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Canada has great physical beauty with its mountains, lakes, glaciers and forests. However,  there’s a lot more to vacationing in Canada than a chance to enjoy the great outdoors. This country has some of the cleanest and most beautiful cities, an exciting French culture in Quebec and some of the most tolerant people in the world. It is also a sports-oriented country, with plenty of options for the participant as well as the sports fan.

Natural Wonders — It’s hard to compete with Canada’s impressive physical beauty. The Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks in western Canada may be even more spectacular than the American version of the Rockies. Parks like Banff, Jasper, Yoho and Kootenay are spread across Alberta and British Columbia. There are challenging trails to follow and the views are breathtaking. Niagara Falls has been a signature tourist spot for decades, and most people agree the view from the Canadian side is more memorable than the New York side of the falls. A couple of the other natural eye-catching attractions include Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta and Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia.

Outdoor Activities — If you are excited by the idea of sleeping under the stars and enjoying the great outdoors, you can get your fill by vacationing in Canada. Start off with some of the best fishing in North America. Many of the top professional fishermen in the United States head north of the border when they want a fishing vacation. Try Glacier National Park in British Columbia if you want to hike and view some of the most beautiful permanent glaciers in North America. LeMauricie National Park in Quebec is an ideal spot for boaters and canoers. Canada is also a paradise for golfers between May and early October.

Festivals — Canadians take great pride in their history and culture and have a number of events that can be awesome for vacationers. Those events include the Calgary Stampede, the Celebration of Light in Vancouver, the Toronto International Film Festival and the Quebec Winter Carnival in Quebec City. The film festival is one of the film industry’s most influential events in North America. The Quebec winter carnival offers attendees the chance to skate on outdoor lakes and participate in ice carving events. It also features spectacular French food.

City Life — Most Americans are familiar with Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver as the leading Canadian cities. They are all spectacular but there is more to Canada than that trio. Calgary, Quebec City, Victoria and Halifax are also must-see spots. Toronto has been described as one of the most livable English-speaking cities in North America. Montreal is awash with French culture and Vancouver is a multi-cultural city with a substantial Asian influence. Calgary is Canada’s rodeo capitol and the home of the NHL‘s Flames. The Halifax Public Gardens, St. Paul’s Church and Point Pleasant Park are some of the top attractions in Halifax.

Affordability — You get more for your dollar in Canada than you can in the United States. When the gulf between the American dollar and its Canadian equivalent was at its widest, you found bargain after bargain in your Canadian travels. That gap has narrowed quite a bit, but it’s still much cheaper in Canada. Toronto is more affordable than 81 other cities in North America, according to the Mercer Worldwide Living Survey.

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Hockey — All hockey fans have to get to Canada at some point in their lives. The Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto is a great place to start. This is a monument to the game’s greatest players and teams, including Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky and Jean Beliveau. There are exhibits on the great teams of the past, including the dynasties of the Montreal Canadians and the Edmonton Oilers. Watching the Canadians play a home game at the Bell Centre is an event unlike any other in professional hockey. It’s only slightly less intense in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg.