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Canada - Top 5 Places to See

Updated on September 25, 2013

Yours to Discover

Oh, Canada; it's vastness is bordered by two shining coasts that sit like bookends to the rocky mountains, the rolling prairies, cosmopolitan cities, and rugged coastlines. We are diverse, accepting and kind people who have long standing traditions and cultural attractions.

Canada is a place where people still say hi to you on the streets, where crime is minimal and safety is paramount. Our social structures ensure that everyone is taken care of and opportunity is abound for those who wish to work hard. It is a very accepting place, one of the first in the world to allow gay marriage federally, freedom of religious expression is embraced and encouraged, and you can be yourself without fear of reprisal.

Top 5 Places to See in Canada

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Canada
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Canada

Canada has so much to offer it would take you years to discover its vastness and rich beauty. Considering this I have taken the opportunity to show you what I believe to be the top five must see places in all of Canada. I have lived in every province and the following tend to stick out the most!

 

# 5 Tofino, British Columbia

Tofino Guide
Tofino Guide

This place is truly amazing. It is one of the most popular surfing beaches on the whole Pacific Rim of Canada and United States. The surf never stops, especially during storm season. It has much to offer with accommodations that run from camping to five star resort hotels right on the beach. It is a bit hard to get to by car but the roads and paved and clear year round. There are also flights available from both Vancouver's inner harbor and Victoria on Vancouver Island. This is truly worth the trip.

I actually gave up smoking there about 6 years ago. I thought to myself when I was there that this place is so beautiful that I need to be around to see it for another day. I know that sounds silly but it was one of those moments that only a place like that can offer such and epiphany! It is a magical place, a good place to walk the beach and forget about life for awhile.

 

# 4 Niagara Falls, Ontario

Frommer's Niagara Region (Frommer's Complete Guides)
Frommer's Niagara Region (Frommer's Complete Guides)

This place is a bit of a tourist trap with things like Ripley's Believe it Not and such but if that's your thing, coolio! You will love it. For me I look past all of that because the falls are just jaw dropping. You can't look away and the ever present roar of it all must deafen the locals.

There are some really neat things to do. There are boat tours that go on the base of the falls. You can get your picture taken in a barrel going over the falls if you wish. Not literally of course. That wouldn't be good for tourism but you get the drift. There is a sky tram down the road that is neat.

Most people get there via Toronto, which is about an hour and a half drive or more depending on their notorious traffic but it is well worth the trip. The wine region of the Niagara Escarpment is along the way and they actually have some great vines to choose from, but not too much tasting though you wouldn't want to fall over the falls when you get there!

 

# 3 The Great Canadian Rockies

Drive Around Canadian Rockies, 3rd: Your guide to great drives. Top 25 Tours. (Drive Around - Thomas Cook)
Drive Around Canadian Rockies, 3rd: Your guide to great drives. Top 25 Tours. (Drive Around - Thomas Cook)

When I first left home at 18 years old I got a job as a bellman at the Banff Springs Hotel. I had never been anywhere in my whole life and this was a great place to start. I went on a Via Rail train from Halifax, NS to Calgary Alberta in the first leg of the journey. When I got to Calgary I wasn't too impressed but that was in 1986 and it sure is a different place now.

Off in the in the distance I could see what is known as the foothills of the Rockies and they were pretty impressive. It was summertime and there was still snow up there, amazing. I hopped on a Brewster Lines bus then and headed off to my new job in Banff Springs.

The close that we got to the mountains the more awestruck I became. These things were massive! No one can ever explain how tiny you feel among such giants. I remember the bus driver coming on to ask us to look to the right to see the three sisters. I thought he was talking about hitchhikers on the side of the road, but it was an impressive mountain range with three similar peaks.

Banff has so much to do. The skiing in phenomenal, the hiking and outdoor activities are endless. Wildlife is everywhere, deer, bears, moose,... walk the streets as if they own the town as well as permanent residents. There is lots to see and do with great dining, tours and accommodations. I would certainly recommend it. Oh and the job turned out to be a lot of fin as well.

