Canada is such a huge part of North America that often lives in the US's shadow - which is ironic considering how large a country Canada is! For whatever reason, people often think of going to the US whenever they plan a North American trip. Granted, there are loads of awesome destinations here, and the US is perfect for a road trip. Still, it's time to give Canada some much-deserved love, and here are the top reasons to add it to your bucket list:
A wealth of outdoor delights
Canada is such a brilliant spot for an outdoor holiday. In total, there are over 45 different National Parks littered around the country. Each one contains areas of outstanding natural beauty, showing off the best landscapes you can possibly think of. If you're keen to spend a lot of time in nature on your trip, Canada is surely the place to be.
Oh, as if that wasn't enough, you can see the Northern Lights from Canada as well. Head to Yukon for a glimpse of this natural phenomenon, which you can see all the way from August to April. This is one of the longest viewing windows in the world, and many experts suggest that Yukon is the best place to see the lights.
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Plenty of iconic cities
It's always nice to know what's waiting for you when choosing a country to visit. Ideally, you want to go somewhere with some great cities that pose a host of delights. Canada has this in abundance, being home to some of the most iconic cities on planet earth.
Toronto is such a popular place to go as it's modernized and full of tourist attractions on every corner. Montreal is perhaps one of the most diverse cities on the planet, with over 80 different languages spoken there. It's a great way to explore French Canada and also boast so many cultural experiences. Then, there's Vancouver; a city that gives you just about everything you could ask for. It boasts the typical city treats, but it's also close to mountains and right on the coast, opening the door to plenty of intriguing activities.
Home to some exciting winter sports
Winter sports are incredibly exciting as you get the thrill of sporting events mixed with the enjoyment of snow and ice. Needless to say, Canada is basically the home of winter sports in North America. During the winter months, there are countless ski slopes for you to find and enjoy while you stay there. The best of which is Whistler, but Banff and Mont-Tremblant are also highly commended.
Additionally, the biggest sport in Canada is ice hockey. As you can imagine, there are plenty of opportunities to watch a match while you're here, and it's an experience like no other. Funnily enough, when looking at all the NHL arenas ranked, the number one spot goes to the Bell Centre in Montreal. So, if you're looking for a thrilling sporting experience on your next trip, make sure you go to Canada during the hockey season.
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A phenomenal food scene
You might not associate Canada with food, but it has one of the best food scenes around. This is mainly thanks to the diversity of the population, with inspirations from so many different cuisines. There's a vibrant dining scene throughout all the major cities and states, with so many local restaurants and cafes offering incredible delights.
Of course, we can't talk about Canadian food without mentioning poutine. It's an iconic dish that you must experience at least once in your life. As with all dishes like this, you can try it elsewhere in other countries, but nothing beats actually sitting down in Canada and having some proper poutine.
The friendliest locals
It's fair to say that Canada has a reputation for being one of the friendliest countries on earth. So much so that it's become something of an online meme! Still, Canadians are a friendly bunch, and they are more than happy to welcome tourists to their country. It's always nice to go somewhere and feel welcomed straight away. Plus, the locals are happy to point you in the right direction or provide their own expert insight into where you should go or what you should do. It all comes together to form a very pleasant holiday experience.
Perhaps the most exciting thing of all is that these are just five reasons to visit Canada. There are many more, making this such a sought-after destination to add to your bucket list.
*Post contributed by Byron Harris, a peer travel writer living in B.C..*