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Canada is the second-largest country in the world, so it makes complete sense that it is as diverse as it is broad. With a complex, intriguing history and a population that’s entirely multicultural, visitors often find themselves quickly enraptured by this northern paradise. Canada bears a strong neighborly resemblance to the United States, so American visitors will feel literally right at home. Those from abroad will be delighted by the open, friendly welcome they receive from Canadians, widely considered to be some of the nicest folks to be found!

Exploring Canada is a study in the wonders of nature. From snow-capped mountains to deep green forests, glacier-fed lakes to the thundering majesty of Niagara Falls, the outdoors is always astounding here. Whether you prefer guided exploration via helicopter tour or polar bear expedition, or the thrill of blazing your own trail, you’ll never exhaust the natural wonders on display.

Stunning nature, however, is far from the only attraction of which Canada can boast. Its big cities (e.g., Toronto) can go toe-to-toe with any cosmopolis on Earth, and its cultural diversions are world-class. The sheer breadth of tour styles and entertainment options make the country a must-visit for all travelers: lovers, families, singles, and groups!

Top Canada Attractions

British Columbia

The westernmost province in Canada is among its wildest and most wonderful, with expanses of mountains and forests that seem to go on for days. While awe-inspiring beauty and sheer size make Vancouver a must-visit destination, many British Columbian visitors aren’t seeking big city thrills. In fact, B.C. is your one-stop shop for some of the most-exciting Canadian adventure tourism to be found! Set up camp on a safari adventure alongside a rushing river, enjoy hiking and horseback riding across breathtaking alpine plains, take in some salmon fishing, or hit the water with some epic whitewater rafting! Fancy skiing? You simply must hit Whistler, the largest resort in North America.

Canadian Rockies

Snow-capped mountain peaks and serene glacier-fed lakes shining sapphire blue—you’ve arrived at the Canadian Rockies. The unadulterated wilds here constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is truly the case that every sight is unforgettable here. Two popular spots for visitors are Banff and Jasper National Parks, where you can spy bears, moose, and eagles in their natural habitats. Have a healthy appreciation for thrills? Climb aboard a train bound for one of the mountains’ many curving tracks around ledges and through valleys for a high-speed, first-class view of everything that the range has to offer!

Niagara Falls

Spanning the United States and Canada (via Ontario), Niagara Falls is larger, more powerful, and more gorgeous than you ever dreamed. Not for nothing is this the proclaimed Honeymoon Capital of the World. The misty air itself is charged with romance here. There are several ways to enjoy the noise and majesty of the falls, especially if you want to whet your sense of adventure! You can whitewater raft at the falls’ base, take a helicopter tour overhead, or schedule a more sedate boat ride underneath. Alternately, you may simply walk around and angle for your own picture-perfect shot of the falls to share with your friends at home. At nighttime, the falls turn into illuminated showpieces. Queen Victoria park is the perfect vantage point for enjoying the spectacle. The area surrounding Niagara is carnival-esque in atmosphere, with water parks, midway attractions, a casino, and tons of other attractions.

Toronto

While many of Canada’s attractions center around the country’s ample wild wonders, Toronto—one of the nation’s can’t-miss destinations—is all about the big city delights. The provincial capital of Ontario is known both for its diverse multicultural population and for its serendipitous position at the heart of the famed Golden Triangle. Breathtaking cultural attractions are at the heart of the Toronto experience. To that end, you won’t want to miss the Royal Ontario Museum (considered one of North America’s best), CN Tower (will you brave the glass floor?), the Hockey Hall of Fame, Toronto Zoo, and Ripley’s Aquarium. Just taking a long walk is always an interesting experience here, as the many eclectic neighborhoods all have their own vibe. If you love to explore, Toronto will win your heart.

Manitoba

You’ll find yourself in a winter wonderland when your trail takes you to icy Manitoba! Trail wildlife, including owls, foxes, and polar bears! Learn about the history of the Canadian fur trade, and trek the same paths that pioneers took around Hudson Bay—you can try your hand at dog-sledding! Cozy log cabins, roaring fires, and snow as far as the eye can see: you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a frosty heaven! For a change of pace, stay over in sunny Winnipeg for great shopping, and a visit to the Royal Canadian Mint! Some of the best Christmas light displays in Canada can be found here, adding to Manitoba’s overall acclaim as the best place to chill out during the coldest months of the year.

