United States Travel Guide

United States Tours Highlights

  • Explore the many National Parks and National Forests the USA has to offer, like Yellowstone National Park, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Zion.
  • New England is steeped in history and known for its amazing fall foliage.
  • Alaska is full of wildlife, natural beauty, huge glaciers, and friendly people.
  • The Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Festival is one of the largest. Travel to New Mexico for this colorful aerial extravaganza.
  • Discover the major cities in Texas. Stand in Dallas where Kennedy was shot, see the behind the scenes of NASA in Houston, and walk the San Antonio river walk.
  • Stroll around the French Quarter in New Orleans to hear Jazz music, eat delicious Cajun food, and visit unique landmarks.
  • Honky-tonk lovers will love Tennessee, where legends like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash come alive.
  • Island hop around Hawaii to see volcanoes, beaches, and forests. Spend time at Pearl Harbor and visit the USS Arizona Memorial.
  • The west coast is full of fresh cityscapes, sun-kissed seaside cliffs, and rolling hills.
  • Follow legendary Route 66 and see how Americans traveled from the 1920s through the 1960s.

United States Travel Tips

  • If you already live states side, a lot of the same cultural norms stand true throughout the United States.
  • You’ll find large portioned meals everywhere you go. Any sit down restaurant and anywhere you order a drink, tipping at least 20% is normal.
  • It is common to find public bathrooms that are free to use.
  • The United States is a huge country. The weather can vary greatly so plan ahead.
  • Respect people’s personal space when in public areas or on public transportation.
  • The US dollar is accepted everywhere in the United States and no other form of currency is used. Carry some cash to grab a coffee or buy other small items.
  • Beggars are common in high traffic areas. Most people suggest ignoring any solicitations for money.
  • Americans drive on the right side of the road and the driver sits on the left side of the car.
  • The United States uses the metric system for nearly everything.
  • It is likely that English will be the only language people speak. It best to learn some conversation English to communicate.

TOP THINGS TO DO IN THE UNITED STATES

1. STAND IN AWE IN THE NATIONAL PARKS

NATIONAL PARK

The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion, and Bryce Canyon really do live up to their expectation. Each one has scenic overlooks, hiking trails, and tons of natural beauty. Choose from over 60 National Parks and experience some of the great wonders of the world.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • There are many National Parks spread out around the country. Pick your favorites and travel to ones that are also close by.
  • A tour is usually necessary to learn about the history of each of the parks.

2. VISIT THE STATUE OF LIBERTY

STATUE OF LIBERTY

Lady Liberty is an American icon located in New York Harbor. The copper statue was a gift from the people of France in 1886. She is engraved with the Roman numerals of the date of the US’s Declaration of Independence. She is located near Ellis Island, where immigrants would first arrive when they came by sea. You can walk around the State and even go inside for great views of the iconic New York skyline.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • You need to take a boat to the Statue of Liberty because she is located on an island
  • If you want to go inside the State, you have 2 options. A pedestal only ticket, which gets you halfway up, or a crown ticket, which gets you all the way to the top.
  • Prepare to go through 2 rounds of airport-like security to go to the island and to go inside the Statue.

3. WALK ACROSS THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE

GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE

This huge suspension bridge is a mile long and located in the San Francisco Bay over the Pacific Ocean. Opened in 1937, this is one of the most famous and recognizable bridges in the world. Under the bridge is Fort Point National Historic Site, a free NPS location that offers both interesting history and a scenic view.

BEST TIME TO VISIT        

Summer months are the best time to visit because the weather is warm. Keep in mind fog can obstruct your view early in the morning, so afternoons are best. For great views, go at sunset.

4. LEARN ABOUT US HISTORY IN WASHINGTON DC

WASHINGTON DC

Washington DC is the nation’s capital and full of government buildings including the US Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court. One of the world’s largest libraries, the Library of Congress, is a huge research library that contains one of the Gutenberg Bibles. The National Mall is the park area located between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • All the Smithsonian Museums are free, as well as a lot of the government buildings. However, some exhibits might require a reserved ticket ahead of time.
  • Check calendars for any closures on public holidays.
  • Located outside of DC, Arlington National Cemetery and Mount Vernon are popular sites to visit.

