This post was written by Ralph Starks, a blogger and traveler who enjoys exploring the world by land in the best ways possible.

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A Quintet of Great Canadian Places to Visit

Canada is famous for its polite and friendly people, and the dramatic natural scenery is no less delightful. Here are five of the best natural (and man-made) places to see when you’re in Canada.

Churchill and the Polar Bears

Many Americans want their first trip to be to Europe but there are major advantages to going elsewhere, such as Canada. Not just because it’s adjacent to the USA (the lack of an intervening ocean is quite convenient), but because it has some great things to see.

Northern Manitoba is not necessarily the first thought that springs to mind when considering holiday destinations, but it does have some very big, and furry, attractions in the form of polar bears. The giant beasts’ migration patterns see them visit close by every fall, and turns Churchill into something of a tourist town. The best months to see these magnificent animals is around October/November, but do be sure to follow all safety guidelines.

The Bay of Fundy

Located in New Brunswick, the Bay of Fundy is famous for its dramatic tides, with the difference between low and high tide as much as 16 meters (52 feet). This tidal variance has helped to carve the Bay of Fundy into a unique and eye-catching series of sea caves, rock formations, and cliffs, perfect for tourists to explore (provided you stay keenly aware of when the tide is due in). Wildlife found in the area include dolphins, humpback whales, and the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale.

And if you’re there, be sure to check out these awesome casinos in New Brunswick to have a great time and see if Lady Luck traveled with you. Maybe you can come back from your trip with a bag of cash!

Banff National Park

Banff National Park is a popular draw for locals and tourists alike and is located within Alberta’s Rocky Mountains. There’s stunning scenery all around, and it’s a great place to stretch your legs amid natural beauty. In addition to relaxing and unwinding away from the stresses of the modern world, there are picture-perfect opportunities, with two lakes in particular standing out.

The southernmost of the pair is Moraine Lake (which is glacier-fed). It’s surrounded by mountains, and has an incredible blue-green hue that makes it amazing for photography (there’s a great place to take pictures at the end of the Rockpile Trail). Lake Louise is not far away, and also has amazing green waters which can be captured at the aptly named Fairview Lookout.

The CN Tower

Located in Toronto, the biggest city in Canada, the CN Tower can be found close to the shoreline of Lake Ontario. It’s an international landmark, piercing the sky to the tune of 553 meters (1,815 feet in old money). Constructed in 1976, the CN Tower was the tallest free-standing building in the world for more than a quarter of a century, and even today remains in the top 10. There’s a spectacular view available for those after a fantastic vista, and there’s even a revolving restaurant where you can sate your appetite and feast your eyes at the same time. If you’re feeling especially brave then try venturing onto the glass floor to get a fantastic view straight down.

Niagara Falls

Ok, technically, you don’t need to be in Canada to see the world’s most renowned water feature, as Niagara Falls is within both the United States and Canada, but if you’re an American visiting the latter anyway then not only are the falls a magnificent site, it can also be a convenient final item on your itinerary before driving back into the USA. On the Canadian side, it’s within an hour’s drive of Toronto, putting it within easy reach of anyone staying in the city.

Niagara Falls is stunningly beautiful, making it ideal for both nature lovers and those who like snapping souvenir photographs. These days it also supplies the local area with clean, hydroelectric power, and the tourists drawn to the three waterfalls that comprise Niagara has seen plenty of attractions spring up nearby, including casinos, a golf course, and Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens.

Whether just popping across the border from the USA or heading all the way to Churchill, Canada is chock full of great places to visit.