Ah Canada, the land of natural wonders, unsurpassed beauty, and majestic road trips. It sounds like a thing of dreams or myths, but I assure you it is a very real and worthwhile travel experience. This year particularly is one of the best opportunities to visit Canada as it celebrates 150 years as an independent country; such a milestone means that there will be a lot of extras thrown in to your Canada travel package for the celebrations.
Although Canada celebrates its 150th as a whole, Montreal celebrates its 375th anniversary since its founding this year as well, meaning more celebration, joie de vivre, and even more reasons to head north this year.
All Canadian National Parks are Free
That’s right, admission into all 46 Canadian National Parks as well as national historic sites and marine conservation areas is completely free this year. You merely apply for your free Parks Canada Discovery Pass on the Government website and then you are free to come and go in the parks as you please.
And when national parks consist of the likes of Banff and Jasper, free admission is merely the icing on the cake. Of course, overnight accommodations need to be taken into account, but there are likely to be 150th deals available for inns and hotels as well.
Alternatively, one of the best ways to experience Canada and its vast national parks is to camp them. Renting an RV, for instance, allows you to sleep directly in the parks, as well as to have kitchen and washroom facilities available at all times; this will also help you cut costs on restaurants and not be bound to stopping at defined camping locations for washroom access.
A Moment for Montreal
Montreal is already heralded as a unique cultural hub of Canada, with its irresistible French charm, its notes of European architecture, and its incredible art, music and gastronomy scene—it’s an unforgettable experience unlike any other in Canada.
Those in the US often head north to Montreal for a little taste of Europe without having to fly overseas, and it has an active festival circuit throughout the year, particularly in the summer. Marking its 375th birthday, Montreal will be hosting numerous civic and cultural events all throughout 2017. The Montreal International Jazz Festival is a huge draw and is expected to be even more extravagant this year. If fine dining, fine wine, and fine music is your thing, then Montreal is the place for you to visit this year.
Celebrating with a Boom
Canada Day (July 1st) is always a met with great excitement in Canada, country wide. The event is celebrated with extravagant firework shows as well as maple leaves and red and white as far as the eye can see.
For the 150th celebration, the nation’s capital, Ottawa, is pulling out all the stops. Expected to be the most over-the-top Canada Day celebration that the country has ever seen, it is well worth it for other firework fans to head into the capital for the warm summer celebrations. Just be sure to head towards Parliament Hill early enough to secure yourself a good vantage point before the massive crowds roll in.
Of course one of the best reasons to visit is for the Canadian culture itself. Not only are Canadians some of the friendliest people that you will ever meet, their Cultural Mosaic ensures an interesting and vibrant mix that includes and celebrates all cultures and heritages. The incredible diversity found all over Canada makes it feel like a place where everyone can belong, unlike their Southern neighbors.
Furthermore, each city has its charm, with distinct draws, arts and culture scenes, and incredible food to be tried. Don’t leave Canada unless you have tried a Beaver Tail in Ottawa and a Poutine in Montreal or Quebec.
Of course, one of the biggest draws is the natural beauty that is everywhere to be seen, changing drastically across the nation, from mountain ranges to plains, wide ocean views and shallow bays. There’s a little something for everyone to enjoy here, and you will be warmly welcomed wherever you go.