5. SEE THE HUGE MOUNT RUSHMORE MEMORIAL

MOUNT RUSHMORE

Mount Rushmore is an enormous sculpture carved into the face of a mountain in South Dakota. It depicts the 60-foot heads of four US presidents, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. There are trails to walk around to view the flora and fauna of the area.

BEST TIME TO VISIT        

Summer months are very popular, but any sunny day is a great time to visit. Spring and Fall have great temperatures and will have lighter crowds.

6. ISLAND HOP IN HAWAII

HAWAII

Visit active volcanoes, beautiful beaches, nature preserves with wildlife, historical memorials, and forests full of walking trails and waterfalls. Go to Honolulu and see Pearl Harbor National Memorial and learn about the attacks in 1941. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park encompasses two active volcanoes with dramatic views and lots of rare flora and fauna.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Rainy season is considered to be from November to March, but there are many parts of Hawaii that won’t receive a lot of rainfall. The Springtime and Fall are both wonderful times to visit.  

7. WANDER AROUND THE FRENCH QUARTER                   

The French Quarter is a popular buzzing area of New Orleans. This city square is the oldest section of New Orleans. The area has historical buildings, lots of restaurants and bars, street art and performers, and a huge church, St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square. Stop by Café du Monde 24/7 for some chicory coffee and famously delicious beignets, and shop around the French Market for local foods and crafts. Get out of the hustle and bustle and take a stroll along the walk on the Mississippi river banks.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Busy weekends change week to week depending on if there are any festivals on the schedule, JazzFest, Mardi Gras season, and the French Quarter Festival will bring very heavy crowds. The weather in New Orleans is hot and humid during most of the Spring, Summer, and Fall. Wear very good walking shoes and bring a hat and sunscreen.

8. LISTEN TO HONKY-TONK MUSIC IN NASHVILLE

NASHVILLE

Home of the Country Music Hall Of Fame, there are tons of bars, restaurants, and venues to hear lots of good honky-tonk music. The Johnny Cash Museum opened in 2013 to honor the life and music of country superstar. Spend the day looking at the world’s largest collection of Cash memorabilia. Legendary music star, Elvis Presley is known to have recorded 200+ songs at RCA Studio B, which is also available to tour.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

The weather is pleasant and the sites aren’t as crowded in the Spring and Fall months. Summer months can bring high temperatures and muggy weather.

9. SPEND THE DAY AT A THEME PARK

Disney World

From Walt Disney World, Disneyland, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios, there are plenty of theme parks to choose from in the US. Movie lovers will enjoy Universal Studios and can gain insight into movie making. Disneyworld has multiple parks, from around the world activities in Epcot to great rides at the Magic Kingdom and has so much to see that visitors usually spend multiple days exploring. Depending on your location and interests, there is a theme park for you.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Each park has its own calendar of busy days, so be sure to research ahead of time. Rule of thumb, weekends, holidays, and Summer are the busiest times.

10. GO TO A SHOW IN LAS VEGAS

LAS VEGAS

The Las Vegas strip is full of sensory overload sites and attractions. From roller coasters, huge dancing fountains, sky-high towers, and fancy resorts you can see something new every time you walk around. Live shows are a popular thing to do in Las Vegas and there are performances for every type of interest. From magic to dancing, to circus and music, there are tons of world-famous performers who have graced the stage.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Get your tickets ahead of time because most of the shows sell out quickly.
  • Check the age restrictions on performances to make sure your whole group can attend.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

The USA is a beautiful place to visit. Its sprawling geography is vast and varied and there’s nothing more american than a road trip around the US. From the flatlands in the southeast to the ice caps in Alaska, there’s a little bit of everything here for everyone. Because the weather from one place to another is so different, you’ll need to know the best time to visit for the area you’re going.

Quick Facts

  • The USA is separate into six main regions: Northeast, Southwest, Midwest, Southwest, West, and Northwest.
  • Each region has climate that is different from each other and it’s important to know where you’ll be visiting to better your expectations.

NORTHEAST REGION
The Northeast region of the United States consists of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The average temperature during the Summer is 69F and about 20F during the Winter. This area gets four distinct seasons every year. One of the most pleasant times to visit is during the Fall when the leaves are turning colors and the weather is cool and accommodating.

