“Oh, Canada!” is the national anthem. Guest poster writes an ode to his country
Canada is one of my very favorite countries on this planet. When I lived on the East Coast, Quebec and the Maritimes were the provinces I visited most frequently. Since moving to Colorado in 1988, I’ve spent more time in Alberta and British Columbia. Canada combines some of the most appealing characterstics of Europe (wonderful, livable cities) and the United States (wide-open countryside). Oceans, lakes, rivers, mountains, prairie — Canada has it all, in abundance. Who can forget Vancouver and Whistler‘s gracious hosting of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, in the face of challenging weather? Canada even has the “good” side of Niagara Falls. Dan Munteau shares suggestions for the top places to visit in his country.
“Come and See: Canada Is Waiting”
Whether you decide to start on the west coast or the eastern side of Canada, this amazing and diverse country offers a lot to see and to experience. From the rural charm of Prince Edward Island to the history of Quebec City, the romance of Niagara Falls, the friendly, international flair of Ottawa, and the recreational beauty of Kelowna, British Columbia, each location offers a unique glimpse into the people and places that make this nation so special.
Prince Edward Island is Canada’s smallest inhabited island, and some would say it is also her greenest. Sitting in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, sea views are everywhere. Getting to the island is no problem. Fly, take a ferry, or drive the 13 km causeway. Once there, you’ll be enchanted by the red sandstone cliffs, sandy beaches, and gentle rolling knolls of farm land. Home of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, visitors can visit Anne’s environment and relive her pastoral growing-up years, even sample “raspberry cordial.” PEI is also known for the abundance of fresh sea-food eateries from casual on-the- beach take-outs to elegant restaurants.
Quebec City has a history that precedes the founding of the country, and this amazing city still captures the feel and flavour of those days long ago. One of the last walled-cities in the world, Quebec City offers visitors a glimpse into the rich French culture of yesterday. At the Place Royale, cobbled streets tie together what may be the oldest neighbourhood in America. The Chateau Frontenac, the most photographed hotel in the world, proudly stands guard over the St Lawrence River. Nearby the Ile d’Orleans recaptures the historic French farming way of life. Montmorency Falls Park has a waterfall that at 83 m. is about 30 m. higher than Niagara Falls—a truly breath-taking sight.
Speaking of Niagara Falls, one of the all-time favourite honeymoon destinations, this place is magical all year long. Free parks offer unlimited opportunity for observing the beauty of the falls day or night, summer or winter. While associated rides and tours usually run from about mid-May to mid-September, there are many other things to do and sights to see. Niagara Aviary and Fallsview Waterpark are sure to entertain all ages. The Seneca Casino and “Oh Canada Eh?” dinner theatre provide even more adult entertainment during your stay. Ripley’s “Believe It Or Not” and the “Wax Museum” are also fun and fascinating.
Ottawa, the capital of Canada, has historic Parliament buildings, the Canadian Aviation museum, the Canadian Museum of Nature, and a host of other sights that attract tourists from around the world. Some would say that Ottawa is at her most beautiful appearance in the lovely days of autumn. However, winter does not slow down the excitement. A winter festival that includes snow sculptures and ice skating on the Rideau Canal can actually make cold weather a good friend. Don’t miss the “Changing of the Guard” ceremonies or the RCMP march when you come to visit.
Kelowna, British Columbia is where Canadians go when they want to play. Nestled in the Okanagan Valley in the very heart of the Rockies, this resort area enjoys a protected existence and lovely summer weather. Famous BC apple crops and wineries abound on the farmland. Hiking and biking in picture-book, pine-scented forests are favourite pastimes. Boating, other water sports on the lakes and beautiful golf courses invite everyone to get involved. This all-season resort area will appeal to every member of your family. Come out west and find this hidden treasure. Canada is waiting.
Dan Munteanu, whoc is passionate about traveling and loves experiencing new cultures, new places and trying out new things, recommends the use of travel insurance, especially for seniors or those with medical concerns. In his free time, blogs about his travel experiences and plans for his future vacations.