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posted on April 21st, 2016

Canada is a country full of charm, great food, breathtaking views, and experiences begging to be made into travel memories. First off, it is a massive country, which means there are an unimaginable amount of places to explore, people to meet, and things to do. Whether you live in the True North or are just passing through, Canada is rich with activities, destinations, and food culture. Here are just a few of the reasons we love Canada.

Things to do

Cold weather doesn’t stop Canadians from enjoying the outdoors. Whether you want to go ice fishing up in Eagle’s Lake or canoe Lake Louise, Canada has mountains of activities to keep you exhilarated no matter the season.

SKATE A HUGE CANAL

The city of Ottawa plays host to the world’s largest natural skating rink, the Rideau Canal. Each winter, the canal attracts thousands of visitors to see what all the fuss is about, and they aren’t disappointed — just the mere sight of it it takes your breath away.

GET A SUGAR RUSH

What does everyone think when they think Canada? Without a doubt, maple syrup. The Canadian flag is emblazoned with a maple leaf, which only goes to show how much maple syrup is stapled to the Canadian identity. So what better way to breathe in the Canadian spirit than to take a tour of one of Canada’s sugar shacks, and learn how maple syrup is made? These little havens are usually popular this time of year when the sap begins to flow out.

CATCH A PUCK

Another thing you can’t overlook in Canada is its national pastime — the great sport of hockey. Whether you’re a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, or the Vancouver Canucks (who play at Rogers Arena, fka “Canada Hockey Place” of the 2010 Winter Olympics), hitting the rink to see a hockey game is as Canadian as you can get. Hockey season is overwhelming, with each team playing about 82 games, however it’s about to end so you better act fast! Otherwise you’ll have to wait until October to catch one of these exciting games.

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Places to go

Whether you’re a visitor or a local, there are dozens of destinations perfect for any vacation, whether you want to chill out by the water, dive into some winter sports, or soak in some culture.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH

The Canadian Rockies house some of the most enchanting views in the world. The mountains sprawl across Alberta and British Columbia, and, as you can imagine, host some of the best ski resorts available. Mt. Robson is the most prevalent peak in the range. Rich with alpine lakes, diverse wildlife, and lots of national parks to visit, including Yoho, home to the breathtaking Takkakaw waterfall, the Canadian Rockies should be on every nature lover’s bucket list.

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ATLANTIC QUAINTNESS

If you want a relaxing weekend in a posh beach town, Nova Scotia has got you covered with Peggy’s Cove. With the famous view of Peggy’s Point lighthouse (renowned as the most photographed lighthouse in Canada), this St. Margaret’s Bay beach town is rich with galleries, restaurants, shopping, and water activities like scuba diving. Whether you’re exploring the coast, or relaxing to the sound of the Atlantic, soak in some of that northern East Coast charm in this quaint little town.

OLD CANADIAN CULTURE

Looking to take in the cultural side of Canada? Check out old Montreal in Quebec, where a few buildings date back to New France (think very New Orleans-esque architecture). With activities ranging from exploring the gorgeous Notre-Dame Basilica, or enjoying an urban hike on Mont Royal, there is little not to love about Old Montreal. They even have a winter ice wine tour (a dessert wine that is made from grapes that are frozen on the vine!) with exclusive winery access, to pique any gourmand’s interest.

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What to eat

Canadians love their food. From maple syrup to poutine, Canadians never shy away from indulging in deliciously original foods.

TIME FOR POUTINE

First off, let’s talk poutine. Who would be able to hold back the urge to indulge in sizzling french fries topped with a signature light brown gravy and cheese curds? Think carne asada fries, but without the carne (and much more Canadian, of course!). This Canadian staple originated in Quebec and now you can find over 30 different variations of the dish in all provinces from Vancouver to Quebec.

ICONIC COFFEE & PASTRIES

You absolutely cannot come to Canada without trying Tim Horton’s, a restaurant chain that sells famous pastries and their signature premium-blend coffee. If you’re from the states, think Dunkin’ Donuts meets Panera Bread, but a much bigger deal.

SWEET TREATS: BEAVERTAILS

Now, this is very important: I have been told that the one dessert that Canadians go ballistic over is BeaverTails. It is nearly a sin to come to Canada and not try one of these fried pastries. They’re hand-stretched and then smothered in butter, cinnamon, and sugar, or your choice of toppings ranging from Nutella to maple syrup. 

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And there you have it — just a few of the many reasons we love Canada. Canada has managed to maintain its quaint, friendly, and delicious charm across such a giant landmass making it one lovely and epic travel destination. Whether you want to indulge in some famous pastries, hit the Rockies, or skate the Rideau Canal, Canada will keep you amazed.

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Shannen works in Customer Support at Turo, but her real passion lies in writing and befriending other people's pets. She is certain that her life would be useless without art, music, poetry, and novels meant for folks half her age.

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