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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.
Buffalo is being reborn as a mecca for art, architecture, history, culture, dining and entertainment. Experience Frank Lloyd Wright’s stunning Darwin Martin House Complex and world-class modern art at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Relive part of the city’s incredible history at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site. Explore the emerging Canalside waterfront district, hip Elmwood Village, more than 400 independently owned restaurants (serving our famous chicken wings and more) and nearby Niagara Falls.
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.
Toronto's neighbour Mississauga has more than 480 parks and woodlands for you to explore. Stroll the Waterfront Trail, rent a boat at the marina or spend a day at the racetrack. It's also called Ontario's shopping capital, with everything from shopping centres and outlet malls to picturesque village-style shopping streets.
From family-friendly activities to professional sports, museums and galleries, Rochester has something for everyone. Enjoy the scenic Erie Canal, Genesee River and Lake Ontario. Don't miss the Strong National Museum of Play (America's second-largest children's museum) or the International Museum of Photography. Be sure to sample one of Rochester's famous white hots, Rochester's version of the hotdog! And don't miss the nearby Finger Lakes region, with its wine trails and gorges.
Known for its markets and its striking 19th-century limestone architecture, Kingston is a great base for exploring the Thousand Islands and the St. Lawrence River and its national park. Visit Wolfe Island on the free ferry, or hunt for antiques in nearby villages.
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.
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.
If you’re a history buff and a die-hard foodie, Chicago’s your kind of town. Take an architectural-history walking tour, then dine at Alinea (the most celebrated molecular-gastronomy restaurant in the U.S.). And don’t miss the Museum of Science and Industry, the biggest science museum in the Western Hemisphere.
Quebec City may be the only fortified city north of Mexico, but it welcomes visitors with open arms. Explore the Citadel, where you might catch Canadian troops staging a military ceremony. As for food, you could splurge on afternoon tea at the Chateau Frontenac, or do as the locals do and snack on poutine—french fries with gravy and cheese curds.
Anne of Green Gables! There, we got that out of the way. Besides chasing the famous fictional heroine, you'll find Charlottetown's own history, culture and nightlife keep you more than busy. Enjoy outdoor activities from golfing to boardwalk strolls and biking by day, and theatre and performance arts by night.
Soaring mountains, jewel-coloured lakes and pristine wilderness await you in Canada’s first National Park. The irresistible beauty of the landscape invites travellers to immerse themselves in the outdoors all year round — whether hiking through untouched forests and paddling the turquoise lakes in summertime, or skiing the slopes and soaking in the steamy hot springs during the winter. Travellers also enjoy the warm hospitality of Banff or Lake Louise, the region’s charming mountain townships.
Located on the sunny Lake Okanagan, Kelowna offers a cure for whatever ails you. Spend the weekend golfing, relaxing on the beach or exploring a nature trail. The Okanagan Valley is chock-full of orchards, while many local vineyards offer wine tasting and tours. Stop at the mid-19th-century Father Pandosy Mission for a glimpse of Kelowna's history, then plan a moonlit cruise on the lake to end your day.
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.)
It’s nicknamed the Eternal City for a reason. In Rome, you can drink from a street fountain fed by an ancient aqueduct. Or see the same profile on a statue in the Capitoline Museum and the guy making your cappuccino. (Which, of course, you know never to order after 11 am.) Rome is also a city of contrasts—what other place on earth could be home to both the Vatican and La Dolce Vita?