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True North Strong: 5 Top-rated Canadian Destinations

At almost 10 million square kilomtres of land, Canada is a never-ending source of gleaming urban landscapes, exquisite natural wonders and diverse cultures. In fact, you can explore dozens of cities, towns and parks and only scratch the surface of what our amazing country has to offer. But you have to start somewhere! Here are 5 top-rated destinations that’ll make you proud to be Canadian.

Vancouver

Blessed with stately mountains and an endless ocean at its doorstep, Vancouver is the perfect combination of urban and outdoors. For those who love large cities, Vancouver boasts a plethora of outstanding attractions, neighbourhoods, and nightlife. Depending on your interests, you may want to spend a day at the Museum of Anthropology or hang out at Science World. Do some window shopping on Robson Street, then grab a coffee and croissant and watch the world go by. Or stroll along Water Street in Gastown to see the steam clock. You can also try hiking the notoriously steep Grouse Grind or wandering the trails at Pacific Spirit Regional Park. For something a little different, visit the Richmond Night Market where you can sample interesting foods and browse through trinkets in the many stalls that line the streets.

Banff

The resort town of Banff sits within Banff National Park, Canada’s oldest national park and one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions. It’s arguably the heart of the Rocky Mountains, surrounded by majestic, snow-topped peaks and grand turquoise lakes. If you love skiing, you’ll be in heaven. Make Banff your home base and hit the slopes at any one of the three nearby mountain resorts – or try them all! If skiing takes a toll on your quads, head to the Sulphur Mountain Hot Springs for a long, leisurely soak. Or, stay in the town itself. It’s chock full of boutiques, chalets, and cozy places to hang out and relax. All year round, you can take a ride on the Banff gondola for spectacular views that’ll leave you feeling like you’re on top of the world. And that’s a feeling that can’t be beat.

Toronto

As Canada’s largest city, Toronto is urban to the core. But it’s also full of unique neighbourhoods with charming small town vibes. Greektown is a cosmopolitan stretch of the Danorth where you’ll enjoy a lively atmosphere of shops and restaurants with a distinctly Hellenic vibe. As you wander through the bustling markets of Chinatown, you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to an Asian epicentre. And in the Distillery Historic District, you can wander cobblestone streets that have been transformed into a thoughoughly modern hub for arts, culture and entertainment. If you want to escape the bright lights and sounds of the city, you won’t need to go far. Just head to Don River Valley Park. The trail system here consists of paved and single-track dirt trails used by hikers and bikers alike. It’s a well-preserved bit of nature amidst the otherwise dense urban infrastructure.

“When you visit Quebec City, you may feel like you’re not in North America at all.”

Quebec City

When you visit Quebec City, you may feel like you’re not in North America at all. The city’s quaintly charming buildings and streets give it a very European flair. Sitting on the St. Laurence River, this provincial capital is full of great places to explore authentic Quebecois culture. The city centre, known as Vieux-Quebec or Old Quebec, is a UNESCO World Heritage site surrounded by fortification walls that you can walk on. While you’re there, ramble through the streets of Quartier Petit Champlain and climb the Breakneck Stairs – 59 steep steps that were originally constructed in 1635. You can also scope out scores of classic cathedrals, the most famous of which is Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral, located in the heart of the city.

Halifax

When you arrive in Halifax, you can’t help but notice the fresh, salty air and stirring ocean breeze. Situated on the Atlantic Ocean, Halifax is a harbour town and a harbinger of Maritime culture. It’s also the home of the incredible East Coast music scene, with plenty of venues to hear live bands play until the wee hours. While you’re there, you’ll want to sample the seafood – lobsters and oysters and scallops, oh my! And any trip to Halifax is not complete until you try a donair, a beloved late-night snack consisting of shaved roast beef in a pita, topped with a sweet sauce. When you’ve had your fill of fun and food, explore Halifax’s historic side. Sites of historical importance include the Citadel, the Dockyard, and Dingle Tower to name just a few.

When you’re planning a trip, be sure to plan for everything.
Purchasing an AMEX® Travel Insurance1 plan can help secure your travel plans, so you’ll have added tranquility.
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1. AMEX® Travel Insurance is optional group travel insurance underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada. You may contact the insurer at 1-888-877-1710 in Canada and the U.S. or visit www.rsagroup.ca. In this outline, we have given a brief description of just some of the benefits available under AMEX® Travel Insurance. All insurance coverage is subject to the terms and conditions of the Group Policy issued to Amex Bank of Canada and the applicable limitations and exclusions described in the Certificate of Insurance issued upon enrollment. Please read the Certificate of Insurance carefully.

AMEX® Travel Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada. You may contact the insurer at 1-888-877-1710 in Canada and the U.S. or visit www.rsagroup.ca. Amex Bank of Canada identifies insurance providers and products that may be of interest to some of its customers. In this role we do not act as an agent or fiduciary for you, and we may act on behalf of the insurance provider, as permitted by law. We want you to be aware that we receive compensation from insurance providers and our compensation may vary by provider and product. We do not require you to purchase any insurance product, and you may choose to cover your insurance needs from other sources on terms they may make available to you.