5 reasons to put Canada on your bucket List

January 29, 2015 by  
Filed under Canada, featured, Guest post, Leisure, Misc, Nature, Sightseeing, World

Repeatedly named as one of the most livable countries on the planet, Canada has much to attract visitors year after year. Whether your idea of the perfect holiday involves mountains and glaciers, cosmopolitan cities, wildlife experiences, quaint towns, secluded lakes and forests, iconic natural beauty, stunning views or historic landmarks, Canada has something for everyone.

If you’re looking for the next destination to visit, read on for some of the many reasons why Canada should be at the top of your travel bucket list.

The Northern Lights

One of the most amazing phenomena in the world to see first-hand is the dazzling Northern Lights. The spectacular Aurora Borealis, above the magnetic pole of the northern hemisphere, is actually created by collisions between electrically-charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere and mix with gaseous particles.

See the Northern Lights in Canada

See the Northern Lights in Canada

The light displays appear in a variety of colors, with the most common being pale green and pink. The variations in hue are due to the type of gas particles that are colliding — for example, the common yellowish-green color is produced by oxygen molecules that are around 60 miles above Earth. In Canada’s Yukon region, as well as the Northwest Territories, travellers are bound to see the fascinating spectacle on visits between the months of December and April. In fact, in the Northwest Territories, the dancing lightshow is reported to occur on around 240 nights each year.

The Rocky Mountaineer

One of the best options for rail travel in the world would have to be the well-regarded Rocky Mountaineer. This train runs numerous journeys through beautiful Canadian scenery such as pine forests, glacier-fed lakes, towering snow-topped mountains, rushing waterfalls and narrow bridges running over gorges. To help passengers really take in the glory of the landscape, the Rocky Mountaineer trains feature glass windows on both sides and above in each carriage.

The wide open views are further enhanced by the regular commentary on board the train, plus the top-quality meals that are served. Along the way, passengers have the chance to spot grizzly bears and moose, as well as highlights like the UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites of Banff and Jasper, beautiful Lake Louise and Whistler, the home of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Polar Bears

The best time to see the majestic polar bears in Canada is between November or March. Encounters with these curious creatures are extremely rare, but in the region of Hudson Bay, near Churchill in Manitoba, it’s possible to catch sight of the great white beasts.

The world’s highest concentration of increasingly-rare polar bear dens is actually found in Hudson Bay, making Canada one of the prime countries to witness the beautiful creatures. Tours depart from Churchill and are conducted from tundra buggy vehicles that are designed to provide tourists with safe viewing access to the massive animals. The best time of year to book tickets from discount travel sites like Flights.com, is at the end of the year, when you have the chance to see cubs with their mothers.

Polar bears in Canada

A chance to see the rare Polar bears in Canada

Quebec City

One of the prettiest cities in Canada that tourists should explore is the predominantly French-style Quebec City, in Quebec. Here, French is the main language (although many people do speak English as well), and you’ll feel transported to Europe in a flash. Some of the city’s streets, in particular ones such as the Rue du Petit Champlain, seem very Parisian, or sometimes like a rural French village. The streets are full of pretty-as-a-picture flower boxes, cast-iron lanterns, and painted signs hanging from quaint building eaves. Don’t miss a visit to the spectacular Chateau Frontenac while in Quebec City. This iconic building is also a hotel, so provides a wonderfully historic location for an overnight stay.

Prince Edward Island

Another must-see destination in Canada is Prince Edward Island. This Eastern region of the country is most famous for providing the setting for the “Anne of Green Gables” books, but the area is also a top spot to enjoy art, jazz, and other music festivals, plus mountains of fresh seafood like oysters and lobster. In addition, no trip to P.E.I., as it is known locally, is complete without checking out the 27 vintage lighthouses that are scattered around the island’s coastline.

The lighthouses of Prince Edward Island Canada

Visit the lighthouses of Prince Edward Island Canada

This article is brought to you in partnership with Flights.com who can help you find last minute flight options, or cheap flights to and from the world’s top destinations.

