A trip to Canada is a study in wonders. A country that stretches from jewel like cities on the sea to towering mountain ranges, few nations are as blessed with natural splendor or as dedicated to protecting it. 41 national parks boast millions of acres of unspoiled lands to explore, and spectacularly diverse cities provide thrilling culture, architectural beauty and European flavor from a heady mix of colonial British and French cultures dating back hundreds of years.

With a landmass second only to Russia, the sheer sprawl of Canada is astonishing. Divided into 10 provinces and 3 territories, Canada is bounded by oceans on three sides – the Pacific, The Arctic and The Atlantic. Thousands of miles of fascinating rugged coastline compete for attention with an interior that is just as intoxicating. For naturalists, ski buffs, outdoor sports enthusiasts and all who appreciate raw beauty, a trip through a least one of the national parks is required.

Two of the most exquisite are Banff and Jasper in Alberta’s Canadian Rocky Mountains. Amid sprawling ice fields and glaciers, soaring 11,000 ft peaks put the U.S. Rockies to shame. Banff is a luxury skiing destination featuring glamorous resorts, numerous boutiques and great restaurants. One of Banff’s treasures is Lake Louise, an arresting natural wonder with emerald waters and glaciers rimming the horizon. Known for amazing downhill skiing and hiking, the area has a fairy tale aspect and is magnificently beautiful. Nearby Jasper is prized by adventure travelers for its overwhelmingly wild and untamed feel. Captivated by its jutting snow caps and abundant wildlife, visitors find it’s easy to wander miles without seeing soul, surrounded by big game like moose, elk and bears. For even more drama, at night you might see the Northern Lights, an unforgettable celestial display. Due north of Montana lies Calgary in Alberta, well known for its past Olympic hospitality. Though it pushes its Wild West past with various festivals and annual “Stampede,” this city of glass sky-scrapers, corporations and oil money is filled with great neighborhoods and a serenely international outlook.

And don’t forget Canada’s marvelous cities. Not far from Toronto, Niagara Falls is an attraction everyone should see at least once. This awe inspiring site, and a trip to view the crashing waters on the venerable Maid of the Mist boat tour, is a must-see.

Those who want to delve into Canada’s alluring French side must see 400-year old Quebec City, which is heavily French speaking. The city’s gorgeous preserved architecture has led to its naming as a world heritage treasure by UNESCO. It’s a fantastic walking city and the place to be is the charming old town with the Grand Allee, a major meeting spot with blocks of cafes, galleries, nightclubs and upscale boutiques.

  • Montreal

    Montreal is both French and English speaking, and is the central city in Quebec.

  • Canada: Quick Fact

    There’s the people, there’s the landscape, there’s the local tricks to get to know when you travel. Then there’s the silly inane facts that just make people chuckle or say oh… Wanna sound like you’re […]