SOUTHEAST REGION
The Southeast region of the United States consists of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, & Virginia. Average highs during the Summer are solidly in the 90s while during the Winter you can expect average temperatures of 60s. One of the best times to visit this area is during the Winter, when it’s nice and sunny during the day but it’s not too hot. The nighttime temperatures feel nice and just right as you layer up.

MIDWEST REGION
The Midwest region of the United States consists of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, West Virginia, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Temperatures here tend to fluctuate drastically. Average Winter highs here are in the 20s and 70s in the Summer. This is also known to be quite windy with conditions ranging from high to extreme.

SOUTHWEST REGION
The Southwest region of the United States consists of Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. Summers in the south are hot and humid. Average temperatures can reach up to over 100F. Winters cool off slightly at about 60F with the rare 30F or 40F cold front.

WEST REGION
The West region of the United States consists of California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. The West is primarily made up of desert and desert Summers can be very hot, up to the 100s. Winters are nice and cool, averaging about 50s. The weather here is mostly temperate and not too unpredictable.

NORTHWEST REGION
The Northwest Region of the United States consists of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. This is the wettest region of the US with the states getting the most rainfall. Winters are cold and wet and Summers are very pleasant. Average temperatures are in the 70F high and 50F low during the Summer. During the Winter, the highs average about 40F and 30F low.

Review: A Week In… Portugal With Tauck

Portugal with Tauck
By: Maya Keith, CTA & Senior Travel Consultant

Portugal has always been on my bucket list for a very long time for its unique mix of old-world traditions – rich history, some of the best Portuguese cuisines and port wines from Duoro valley, historic monasteries, Douro River, palaces and castles. I could not have picked any other company to travel with than Tauck Tours. Tauck is one of the most luxurious company out there that is all inclusive, stays at 5 star boutique hotels, luxurious stops on trips, out of this world cuisines, excellent service, no extra cost on any optional excursions and my favorite slow paced tour that caters mainly to seniors. I can tell you that I am nowhere close to being a senior but it was nice to be treated like a VIP on a Tauck tour. Portugal with Tauck really delivered above and beyond my expectations.

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Italy Travel Guide- working

Italy Tours Highlights

  • Step back in time at the Colosseum.
  • Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain.
  • Take a picture with the Leaning Tower Of Pisa.
  • Take a Gondola ride in Venice.
  • Cruise the Amalfi Coast.
  • Visit the Vatican and Sistine Chapel.
  • See countless works of art like the David, The Last Supper, and the Mona Lisa.
  • Take a rowboat tour though the Blue Grotto in Capri.
  • People watch in St. Mark’s Square in Venice.
  • Drink wine in Tuscany.
  • Walk around the Cinque Terre.
  • Admire the architecture of the Duomo di Milano.
  • Relax in the Italian Lake District.

Italy Travel Tips

  • Wear sturdy shoes and be prepared for cobbled streets and lots of stairs.
  • Hotel rooms are smaller than found in America, and there might not be an elevator.
  • Italy is very serious about their food. Plan to spend a lot of time eating meals, sometimes a few hours. It can be considered rude to rush. Some places will charge a per person cover charge.
  • Lots of restaurants and stores shut down for ‘riposo’ from about 1pm-4pm. Italians like to have a break in the middle of the day. Plan ahead if you were wanting to eat or shop during this time.
  • Cars in Italy are very small, and the roads are very narrow. Make sure your luggage will fit. Trains are a popular way to travel.
  • Visit famous sites early in the morning to beat the crowds.
  • Since Italy is a popular travel destination, keep your valuables close to you. Some people prefer to keep their cash, cards, and passport in a travel pouch under their clothes. Leave expensive jewelry and watches at home and don’t accept any ‘free gifts’ from merchants.
  • Italians drink espresso at the end of meals, never during. Cappuccinos are only for breakfast.

TOP THINGS TO DO IN ITALY

1. VISIT THE VATICAN AND SISTINE CHAPEL

Vatican

The Vatican Museums located in the Vatican City in Rome offer a look at the immense art collection amassed by popes thought out the years. There are around 20,000 pieces of Roman sculptures and other mostly Renaissances masterpieces on display. Next door is the Sistine Chapel, whose ceiling was famously painted by Michelangelo. This is the site of the papal conclave, which is how they select a new pope. St. Peter’s Basilica is also next door and most visitors like to see all three sites.