Quick Facts

Capital: Ottawa
Primary Airports: Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), Vancouver International Airport (YVR), Calgary International Airport (YYC)
Government: Federal Parliamentary Democracy and Constitutional Monarchy
Currency: Canadian dollar (CAD)
Population: 35,295,770 (2013 est.)
Language: English
Electricity: 120V/60Hz (Type “A” plug)
Time Zone: UTC -8 to -3:30
Canada

Canada Travel Reviews


Montreal Is the Perfect Anniversary Destination!

Anonymous

For the tenth anniversary of our wedding, my wife and I took a romantic trip to Montreal. This destination is a melting pot full of international "ingredients". We splurged and stayed at a boutique hotel on Rue Sherbrooke. Nearby, we had access to an array of restaurants that served everything from a dozen varieties of poutine to sushi flambe. Flaming sushi is a singular experience! We also gleefully enjoyed Rue Sainte-Catherine on a Saturday night. This street anchors Montreal's most-notorious district. Like Las Vegas's Strip and the French Quarter in New Orleans, this part of Montreal has its dangers, but you can have a lot of safe fun here. You just have to keep your senses sharp. We had a blast just "people watching" that night, and we ended it with a glass of scotch sipped on a terrace. Sunday, we arose and rented bicycles from a kiosk that accepted credit cards. We rode from our hotel to Marché Atwater, and we deposited our rented bikes into a nearby kiosk. Atwater is a food market with a mix of permanent shops and temporary farm stands. The available foods are diverse and delectable. We ate savory crepes and bought unfamiliar candies and spice blends. As we returned to the bicycle kiosk, we knew our wonderful trip neared its end. We rode back to our hotel and checked out with huge smiles on our faces. Montreal was the perfect place to commemorate our anniversary!

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Destinations Visited: Canada

Niagara Falls Canada

N. Demers

Niagara Falls is one of my favorite places, especially during the summer. My daughter and I arrived late in the afternoon and headed to the falls for the illumination at dusk. It's a spectacular sight seeing the Canadian and American Falls illuminated in brilliant colors. Our hotel is one of the closest to the falls. The best view was from the sundeck. If you're traveling with your family, make sure to check out the attractions at Clifton Hill including the Great Canadian Midway and the Niagara Skywheel. We enjoyed walking around, exploring the city and visiting places I hadn't been before. Lundy's Lane is the place to visit if you love to shop and has more than 70 shops. Niagara Falls has a lot of great restaurants near the falls. We love Irish pubs and Doc Magilligans Restaurant Irish Pub is one of the best. The atmosphere is Victorian and they serve a traditional Irish breakfast. Brunch is served on weekends and has everything you could possibly want. No trip to Niagara Falls is complete without a trip on the Maid of the Mist to the very base of the falls. We love Niagara Falls because there's so much activity, and there's something for everyone.

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Destinations Visited: Canada

Toronto – The Perfect Layover City

Anonymous

My only visit to Canada took place two years ago, and it was during an extended layover. I was traveling from Florida to Europe, and my scheduled layover on Air Canada was supposed to last two hours; however, inclement weather resulted in an overnight stay. I declined the airline’s offer of a hotel room since I had read about The Drake Hotel and was intrigued.

The cab ride from Pearson International to The Drake Hotel was short, scenic and expensive. In terms of travel expenses, I found Toronto to be a bit costlier than I expected, but not unreasonable. This is a modern and tidy city, and The Drake Hotel is located in a very trendy, handsome and immaculate part of town. This boutique hotel occupies a historic building that has been carefully restored with modern touches. I found out that each room at The Drake Hotel is different, and I was shown a couple of them. I settled for a cozy room with exposed brick that had a very homely feel to it. This hotel has every amenity you need for a short stay: cable television, free Wi-Fi, comfortable and attractive lounges, etc.

I had dinner and breakfast at a café that is operated by the hotel; the food was delicious and there was a wide selection of cocktails to choose from. There is also an option to drink, dine and enjoy music at a roof patio, which was unfortunately closed when I was there. All in all, Toronto has been the best layover city I’ve had the pleasure to visit.

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Destinations Visited: Canada

Take the time to visit Ottawa

Rich K.

Ottawa is not only unique for its architecture and events but for its multiculturalism. Based in the province of Ontario, the Canadian capital is a pedestrian bridge walk away to the city of Gatineau in the province of Quebec which gives it a unique English/Canadian French blend. And, like its western cousin Vancouver, Ottawa is one of the most European cities in Canada.

