10 Great Places to Visit in Canada

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Millions of Americans may be about to flee the U.S. At least, that’s if we believe our friends, co-workers and celebrities who vow they’ll leave the country if Donald Trump — or the equally unpopular Hillary Clinton — wins the election. The most frequent destination mentioned: Canada. America’s neighbor to the north seemingly has it all: historic cities, untamed wilderness and a good economy. Even if you’re not planning to move across the border, Canada’s a great travel destination. Here are just a few scenic and historic sites in Canada well worth a visit.

 

10. Tombstone Territorial Park: Remote and Scenic

Tombstone Territorial Park in Yukon is remote and beautiful. © Environment Yukon/Fritz Mueller

Tombstone Territorial Park in Yukon is remote and rugged. © Environment Yukon/Fritz Mueller

Remote and rugged, Tombstone Territorial Park is not nearly as well known as Banff and other Canadian parks. That makes it perfect if you don’t want to battle crowds in your travel adventures. The Dempster Highway, an engineering marvel built along the route of an old dog sledding trail, cuts through the heart of the park in the central Yukon Territory. TripAdvisor.com users give the park a rare, perfect 5 star rating.

 

9. Vancouver: Many Different Facets

Vancouver: Bustling port, movie capital, tourism center and more. © Thomas Quine

Vancouver: Bustling port, movie capital, tourism center and more. © Thomas Quine

This coastal city in British Columbia has many faces. It’s one of the world’s busiest ports, but it has also become a major center for the film and TV industries (earning the nickname “Hollywood North.”) Tourism is a major driver of the city’s economy. If you’re going, especially with kids, check out the Vancouver Aquarium, rated one of the top aquariums in the world.

 

8. Old Quebec: Where Old and New Worlds Meet

The Chateau Frontenac in Old Quebec is one of the most famous hotels in the world. © Meunierd

The Chateau Frontenac in Old Quebec is one of the most famous hotels in the world. © Meunierd

This UNESCO World Heritage Site in Quebec City is a wondrous mix of new and old. Visit 17th century French military fortifications, then enjoy fine dining and world-class shopping. The historic Château Frontenac (center of above photo) is one of the most famous hotels in the world.

 

7. Toronto: One of the World’s Most Cosmopolitan Cities

There is plenty to see and do in Toronto, the fourth-most populated city in North America. © Inga Locmele/Shutterstock.com

There is plenty to see and do in Toronto. © Inga Locmele/Shutterstock.com

Unlike several other Canadian destinations mentioned here that are rather remote, Toronto is within a day’s drive of much of the Eastern U.S. You’ll find plenty of fun things to do here. Take in a Blue Jays baseball game at the Rogers Centre (the building with the glowing roof in the above photo). Go to the top of the CN Tower, the tallest freestanding structure in the Western Hemisphere. Or take the family on a ferry ride to Toronto Island Park, which has a petting zoo, amusement park and beaches.

 

6. Northern Lights: A Surreal Display

The Northern Lights often put on an aerial show in Canada. © Alex Slaven

The Northern Lights often put on an aerial show in Canada. © Alex Slaven

Granted, this is not so much a destination as something that can be seen throughout Canada. While you can see the Aurora Borealis in the Northern U.S., the phenomenon is much more common and puts on a more brilliant display in Canada, especially in the northern provinces.

 

5. Calgary: From Cowtown to Skyscrapers

Calgary

Calgary is a very modern city, but its biggest cultural event is a world-famous rodeo. © Jeff Whyte/Shutterstock.com

Calgary is really hopping each July for the famous Calgary Stampede rodeo. Calgary’s nickname, “Cowtown,” underlines those frontier roots. But this is a very modern city, which experienced an economic boom in the 1970s and 1980s thanks to the oil industry. Calgary is one of the best cities in the world for biking and walking, with more than 500 miles of pathways and trails. The city is also a great jumping off point for Banff National Park 80 miles away.

 

4. Banff National Park: Canada’s Greatest Park

The Valley of the Ten Peaks and Moraine Lake in Banff National Park.

The Valley of the Ten Peaks and Moraine Lake in Banff National Park.

Banff was Canada’s first national park, and draws roughly 50 percent more visitors than the second most popular park, Jasper NP. Don’t worry about crowds, though, as there is plenty of room in this park to get out and explore. Jagged peaks, sparkling lakes, and abundant wildlife make this a great experience.

 

3. Horseshoe Falls: The Better Side of Niagara Falls

One of the iconic images of Horseshoe Falls. © Larry Koester

One of the iconic images of Horseshoe Falls. © Larry Koester

When many Americans mention visiting Niagara Falls, they’re actually talking about the more picturesque and popular Canadian side of the falls, Horseshoe Falls. It’s not as easy to visit as in the pre-9/11 world — you now need a passport to cross the border and return to the U.S. — but these falls are one of the world’s greatest bucket-list destinations.

 

2. Montreal: Go to Church

Montreal's Notre-Dame Basilica, which features some of the most spectacular architectural features of any church in the world. © Ronnie Chua/Shutterstock.com

Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica, which features some awe-inspiring architectural features. © Ronnie Chua/Shutterstock.com

Don’t sweat the language barrier here if you don’t speak French — as a major tourist city, you can get by just fine with English only. You could spend a day just touring several of the impressive basilicas, such as Notre-Dame Basilica (above) and Saint Joseph’s Oratory. Take a hike or bike ride on Mont Royal, which offers great views of the city below.

 

1. Canadian Rockies: Take a Rail Tour

Rocky Mountaineer, hailed by travel experts as the world's greatest train ride, is a great way to see the spectacular Canadian Rockies. © Roderick Elme/ecruising.travel

The Rocky Mountaineer, hailed by many travel experts as the world’s greatest train ride, is a great way to see the spectacular Canadian Rockies. © Roderick Elme/ecruising.travel

The Canadian Rockies in British Columbia are one of the world’s most scenic travel destinations, with towering peaks, glaciers, waterfalls and more. A rail tour is a great way to see this remote and beautiful wilderness.

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