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Best Places to Visit in Canada

From the cosmopolitan streets of Toronto to the mountain peaks of the Canadian Rockies, our neighbor to the north features a diverse set of vacation destinations. Deciding which one is perfect for your next getaway can be difficult. That's why U.S. News considered several factors, such as affordability, entertainment options and diversity of hotels and resorts, as well as user votes and expert opinions, to compile a list of the best places to visit in Canada. Vote for your favorite below to have a say in next year's list. And if you're seeking lodging, see our Best Hotels in Canada ranking » (Note: Some of the below destinations may be affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Check with the CDC and the U.S. Department of State before traveling.)


Best Places to Visit in Canada

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    Jasper National Park

    #1 in Best Places to Visit in Canada

    As the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies, Jasper is ripe for exploration. When you're not hiking through Maligne Canyon, whitewater rafting down the Athabasca River or snapping photos of Spirit Island, you can enjoy a bird's-eye view of the beautiful scenery from the Jasper SkyTram. Keep your eyes peeled for the 53 species of mammals that call this Alberta park home, including black bears, cougars and bighorn sheep.

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    #2 in Best Places to Visit in Canada

    Nestled amid the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, this tiny mountain town in Alberta appeals to both nature enthusiasts and luxury-seekers. Visitors can spend their days skiing or hiking at Banff National Park and floating down the Bow River before retiring to one of the several opulent hotels for some spa therapy. Daytrips to popular attractions like the Columbia Icefield and Moraine Lake cannot be left off of your itinerary.

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    Niagara Falls

    #3 in Best Places to Visit in Canada

    Travel to this Ontario destination to see and capture photos of its iconic natural attraction. Hop on a Maid of the Mist boat to admire (and feel) the power of the falls up close. After you've gotten thoroughly soaked, explore the area's other top attractions, such as the Niagara Glen Nature Reserve, which offers a variety of hiking trails. When you've had your fill of nature, head to nearby wineries or test Lady Luck at the casinos.

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    #4 in Best Places to Visit in Canada

    A trip to Vancouver is all about embracing the outdoors. Vancouverites spend their days skiing on Grouse Mountain, swimming at Kitsilano Beach and strolling through sprawling Stanley Park. Plus, this British Columbia city offers plenty of cultural attractions, including museums and outdoor markets (Granville Island is a must-see). If you're not afraid of heights, head about 5 miles north of the city center to the Capilano Suspension Bridge, which straddles 230 feet above the Capilano River.

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    #5 in Best Places to Visit in Canada

    Montreal is a city of juxtaposition: Skyscrapers rub elbows with Old Montreal's 17th-century architecture, while the familiar sounds of English intermingle with the foreign buzz of French. Visit Old Montreal to get a taste of Europe (think: beautiful architecture and cobblestone streets), then head to modern attractions, such as the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. If you're visiting during the warmer months, don't miss out on the Montreal Botanical Garden or panoramic views of the city from atop Parc du Mont-Royal.

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    Quebec City

    #6 in Best Places to Visit in Canada

    A trip to Europe may not be in your budget, but a visit to Québec City could be. This Canadian city charms its visitors with its picturesque centuries-old buildings that make up Old Québec – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Meanwhile, the aromas of freshly baked bread and brewing espresso fill the cobblestone streets of the Quartier Petit-Champlain with the essence of Paris. Once you've gotten your fill of the city, take a trip to Montmorency Falls Park to marvel at its 272-foot-tall waterfall.

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    Victoria & Vancouver Island

    #7 in Best Places to Visit in Canada

    While Montreal and Québec City honor Canada's French roots, Victoria pays tribute to the country's British heritage. Many visit British Columbia's capital for afternoon tea, a tour of the beautiful Parliament Buildings or a history lesson at the Royal British Columbia Museum. Others are interested in sampling Vancouver Island's wineries. Meanwhile, animal lovers enjoy the abundance of marine wildlife that call the waters surrounding Victoria home. In fact, there are more than 80 orca whales in Victoria's waters.

