From its highest peak in Alaska down to its lowest point in Death Valley, North America is all about extremes, with spectacular scenery and super-sized attractions.
The neighboring North American countries of Canada and the United States feature fascinating metropolises, welcoming small towns, forested wilderness and large lakes. Relax on delightful beaches along the Atlantic or Pacific ocean or Gulf of Mexico, ski on eastern or western mountains or venture into the far north’s frozen tundra.
New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. are large U.S. cities providing a sampling of American arts and culture, with tall skyscrapers, impressive museums and art galleries, numerous entertainment centers, varied ethnic restaurants and professional football, basketball and baseball teams.
Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa and Québec offer similar Canadian attractions and incorporate a French influence in language and customs, along with large Chinatowns. See ice hockey at its finest in the big city arenas and frozen outdoor ponds of Canada. Learn about the First Nations people who inhabited the northern parts of the continent long before Europeans arrived.
Drive across the continent and stop in small towns. In both countries you’ll find residents proud of their local points of interest, from the Giant Moose in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan to Canada’s Narcisse Snake Dens and New Mexico’s Pie Town, a whole town devoted to luscious desserts. The tourist stops are merely advertisements for the true attractions of the towns, the friendly residents. Wander down any North American small town main street and you’re likely to make a new friend.
Away from urban areas, the continent’s natural wonders include preserved forests and parklands with mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, volcanoes, caves, ravines, lakes and seacoast. Visit impressive and iconic U.S. national parks including northwestern Yellowstone with geysers and wildlife, the deeply etched southwestern Grand Canyon, the mangroves and crocodiles of the southeastern Everglades and Acadia’s northeastern windswept Atlantic island.
Canada has Banff’s western mountains and glacial Lake Louise, Prairies in the center part of the country and frozen tundra in Ivavik. Spend months or years touring the more than 40 Canadian national parks and nearly 60 U.S. national parks.
The two countries share the vast Great Lakes, popular for boating. Ski the Appalachian and Laurentian mountains in the east or the Rockies in the west.
Plan your North American visit to celebrate with local residents for Canada Day and U.S. Independence Day in early July, or Thanksgiving harvest celebrations in October and November.