Canadian Adventures: Top Cities All Over Canada - United Hub

Canadian adventures: Top cities all over Canada

By Matt Chernov

I'll let you in on a little secret – regardless of when you plan to travel, there's never a wrong time to visit Canada. Encompassing almost four million square miles of remarkably beautiful terrain, it not only contains the world's longest coastline, it's also the second-largest country on Earth. And across its immense territory you'll find a wealth of diverse destinations just waiting for you to explore. Looking for stunning scenery? It's got you covered. Fancy a stay in a quaint seaport village? You'll find plenty to choose from. In the mood for big city excitement? Look no further! Basically, Canada offers something truly special for every type of traveler. To help you get the most out of your next visit, here's a regional guide to the spectacular Great White North.

Atlantic region

Halifax

With its waterfront views and colorful Victorian architecture, Halifax is quite possibly the perfect maritime destination. If you're visiting for the first time, be sure to spend a day strolling the city's historic harbor boardwalk. While you're there, grab lunch at the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market, which holds the distinction of being the longest continuously running market of its kind in North America. When the weather is warm and sunny, head to Citadel Hill and explore the iconic star-shaped military fort that overlooks the water, or wander the romantic Halifax Public Gardens and enjoy an hour-long guided horticultural tour. Have time for a short side trip? Then a quick visit to the nearby community of Peggy's Cove should definitely be on your Halifax travel agenda.

St. John's

Nature lovers who visit St. John's will definitely want to lace up their hiking boots and traverse North America's easternmost coastline on foot. Don't forget to bring your camera along, too, because the astounding scenery that you'll discover is well worth sharing with friends and family back home. If urban fun is more your speed, check out the wildly popular George Street area and chances are you'll find an outdoor concert or an open-air food festival waiting for you. Grown-ups, meanwhile, should make plans to sample the beers on one of St. John's local craft beer tours. Finally, if you're visiting in the late spring or summer, book a whale watching trip with the folks at Iceberg Quest tours. Their expert guides will provide you with an up-close-and-personal look at nature's majestic giants of the sea.

Charlottetown

Anyone who grew up reading the beloved children's classic "Anne of Green Gables" will want to set foot on the magical Prince Edward Island and see for themselves where the tale was set. The city of Charlottetown is Prince Edward Island's capital, and it's every bit as delightful as you might imagine. There's an undeniable storybook quality to this quaint Canadian destination that's simply impossible to resist. Along with literary walking tours of the city, visitors can marvel at the ornate St. Dunstan's Basilica, or take in a cutting-edge art exhibit at the nearby Confederation Centre of the Arts. Since delicious seafood is one of Charlottetown's biggest attractions, treat yourself to a memorable dinner of chowder, mussels and jerk spiced crab legs at the popular Claddagh Oyster House.

Central Canada

Toronto

Visitors to Toronto will discover a glorious assortment of cultural influences throughout the city, making it an ideal vacation spot for just about everyone. Where else can you find gleaming avant-garde architecture cozily nestled alongside historic churches situated on cobblestone streets? That playful mixture of styles gives Toronto a personality all its own. If you've rented a car on your visit, then be sure to take a short side trip to see the iconic Niagara Falls. It's only a mere 2-hour drive away. Exploring the city's funky Kensington Market is a guaranteed good time, or perhaps a guided tour of the Hockey Hall of Fame might be more to your liking if you're a sports fan. For foodies, there's no better way to experience the true taste of Toronto than to head to the city's Distillery District and see what's on the menu at one of the dozens of eateries you'll find there.

Montreal

You can easily spend a week exploring the friendly streets of Montreal and never find yourself less than captivated by its casual elegance and enchanting French charm. In fact, the only problem is deciding which of the sights and attractions to check out first. I recommend starting with the incredible Notre-Dame Basilica, because there's just no better way to immerse yourself in the city's fascinating cultural heritage. Next, take in an expertly curated exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. When you feel the need to stretch your legs, a leisurely walking tour of the exciting Plateau Mont-Royal neighborhood is a fun way to acquaint yourself with the city on a pleasant afternoon. Once the sun goes down, take a nighttime boat trip on the beautiful Saint Lawrence River and watch the lights of Montreal shimmer after dark.

Québec City

If you're a Francophile living in the United States, you don't have to cross the Atlantic Ocean to experience the charm of La République française. Instead, you can make a far shorter journey to the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec. Here, you'll discover a city that's filled with some of the most authentic French culture this side of Paris. For an inside look at this amazing destination, here's a guide that lists everything you'll need to know in order to plan a marvelous getaway.

West Coast region

Vancouver

It's easy to see why Vancouver is widely considered to be one of the world's most livable cities. A few of the many must-see attractions include hiking or cycling through the 1,000-acre Stanley Park, and grabbing a gourmet lunch at the remarkable Granville Island Public Market. The city's fabulous Chinatown is one of the biggest and best of its kind in all of North America, so plan on spending at least a full day enjoying its festive atmosphere. If you're curious about the region's aboriginal people and traditions, schedule a visit to the acclaimed Museum of Anthropology, which is located on the University of British Columbia campus. And if you've still got energy left, a nighttime stroll through the wonderfully atmospheric Gastown district is highly recommended.

Victoria

Thanks to its authentic British flavor, you'll feel like you've gone to merry old England when you arrive in Victoria, but it's really just a short boat trip away from Vancouver. A peaceful haven for artists, writers and thinkers of all kinds, Victoria is graced with Canada's mildest weather, making it an ideal spot to visit year-round. That comfortable climate is one of the reasons why the city's 55-acre Butchart Gardens are such a vibrant sight to behold. Regardless of the season, you'll find many of nature's most beautiful flowers in full bloom here, which is why it's such a beloved spot for locals and visitors alike. Other recommended activities in Victoria include a trip to Royal BC Museum, a cycling tour of the historic Cook Street Village neighborhood and a thrilling whale watching excursion with the Prince of Whales company.

Banff

This incredible winter resort destination features some of the most beautiful scenery on the entire planet. To experience the area's natural splendor in all its glory, ride the Banff Gondola up to the summit of Sulphur Mountain and prepare to be amazed. Exploring the glacial lakes, untouched ice fields and awe-inspiring wildlife in Banff National Park are the main reasons why people visit this region. It's the kind of place that turns a simple vacation into a life-changing adventure. Of course, skiing is the most popular outdoor activity in Banff, and since the season runs all the way until late May, it's surprisingly convenient to plan a Canadian ski getaway for your entire family.

Getting there

Once you've decided on the perfect Canadian travel destination, book your tickets by visiting united.com or by using the newly improved United app.

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