A trip to Ottawa is a walking delight that features stops at numerous locations, including government buildings on Parliament Hill, national museums like the National Gallery, and the Canadian Mint. It's best to cover these areas in multiple days to take everything in.

Ottawa is also a fantastic year-round destination, despite the below freezing temperatures of winter. That's thanks in part to the events in and around the Rideau Canal. In the warmer months, you can ride a canal boat or paddleboat yourself down the canal to see the tulips and other flowers bloom. And while that's fun, winter is even better as the entire canal is transformed into one huge skating rink with numerous spots to rest and sip some hot chocolate.

There're plenty of accommodations within the city limits, especially for those on a budget. However, for visitors looking for historic luxury, the only place is the Fairmont Chateau Laurier. On a hill opposite Parliament, the hotel overlooks the old canal locks as well as both Ottawa and Gatineau. It's welcome staff and rooms are well worth the price.

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Destinations Visited: Canada

Lovely, Helpful Locals in Toronto

Sarah P.

My aunt lives in Quebec and I travel to visit her once per year. Rather than spending time in Quebec or Montreal again, we decided to trek about Toronto instead. Despite what many say about the French Canadians in this area, they are very friendly and helpful. I asked an elder woman where her favorite place to get poutine from was and she quickly answered with the Lakeview restaurant. I took her advice and visited Lakeview. Not only is their poutine the best I have ever had, they offer an array of additions to customize the dish to your own liking from items like maple sausage to crunchy fried chicken.

Toronto is a place of deep culture. It is a melting pot of cultures wrapped into one local area. The bead shops on Queen Street are truly amazing. Some of these shop owners craft their own ceramic, clay and glass beads. For those that love making jewelry like I do, you must walk through each of these shops. There is something unique inside each one.

Toronto is a busy city. The streets are always bustling with tourists mingling with the locals. While in Toronto, viewing the city at sunset from the CN Tower is an amazing view, with Lake Ontario right there, the sunset glistens and reflects off of the water. The skyline at night is just beautiful.

We spent a lot of time on Queen Street. There are shops, restaurants, music and entertainment all right there. I also got to take time out to go to the zoo. The exhibits and layout of the zoo makes it easy to navigate and enjoy viewing your favorite animals in natural-looking habitats.

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Destinations Visited: Canada

Western Canada Makes for a Magical Experience

Pamela Mooman

Western Canada is resplendent with amazing scenery and areas as yet unspoiled by the rush of modern life. On my Canadian trip I first visited British Columbia, camping on Vancouver Island for several days. Vancouver Island is one of my favorite places on the planet, combining mountains and beaches for a setting and atmosphere of pure beauty and majesty. My focus while traveling was to get to know some of the locals. This island is great for hiking, which is my favorite way of exploring and experiencing new places. There is whale watching at certain times of the year, but unfortunately I was there late in the year and missed this major tourist draw. But there was still plenty of wildlife to see and scenery to take in. If you like seafood, be sure and try some fresh fish while there. Then, though I had fallen in love with this wonderful place, I traveled on to Alberta. There, I first stopped at Lake Louise, with magnificent views and water tinted turquoise, cold and fresh and pure, melted from surrounding glaciers. Next I traveled north to Jasper and Banff National Park, an amazing area in the Canadian Rockies. Here, I hiked and scrambled up and over rocks and basked in the sweet majesty of the peaks surrounding me, wondered at the mystery of deep crevasses in the ice, and dared to venture close enough to touch an ancient glacier. Even if you do not want to camp as I did, there are places nearby to stay. These areas in Western Canada are definitely worth visiting, and they are worth returning to again and again.

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Destinations Visited: Canada

Polar bears

Tnd

Northern lights, very cold, nov is too late to go, the Bears are gone once the Hudson bay freezes you have three days before they are gone

The meals are ok, but it is an adventure so who really cares

Cost of groceries is beyond compare

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Destinations Visited: Canada
Tour Operator: Manitoba tours

Rail road trek

Net

Seeing scenery and wildlife in the western Rockies, lovely time. Lectures and learning from knowledgable people very interesting. Just enough free time. A small group we made new friends. Most meals were include, Three dinners a a few lunches were on our own. The trips to First Nations culture center in Whistler and the Museum in Vancouver were great! The down side there was down time on the train and buses. But we did cover a lot of territory.

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Destinations Visited: Canada
Tour Operator: Road Scholar

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