52 Places to Go in 2017: Canada Tops the New York Times’ List

Looks like 2017, the year that Canada celebrates its 150th birthday, is going to be great for tourism.

First, the Lonely Planet picked Canada as the number one destination to visit in 2017. Now, the New York Times has listed Canada as its number one pick as well, in its annual list of 52 Places to Go. Travellers are being encouraged to visit, especially in 2017, as Canadians coast-to-coast prepare to celebrate the nation's 150th birthday. It's a party that is expected to last all year long, so visitors to Canada are invited to join in anytime in 2017.

The New York Times’ reason for picking Canada is simple: we have it all.

Canada is huge—the second-largest country by area. It's also a world unto itself, with cosmopolitan cities, barely explored natural wonders and everything in between. And this is the year to visit: In honor of the 150th anniversary of its confederation, when the original colonies came together as one country, Canada is rolling out the welcome mat. All of the country's more than 200 national parks and historic sites are offering free admission through the year, from the turquoise lakes and mountain peaks of Banff in Alberta to the rolling dunes and red sandstone cliffs of Prince Edward Island along the Atlantic Coast to the newest reserve, the glacial-rounded Mealy Mountains in Labrador. Meanwhile, in the capital, Ottawa, a full year of celebration is planned; more events will be on offer in Montreal, which turns 375. And did we mention the exchange rate? A weak Canadian dollar means American travelers get more for their money. So 2017 offers an ideal time to go north.


Looking to Explore Beyond Canada's Borders in 2017?

If 2017 is the year you want to look beyond Canada’s borders for your next vacation, the New York Times has 51 other destinations worth considering: the next top five of which, I’ve listed here—along with a snippet of why the New York Times’ thinks you should go.

Atacama Desert, Chile

As the world’s highest desert, the Atacama draws adventure seekers and stargazers to its vast, otherworldly landscape of wind-carved dunes and kaleidoscopic salt lakes.

Atacama Desert, Chile

Agra, India

Home to the stunning and sprawling Taj Mahal, there’s much more to see and enjoy in Agra, as new dining complexes, museums and renovations give new reasons to venture beyond the mausoleum.

Agra, India

Zermatt, Switzerland

A car-free village, Zermatt is neighbour to the legendary Matterhorn. It’s everything an active traveller could want, from skiing and snowboarding, to hiking and biking.

Zermatt, Switzerland

Botswana

A destination for safari-lovers, specifically, the Okavango Delta, where lions and elephants are common, along with other amazing species specific to northern Botswana.

Botswana

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Also known as King’s Landing on Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik is the star of the Dalmatian Coast with its limestone-paved streets and 80-foot-high walls surrounding Old Town (which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site). The city is also starting an electric-scooter sharing program so you can be sure to explore the breathtaking landscapes in style this summer.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

No Matter Where Your Travels Take You, Travel Smart. Travel with Travel Insurance

Luckily, travel health insurance covers us almost anywhere we want to go, and you'll want to pack your coverage right alongside your passport. The Government of Canada strongly encourages travellers to "Say Yes to Travel Insurance!" because:

  • Your Canadian health insurance is almost certainly not valid outside of Canada.
  • Your provincial or territorial health plan may cover nothing or only a very small portion of the costs of medical care abroad, and never up front.
  • Foreign hospitals can be very expensive and may require immediate cash payment. You could face years of debt after paying the costs of treatment for an illness or accident you suffered abroad.
  • The Government of Canada will not pay your medical bills.

When you're away from home, even a small accident or sudden illness can become a big medical expense. No matter how short your trip, or how close to home you'll be, you should never travel without travel insurance coverage.