BEST TIME TO VISIT        

The Vatican and the Sistine Chapel are 2 of the most visited attractions in Italy and the world. First thing in the morning is your best bet. The line for both places can get very long, we suggest joining a tour that allows you to bypass the line and cut to the front.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • There is a strict dress code to enter the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica. Your knees and shoulders must be covered.
  • You can’t take pictures everywhere. In the Vatican, there are many places you can snap photos, but you can’t in the Sistine Chapel.
  • Since the Sistine Chapel is a place of worship, they ask you to be respectful and not speak while inside.

2. THROW A COIN IN THE TREVI FOUNTAIN

TREVI FOUNTAIN

Standing over 26 meters high, the Trevi Fountain is the largest Baroque fountain in Rome and has appeared in several notable movies. The streets convene and mark the final point of Aqua Virgo, which was one of the earliest aqueducts in Rome. The name of the fountain translates to Three Street Fountain.

BEST TIME TO VISIT        

Travelers should see the fountain twice, once in the daylight and once at night. Both are spectacular. Crowds are hard to avoid but plan to visit right after sunrise for the best view.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Legend says, throw a coin over your left shoulder and you’ll return to Italy!
  • The money thrown in the fountain is donated to a Catholic charity.
  • The water is not safe to drink and you are not allowed to sit on the edge of the fountain or touch the water.

3. TAKE A PICTURE AT THE LEANING TOWER OF PISA

PISA

This free-standing bell tower is known for its 4 degree lean because of its unstable foundation. Built-in the 12th century, the lean got worse and by 1990, the tilt was nearly 6 degrees. Restoration work from 1993- 2001 reduced the tilt to a little less than 4 degrees. Located in Pisa, Italy, this one of the most recognizable structures in the world.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Because the tower was declared stable for the next 200 years, you can still climb the 251 steps to the top of the tower.
  • The word Pisa is a Greek word meaning “marshy land.”

4. STEP BACK IN TIME AT THE COLOSSEUM

COLOSSEUM

Construction of this huge oval amphitheater began in year 72 and was completed in 80. Holding up to 80,000 people, it was used for gladiatorial contests and was the largest built at the time. Sometimes, water was flooded into the arena so naval reenactments could be performed. In the area, there is a vast underground structure of tunnels, which is still visible today. It is located just east of the Roman Forum and is a very popular tourist destination.

BEST TIME TO VISIT        

Lots of people like to see it both at night and the day, to get a different experience. Either time you choose, we suggest going on a tour in order to skip the line. The Colosseum is open every day except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Since this is a top attraction, there are going to be crowds whenever you go. Plan ahead and give yourself enough time. Winter months might have somewhat fewer crowds, especially on non-holiday weekdays.

5. WALK AROUND CINQUE TERRE

CINQUE TERRE

Located on the northwest coast of Italy, Cinque Terre is made up of five villages and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The five villages are also connected by numerous hiking trails, and this allows for easy travel between all of Cinque Terre. Just be sure to pack comfortable shoes, and a light backpack for the scenic walks in each village.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • There is no car access once you are inside the five villages. Don’t be alarmed, there is a local train called The Cinque Terre Express, that runs from La Spezia through the coast and the boarding pass is only a few Euros.

6. ADMIRE THE DUOMO DI MILANO

DUOMO DI MILANO

The Milan Cathedral is located in Milan and is the largest church in Italy. It took nearly 6 centuries to complete. Full of beautiful colorful stained glass windows and a huge marble staircase, it houses the second largest organ in all of Europe. For a great view of the city, climb to the roof to admire the magnificent buildings surrounding the cathedral and the Pizza del Duomo below.

BEST TIME TO VISIT        

This top attraction will be crowded, so make sure you go with a tour group or buy your tickets ahead of time. For beautiful colors, we suggest going right before sundown. If it is a clear sunny day, you might be able to see the Alps.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Like other Italian churches, you must have shoulders and knees covered. Bring a light scarf to wear as a shawl during the summer months.