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    Prince Edward Island

    #8 in Best Places to Visit in Canada

    Home to rolling green hills, red sandstone cliffs and a delicious bounty of seafood, Prince Edward Island is the place to travel for a relaxing respite from Canada's more adventure-driven destinations. When you're not enjoying the beach, perfect your swing at one of the island's golf courses. And be sure to keep an eye out for PEI's seal population (four kinds call the island home either full- or part-time).

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    Gros Morne National Park

    #9 in Best Places to Visit in Canada

    This UNESCO World Heritage Site encompasses nearly 458,000 acres on Newfoundland's west coast. Its top activity is undoubtedly hiking the Tablelands. Here, you'll traverse exposed earth mantle, a rust-colored landscape that was created millions of years ago by a collision of tectonic plates. Equally impressive: a boat ride through Western Brook Pond, which is a glacier-carved, landlocked fjord that features cascading waterfalls measuring 2,000 feet.

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    #10 in Best Places to Visit in Canada

    Take adventure travel up a notch with a visit to Whistler. This resort town in British Columbia boasts everything from skiing and snowboarding to bobsled rides and bungee jumping. Travelers can spend their downtime in Whistler Village enjoying the après-ski scene or strolling through Whistler Olympic Plaza. Meanwhile, warm-weather visitors can explore Brandywine Falls Provincial Park, home to the 230-foot-tall waterfall from which the park gets its name.

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    #11 in Best Places to Visit in Canada

    "Big" doesn't even begin to describe this Ontario city. With cultural pockets like Greektown, Little India and Koreatown all within city limits, Toronto has the ability to transport visitors around the globe. Take it all in with a ride up the 1,815-foot-tall CN Tower or enjoy a quintessentially Canadian experience at the Hockey Hall of Fame. Then, head to the St. Lawrence Market to sample gourmet goodies, and if the weather is right, visit the Toronto Islands.

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    Cape Breton Highlands National Park

    #12 in Best Places to Visit in Canada

    The star of this national park on Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Island is the world-famous Cabot Trail – one-third of which runs through the park. As you drive the winding highway – considered one of the world's most scenic drives – you'll pass forested river canyons, rural fishing villages and plenty of lookout points for admiring the landscape. Prefer to explore the park on your own two feet? There are 26 hiking trails to choose from.

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    #13 in Best Places to Visit in Canada

    Located northwest of Montreal in Quebec's Laurentian Mountains, Mont-Tremblant is best known for its skiing, specifically Mont Tremblant Ski Resort, which occupies the highest peak in the mountain range. But warm-weather visitors are equally enchanted thanks to the Parc national du Mont-Tremblant, which boasts six rivers and 400 lakes and streams, not to mention countless hiking trails and beaches. Horseback riding, fishing and mountain biking are all popular here thanks to the area's diverse landscape.

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    #14 in Best Places to Visit in Canada

    Billed as the "small city with a big backyard," Whitehorse – the capital of Canada's Yukon territory – shines with all of its outdoor activities. Explore Miles Canyon, which is accessible from Whitehorse by foot (a nearly 10-mile loop trail connects the city directly to this natural wonder). After, head north to the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, where you'll find all kinds of animals, including arctic foxes, elk, muskox and bison, to name a few. Even though this region gets notoriously cold, you might want to time your visit around the first couple of weeks of winter to witness the northern lights.

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    Okanagan Valley

    #15 in Best Places to Visit in Canada

    Stretching across more than 155 miles of British Columbia, the Okanagan Valley is home to 84% of the province's vineyard acreage and features nearly 200 wineries. There are also a variety of subregions in the valley, each promising its own unique experiences. If you are looking to combine wine tasting with outdoor pursuits, visit Naramata Beach. This area is packed with wineries and offers everything from kayaking to mountain biking. No matter which area you visit, you'll enjoy spectacular views that rival those of the world's best wine regions.

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