Photo Credit: Polar bears by Travel Manitoba, Northern Lights over mountain and lake by SurangaSL, Polar bear with her cubs by outdoorsman, Covehead Lighthouse in Stanhope, Prince Edward Island by Natalia Bratslavsky

For more info on Canadian travel:

Adventurous Canada with a Twist
Skyscrapers and snow-capped mountains – a winter break in Vancouver
Calgary’s family spirit for fun with the kids

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read the original article here

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You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey

Adventurous Canada with a Twist

Canada is a country famed for its beautiful and vaste landscapes, so it seems only natural that there are countless ways to explore the great outdoors. While kayaking on Lake Louise, skiing in Whistler and white water rafting down the Clearwater River are favourites for the seasoned traveller, the following activities offer something just a little bit different from the norm.

Heli-hiking away from the crowds in Canada

Heli-hiking away from the crowds in Canada

Heli-hiking in the Columbia Mountains

What is heli-hiking? As the name suggests, a helicopter transports you to a wild and rugged area of the country usually only accessible after a long and arduous trek. Once here you can enjoy walks lead by expert guides who devise treks based on your abilities and interests, introducing you to your surroundings in a rewarding and informative way.

Heli-hiking is a great way to experience Canada’s great outdoors for those short on time and as hikes can be tailored to your specific needs, is particularly well-suited to those who don’t consider themselves experienced hikers.

St John's signal hill in Canada

St John’s signal hill in Canada

Take a haunted hike

On the edge of Canada’s east coast sits the small but historical metropolis of St John’s, North America’s oldest city. It is a place often cloaked in sea mist which gives it somewhat of a mysterious feel – what better place to take a haunted hike?

Learn all about the area’s grisly past, from hangings to murders, as you negotiate the city’s dark alleyways, but keep your eyes peeled for an unexpected visitors – you never know who might join the walk!

Walk amongst the tree tops

Witness Whistler from a whole new perspective on a TreeTrek Canopy Walk. From viewing platforms, suspension bridges and forest boardwalks you can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the surrounding ancient forest, thick with cedars, hemlocks and firs.

There is a real focus on sustainability here and those with a thirst for knowledge will love the interactive learning incorporated in the activity.

Chuckwagon racing at Calgary stampede in Canada

Chuckwagon racing at Calgary stampede in Canada

Experience a real-life rodeo

Calgary is the capital of Canadian rodeo and the Calgary Stampede is known the world over for its thrilling competition and $2 million prize. If you happen to be in the city when the rodeo is on, don’t miss the chance to experience the event. Known as ‘the greatest outdoor show on earth’, you’ll see the world’s best cowboys and cowgirls take part in bareback riding, bull riding, barrel racing, saddle bronc, steer wrestling and tie-down roping.

While you can’t take part in the activities yourself (for obvious reasons!) there’s still plenty to get the adrenaline pumping, including a number of white-knuckle rides perfect for thrill seekers.

Black bear watching in Canada

Black bear watching in Canada

Black bear watching by boat

Canada is famous for its bears, particularly its grizzlies which can be viewed in a number of spots throughout the country, but for something a little different take to the water in search of black bear.

From April until October, the peaceful waters of Clayoquot Sound allow for a unique bear watching opportunity. Jump aboard a local vessel and view these amazing creatures up close as they forage about on the area’s beaches in search of food.

katy_pannellAuthor bio: Katy Pannell is Online Travel Editor at Audley Travel, an award-winning tour operator that specialises in tailor-made trips and small group tours to over 80 countries around the world.

Read on for more adventures:

Skyscrapers and snow-capped mountains – a winter break in Vancouver
Coastal beauty and adventure in New Zealand
Calgary’s family spirit, for fun with the kids

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read the original article here

You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey

Subscribe to Heatheronhertravels Don’t miss out – subscribe to Heather on her travels

Skyscrapers and snow-capped mountains – a winter break in Vancouver

Over the winter last year, we spent a couple of weeks in Vancouver, and from the moment we stepped off the plane to the moment we left ground on the flight back, our trip to Vancouver was truly enchanting – and I’m already looking to go back! What made it so special though – apart from knowing it was recently named the city with the fifth best quality of life in the world ?

First impressions

With breath-taking landscapes and jaw-dropping skyscrapers all in one camera shot, Vancouver brings the best of nature and man together in the most beautiful way. You really do have to see it to believe it, but seeing a skyscraper shadowed by a snow-capped mountain is an image that stays with you.

Vancouver at Sunset Photo: Qole Pejorian of Flickr

Vancouver at Sunset

Taking in the natural beauty

After getting over the stunning scenery and enjoying a cup of the famous Tim Horton’s coffee, it was time to discover what Vancouver had to offer for the entire family.

