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10 Places in Canada Every Canadian Needs To Visit

Want to find a new Canadian travel destination? Check out these 10 unique and beautiful places waiting to welcome you this year.

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If you’re tired of visiting the same cities and events year after year, it’s time to expand your travel horizons. Whether you’re looking to uncover secrets from Canada’s past, rub shoulders with wildlife, or celebrate the culinary delights of our great country, here are some top travel choices for 2013.

(Photo © Spatsizi Wilderness Vacations)

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1. Festival of Speed, Alta.

Feel the need for speed? Rev up your engines and head to Lac La Biche for their annual Festival of Speed on March 2 and 3, 2013. Forget your traditional racetracks. Here in Alberta, the competitors turn danger up to full throttle as they compete atop the lake’s icy surface! Watch snowmobiles, cars, quad bikes and sidecar motorcycles slip, slide and fly to racing victory. Want in on the accelerated action? A charity race lets fans climb behind the wheel to try their luck on the slippery track.

(Photo © Community Futures Lac La Biche)

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2. Great Northern Arts Festival, Inuvik, N.W.T

Above the Arctic Circle from May 24th until July 19th, the sun stays high in the sky, day and night. This remarkable show of nature provides the perfect backdrop for the Great Northern Arts Festival July 13 to 21 in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. 2013 ushers in the 25th anniversary of this wonderful art showcase featuring visual arts, performances, and workshops. Discover the diversity of Canada’s North, and learn about art techniques used by Canada’s First Nations including the Inuit, Inuvialuit, Gwich’in, Dene, and Metis. Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artists come from far and wide to promote the best of Canada’s art world. 

(Photo ©Terry Parker/NWTT)

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3. Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Park, B.C.

Discover the Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Park, a northern BC family-run gem that’s only accessible by plane. Explore century-old game trails on horseback, hike the imposing mountains, and get up-close with wildflowers and wildlife in serene valleys. After your adventure-filled days, cozy up in the Eaglenest Camp, or in the Spatsizi Lodge for a restful night’s sleep. Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Park serves as the summer home of acclaimed National Geographic explorer-in-residence Wade Davis, so obviously this sanctuary is something special. Flights depart from Smithers, BC during July and August.

(Photo © Spatsizi Wilderness Vacations)

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4. Discovery Day Celebrations, Dawson City, Yukon

In August 1896, gold was found glimmering beneath the waters of Dawson City’s Bonanza Creek. Magically overnight, this once quiet Yukon community was bursting with thousands of prospectors seeking their own fortune. While most of the glory hunters are long gone, the territory still celebrates the heady days of the gold rush during the annual Discovery Day celebrations from August 16 to 19, 2013. Enjoy the historical street theatre, parading Mounties, the Yukon Riverside Arts Festival, the 10km Discovery Day run, and the annual golf tournament. You may even get a chance to pan for your own golden discovery.

(Photo © Government of Yukon)

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5. The French Fry Capital of the World, Florenceville-Bristol, N.B.

Florenceville-Bristol, a pretty town in the St. John River Valley in New Brunswick, is home to the original potato processing plant of McCain Foods – the number one producer of French fries worldwide. On July 13, 2013, the town toasts the humble tater with their annual National French Fry Day. Visitors are in for a mouthwatering treat! Try your hand at the French fry cutting competition or potato printing. Learn at Potato World how delectable spuds go from farmer’s field to your kitchen table, and sample the best fries, potato deserts and soups at the Harvest Café. And if you can’t make National French Fry Day in July, visit nearby Grand Falls for their 53rd annual Potato Festival this June.

(Photo © Jeff Rector)


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6. Torngat Mountains National Park, Labrador

Travel east to Labrador to be mesmerized by the highest mountain peaks east of the Rockies. Canada’s 42nd – and newest – national park protects over 9,700 square km of glorious fjords, inlets, mountains, valleys and glaciers. Home to the Inuit and their ancestors for thousands of years, Torngat means ‘place of spirits’. Today, the park welcomes visitors for hiking, mountain climbing, backcountry skiing and guided tours. If you’re lucky, you might encounter seals, polar bears and caribou as you explore the rugged, untouched beauty of one of Canada’s hidden gems.

(Photo © Destination Labrador)

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7. Lobster Carnival, Pictou, N.S.

Lobster lovers looking for a vacation destination in 2013, your search is over! From July 5th through to the 7th, the tiny Nova Scotia seaside town of Pictou, welcomes all hungry travellers to their 79th annual Lobster Carnival. Since 1934, this Maritime community has celebrated the end of the lobster fishing season with live music, parades, derby races, an antique car show and midway rides. And of course no celebration would be complete without the mouthwatering guest of honour – Nova Scotia lobster. Travel was never so tasty!

(Photo © Nova Scotia Tourism Agency

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8. Big Muddy Badlands, Sask.

Due to its close proximity to the U.S. border, Saskatchewan’s Big Muddy Badlands served as an escape route and hideout for various American outlaws during the 1890s. Secretive caves, deep ravines, and ceremonial circles dot the land that falls under the shadows of the 70-metre high Castle Butte, a huge rock formation left behind from the Ice Age. Today, tourists can immerse themselves in the history of Canada’s Native People, the Northwest Mounted Police and the cunning desperados who once roamed the Big Muddy Badlands. Organized tours depart from the town of Coronach.

(Photo © Tourism Saskatchewan/Douglas E. Walker)

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9. Canada’s Most Famous Sub – Que.

Come to Québec to climb inside the Onondaga, the only submarine in Canada that’s open to the public. Pointe-au-Père, a district in the city of Rimouski, is your HQ for a behind-the-scenes look at over 200 years of maritime history. Located at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River in eastern Québec, Pointe-au-Père showcases the Empress of Ireland Pavilion – a tribute to the doomed passenger ship that sunk during a trans-Atlantic journey in 1914 – as well as the striking Pointe-au-Père lighthouse, and the famous Onondaga submarine. Having spent 33 years on active missions around the world, the Onondaga is the longest serving sub in Canadian history. And now visitors can climb onboard to discover the secrets of crew life under the waves.

(Photo © Tourisme Bas-Saint-Laurent)

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10. Tall Ships Sail into Ontario

This summer, take advantage of a rare sailing experience! From mid-June through to August, Ontario gets to marvel at the Tall Ships Challenge. Celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Great Lakes battle during the War of 1812, the majestic ships will be visiting ports in Brockville, Toronto, Hamilton, Port Dalhousie, Collingwood, Owen Sound, Penetanguishine, Midland, Discovery Harbour, and Sault Ste. Marie. Follow them by boat, or view their graceful procession on land. Catch the ships before the sail off into the horizon.