During the winter, our neighbor to the south draws the most attention from vacationing Americans. But our northern neighbor, Canada, possesses many hidden vacation spots of her own.
For travelers seeking relaxation or adventure, the mountains, parks, and cities of Canada offer great value, recreation, and culture all in one.
One of the most popular Canadian vacation spots can be found in British Columbia, Canada's western-most province.
The majestic coastal mountains are home to North America's largest ski resorts, Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain. These dramatic mountains rise up over a mile out of the valley and offer skiers of all levels over 200 trails in more than 7,000 acres of mountainous terrain.
Skiing Magazine rated the Whistler Ski Resort number one overall in North America in 1995, 1996 and 1998, edging out such popular and expensive resorts as Vail and Aspen, Colorado.
The overall rating includes not only magnificent ski slopes, but also the pedestrian-only village with countless shops, restaurants and nightlife. Whistler Resort's community atmosphere and the value of the US dollar in Canada draw in skiers and snowboarders from all around the World.
Glacier National Park is another of Canada's most beautiful areas, with breath-taking views of lakes, waterfalls, and mountains at every turn.
The over one million acres of pristine land is located in the northwest corner of Montana and spills over the border into Canada. It has been dubbed the "Crown of the Continent," with its cavernous valleys and jutting, razor-sharp peaks.
Unlike its larger U.S. counterparts, such as Yellowstone and Yosemite, Glacier is one of the least crowded National Parks.
The number of people visiting the untouched terrain is no indication of the beauty the land holds for sightseers and outdoor adventurers.
The park is an attraction for outdoor enthusiasts waiting to spot one of the many species of wildlife in the park. Some of these wild animals include wolves, mountain lions, and Rocky Mountain sheep.
Glacier National Park is also home to almost 45 percent of the entire grizzly population, a very beautiful animal (from a distance).
Visitors can also take advantage of the Park's glorious hills and mountains with countless hiking and biking trails. Whether you prefer to ride horseback or in a car, Glacier's sights are equally amazing. The solitude of the area allows you to delve even deeper into the roots of nature and its beauty.
But not all of Canada's vacation spots have their roots in the mountains. One city in particular is making an ever-increasing mark on Canadians, and vacationers worldwide.
Toronto, Canada's largest city with over 2 1/2 million people, has become a cosmopolitan destination, a characteristic that is rarely thought of when considering a Canada vacation.
One of the reasons for the changing perception of Toronto is its outstanding theatre and arts community. Along with prominent museums such as the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto now boasts one of the largest film festivals in the world.
The festival is known for highlighting movie classics as well as premiering new releases. Recent festivals have each seen the release of around 200 films.
Toronto's cultural community stretches to Lake Ontario, which it borders. It's in these neighborhoods where the city's Victorian past blends with the present to create a lakeshore atmosphere strong in historical tradition, but also brimming with modern culture.
The Harbourfront, a waterfront development encompassing ten acres on the water's edge, is also a beautiful place for Toronto first timers to get their feet wet. Packed with craft stores, fine restaurants, and galleries, the area is a shining example of Toronto's overflowing culture.
With its breathtaking natural beauty and countless cultural destinations, Canada is a value that proves to be worth every dollar spent.
Article courtesy of ARA Content.
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