This northern neighbor to the United States is the second biggest country in the world in terms of sheer physical area and geography, and it is far from all being tundra, though admittedly there is a lot of that. From the rocky splashing shores of the Atlantic to the maple tree forests around Hudson Bay to the temperate rain forests of British Columbia, Canada has a lot of geographic diversity to offer those looking to see places different from where they live day to day. And, don’t forget that like America, Canada has its own Great Plains, Rocky Mountains, Great Lakes, and even a few nice beaches in the summer!
Cultural diversity abounds too. Canada’s populace is notoriously polite and fond of hockey, but Native American tribes are all over the place. Vancouver is a hub for emigration from Asia, bringing a distinct cultural vibe. Toronto has a truly international energy to it, with visitors and aspiring citizens from around the world flocking to Canada. The province of Quebec, after all this time, still maintains its fierce pride in French language and culture.
Most of Canada’s people are within two hour’s drive of the border, so a lot of citizens of border states make weekend trips into parts of Canada. Cruise ships also make stops on coastal ports, especially those going up and down the West Coast between Alaska and home ports of Seattle, L.A., or San Diego. However, if you really want to see Canada’s interior and experience the raw magnificence of the landscape and size, then you have to traverse it by rail!
A rail adventure across the Great Plains and Rockies can see tall mountains, unending fields of crops, and even glaciers. These train rides can come with rather comfortable cabins, fine dining, and exquisite entertainment, as you spend up to as much as two weeks leisurely rolling across the continent you thought you knew.
If you cringe at the thought of being cooped up on a train for that many straight days, don’t be! Many of the travel itineraries are not just looking at things out of rail windows. Trains stop in major cities and at points of interest for excursions and entire days out seeing the sites, be it Vancouver’s culture and markets or Niagara Falls. Some nights will even be in actual hotels!