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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.
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."
A cosmopolitan city known as the "cultural cradle of Canada," Winnipeg is family friendly with plenty of charm. It boasts a dazzling arts, theatre and indie music scene, as well as lip-smacking dining options to tantalize every taste bud. Experience nine acres of shopping and interactive fun at the Forks Market or explore Winnipeg’s diverse neighborhoods like the historic French Quarter and Exchange District or the boho chic Osborne Village.
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.
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.
Skiiers have flocked to Mont Tremblant since its first chairlift and lodge opened in 1939. Now, though, it's just as popular with snowboarders, who love its 18 acres of ramps, rails and jumps, and its Olympic-caliber superpipe. Don't fret, though, because despite its name, this mountain doesn't actually tremble... unless you've tossed back a few too many in one of the village's bars!
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.