtaking in the winter with its rugged beauty and pristine mountain ranges. Beginning at CA$295/US$297 per night, stays at the Delta Banff Royal Canadian Lodge are now $100 off. This package comes with one night of accommodation, two lift tickets, free parking and more. Or, just a short drive from the top resorts is the Banff Park Lodge, where rooms start at US$94/CA$95 per night.

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Deal Expert, Toronto
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
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Kara Aaserud