Bee & Thistle Guest House - Vancouver, BC

The heart of British Columbia is Vancouver, a cosmopolitan seaport city flanked by mountains and Pacific waters, and the gateway to places like Whistler and BC's Old World–style capital, Victoria. When you're not out bicycling through the rainforest in Stanley Park or shopping for artisan olive oil on Granville Island, rest your head at the upscale Bee & Thistle Guest House », an early-20th-century Victorian located in the city's dynamic Commercial Drive area and filled with original architectural details and modern amenities, including heated bathroom floors and in-room laptops. This neighborhood once known as Little Italy has morphed into one of Vancouver's most ethnically diverse enclaves—a hub of sidewalk cafes and eateries serving up everything from Jamaican jerk chilaquiles to Cuban cuisine. The inn has five guestrooms and suites to choose from, and although they don't offer breakfast onsite, owners Lynn and Michael will happily help you choose among the area's wealth of culinary offerings.


A View of the Lake B & B and Demonstration Kitchen - Kelowna, BC

Inland from its Pacific coast, BC gives way to the Okanagan Valley, a sunny, fertile greenbelt brimming with fruit-filled orchards, sparkling blue lakes and wineries. The contemporary-style View of the Lake B&B » provides superb panoramic views of the valley's Okanagan Lake, a hub of beaches and watersports cradled by the Monashee Mountains, and it’s just a 10-minute drive from Kelowna—the region's cultural center. Soak in your surrounds with a complimentary glass of beer or wine on arrival, then settle into one of the inn's four large en suites. There's a sizable outdoor patio for relaxing on warm summer nights, and an onsite demonstration kitchen where proprietor and resident chef Steve Marston occasionally hosts classes. You can also taste his delectable dishes (or those of his wife, Chrissy) during a three-course gourmet breakfast.


Buffaloberry B&B - Banff, AB

The Canadian Rockies stretch across Alberta's southwest corner, offering some of Canada's most spectacular natural scenery. This includes Banff National Park, known for its towering peaks, impressive ice fields and coniferous forests teaming with wildlife. Located within the resort town of Banff, the four-guestroom Buffaloberry B&B » is a perfect base for exploring the park's hot springs and hiking trails as well as nearby Lake Louise. This rustically modern inn compliments its mountainous surroundings with interior elements like dramatic wood ceilings and a wood-burning sandstone fireplace. Discuss grizzly bear sightings with fellow travelers in the Great Room, or breathe in the mountain air atop a furnished outdoor deck. Daily breakfast options run the gamut from egg custard to blueberry buckwheat pancakes, while a short stroll brings you to Banff's many shops and restaurants.


Stone Hall Castle - Regina, SK

Canada's lower Saskatchewan Province is a wealth of grasslands and wipe open prairies, with Regina as its thriving capital. This bustling city is also where you'll find Stone Hall Castle », one of the city's unique B&Bs and attractions. Owner Jason Hall spent over a decade transforming the 1920s-era funeral home into what resembles a European medieval castle, complete with centuries-old paintings, tapestries and furnishings. While spending the night is a considerable splurge, it's also a truly one-of-a-kind experience. The 10,000-square-foot property features just four guestrooms, an indoor pool and eye-catching touches such as a suit of armor and a bearskin rug. Hall also offers public tours. The Royal Saskatchewan Museum—a natural history museum known for its First Nations exhibit—and the Saskatchewan Science Centre are also both nearby.


Chickadee Lane Bed & Breakfast - Steinbach, MB

With only two guestrooms, it's a good idea to book early at the Chickadee Lane B&B », a five-acre garden-filled property just outside of Steinbach, Manitoba's fastest-growing city. Billed as a hub of “old-fashioned hospitality,” the inn is also a good stop along the route from Regina into Ontario Province. Steinbach itself is home to the Steinbach Aquatic Centre—a public swimming facility with two water slides and a lazy river—while Manitoba is known for its lakes and rivers and, up north, polar bears. The inn's two rooms feature a queen bed and shared bath and come with home-cooked breakfast and access to the property's walking trails.


Eldorado Beach on Lake Superior - Thunder Bay, ON

Ontario Province's Eldorado Beach on Lake Superior » is a three-guestroom B&B just 70 feet off the shore of the world's largest freshwater lake. With a trio of newly furnished guestrooms—two with shared bath and an en suite with balcony—this comfortable inn offers stunning lakefront views and BYO opportunities for kayaking and fishing. Warm up around the outdoor fire-pit or ease away tensions in a hot tub overlooking the water. Breakfast entrees range from coddled eggs to French toast with sauteed banana sauce, and the innkeeper is willing to dish up other meals as well. The city of Thunder Bay—home to a 9-foot-tall statue of Canadian athlete and cancer activist Terry Fox—is only a 20-minute drive away.


Swiss Hotel - Ottawa, ON

By far the largest B&B on this journey across Canada, the family-owned and operated Swiss Hotel » offers a touch of modern European flair in a 19th-century structure that's right in the center of Ottawa City, Canada's buzzing capital. Rooms range from standard doubles to a king suite with jacuzzi, but all include thoughtful amenities such as ergonomically designed furnishings and a Nespresso machine. The inn's Mediterranean Garden Terrace provides an ideal afternoon escape, though if you're in the mood to explore, attractions like Parliament Hill and the Byward Market are both less than 10 minutes away by bike. An optional Swiss buffet breakfast includes meats, cheeses and fresh fruits.


La Loggia Art & Breakfast - Montreal, QC

Montreal is Quebec's cultural capital, a bilingual city with a French colonial history and that's alive with creativity. La Loggia Art & Breakfast » fully embraces Montreal's innovative spirit (Canadian artist Marcel Barbeau once owned the 19th-century property) with five colorful guestrooms filled with both modern and antique furnishings, as well as the paintings of local artists. You'll also find a plant- and sculptured-filled onsite garden that doubles as an urban oasis. While Old Montreal and such attractions as the Place des Arts are within walking distance, it's neighboring Saint Catherine Street—a stretch of terraced cafes with nightlife and music that morphs into a pedestrian-only promenade during summer months—that really makes the area pop.


Auberge Lile Flottante - Saint Laurent de l'île d'Orléans, QC

Just a 15-minute drive from Quebec City's Old Town, Auberge L'ile Flottante » provides both easy access to—and a relaxing reprieve from—the nearby city. The charming early-19th-century home is awash in floral themes and antique furnishings, and guests often spend lazy mornings on its riverfront terrace, watching boats sail by along the Saint Lawrence River. Rent a bicycle on site to explore the surrounding Saint-Laurent Village and Ile d'Orleans, pick fruit in the surrounding orchards, wine taste or pedal over to one of the local cider houses. Want to cap off your Canadian adventure with friends? A stand-alone six-person cottage is also available for stays.


—by Laura Kiniry