Banff, Alberta, is the base camp to Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies. Skiers and snowboarders can find challenges within the three Banff/Lake Louise ski resorts, while the area offers an assortment of year-round sightseeing and leisure activities. Accommodations range from five-star hotels to private chalets.
Montreal has the Gallic charms of Paris with the language, fine restaurants, historical buildings, and sidewalk cafes, but it’s more casual than its European counterpart. The city’s famed, cobblestoned old town and its restaurants, museums and shops are most popular with visitors, but neighborhoods like the Plateau and St-Denis are increasingly gaining notice.
Canada’s capital is a government town with heavyweight arts, dance and theater offerings. The Sparks Street Pedestrian Mall is a historical street converted into an outdoor pedestrian mall in 1967, and ByWard Market is one of Canada’s oldest and largest public markets, home to museums, cafes, galleries, restaurants, pubs and more. In the winter, Ottawa boasts the world’s longest skating rink, a 4.6-mile stretch of the Rideau Canal, and in the spring it hosts the annual Tulip Festival, when the city is full of millions of blossoming spring flowers.
The capital of Quebec province touts itself as “So Europe, So Close,” and it’s a hard position to argue. Perched atop Cap Diamant, from which it overlooks the St. Lawrence River, Quebec City is the cradle of French civilization in North America and the continent’s only walled city north of Mexico. It has been on Unesco’s World Heritage list since 1985, and it is a showcase of French-inspired architecture, cultural and national treasures.
The fifth-largest city in North America and the largest in Canada, Toronto is a culinary and arts capital, with renowned art galleries, museums, restaurants, sports venues and a theater district. Last year the city welcomed 14.3 million overnight visitors, a new record.
Vancouver offers a bustling, sophisticated city within reach of world-class skiing and other outdoor adventures. Vancouver serves as homeport for many Alaska cruises and is consistently rated as one of the best cities in the world in which to live. Its spectacular scenery, Stanley Park, the Lions Gate Bridge and the Gastown quarter are some of Vancouver’s main attractions. The city is home to the Dine Out Vancouver Festival, Canada’s largest food and drink festival.