7. TAKE A ROWBOAT THROUGH THE BLUE GROTTO

BLUE GROTTO

The Blue Grotto is located on the island of Capri. It is a beautiful sea cave that sunlight passes through and creates a blue reflection that illuminates the cavity. The sight is breathtaking and this crystal clear water attraction is one of Capri’s most famous places.

BEST TIME TO VISIT        

The Blue Grotto is usually closed during the winter and can also close at the last minute due to weather conditions. Summer months are peak tourist season, so the wait times won’t be as long in the Spring and Fall. No matter what time of the year you go, aim to get to the Grotto between noon and 2pm because the reflections are the strongest. If it is an overcast day, we suggest saving the Blue Grotto for a sunny day on your trip. Keep in mind that you might have to wait for your turn to enter.

8. TAKE A GONDOLA RIDE IN VENICE

GONDOLA

Riding a gondola is one of the top activities in all of Italy. This traditional form of transportation is the best way to get around the 100 small islands in the Adriatic Sea. As you glide down the canals in Venice, the gondolier will sing to you in Italian to really set the mood.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Grand Canal is the most popular spot for gondola rides.
  • A gondola ride can be just as beautiful at night.

9. EXPLORE THE RUINS OF POMPEII

POMPEII

One of the most famous volcano eruptions, Mount Vesuvius exploded in year 79 and covered the small town of Pompeii. You can explore the archaeological ruins for an inside look into the history and how they lived their day to day life. Pompeii is located 14 miles from Naples, south of Mount Vesuvius. A walking tour is the best way to see this very well preserved ancient town.

BEST TIME TO VISIT        

The winter and spring will have the least amount of crowds. Holiday weekends will bring out more travelers than usual.

10. EAT WONDERFUL ITALIAN FOOD

ITALIAN FOOD

Travel to the place where pizza was born and dine on an authentic pie. Neapolitan pizza usually just consists of crust, mozzarella cheese, and tomatoes. Pasta is also a dish all travelers must try. From hearty lasagna to creamy risotto, you won’t leave Italy hungry. Let’s not forget about another important aspect of an Italian meal, the wine! Tuscany produces some of the world’s best wine and it’s great to pair with any Italian meal.

  • Italians like to have a break in the middle of the day so lots of restaurants shut down for ‘riposo’ from about 1pm-4pm.

BEST TIME TO VISIT ITALY

The best time to visit Italy is anytime. With so much to see, do, eat, and hear, there is somewhere for everyone throughout the year. But, depending on where and what region you’re visiting, you can definitely optimize your experience based on what you’re looking for.

Quick Facts

  • The most popular time to visit is during the Summer – the weather is warm but the crowds are big.
  • The quietest time to visit is during the winter months.
  • Ski birds will want to visit from December to March.

Spring – March to May – Good Season

The average high in Rome during this time is 62F and the average low is 40F. It’s still a little cold for most crowds but this is an optimal time to do exactly what you want in the central and southern regions like Rome or Naples.

Summer – June to August – High Season

The average high in Rome in the summer is 83F and the average low is 58F. You’ll notice it can get a little chilly at night so you’ll want to bring layers. Summer is the peak season so you’ll see a lot of big crowds and long lines. However, if you’re traveling with one of our travel partners, you won’t have to worry as your dedicated travel director will have tickets to the most popular attractions and you’ll be able to skip the line in most cases (inclusions are itinerary specific).

Fall – September to November – Good Season

The average high in the capital city is 82F and 58F low. Fall is a great time to visit as the crowds are starting to thin and you’ll get more of the city to yourself. Popular attractions won’t be as crowded and waits won’t be too long. It does rain a bit more in the Fall so you’ll want to be ready with an umbrella or poncho.

Winter – December to February – Low Season

The average high in Rome during the Winter is 56F and 38F low. The only people here during this time are skiers looking to hit the slopes in the Italian Alps. It’s cold and often wet, and most major attractions close early or are on short winter hours. Although the crowds tend to be really low during this time, the Christmas markets tend to be really popular and draw crowds.

Review: Greek Island Hopper With Trafalgar

By: Vivian Vo, Travel Consultant

Why Greece? And I replied, “Why not!” The history, beaches, and activities just to list a few. Why go on a tour and specifically a tour with Trafalgar? Simply, the ease of not having to plan anything, guided by an expert with over 10 years of experience, and the accommodation are first class. So let’s get straight to what I have experienced while Greek Island Hopper with Trafalgar tour.