 

# 2 Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland

Gros Morne National Park
Gros Morne National Park

My brother's first job out of university was as a forest ranger in this park. He was always calling us up asking if we would go up for a visit. We all thought that he wanted us to come because he was in some remote watch tower looking out for bears in the middle of the woods and that he was just lonesome for company.

We were wrong he actually lived in a nice little bungalow at the entrance of the park and it was a beautiful place. The park is kind of hard to get to on the North West coast of Newfoundland. It is the second largest park in Atlantic Canada not too far from Corner Brook (which has great skiing by the way) and Deer Lake.

It has the most beautiful fiords cut into these wild mountains it is almost like the grand canyon covered in trees. The cliffs are so high that I get the willies thinking about those crazy people who sit on the edge and dangle their feet over just to same they did. Well I am not ashamed to say I did not. These people never heard of a tremor or an updraft I guess. Call me chicken but that wasn't for me. The rest of it though is up there with one of my most memorable visits ever. I would love to go back now that I am older to appreciate it more.

 

# 1 Cape Breton's Cabot Trail

Touring the Cabot Trail: Second Edition
Touring the Cabot Trail: Second Edition

Last but not least is the Cabot trail on the north coast of Cape Breton Island. As soon as you cross over the causeway that links Cape Breton to the rest of Nova Scotia you know that you are in some place special. The hills immediately start to rise up put pf the sea to breathtaking vistas lined with colorful hardwood.

There is a whole industry dedicated to fall in this area. It is known as Celtic Colors and takes place every October on the islands. You can literally go to an event or two a day for over a week that provides people wit a unique insight into the rich history and culture of the area.

And it is breathtaking. Did I mention it was breathtaking. The Cabot Trail itself is actually a loop of about 300 kilometers of the most scenic drives you will actually ever take or will again if you afraid of heights. I choose the book beside us here because it gives you a god idea of what you drive on. You wouldn't even think a car could make it up and down inclines like that but they do.

I have to be honest with you on this choice though because I was born and raised on a small village known as Ingonish Beach on the eastern side of the trail. Although I do have my biases toward the area I feel completely comfortable in adding this as my number one choice of places to see in Canada. I am not alone, it has been ranked by countless highly reputable travel guides as one of the top ten places in the world to see before you die!

 

Great Candian Arts, Literature and Fiction

These are some of my favorite Canadian Books, Authors, Artists, and Musicians please click on them I encourage you to give them a try.

National Geographic Guide to the National Parks of Canada
National Geographic Guide to the National Parks of Canada

This is an amazing pictogram of Canada and all it has to offer. The Rockies are amazing.

 
The Stone Angel (Phoenix Fiction)
The Stone Angel (Phoenix Fiction)

This is the first of a a series of a fabulous trilogy it is fantastic and will get you hooked on Canadian Literature

 
Fodor's Nova Scotia & Atlantic Canada: With New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland (Travel Guide)
Fodor's Nova Scotia & Atlantic Canada: With New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland (Travel Guide)

Atlantic Canada is my home and I am proud of our Maritime offering check it out you will want to come.

 
The Group of Seven: Art for a Nation
The Group of Seven: Art for a Nation

These are a famous group of artists that are traded the world over for their unique portrayal of life and landscapes of Canada.

 
Rush: The Illustrated History
Rush: The Illustrated History

Who doesn't know Rush! The iconic band of the 70' and 80's that defined Rock and Roll sub cultures.

 

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What do you think is the #1 place to see in Canada? - Why not give your opinion?

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      murray-doucette 3 years ago

      Cool

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      cornelia1971 3 years ago

      Very nice...!

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      Nicole2013 3 years ago

      Niagara is my favorite place to visit in Canada

    • gdaestring profile image
      Author

      gdaestring 3 years ago

      @anonymous: It's a cool place come visit anytime!

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      mySuccess8 3 years ago

      I have been to Banff, and was amazed by the snow-capped Canadian Rockies. Great lens with excellent ideas to see more of Canada!

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      Nice to know about Canada.