Whistler ski resort.

Embrace the great outdoors, tour world-class museums and enjoy wine tastings without bursting your budget in popular hot spots across Canada. (Getty Images)

With cosmopolitan cities, renowned wine regions, historic landmarks and a wide array of outdoor activities, the Great White North lures travelers of all ages and interests. From Ontario to British Columbia, Québec to Nova Scotia, there are diverse destinations to explore and hundreds of can't-miss attractions – from iconic museums to sprawling open-air markets – that make Canada an enticing place to visit. And thanks to the advantageous exchange rate against the U.S. dollar, visiting Canada's hot spots doesn't have to break the bank. Without further ado, here are five reasons to plan a trip to Canada in 2016.

A Favorable Exchange Rate

There's never been a better time for budget travelers to head north. Currently, $1 U.S. dollar is equal to about $1.4 Canadian dollars, making 2016 a great time to plan a wallet-friendly getaway. You can put the savings towards meals, shopping and adventurous activities. Plus, you can snag hotel steals and cruise deals.

Canadian Hospitality

Canadians have long garnered a reputation as some of the friendliest people on the planet. You can expect plenty of warm smiles and genuine hospitality. And if you find yourself in a tricky situation, chances are, congenial locals will help you navigate their city and lift your spirits. What's more, the cheeriness you encounter may help you better connect with locals and engage with your surroundings.

Diverse Attractions and World-Class Wine Regions

There are so many reasons to visit Canada, but Ontario, with its world-class wine regions, sandy shorelines and culture-rich destinations, stands apart from the pack. If you follow the shoreline of Lake Ontario, you'll segue from iconic Niagara Falls to Toronto, Canada's largest urban cultural center. Beyond the roaring falls of Niagara, there are an abundance of thrilling attractions, including casinos, picturesque cycling trails, pristine golf courses and over 70 wineries. Toronto also boasts global culinary offerings, diverse shopping areas and exciting nightlife and arts scenes. Another notable destination is Ottawa, which houses the Rideau Canal, Ontario's only UNESCO World Heritage site. Plus, Ottawa's countryside offers spectacular backdrops for scenic drives and boasts kid-friendly farms, charming small villages and whitewater rafting opportunities. And while adventurous types explore the region, wine lovers can explore Ontario's versatile wine regions and enjoy vineyard-hopping, before settling down for lunch or dinner at the vineyard of their choice.

Top-Notch Skiing

In winter, one of the most popular pastimes in Canada is skiing. And though there are many standout ski spots in Canada, Banff and Whistler are consistent favorites among winter-weather sports enthusiasts. In fact, Banff National Park has one of the longest ski seasons in North America, lasting from mid-November to late May. And because winter in Banff National Park is the area's low season, ski resorts offer off-season pricing and the lift lines tend to be shorter than popular ski retreats across the U.S. Meanwhile, Whistler, with its majestic mountains and well-groomed trails, has been beckoning to powder-seekers for decades. And thanks to its ideal skiing conditions and convenient location, less than two hours away from Vancouver, Whistler is an easily accessible, year-round ski destination.

A Blend of Urban and Outdoor Splendors

Vancouver has long been called "Hollywood North," and for good reason. The city often appears as the picturesque backdrop for major motion pictures and acclaimed television series and is renowned for its high-end boutique shops. Plus, the city offers a mix of natural beauty and urban charms, including luxury spas, a vibrant culinary scene, trendy nightclubs and beautiful beaches like English Bay, Kitsilano and Ambleside. While art connoisseurs and fashionistas check out buzzy art galleries, funky independent boutiques and vibrant markets, outdoor enthusiasts can venture to the city's spectacular parks and diverse neighborhoods, Best of all, the city's well-situated location on the western side of Canada makes it an ideal launching pad for daytrips around the countryside.  

 

Tags: travel, Canada, vacations


Mosaka Williamson is an award-nominated travel writer specializing in luxury, culinary, beauty and adventure travel. She is the Editor of Socially Superlative, part of Mode Media. You can follow her on Instagram @sociallysuperlative, connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her blog on Twitter.

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