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Surrounded on almost all sides by water, Port Townsend offers many places to launch your vessel of choice, from rowing scull to yacht. Frequent races, regattas and the annual Wooden Boat Festival testify to the relationship between land and sea. For the land lubbers, there are also numerous parks surrounding the city, including Fort Worden and Old Fort Townsend State Parks and, further away, Olympic National Forest. An artists' haven, the town is home to many galleries and a vibrant Art Walk.
The Pacific Northwest scarcely gets more peaceful than unspoiled Bellingham, a bustling city nestled in the Bellingham Bay. Nature abounds in all directions surrounding this coastal paradise. The waters of the Pacific offer opportunities for whale watching, cruising to Friday Harbor or visiting the Canadian city of Victoria. To the east, Mt. Baker beckons skiers and snowboarders to its slopes. The city itself is alive with vibrant theater, historical museums, gourmet restaurants and fine arts.
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.)
Seattle's petite downtown area and many attractions make it possible to pack a week’s experience into a weekend. Grab a latte and start at the world-famous Pike Place Market. Watch the fish fly and then head to the Space Needle for a dramatic view of the city and its surrounding waters. Return to earth and jump aboard a moonlit dinner cruise to Blake Island or canoe through the arbouretum.
As North America’s northernmost large metropolis, Edmonton is a fascinating study in contrasts — a vibrant urban centre in the heart of the wilderness. It’s a city that’s never been afraid to do things a little differently, as visitors discover through close encounters with free-roaming bison, a shopping mall that spans more than 48 city blocks, and a dynamic arts and culture scene that embraces more than 40 annual festivals, including the continent’s biggest and wildest Fringe Theatre Festival.
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.
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.
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.
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.
travellers say Halifax is best seen on foot, so park the car and start walking. Immerse yourself in Halifax's rich history at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, and be sure to survey the city from the 18th-century Citadel National Historic Site. Then walk into any of Halifax's great bars and restaurants and catch some live music to round out your day.