With more than 3.8 million square miles to see, Canada is an enormous country with a lot to offer travelers. Yes, it may seem overwhelming, but luckily we know the lay of the land like the back of our hand. Before you pack your bags, join us as we explore everything Canada has to offer from "A" to "Zed."
A: Anne of Green Gables
One of Canada’s most important pieces of literature put the country’s littlest province, Prince Edward Island (PEI), on the map. The story of a precocious redhead has gained popularity around the world and today, much of PEI still carries the colonial charm from the novel.
Every summer, hundreds of beluga whales visit the waters of the Hudson Bay around the town of Churchill, Manitoba’s unofficial adventure capital. Visitors can dive into the once-in-a-lifetime experience of snorkeling or kayaking alongside these gentle giants. Find out more about the most unique underwater adventure on the planet here.
C: Cabot Trail
Often voted one of the best hikes in the world, Cape Breton’s famed Cabot Trail is a multifaceted track promising activities for outdoor enthusiasts of all types. Before you plan your visit to Cape Breton Highlands National Park, explore this Nova Scotia travel guide.
D: Dene Nations
The Aboriginal people of Canada’s Northwest Territories are collectively known as the Dene. Learn about the region's vibrant history, canoe-making traditions, local art, and ancient creation myths with an adventure in Canada’s far north and a visit to the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Center.
Alberta’s capital is known as the City of Festivals — it's the perfect place to ring in Canada's 150th Anniversary. Although Edmonton is famous for hosting year-round events, this year's lineup of sesquicentennial festivities is particularly spectacular.
F: Fogo Island Inn
After exploring urban Canada, head to the beautiful Fogo Island Inn. This stunning architectural gem is a gateway to understanding the lifestyle of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and their “outport” fishing communities. The luxurious inn boasts breathtaking scenery and an incredible menu of gourmet eats. It's definitely worth a visit!
G: Gros Morne National Park
The moment you step inside this park, you'll feel as if you've been transported to the stunning fjords of Norway. Gros Morne is named after the second highest peak in Newfoundland and Labrador, which is located in the park. With its sapphire waters and mile-high mountains, Gros Morne offers striking landscapes and once-in-a-lifetime views.
H: The Handmaid’s Tale
Margaret Atwood’s profound dystopian novel has never felt more poignant than it does today, and the acclaimed Canadian author’s work is getting a second life as copies are once again flying off the shelves. A television version is set to air later this year on Hulu.
I: Ice Wine
Niagara’s wine region, south of Toronto, has made a name for itself as an important grape growing region, but it really stuns critics with its assortment of Icewine. Don’t miss the Niagara Icewine Festival held during the second half of January each year.
One of the most important musical gatherings on the planet, the Montréal Jazz Fest attracts some of the biggest names each July. And this year is going to be extra special as the city celebrates its 375th anniversary.
K: Ketchup Chips
Canadians love their potato chips, and ketchup is the winning flavor (don't knock it 'til you try it!) — the perfect item to pack for a camping trip!
Most people can agree that fresh lobster is a delicious treat, and New Brunswick lobster is some of the best shellfish in the world. It's buttery flavor and fresh texture inspires countless travelers to make the trip to New Brunswick for a tail. And if that's sounds enticing, then don't miss the Shediac Lobster Festival.
M: Mark Tewksbury
The swimming phenom who won a gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics is also an activefor gay and lesbian rights. Tewksbury recently bequeathed all of his medals to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, so one day his legacy will be on display as a reminder of the positive change that's possible through sportsmanship.
N: Nahanni National Park
A weeklong paddle will take you through the four canyons of Nahanni National Park in the Northwest Territories. Here you'll see the massively beautiful Virginia Falls — so large that it gives Niagara Falls (another N!) a run for its money.
O: Okanagan Valley
Located in British Columbia, the Okanagan Valley is home to some of Canada’s finest wineries and is a prime spot for sunny tastings overlooking lush fields of delicious fruit.
Pronounced “por-tawj”, this is the technique of pulling your canoes and gear out of the water to tramp between lakes on a truly Canadian journey. Try Killarney in Ontario — named for the inspiring beauty of Ireland’s national park — which has glittering cliffs and plenty of steep portages to get the blood flowing.
Québec produces 80 percent of the world's maple syrup, but it's also rich in hospitality. The Québécois are known for their welcoming nature, which adds to Québec's undeniabe European charm. In Québec City, you'll find talented street performers, delicious eateries, horse-drawn carriages and picture-perfect panoramas.
R: Rideau Canal
Ottawa, Canada’s capital, often flies under the radar. The city instead prefers to enjoy simpler pleasures like the Rideau Canal, the largest outdoor skating rink in the world, which has a series of scenic locks that let boats pass through in summer. This year, Ottawa will host Canada's big birthday celebration, and it's a party you don't want to miss.
The original flavor of Montreal bagel, sesame seeds are generously sprinkled all over the thin rings of yummy bread. One of the two hallmarks of Montreal’s Jewish population (the other being delicious smoked meat), you can find the world’s most perfect bagels (ssh, don’t tell New Yorkers!) at St-Viateur.
T: Terry Fox
A Canadian hero, Terry Fox set out to travel across Canada to raise funds for cancer research. He started in eastern Canada and ventured west ending up in Thunder Bay, Ontario. There's a beautiful statue in the spot where he ended his journey, and it's become a point of pilgrimage for many Canadians.
U: Uniacke Estate Museum Park
Catch a glimpse of 19th-century life at one of Nova Scotia's most famous country estates. Uniacke Estate Museum Park once belonged to Attorney General Richard John Uniacke. Built between 1813 and 1815, this magnificent manor is an excellent example of Georgian architecture and provides a peek into the lives of Canada's noble elite.
V: Victoria, British Columbia
Known as "The Garden City," Victoria has been voted as one of the top 20 cities to live in for quality-of-life. Victoria's gorgeous beaches and picturesque shorelines make it incredibly popular with boaters. And, its moderate climate is perfect for sunshine seekers and those in need of a snow-free vacation. When you're finished taking in the sea breeze, tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel in downtown Victoria is an absolute must.
If you love snow sports, planning a trip to Whistler should be at the top of your vacation to-do list. With its luxurious accomodations and perfect powder, this mountain town is a world-class winter wonderland. The village is a draw even out of season, and visitors are left with unforgettable panoramas.
Many of the X-Men movies were filmed throughout Canada. In X-Men: Days of Future Past, the Arts Building, on the downtown campus of McGill University, played the role of the Pentagon. And, Mystique jumped out of one of the windows at the Montréal Hotel de Ville during the 1973 Paris Peace Accords.
One of Canada’s three territories (the others being Northwest Territories and Nunavut), Yukon built its modern reputation on the search for gold and is, today, the perfect destination to blend comfort and adventure while embarking on a memorable road trip down one of the many highways like the Alaska, Klondike and Dempster.
A household word for every Canadian, this is the name of the large truck-like machine that polishes the ice at a hockey game. Don’t miss the opportunity to check out a hockey game during your visit — consider it some serious anthropological work.