I've been to all of the Canadian provinces. Forget Ontario — these are the 3 you really must visit.

Boats docked at Prince Edward Island in Canada
Prince Edward Island is famous for its red-sand beaches.Darryl Brooks/Shutterstock
  • I've been to all of Canada's provinces. Ontario is great, but there are less-visited spots I love.

  • I loved seeing the Earth's mantle in Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland and Labrador.

  • Cycle Prince Edward Island has beautiful scenery, and Vancouver Island has a lovely coastline.

Canada is pretty massive. The country spans almost 4,700 miles from east to west, touches three oceans, and hosts six different time zones.

Fortunately, I've been able to visit all 10 of its provinces. But with so many options, I know it can seem overwhelming to choose where to explore next.

Although I enjoyed learning and experiencing what makes each province unique, a few places stand out — and they aren't in Ontario, Canada's most visited province.

Here are the three Canadian provinces I loved visiting, plus highlights I experienced there that'll make you want to plan a trip to each.

Explore the Earth's mantle and freshwater fjords in Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Neddy Harbour and Norris Point, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Newfoundland and Labrador is a Canadian province. jimfeng/Getty Images

Humans tread on the Earth's crust, but it's not every day that you experience the second component below it, the mantle. But in the Tablelands in Gros Morne National Park, parts of the Earth's mantle are exposed — and visitors get a rare chance to admire this distinct structure without any digging.

When I explored the south end of this UNESCO World Heritage site, the rust-colored terrain made me feel like I was on Mars. I loved learning about the local carnivorous pitcher plants and feeling the texture of the rusty rocks.

There, I opted to take a guided group walk along the Tablelands Trail that's just under 5 miles out and back.

After walking on the mantle, I headed north of the park to visit Western Brook Pond. This freshwater fjord was carved thousands of years ago by retreating glaciers, and it's nothing less than breathtaking.

I took a guided boat tour through the fjord and learned all about it. If you want a panoramic view of it, take the day to hike to the top of the Western Brook Pond Trail.

British Columbia is Canada's second-most-visited province for a reason.

Views of trees surrounding red building in Johnstone Strait
Explore British Columbia's coast along the Johnstone Strait.Maxvis/Getty Images

British Columbia is an adventurer's playground with impressive natural beauty. It's hard to get bored of the beautiful Pacific coastline and legendary old-growth forests.

Johnstone Strait, a glacier-carved channel between mainland British Columbia and Vancouver Island, is especially beautiful — and you might even see a humpback whale in the water if you visit at the right time.

One of my favorite experiences on the province's Vancouver Island is kayaking around the shores in the morning. I watched Steller sea lions glide through the water, and a river otter play on a nearby dock.

Once you're done with the water, venture along to visit some of the nearby picturesque communities like Telegraph Cove and Hanson Islands. Or perhaps find your footing and try the Haddington Beach Trail (just under 2 miles out and back) or the Salmon River Estuary Trail (under a mile out and back).

While there, I suggest learning about the area's diverse ecosystem — and there's perhaps no one else better to teach you than members of the Tlowitsis Nation, a group acknowledged as being among the first to originally live on this stretch of land.

Taking time to learn about Indigenous cultures in the area and booking experiences through Indigenous tour guides can also enrich your trip, allowing you to learn the history of the land you're visiting and why it's so important to protect it.

Take in the scenery while cycling along Prince Edward Island's numerous trails.

Boardwalk along the waterfront, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Prince Edward Island is a great place to explore by bike. Marc Guitard/Getty Images

Prince Edward Island is famous for its potatoes, red-sand beaches, and picturesque countryside.

There are just over 20 supervised beaches on the island, and the red sand is due to the soil's rich iron content, which gets oxidized (turns reddish) as it touches the air.

Instead of admiring the area by car or on foot, my family and I have enjoyed exploring it by bicycle. Biking allowed us to slow down, be present with where we were, and get a taste of the laid-back island lifestyle.

We chose to peddle along the Confederation Trail, which stretches tip-to-tip of the island and covers about 278 miles. It helped us connect to special towns like Cardigan, where we visited Canada's smallest library.

The Confederation Trail has labeled stretches that range from easy to hard, so you can choose your own cycling adventure. If you're looking for a strenuous trail, I recommend gearing up on the Gairloch or O'Leary Mountain Bike Trail.

But if you're not confident in your cycling skills, consider taking a guided ride or renting an e-bike to help you go the distance.

Read the original article on Business Insider