Canada, America’s neighbor to the North, offers families a wide range of vacation opportunities. Here are five regions to consider:
1. Alberta. Home to Banff and Jasper national parks, this massive western province is an outdoor adventurer’s dream destination. Expect snowy mountains, golden plains, evergreen forests and endless blue skies. All that, plus more than 300 days of sunshine each year. Canada’s fastest growing city, Calgary, offers visitors plenty, including the famous Calgary Stampede.
2. British Columbia.The Inside Passage, a scenic chain of channels, bays and islands on Canada’s Pacific coastline, is popular with kayakers, whale watchers, birders, boaters and adventurers. You’ll also want to put the cities of Vancouver and Victoria on your radar. Both urban areas offer hip dining with fresh seafood and farm-to-table offerings as well as and museums of interest to every age group.
3. Manitoba. If you yearn to see polar bears in the wild, Churchill, in northern Manitoba, is the place to be. Located on the migration route between the bear dens and their feeding grounds, the town is ground zero for those who want the chance to learn about the animals in their native environment. In the summer months, there are the northern lights and beluga whale watching.
4. Prince Edward Island. Literary fans make their way to P.E.I. to see the sites portrayed in "Anne of Green Gables" and to learn more about author Lucy Maud Montgomery. Visit the old farmhouse, where much of the 1908 novel was set, and take part in activities at the Green Gables Heritage Place that include ice-cream-making demonstrations, safe races, hiking on nature trails and carriage rides.
5. Yukon. This fabled territory, wild, mountainous and sparsely populated, attracts adventuresome souls eager for wide-open spaces, outdoor adventure and quirky bits of history. Make your way to Dawson City, at the confluence of the Klondike and Yukon Rivers, to learn about the Gold Rush days. Hiking, fishing, cycling, canoeing and dog sledding are among the popular activities in the region.