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The Okanagan Valley, in the interior of British Columbia, is a popular Canadian vacation destination known for skiing in the winter and watersports in the summer. The area's quaint towns and lush vineyards are connected by a network of clear blue lakes and rivers and surrounded by rolling, sun-dappled hills. Head to Kelowna for one of several wine festivals or to Penticton for the sugary summer Peach Festival. To the south is Osoyoos, home to an arid desert filled with rare plants and animals.
Nestled between the Okanagan Lake to the north and Skaha Lake to the south, Penticton is a vibrant Rocky Mountain city offering no shortage of things to do, from hiking or biking the Kettle Valley Trail to skiing Apex Mountain to climbing the Skaha Bluffs. For a more relaxed vacation, Penticton boasts 28 golf courses, including 7 championship courses, and is home to 88 wineries and plenty of fruit orchards. Join residents in celebrating the annual harvest at the wildly popular Peach Festival.
Although perhaps less flashy than its southern Okanagan neighbors Kelowna and Penticton, Vernon is a year round getaway offering an abundance of fun attractions from sunny beaches and golf courses in the summer to powdery ski slopes in the winter. The area's back country trails provide great exploration points, whether by bike, horseback riding, hiking, snowshoeing or snowmobiling. The pristine scenery of the Rockies surrounds the valley's plentiful vineyards.
Boasting rolling hills, two converging rivers, 82 parks, a sparkling lake and world class sporting facilities, Kamloops is a paradise for the active traveler. One of Canada's sunniest destinations, Kamloops enjoys on average over 2000 hours of sunshine a year and makes the perfect spot for a round of golf, a rugged bike ride through the hills or an exhilarating excursion to nearby downhill or cross country skiing facilities.
What happens when a "gassy" Englishman rows into town feeling thirsty? A pub is born. And from that a city—in this case Vancouver. Though the pubs are plentiful, food and drink aren’t the only things to take in during your trip. In its 150 years, Vancouver has grown into a cosmopolitan city nestled in the great outdoors. Enjoy the snow-capped mountains, waterfront forests, cityside beaches, Olympic history and the world’s highest suspension bridge. Hipsters welcome. (Don’t worry, they don’t bite.)
Is there any possible way Las Vegas could not be on our "best nightlife" list? The only way we could possibly omit it is on a technicality—since you can do pretty much anything 24/7 in Vegas, it might be wrong to call it "nightlife."
We've heard Toronto described as "New York City run by the Swiss," and it's true—you can find world-class theatre, shopping and restaurants here, but the sidewalks are clean and the people are friendly. The best place to start is literally at the top—the CN Tower, the tallest freestanding structure in the Western Hemisphere.
We won't lie: Niagara Falls is uber-touristy. There are wax museums and a Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum, and if it's a fast-food chain, you can probably find it here. But even the most jaded hipster shouldn't pass up a chance to visit this town, because the Falls themselves are spectacular.
Ottawa is a compact, clean, cleverly planned centre of culture and politics. And it's an ideal choice for a weekend getaway. Start downtown at the architecturally stunning National Gallery of Canada, and don't miss the Canadian Nature Museum and the National Aviation Museum. Rideau Canal offers boating in the summer and ice-skating in the winter. Gatineau Park attracts cyclists and walkers, while Byward Market blends old and new Ottawa.
New Orleans is full of life—but with a laid-back energy that sets it apart from other cities. You’ll wanna soak it all in: impromptu jazz performances up and down Frenchmen Street, the ding of the St. Charles Streetcar, moss-draped trees in the famous Garden District…even its gothic, above-ground cemeteries. (The city’s said to be one of the most haunted in America.) For some, NOLA will always be all about Bourbon Street, but for travellers looking to take it slow, the city’s distinct blend of cultures—including Creole and Cajun—means there’s tons to see, explore, and yes, eat.
Montreal, c’est si bon! This French-speaking city is considered the cultural capital of Canada, and is a cosmopolitan celebration of Québécois style. A horse-drawn carriage ride around the cobblestone streets and grand buildings of Vieux-Montréal will give you a taste of European flavour. The Basilique Notre-Dame is a confection of stained glass, and the Plateau Mont-Royal district will delight you with its quaint boutiques and cafés. Dig in to a massive plate of poutine to fuel up for a tour of the epic Olympic Park.
The first time you go to New York, go ahead and be a sight-seer—everyone should visit the Statue of Liberty, the Met, Times Square, etc. But on a return trip, pick a neighbourhood and go deep. You’ll find hole-in-the-wall bars, great delis, quirky shops… exploring the non-touristy side of New York is an incredibly rewarding experience for a traveller.
From the Magic Kingdom to magical spa treatments, Orlando sparkles with the promise of adventure. Spend a day exploring the world-famous Disney theme parks or screaming your head off on a Universal Studios roller coaster. For a less adrenaline-pumping afternoon, enjoy the quiet natural beauty of the Harry P. Leu Gardens or enjoy a seaweed scrub at a luxury day spa. Savor fresh and local ingredients at one of Orlando’s James Beard-nominated restaurants.