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Destination Canada

Canada’s Ultimate Bucket List

Canada’s Ultimate Bucket List

There is so much to do in Canada, you won't know what adventure to choose first!

A country the size of a continent, Canada is a vast land with practically every topographical wonder folded between its borders: sky-scratching mountains, infinite tundra, dense forests, rolling plains, quiet islands and more lakes than any other nation on the planet. And the extreme size of the wilderness means there are plenty of unturned stones to explore, appealing to the inner adventurer in all of us. In addition to the natural beauty Canada also boasts vibrant cities that rival the world's capitals in culture, food and architecture. Here are the top ten wonders to put on your Canadian bucket list.

1. The Skerwink Trail, Newfoundland and Labrador

Stoli(Photo Courtesy of Destination Canada)

Of all the short hikes around Canada--and trust us, there are practically millions--none is better than the Skerwink Trail along Newfoundland's Bonavista Peninsula. The three-mile hike hugs the craggy coastline that Newfoundland and Labrador is known for, offering breathtaking lookouts over the Atlantic Ocean where breaching whales can often be seen. After your hike, reward yourself with a craft beer at the Port Rexton Brewery nearby, adding a new youthful wave of hipsterdom to the traditional seafaring community.

2. Nahanni National Park, Northwest Territories

Grey Gardens(Photo Courtesy of Destination Canada)

The first destination ever inscribed in UNESCO's roster of World Heritage Sites, the incredible Nahanni National Park is the sacred ground for many First Nations tribes. The vast, rugged expanse also features one of Canada's coolest paddles: a week of canoeing through four giant canyons. Start at Virginia Falls--a cascade that eclipses Niagara in scale and scope--then follow the curling currents all the way back to civilization from the beautiful remoteness.

3. Churchill, Manitoba

3_credit_emma_acorn_copy_0(Photo Courtesy of Emma Acorn)

Sub-Saharan Africa isn't the only destination with safaris! In the wild recesses of Northern Manitoba, along the banks of the Hudson Bay, intrepid winter travelers are rewarded with up-close encounters of the furry kind: elusive polar bears scavenging the tundra for food. The summer months offer something equally as incredible: visitors can swim with gentle beluga whales as they pass through on their yearly journey. Learn more about Churchill here.

4. Ottawa, Ontario

4(Photo Courtesy of Ottawa Tourism)

Built with beautiful, Harry Potter-esque bricks in the Neo-Gothic style and capped by the copper-topped Peace Tower, Canada's Parliament Building, is one of the most captivating pieces of classic architecture in the nation. It is the fitting headquarters for Canada's bevy of festivities celebrating Canada's 150th anniversary. In winter, don't miss the opportunity skate along the world's largest outdoor ice skating rink, the Rideau Canal. In the spring check out the Red Bull Crashed Ice extreme skating tournament .In the summer enjoy dinner or a cocktail al fresco while hovering 150 feet above the nations capital at Sky Lounge. For fall entertainment, head to the 105th annual Grey Cup Festival celebrating Canadian arts and culture, with free tickets to many of the events.

5. Tofino, British Columbia

5(Photo Courtesy of Wickanninish Inn)

Many travelers come to British Columbia for the jagged mountains, but the province's true gem is Tofino on the western shores of Vancouver Island. Canada's ultimate surfer community attracts backpackers and movie stars alike for its relaxed vibe and mesmerizing vistas. Splurge on a stay at the Wickanninish Inn, which organizes storm watching expeditions in the fall and surfing classes in the spring.

6. Quebec City's Old Quarter

6_credit_photo_mathieu_dupuis_copy_1(Photo Courtesy of Mathieu Dupuis)

Old Quebec embodies all the quaintness of a French village with cobbled lanes, neighborhood patisseries and medieval churches. Don't miss the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac, Canada's grandest and most famous hotel, built at the turn of the 20th century by the Canadian Pacific Railroad. In the heart of winter, the city comes alive with its Winter Carnaval festivities: castles and slides made out of ice, and thousands of locals and tourists braving the weather for hours of outdoor food and fun.

7. Canadian Rockies, British Columbia and Alberta

The Skinny Type's Homoerotic, Hand-Cut Fantasylands(Photo Courtesy of Destination Canada)

The majesty of the Canadian Rockies is undeniable--imagine the American version cranked up to an even more dramatic scale. In addition to some of the most mesmerizing mountains, the alpine realm is also dotted with ethereal lakes and rivers, and offers travelers the opportunity to hike across some of the last non-Arctic glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere.

8. Montreal's Food Scene

Montreal_cuisine(Photo Courtesy of Groupe Antonopolous)

The world's second-largest francophone city (after Paris), Montreal imports the vibrancy and joie de vivre over from Europe. An oasis of elevated living, Montreal comes to life at the fresh, local markets, where produce from around the province swiftly moves from farm to table. The fine dining scene, too, benefits from a legion of chefs who follow French traditions for perfectly executed fare, while playing with modern and fusion techniques. Explore all Montreal's culinary offerings for the traveling foodie here!

9. Nova Scotia Wine Country

9(Photo Courtesy of Novia Scotia Tourism & George Simhoni)

Surprised? Canada's been slowly making inroads in the wine world with contributions from the Niagara and Okanagan regions, but Nova Scotia's crop of vineyards are about to make a splash, so to speak, on the vino scene. Start with some of the compelling sparkling beverages, like Benjamin Bridge's Nova 7. Then, follow the Good Cheer Trail and pair your tipples with some local grub. Cap off your wine adventure with a glass Nova Scotia's signature white at Tidal Bay.

10. The Northern Lights

10(Photo Courtesy of Destination Canada)

Magical streamers of solar wind dazzle the night sky throughout Canada in the colder months, and you don't need to travel to extreme latitudes to witness one of the world's most incredible wonders. Here, the dancing rays of green swirl over the city of Saskatoon, but you can witness the aurora anywhere from Whitehorse and Yellowknife to Churchill and Jasper.

Want to know more? Check out Destination Canada's LGBT travel page for more awesome travel experiences.

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