5 places you can’t leave Canada without visiting

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This article was created for The Travel Project by Ruby Di Salvo, a 23 year old Australian girl who loves to travel.

If you like snow capped mountains, lush forests, cobalt blue lakes, vibrant cities, maple syrup and friendly people - there’s no better place for your next trip than Canada.

Having visited over half of Canada’s provinces, here are my top 5 destinations you’ve absolutely got to visit:

Banff, Alberta

A cute, but bustling old-fashioned ski town nestled between the mountains, Banff has the charm and community of a small town, but the energy and vibrant nightlife of a city. If the mountains surrounding it on all sides aren’t enough to awe you, the pristine blue and green glacial lakes scattered in Banff National Park, around it will! Banff National Park is Canada’s first national park, and its untouched beauty makes it my favourite destination in Canada.

If you like hiking, snowboarding, skiing, swimming, mountain climbing, eating, drinking and just sinking into nature – Banff is the place for you! In summer, outdoor activities are endless and tourists are plenty, so autumn and spring can be a good times to beat the crowds. Winter of course fills up the town again with the 3 ski resorts in town opening and the temperatures dropping down as far as -30C.

RELATED: 5 MUST-SEE LAKES IN BANFF NATIONAL PARK, CANADA

Vancouver, British Columbia

Located on the southern part of British Columbia’s west coast, Vancouver is a city where the sea and mountains truly meet. To the north you can be in the mountains within 20 minutes, and Whistler in only an hour. And to the west the Pacific Ocean surrounds the city. Inside the city itself is Stanley Park, one of the largest parks in any city – think New York’s Central Park, but with lush pine forests and surrounded by little beaches and ocean. A seawall goes around the entire park and makes for a good day with gorgeous views out on bikes.

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Cape Breton National Park, Nova Scotia

The coastal province of Nova Scotia is underrated, off the beaten track and completely worth the travel and effort! Located to the far east in Atlantic Canada, the Maritimes of Nova Scotia is filled with rugged, beautiful coastlines and tiny marinas. Nova Scotia means New Scotland, and Cape Breton National Park is testament to just that.

Think rolling green hills, trees everywhere, rugged coastlines, cute towns and marinas scattered along the famous Cabot Trail that winds its away around the coastlines and through the mountains. In Autumn the province is one of the best places to watch the leaves change from green to red and gold.

RELATED: MORE EVIDENCE THAT CANADA IS BASICALLY THE MOST NATURALLY BEAUTIFUL PLACE ON EARTH

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Quebec City, Quebec

Canada is a bi-lingual country; so a trip to French Canada is well worth it for a little taste of Europe in North America. My pick if you’re heading to Quebec – Quebec City! A smaller city, the old town, Quebec City is lively and quaint and instantly transports you to France.

In summer the streets and windows are filled with flowers, and the cobblestone streets and staircases that wind there way through the enchanting little city lead to a smorgasbord of restaurants and shops. Spread across multiple levels, if you work your way to the top you get spectacular views of the harbour, and the charm of the whole place is completely different to anything else in Canada.

Prince Edward Island

I had never heard of Prince Edward Island until spending time with Canadians, and I only visited it because the friend I was travelling with at the time was keen to go. Nevertheless, I fell in love instantly! Quiet and remote, the island is quaint and charming. Small enough to drive from one side of the island to another in a couple of hours imagine farms and beaches and cute little towns with locals’ pubs and blueberry ale. If the small towns and beaches are a bit sleepy for your taste, visit Charlottetown for a little bit more hustle and bustle.

RELATED: DOES CANADA REALLY LIVE UP TO THE WINTER HYPE?

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