Canada, the world's second largest country after Russia, is the kind of holiday destination that meets the requirements of even the fussiest of tourists. It prides itself on possessing a list of what have been claimed as some of the "best places to live on earth" proposing a high standard of living as well as a clean and healthy lifestyle where nature and the outdoors play a vital role in most people's lives. The capital of the country, Ottawa, is one of the places on this list.
In truth, Canada is all about nature and natural resources and you'll realize it as soon as you begin your travels here. Its timeless natural beauty draws in millions of tourists each year alone. It is a kaleidoscope of scenic wonders with snowy mountain ranges, gentle foothills and prairies, serene lakes, raging rivers, and rugged forestlands. On the other hand, where nature is not predominant, you'll find major metropolitan cities like Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg and Vancouver whose quirky streets are modern and lined with cutting-edge structures. In the meantime, given that 50 per cent of Canada's land is made up of forests, nature will never be too far away from where you might be when visiting.
This North American country, situated in the north of the continent is confined by the Arctic Ocean in the north, Greenland to the northeast, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, a 5525-mile-long border with the United States to its south and finally the Pacific Ocean and US Alaskan state towards the west. Within its borders is an immensely multicultural society as Canadians have long promoted an acceptance towards immigration and are generally considered peacemakers and open-minded people. In fact the word Canada means village or settlement which makes sense. Within Canada, there are two dominating languages; English and French. Both England and France, during many centuries, wanted a piece of the New World (North America) and lead to fast-growing settlements of both English and French communities. Whilst most of Canada exhibits a British-like culture, Québec, France's New World, has been able to preserve all of its ties with France from its language to its culture, history, traditions and architecture. It is most certainly a distinct world nestled within another.
Canada is an authentic treasure land of awesome attractions and things to do. From the ultimate backcountry adventure to city-strolling, this country can offer it all. Most of Canada's most celebrated attractions are actually natural sites and unspoiled. One of its iconic jewels is the great Niagara Falls separating the state of Ontario from New York. Here you can amaze yourself with the force of nature from afar or up close if you prefer and get yourself absolutely soaking wet! Much like its southern neighbour, the United States, Canada is ample in natural parks for which it is most known for. Banff Park in the Canadian Rockies of British Columbia is a top family destination all year round where it is possible to come face to face with rare wildlife, flourishing fauna and views over astonishing landscapes. For adrenaline junkies, the Glacier National Park with its dangerous climate and territorial conditions is the place to go. At most natural parks and mountain ranges across the land it is possible to participate in a series of organised activities from skiing, snowboarding hiking, rock climbing, excursions, and even fishing for those that enjoy a soothing afternoon by a lake. The Bay of Fundy between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick is another natural masterpiece where high-tides and fantastic watersports draw in visitors annually. Did you know that it was in Halifax near Bay of Fundy that the infamous Titanic sank? Here you will find the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic that contains artefacts that were once present on the "Ship of Dreams" as well as a memorial.
For man-made attractions head to Toronto and check out what was once the tallest free standing structure in the world, the CN Tower. Stand at the top of the structure and gaze over kilometres of skyline like never before or even dine whilst doing so. For days long of entertainment, Canada offers a number of amusement parks and shopping centres to satisfy the entire family. Alberta province boasts having the biggest shopping mall across the entire continent known as West Edmonton Mall whilst just outside of Toronto is an amusement park with more rollercoasters than any other park in the country called Canada's Wonderland. Given the significance Canada gives to nature, you'll be able to find botanical gardens, zoos and safari parks during your travels which make for the perfect family outing. Check out places like Toronto Zoo, African Lion Safari, Parc Safari, Butchart Gardens and Montreal Botanical Garden.
In terms of events, Canada's annual calendar is pretty much complete. Ranging from internationally acclaimed music festivals like the Montreal Jazz Festival to small events celebrating the changing of seasons, agriculture or the anniversary of a district's historical event, there is something always happening. Canada's most exciting and must-attend event is the Calgary Stampede which is all about cowboys, rodeos, bull riding, bucking broncos and wagon racing. There are also two stand-out carnivals that take place in the country. First there's the Winter Carnival in Québec City with lots of parades, snow slides, boat races, ice sculptures, music, dancing and drinking and secondly the summer Caribana festival in Toronto which celebrates the annual Caribbean Festival and features live music, dance, food and costumes of the Caribbean regions among other cultures which make up the city's multicultural society.
Canada offers countless unique opportunities for travellers of any age and is a destination that will leave you wishing you could stay just a bit longer. It's a real breath of fresh air that guarantees staggering natural sceneries a person normally only gets to see on their computer desktop. It also offers some of the greatest ski slopes in the world, entertaining attractions fit for the entire family plus daring on and off land activities that will awaken your senses and have you waving goodbye to accumulated tension and the worries of your daily routine.