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Impressive landscapes unite Canada's sprawl across seven time zones, from the temperate rainforests of British Columbia and the Rocky Mountains in the west through the majestic plains of the nation's interior and the tree-lined, rugged Canadian Shield. America's northern neighbor is equally diverse culturally, with the traditional divisions of English and French now intermingled with cultures from all around the world, particularly in the larger cities.
Canada offers an astonishing array of attractions and activities for visitors, depending on which area of the country you're visiting:
-The Canadian west: From the wilderness of Vancouver Island to the plains of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Canada's western half offers lots for every type of traveler. Major cities in this region include Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg. Millions of people come also come to the Canadian west to visit the mountain resorts in Whistler, Lake Louise, and Banff.
-Ontario: Canada's population king, Ontario is home to the beautiful capital city of Ottawa, the nation's largest city, Toronto, and the Canada Niagara Falls side. Ontario's lowlands are filled with vineyards and orchards, and its untamed north makes for an excellent nature vacation.
-Quebec: Home to the unique and lively city of Montreal and the hub of French Canadian culture, Quebec makes for a one-of-a-kind holiday experience no matter the season. While most people think of the Rockies when they think of ski holidays in Canada, some of the best slopes in the country are concentrated around the Quebec City area.
-The Maritimes: Many Canada cruises come through the scenic and friendly maritime provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island.
-The far north: Intrepid travelers can be rewarded with spectacular scenery, including views of the famous Northern Lights, if they venture north to the Northwest Territories or Yukon. The weather in the far north is surprisingly mild in summer, with non-stop daylight.
If you visit in July, you'll be treated to fireworks displays marking the national holiday, Canada Day, which falls on July 1. Festivals and fireworks shows are held across the country, with the most impressive being held on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
During your Canadian visit, choose a vacation rental rather than a hotel. Rental accommodations give you plenty of space and privacy and offer all the amenities of home, and they're as equally suitable for ski holidays as well as for stays in major cities.
Most of the Canadian population lives within a couple hundred miles of the U.S. border, so chances are you won't be far from the United States no matter where you go in the country.