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Heading North to Canada This Summer

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Travelers who want to visit a foreign country on their summer vacation but stay relatively close to home should check out the incredible variety that Canada has to offer tourists.

Our neighbor to the north is a place of great diversity—from French-influenced Montreal and Quebec City to bustling Toronto to breathtaking Vancouver. With a favorable exchange rate, the U.S. dollar goes far in Canada buying approximately $1.30 Canadian.

Montreal has all the attractions of a major metropolitan area —easy to reach from U.S. cities, great restaurants and lots of hotel options. But the charming Old Town, filled with shops and cafes, will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a French village. Be sure to visit the majestic Notre-Dame Basilica while you’re there. From July 13 to Aug. 1, Montreal plays host to the Just for Laughs festival, with an extensive lineup of comedians as well street performers and plenty of food. The beautiful botanical garden is a short subway ride from the city center, and you’ll walk right by the Olympic Stadium where the 1976 Summer Games were held. 

For a bigger taste of French culture, head three hours north of Montreal to enchanting Quebec City, on the St. Lawrence River, one of North America’s oldest settlements. Walk the cobblestone streets of the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, filled with 17th- and 18th-century houses, as well as churches, museums, bistros and shops. In the summer, you’ll find actors in period costume, acrobats and musicians. Towering above the city is the historic and luxurious Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, one of the world’s most iconic hotels which opened in 1893. Quebec City is also the site of a summer music festival, which takes places July 7–17 and offers sounds from rock ‘n’ roll to jazz.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city, located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. It’s filled with eclectic neighborhoods to explore, like the colorful Kensington Market. Like the United States, Canada is a country of immigrants and that’s reflected in the great variety of Toronto’s restaurants. One of the city’s more unusual attractions is the Bata Shoe Museum, which displays footwear from around the world.  From June 11 to Aug. 14, the museum will feature an exhibit on “The Rise of Sneaker Culture.” Finally, don’t leave Toronto without checking the view from the 1,815-foot CN Tower, the tallest freestanding structure in the Western Hemisphere.

On Canada’s West Coast, Vancouver is a bustling seaport surrounded by mountains. As one of Canada’s most vibrant and diverse cities, there’s always something special going on. From July 23–30, Vancouver is home to the Celebration of Light, a competition involving fireworks set to music. Granville Island, a former industrial site, has been reclaimed and is home to restaurants and galleries, as well as a brewery and one of North America’s best open-air markets. For a unique experience, and if heights don’t bother you, take a walk across the suspension bridge high above Vancouver’s Capilano River.

For help planning a trip to Canada, contact us today at: 719-597-0004.

© Travel Leaders Group