Canada's Best Attractions and Destinations

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    Intro

    The Golden Parliament hill
    ••• naibank / Getty Images

    What You May Not Know about Canada | Top 10 Most Popular Cities To Visit in Canada | Canada's Best Train Trips

    The most popular Canadian attractions are a blend of the country's most treasured natural wonders and urban highlights.

    Many are famous worldwide; others lesser known, but all contribute to the country's national identity. 

    Beginning on Canada's west coast and moving east, discover the beauty, history and charm of Canada through its best attractions and destinations.

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    Pacific Rim National Park, B.C.

    Lismer Beach and Florencia Bay, Pacific Rim National Park, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
    ••• Lismer Beach and Florencia Bay, Pacific Rim National Park, Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Chris Cheadle / Getty Images

    Best Things To Do in Vancouver | Best Vancouver Day Trips | Vancouver Aquarium

    Backed by mountain range and facing the open Pacific Ocean at the tip of Vancouver Island, Pacific Rim National Park has a rich natural and cultural heritage. This park boasts one of the country's most famous hiking trails, the West Coast Trail; long, sandy beaches; Aboriginal culture; rainforest and an overall laid-back charm. 

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    Whistler, B.C.

    PeakToPeakWhistler.jpg
    ••• Peak 2 Peak Gondola connecting Whistler and Blackcomb mountains in Whistler, BC, Canada. Stuart Dee / Getty Images

    The resort town of Whistler is about a two hour drive away from Vancouver along one of the country's most scenic drives - the Sea to Sky Highway.

    Whistler is most famous as a ski destination - one of the best in the world - thanks to Whistler and Blackcomb mountains that loom a mile above the village and provide over 8000 acres of skiable terrain.

    Year-round, Whistler offers visitors fine food, spas, and plenty of opportunity for adventure, all in a breathtaking locale.

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    Banff National Park, Alberta

    Aerial View of Banff Alberta Canada in Winter
    ••• Aerial View of Banff Alberta Canada in Winter. Andrew Penner / Getty Images

    A prized Canadian treasure, Banff National Park is one of five national parks in the Rocky Mountains that attracts millions of visitors each year for camping, hiking, biking, skiing, fishing or just relaxing. The resort towns of Banff and Lake Louise are both located within Banff National Park and offer a full range of restaurants, shops and accommodation including two of the most iconic and historic hotels, Fairmont Banff Springs and the Chateau Lake Louise.

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    Niagara Falls, Ontario

    Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
    ••• Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. vns24@yahoo.com / Getty Images

    With more than 6 million cu ft (168,000 m³) of water falling over its brink per minute, Niagara Falls (actually comprising three falls: the American, Bridal Veil and Horseshoe) is the most powerful waterfall in North America and maybe the most famous in the world, attracting millions of tourists each year.

    Niagara Falls, the town, is a tad on the maudlin side - mix small-time Las Vegas with a mediocre theme park - but with the addition of the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort in 2004, finer hotels and restaurants have followed.

    Niagara Falls is a city you probably only need to visit once or twice. The Niagara region as a whole, though, is worth deeper exploration. 

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    CN Tower, Toronto, Ontario

    Landmark of Toronto CN Tower alongside cityscape
    ••• The CN Tower dominates the Toronto skyline. d3sign / Getty Images

    At 1,815 feet Toronto's CN tower is the tallest free standing structure in the world. Tourists are naturally drawn to tall buildings for the bird's eye view. However, elevated observation usually comes at an elevated price and zero cultural appeal. The CN Tower is no different, but there really is no beating the view and the glass elevator that takes you to the 1,122 feet high outdoor observation deck is thrilling.

    Skip the lineup, which can often be lengthy, by getting your tickets online or by making a reservation to dine at the tower's top-floor restaurant, 360, which is actually quite good.

    Read More: Dinner at the CN Tower15 Fascinating Facts about the CN Tower

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    Old Montreal, Montreal, Quebec

    Notre Dame de Bon Secours Chapel in Montreal, Canada
    ••• Notre Dame de Bon Secours. L. Toshio Kishiyama / Getty Images

    Old Montreal is a part of downtown Montreal that has been preserved in much of its original state, with the oldest buildings dating back to the 1600's. This historic neighbourhood is a safe and vibrant community and tourist attraction, with hotels, restaurants, shops, residences and commercial spaces.

    Read More: 10 Things You Should Know About Visiting Old Montreal,  Guide to Old Montreal

     

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    Quebec City, Quebec

    Quebec City
    ••• Rue Saint Louis is one of the main thoroughfares in the historic part of Quebec City. Ken Gillespie / Getty Images

    Quebec's provincial capital, Quebec City, is steeped in history and European in flavour. The old town is the only fortified city north of Mexico in North America and is a World Heritage Site. Quebec City offers an experience unlike almost any other in North America. 

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    The Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia

    Winding Cabot Trail
    ••• Harri Jarvelainen Photography / Getty Images

    The 300 km (185 mi.) long Cabot Trail is famous for the vistas it offers of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Atlantic Ocean and lush landscapes, particularly spectacular in fall. The Cape Breton National Highlands Park is at the trail's most northern points and where the trail reaches its highest elevation. The trail takes a few hours to drive, but tourists generally spend a day or two, stopping in at one or two of the towns along the way. 

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    Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick

    Hopewell Rocks
    ••• Hopewell Rocks are rock formations caused by tidal erosion in New Brunswick. They are located on the shores of the upper reaches of the Bay of Fundy at Hopewell Cape near Moncton, New Brunswick. Danita Delimont / Getty Images

    The Bay of Fundy extends from the northern coast of Maine into Canada between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Twice daily, the Bay fills and empties its 100 billion tonnes of water, creating the highest tides in the world - in some areas of the bay, tides reach more than 50 feet (16 m).

    The energy created by the force of these tides drudges up nutrients from the ocean floor that attract an interesting and wide range of animal life to the bay. The effects of the tides has also carved out a dramatic surrounding landscape of steep cliffs and sea stacks. In addition, water has worn away the shore's red sandstone and volcanic rock to reveal a plethora of fossils and signs of life from millions of years ago.

    View the Fundy tides at Hopewell Rocks.

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    Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Ontario

    Parliament Hill, Ottawa
    ••• Saffron Blaze / Getty Images

    Parliament Hill is an impressive group of gothic revival buildings in Ottawa that house Canada's parliament. Free tours are offered throughout the year and the Hill is also the setting for national celebrations, like Canada Day.