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Canada Travel Guide

CANADA TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Expert local guides and dedicated travel director
  • Walking tours at each city
  • Ascend the CN tower for the best views
  • Cruise Niagara Falls
  • Taste wine at the finest wineries
  • Enjoy local foods like Poutine and BeaverTails
  • Smell the roses in the Butchart Gardens
  • Walk around Stanley Park

CANADA VACATION TIPS

  • US travelers will need a valid US Passport
  • Canada has its own currency and will not accept US Dollars
  • The legal drinking age is 18 (or 19 depending on the province)
  • Pack layers as the weather can be unpredictable
  • Learning some basic French phrases may come in handy
  • Make sure to visit a National Park or two – they’re stunning
  • While most places will take credit cards, it’s a good idea to carry some cash on you as rural areas may not take plastic.

TOP THINGS TO DO IN CANADA

Canada is a huge country with an endless amount of outdoor activities, natural wonders, and historic sights. This country is perfect for people who like spending time outdoors, learning about old towns, and eating exquisite cuisine. Surrounded by two oceans, tons of mountain ranges and lots of green parks, Canada has something for every type of traveler.

1. ASCEND THE CN TOWER

CN TOWER

This 1,815-foot free-standing structure is one of Toronto’s most famous landmarks. Its name “CN” originally referred to Canadian National, the railway company that built the tower. It is one of the best locations to get a breathtaking view of the entire city. The tower has three dining locations, including a revolving restaurant, and plenty of spots to snap the perfect vacation picture.

BEST TIME TO VISIT        

The line can get long on weekends, but most weekdays the crowds are lighter.

2. STAND IN AWE OF MORAINE LAKE AND LAKE LOUISE

LAKE

Located in Banff National Park, these glacier-fed lakes have a distinctive turquoise blue shade. The color is due to the refraction of light off of the rocks. Moraine Lake is only half the size of the nearby Lake Louise. There are hiking trails and lots of scenic overlooks to take in the beauty. The Fairmont Chateau by Lake Louise is the best hotel to stay at when visiting this area.

BEST TIME TO VISIT        

The lake reaches its crest in mid to late June, and when it’s full, the colors are the most prominent. For the best colors, come in July and August. There is a canoe doc in the summer and a skating rink on the frozen lake in the winter.

3. WALK AROUND OLD QUEBEC

OLD QUEBEC

‘The Old City’ is a historical neighborhood in Quebec City that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dating back to the 17th century, there are many historical landmarks steeped in a rich history. There is a funicular you can take to Lower Town, and a stone church that was built in 1688, plus a Place Royale square with charming boutiques. Stroll through the modest cobblestone streets and find a place to grab a bite or an artisan souvenir to bring back home.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • While some people might speak English, French is the first and primary language here.
  • This is a great place to take the whole family. There is an aquarium geared towards kids that adults will also enjoy and an indoor amusement park with 18 rides.

4. RELAX IN STANLEY PARK

STANLEY PARK

Stanley Park borders downtown Vancouver and is almost nearly surrounded by water. As Vancouver’s largest urban park, there are lots of beaches, a scenic seawall, and activities that the whole family will love. The park has a train that is popular with locals and travelers alike. Take a 15-minute ride through the park and enjoy the views.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • This public park is free to the public and open 24 hours a day.
  • Check out the list of events that may be taking place during your visit.

5. STAY AT THE FAIRMONT LE CHATEAU FRONTENAC

Commonly referred to as Chateau Frontenac, this historic hotel was built by the Canadian Pacific Railway company. It is one of the world’s most photographed hotel because of its regal look and design. Located in Old Quebec, this is the perfect place to wander the city streets and explore the historical sites. In the winter, there is nearby skiing and there are always restaurants serving gourmet cuisine.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Even if you aren’t staying the night, you can go inside and admire the lobby and see artifacts dating back 400 years.
  • A guided tour is available to learn more about this legendary building.

