Have you wondered the holidays look like in the North? Some could joke that Iqaluit is so much...
Have you ever thought of visiting Iqaluit? Are you looking for highlights and activities to do in Iqaluit?
Try Arctic Kingdom’s Guide to Iqaluit through our Top 10 Places in Iqaluit to Visit!
We’ll discuss some of the fun food you can try, the cultural and historic sites, and the activities in winter and summer that make Iqaluit a secret gem for travellers. Iqaluit is a quick and comfortable flight from Ottawa and truly one of Canada’s top destinations to visit. Get to know the city of Iqaluit a little better and see some of the fun ways Arctic Kingdom packs our trips with bucket list activities!
The Four Corners
Would you believe that Iqaluit only had one 4-way stop? Well not quite, but it seems like it!
One way takes you towards the airport and government offices, one way up to the hospital and hotel, one way takes you towards the waterfront, and the other way takes you to shops and grocery stores. The stop signs feature three languages and it may form the only rush hour traffic in town.
Some of the beautiful features are the sculptures you can find across the city.
Right at the Four Corners is a remarkable sculpture that commemorates Nunavut’s founding. It tells the story of the people and animals of the land; with muskox, walrus, and polar bears flanked by Inuit.
Thanks to the sculpting school nearby, the community hosts a number of beautiful works, like a parkette of sculptures and one depicting Sedna, the Sea Goddess that brings life.
The Road to Nowhere
They call it the Road to Nowhere, because it looks like an empty stretching expanse as you look out to rolling hills above the tree line. But really this is the trail to the north of Baffin Island and so the trail to a lot!
The historic route north never needed to be a road, even today the road ends soon outside of the city. Standing on the hill above Iqaluit you can look down on the colourful maritime city or follow a line inukshuk figures leading the way to other communities and hunting territories.
Considering that most people in town use ATVs in the summer and snowmobiles in the winter, the Road to Nowhere should really be called, the Trail Everywhere.
The NuBrew Co. Brewery
Come in and enjoy a mug of Nunavut’s finest and only craft brewery. Or as they say, “[they’re] pleased to present Nunavut’s first locally produced beer in the world’s Coolest Capital.”
You can taste one of their flights, where you can test each one of their brews, from lager to IPA and a delicious porter. You may even be able to take a tour of the brewery and see how this delightful beverage is created before your eyes.
The Arctic Char Pizza
The Grind and Brew Cafe is a fantastic stop after an active day for something special on their menu, the Arctic char pizza!
It’s a delicious treat because arctic char is one of the most amazing features of the arctic. It tastes like salmon but a little less fishy and compliments the pizza ingredients beautifully.
It’s more than a great meal, it’s a local hangout. I remember hearing from a group of guests from a summer getaway, they were chatting with a local that eventually introduced himself to be the mayor of Iqaluit. Then, people started to mention that a polar bear had been spotted nearby. Polar bears are very rarely found near the city, but it was great for the guests to see the two main lines of communication in Iqaluit, word of mouth among friends and a Facebook page for the city of Iqaluit that is so frequently used it seems more like a thread among friends.
The Hudson’s Bay Co. Trading Post
An early sign of Iqaluit’s growth was when the Hudson’s Bay Company moved their trading post from another community and put it in Iqaluit.
At the time, Iqaluit was a military site, with an airbase and Cold War radar station. So the Hudson’s Bay Company wanted to take advantage of the local economy. They moved their post from Ward Inlet to the beach just on the eastern side of Iqaluit. A community started to form around the trading post and would form Apex, a part of the City of Iqaluit.
Today you can visit the site and see the classic rich white and red painted Hudson’s Bay Company buildings and you can easily imagine the beach bustling with activity. Take a hike along the Apex Trail that takes you along the shoreline.
The Tim Hortons
How could we have a list of city-stops in a Canadian capital without putting in a Tim Hortons? The thing that sets this one apart is that it was the world’s most northern Tim Hortons!
Since its opening in 2010, others have opened up in more northern communities like Pond Inlet, but this one is historic for being the first one in Nunavut.
It’s a busy place at almost all hours of the day, but where else can you get your double double? Attached to the Northmart grocery store and across from the stunning St. Jude’s Anglican Cathedral, designed to look like a traditional igloo, is this fine establishment with all the fixings you’re used to finding.
The Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum & The Unikkaarvik Visitor Centre
Explore contemporary Inuit cultures and the history of local communities in this beautiful museum. The interior is designed as an art gallery that you can walk through with historic exhibits and community artworks.
This is a great place to purchase stunning soapstone carvings, crafts, jewelry, and gifts.
The Visitor Centre is a look into the history of the Inuit peoples and allows you to witness a glimpse into their past. Find exhibits that demonstrate seasonal life in an igloo or family and community life.
Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park
Did you know that the mouth of the Sylvia Grinnell River is believed to be the original summer fishing camp that led to the city of Iqaluit?
The Inuit lived nomadically following the seasonal animal cycles, and one of those was the fish run each year. Sylvia Grinnell River would teem with Arctic char and each summer, Inuit families would make camps along the river.
Iqaluit continued to grow, and the striking beauty of Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park remains eternal. Enjoy lunch in the sheltered pavilion overlooking the mouth of the river. Watch locals fishing or follow a trail on a hike.
Our Northern Lights Viewing Location
We’re excited to offer guided getaway tours to Iqaluit through the summer and the winter. Our summer trip takes you on tours of the city and offers outdoor activities like kayaking on Frobisher Bay and hiking through the striking landscapes. Have you ever paddled on the Arctic Ocean?
Our winter getaway takes you on town tours but focuses on opportunities to view the Northern Lights from a fantastic viewing location. Look out to breathtaking glittering northern lights from this sheltered location just outside of town so there are no light obstructions.
A northern lights photography workshop on the first night allows you to capture amazing memories of the aurora dancing above shifting colours of green, blue, and purple.
How Can I Visit Iqaluit?
Are you interested in visiting Canada’s newest capital city and capital of the North?
Our Taste of the Arctic Summer Getaway is a fantastic way to explore the culture, history, and outdoor activities that Iqaluit offers guests!
For more details on our Summer Getaway to Iqaluit, click here.
If you have the Northern Lights on your bucket list, then our Guided Northern Lights Getaway is one of the best ways to experience the aurora dancing and shine above. Don’t forget, our northern lights photography workshop helps you get even better photos of this galactic show!
For more details on our winter Getaway to Iqaluit, click here.
Experience The Arctic On A Safari
Get chances to view elusive Arctic wildlife and experience the majesty of the Arctic on safaris almost year-round. View all Arctic Safaris here.
Ready for adventure? Contact our Arctic Travel Advisors to book.
Are you still curious about the many wonders of the Arctic or looking for more interesting content then explore more blogs here!
By: Mat Whitelaw