Bounded by the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic oceans, Canada is a land of extraordinary natural beauty, with dramatic land and seascapes, and vibrant cosmopolitan cities. The country is divided into 10 provinces and 3 territories.
The heart of Canada's maritime provinces, Nova Scotia has brooding landscapes, wild seacoasts, and historic fishing villages. Its name means New Scotland, after all. Centered on a beautiful natural harbor, Halifax is one of Canada's most charming small cities, with an abundance of 19th-century stone architecture.
Wedged between the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick is truly maritime. At Fundy National Park, you can view some of the world's most powerful tides along a wilderness coastline. Grand Manan and Campobello Islands are famed for wildlife and birding opportunities. The cities of Fredericton and Saint John ooze historic charm.
Prince Edward Island
Canada's smallest province is a green and bucolic island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence that's seemingly far from the stress and hurry of one's regular life. The capital city of Charlottetown is a lovely brick-built city clustered around a quiet bay, but the real attraction here is the surrounding countryside covered with farms (a setting that served as the inspiration for Anne of Green Gables) and the beaches along the island's north coast.
Newfoundland & Labrador
So remote that part of the province occupies its own time zone, Newfoundland and Labrador form Canada's wild east. Rocky and windswept, its long history includes the Vikings and other seafaring adventurers. Today, craggy fishing villages, and the austere tablelands and fjords of Gros Morne National Park, attract travelers who value isolation and dramatic landscapes.
Canada's French-speaking homeland, Québec boasts two fascinating cities. Montréal, in many ways the cultural center of Canada, has a rich history, excellent food, a vibrant arts scene, and an indomitable sense of style. Québec City is at once a modern capital and one of the most historic cities in North America. Dating from the 17th century, it is the only walled city north of Mexico.
A vast province dominated by the Great Lakes, Ontario is home to Ottawa, the governmental capital of Canada, and Toronto, the country's bustling business capital. To the west is farmland and Stratford, home to the world-class Stratford Festival, famed for its theatrical performances.
Dominated by its capital, hardworking but artsy Winnipeg, Manitoba is the land bridge between eastern and western Canada. Half farmland, half lake, the province is Canada's heartland. Winnipeg has long been a center for trade, transport, and industry; more recently, it's become a scrappy Mecca for the arts, with great galleries, classical music and dance institutions, and a rousing rock-band subculture.
Located where the Great Plains meet the northern arboreal forests, Saskatchewan is too easily neglected as the flyover province. In fact, its immigrant pioneer history is fascinating, and its two largest cities, Regina and Saskatoon, boast excellent hotels and restaurants. To the north, Prince Albert National Park preserves a vast expanse of linked lakes where the prairies meet the northern forests.
Famed for the stunning scenery of the Canadian Rockies, Alberta boasts Banff and Jasper national parks, which contain some of the most dramatic mountain landscapes on Earth. Calgary is a gleaming metropolis, with impressive hotels and restaurants, and a Texas-like Western swagger. Out on the eastern prairies, paleontologists -- and eager travelers -- unearth fossils at digs near the dinosaur capital of Drumheller.
BC is Canada's California. In this most westerly province, Vancouver is one of the most cosmopolitan of North American cities, facing as much to Asia as to traditional cultural centers along the Atlantic seaboard. Victoria is a city of genteel English ways, while the rugged Pacific coast is a haven for outdoor adventurers.
Born of a gold rush, the Yukon preserves its historic prospecting past at former mining camps such as Whitehorse and Dawson City. The rip-snorting days of gambling halls, dog sledding, and claim jumping isn't history yet here, and the Yukon makes an excellent destination for travelers of all interests. To the north, seasonal roads lead past the Arctic Circle to the tundra of the far north.
The Northwest Territories
Vast and largely untracked, the Northwest Territories encompass the outback fishing nirvanas of Great Slave Lake and Great Bear Lake. Yellowknife is its bustling capital, still proud of its rich mining heritage. Near the mouth of the mighty Mackenzie River, Inuvik and other Inuvialuit settlements are centers of traditional northern life.
Canada's newest territory, Nunavut is the Inuit homeland, encompassing Arctic Ocean islands and coastline. The population and cultural center is Baffin Island, where alluring Native art and Ice Age landscapes draw adventurous travelers.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.