6. ENJOY THE FLOWERS AT THE BUTCHART GARDENS

BUTCHART GARDENS

Located near Victoria on Vancouver Island, the Butchart Gardens is a 55-acre oasis of lush green and colorful flowers. There are over 900 varieties of flowers so be sure to bring your camera to capture the beauty. There are three local restaurants on-site if you are hungry or looking for a break.

BEST TIME TO VISIT        

The Butchart Gardens open daily at 8:45 or 9 a.m. and closes at different times depending on the season. Blooms are in full force in the Spring with countless flowers to view. Certain flowers bloom in the Summer so these months are also a nice time to visit. If you love autumn colors, reds, golds, and oranges, the Fall will be the best time to visit. Even during Christmas time, there are activities like decorations, lights, and an ice skating rink.

7. VISIT THE POWERFUL NIAGARA FALLS

NIAGARA FALLS

Horseshoe Falls in Ontario is the most powerful waterfall, which a water flow of over 3,000 tons per second. This world-renowned waterfall can be viewed for free from the Table Rock Welcome Center. If you are looking to get an even closer look, book a tour to get up close and personal. To get a lower, wetter vantage point, take the elevators down behind the falls. The cliffside park has an observation deck on the 520-foot high tower.

BEST TIME TO VISIT        

This outdoor activity will be enjoyed more during the Summer months when the weather is optimal. The late spring and early fall months can have nice weather and fewer crowds.

8. EAT SOME CANADIAN DELICACIES

poutine

No trip to Canada is complete without trying one of Canada’s most famous dishes- poutine. There are many varieties but expect to see French fries covered in gravy and cheese curds. Seafood is also a popular meal because of the access to the water. Grab some fresh lobster on the Atlantic coast to taste the heart and soul of the area.

BEST TIME TO VISIT        

Poutine is available year-round, but if your heart is set on lobster, go in July, August or September to guarantee freshness.

9. SEE ANIMALS IN THE WILD          

whale

Whale watching is a popular activity in Canada because whales can handle very cold water temperatures. The Hudson Bay is a great place to see pods of Belugas. Polar bears are also found in Canada and travelers love seeing the annual polar bear trek through the town of Churchill. Joining a tour group with a local leader who is an expert tracker is the best way to ensure you see these majestic animals.

BEST TIME TO VISIT        

July and August is the best time to see the Belugas, and October and November is the migration time for the polar bears.

10. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SNOW

Whistler

Summer isn’t the only time travelers love to visit Canada. There are many cities around Canada that are the perfect place to ski, snowboard, and enjoy the snow. Whistler is in western Canada and has legendary ski trails. Hit the slopes and take advantage of the wonderful views at the summit.

BEST TIME TO VISIT        

In any Winter month with lots of snow makes a great time to visit Canada. We suggest December through March for the best powder.

BEST TIME TO VISIT CANADA

Canada is large and covers a lot of land and as such, its weather can be unpredictable. As you’re planning your trip to Canada, you’ll want to know what to pack and how you should dress depending on when you go.

QUICK FACTS
Summer is the most popular time to visit. It’s peak season and you’ll see a lot of tourists in the city Visiting during the Fall may be more pleasant as the crowds thin out plus you’ll be able to see the famous maple leaves turn red for Autumn

1. Summer – June to August – Peak Season

Average high in Toronto during the summer is 81F with a low of 57F. Summer is peak season and the most popular time to visit Canada. You’ll find nice warm weather to do most of your activities but you’ll probably have to pay a little more during this time and navigate around bigger crowds.

2. FALL – SEPTEMBER TO OCTOBER – GOOD SEASON

Average high temperatures in Toronto during the Fall is 57F and 29F low. The Fall is truly a magical time to visit and our pick for best time to visit. The weather is nice and cool, the crowds have thinned out, and you’ll be able to catch the iconic fall foliage turn colors.

3. WINTER – NOVEMBER TO JANUARY – LOW SEASON

The average high during winter in Toronto is 32F and 21F low. Wintertime is a beautiful time to visit. You’ll get the snowfall and snow capped mountains as your backdrop. It’s low season but usually busy due to people coming in for winter sports.

4. SPRING – FEBRUARY TO MARCH – LOW SEASON

Average temperatures are still cold around 30F and 14F in Toronto. Travel is still slow during this time, except for when Spring Breakers come to hit the slopes and get some last minute skiing in.