First and foremost, if you’re going to visit Vancouver, you can’t miss a trip to Stanley Park. It’s a Canadian National Historic Site, and despite being one of the city’s main attractions, boasts a range of hidden features we loved. Stanley Park is home to a large range of beautiful gardens, so it won’t be hard to find a haven away from the hustle and bustle of tourists. Take a picnic, a bottle of wine and relax in idyllic surroundings; there aren’t many quiet places in the City, so make the most of it!

You can visit the aquarium, cycle round the park and enjoy views of the Salmon River. Oh, and not forgetting the totem poles at Brockton Point. They may be well-visited, but offer a perfect photo opportunity. As the Park is surrounded by water, you may also be able to take advantage of water taxis and cruises that depart from this location or nearby – the Golden Princess from Princess Cruises, being one that sets sail next year.

If you’re looking for a beautiful location a little off the beaten track, you could head over to New Brighton Park or even Hastings Park. Both areas offer natural beauty, with Hastings Park featuring Italian and Japanese Gardens or if you’re looking for something a little more exhilarating, try the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge.

Salwar kameez in the window Photo:  litlnemo of Flickr

Salwar kameez in Vancouver

Vancouver’s Punjabi Market

A little-known secret of Vancouver is its beautiful Punjabi market. Situated on South Main Street, Vancouver’s ‘Little India’ offers any visitor the chance to experience a different culture’s food, fashion and music. Definitely worth a visit one morning, although you may find yourself spending most of the day here!

Top of Vancouver revolving restaurant

One of my favourite things about Vancouver is its views, and there’s no better way to take them in than by enjoying a fine meal in the top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant. Panoramic views of a fine city, coupled with delicious, succulent food. This was my meal of the year, by far – and I love my food… I’m still dreaming about the steak I had! Because of its resemblance to a control tower, we found that this restaurant wasn’t too hard to get into.

Snowboarding in Whistler by Jsigharas on Flickr

Snowboarding in Whistler

Hitting the slopes

It’s hard to visit Vancouver without hitting the slopes. Whether you’re an experienced skier, or you’re just starting out (like I was), you’ll be well looked after. We rented a car and drove down to Whistler for a day; and despite it being very busy, it was magical. The atmosphere, the ambience – whatever you want to call it – it was perfect, and I would highly recommend a visit. Not just for the resort itself, but for the drive to and from the resort. You get to see so many amazing things on the drive: wild bears (not too close to the road, though!), eagles and some of the most impressive snow sculptures!

If you don’t fancy driving while you’re away, North Vancouver has plenty of slopes to meet your needs. You’ve got Grouse Mountain and Mount Seymour (we love it here), to name just two. They’re both worth a visit and you can really get to know the locals while you’re there; you may even get to share a lift down the mountain with them.

Inner-city views

If you’re looking for somewhere a little out of the centre, but still want to experience Vancouver’s stunning views, I’d advise heading down to Deep Cove. We stumbled upon this place by accident (we stayed on our bus for too long!), but we’re so glad we did. Beautiful lakeside views backed by rolling residential streets, and a few boutique shops and cafes to keep your energy topped up throughout the day.

Deep Cove, Vancouver Photo: Junnn on Flickr

Deep Cove near Vancouver, Canada

We spent our time walking the streets of Deep Cove, but there are other things to do. If you’re into water sports, for example, their canoe and kayak centre is well-equipped for those of all abilities. For all it’s worth, I’d say Deep Cove was my favourite place in Vancouver simply because of its hidden location and truly enchanting views.

So, there you have a brief account of what this wonderful city has to offer. Like anywhere, it’s not going to be for everyone, but if you’ve got a bucket list, add a trip to Vancouver to it right now!

My thanks for this article by Nick Boyle, brought to you by Cruise 1st . If you want to see the latest cruise deals in 2013, both to Vancouver and around the world, please visit their website.

More places to visit in Canada and the USA

Calgary’s family spirit for fun with the kids
The local’s guide to Cleveland, Ohio
Houston we have a problem! at the Space Center, Houston

Photo credits: Vancouver at Sunset by Qole Pejorian, Salwar kameez by  litlnemo, and Deep Cove by  Junnn, Snowboarding in Whistler by jsigharas

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read more travel articles at Travel Blog Home

You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey

Subscribe to Heatheronhertravels Don’t miss out – subscribe to Heather on her travels

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