(NC) With the low Canadian dollar and seasonal commitments for everything from weddings to camp programs keeping you at home this summer, why not take the opportunity to explore a city right here in our home and native land? Here’s a handy guide to 5 great Canadian cities that are perfect for that last-minute getaway and offer the best in food, culture and unique experiences.
- Calgary: If there you want to follow in the royal footsteps of Kate Middleton and Prince William, you only need one reason to visit this Albertan city — its world-famous Calgary Stampede which happens every July. Also enjoy breathtaking views at the Calgary Tower, visit your favourite animal at the Calgary Zoo and revel in first-rate shopping and dining on Stephen Avenue. Stay at the Calgary Marriot Downtown hotel and be close to it all.
Quebec City: This provincial capital has more to offer than wintertime Carnaval. For culture, check out the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec or the Musée de la civilisation, and for animals visit the Parc Aquarium du Québec. Don’t forget to tour architectural buildings like the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. Visit late June for the Saint Jean Baptiste Day celebrations or in July for the Quebec City Summer Festival.
Toronto: Explore the southern tip of the city by staying at the sleek Delta Toronto Hotel, and be at the heart of Toronto’s top attractions including the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium and Harbourfront Centre. Plan your trip to catch your favourite artist in concert at nearby Air Canada Centre or Rogers Centre, or to cheer on a Torontonian sports team on home turf.
Ottawa: Our national capital is a must-visit any time of year. Explore world-class museums like the National Gallery of Canada, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum and the Canadian Museum of History, which is technically in Quebec but only a short walk across a beautiful bridge away. For nightlife and great dining, head over to ByWard Market — the Heart and Crown is a local favourite with delicious pub fare. Bonus tip: Parliament Hill tours are free but fill up quickly so be sure to come early morning to reserve your spot.
Vancouver: The gorgeous west coast locale plans to become the greenest city in the world by 2020. Get in touch with nature with Vancouver’s close proximity to oceans, mountains, river and lakes. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, know that Vancouver is the home port for Alaska cruises now through October.
Pro saving tip: Nowadays most people book their hotel online, but you can find the best rates and special promotions to earn points for future stays by going directly to the hotel’s website. Find ways to save on your hotel stay at these and other cities in Canada at www.marriott.com/rewards/promotion.mi?promotion=SB16.