Early birthday present: Canada named best country to visit in 2017
Published Tuesday, October 25, 2016 10:26AM EDT
Lonely Planet has named Canada its top destination for travellers in 2017, when the country will celebrate its 150th anniversary.
The travel magazine ranked Canada as No. 1 in its "Best of 2017" guidebook, ahead of second-place Colombia and Finland, which ranked third.
The magazine's 58-page chapter on Canada hails it as a land of "endless variety," with diverse landscapes, great food, captivating cultures and fantastic art.
The chapter lists 25 great places to visit in Canada, with four western locations listed at the top. B.C.'s Haida Gwaii was the No. 1-ranked destination in the country, followed by the Rocky Mountains, Nahanni Territorial Park Reserve in the Northwest Territories, and the city of Vancouver at No. 4.
The list is rounded out by a number of attractions in various parts of the country, as well as a few multi-province sights, like the Northern Lights, the Trans Canada Highway and the foliage in autumn.
Lonely Planet also lists hockey as an attraction to take in at No. 21. "If you're visiting between October and April taking in a game is mandatory," the article says. "As is giving a shout-out to the nation's 2010 Olympic gold medal-winning team.” Curiously, the article does not mention that Canada also won gold in men's and women's hockey in 2014.
The chapter includes a full rundown of Canada's climate, regions, transit systems and various travel-related costs, including hotel and meal prices. It also includes suggested itineraries for week-long trips, and a rundown of the best activities for every month of the year. October, for example, is a good month to check out Oktoberfest in Kitchener, Ont., or the Celtic Colours festival in Cape Breton. November, on the other hand, is an "offbeat time to visit," according to Lonely Planet. "It's cold, but just a tease as to what's coming over the next three months."
The full chapter is available free on Lonely Planet's website for those who sign up for the newsletter. And while it's written for visitors to Canada, the document is also a superb guide for Canucks planning to explore their own country in 2017.
"We are honoured to have been selected as Lonely Planet's Destination of the Year for 2017," Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism, said in a statement on Destination Canada's website. "There is something for everyone here," she said, adding that the honour comes at a great moment for the country, which is poised to celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2017. "We couldn't think of a better time to invite the world to discover Canada," she said.
Alex Howard, Lonely Planet's Canada destination editor, says the country took the top spot for 2017 because "there's so much happening" in the year ahead. "It's the country's biggest birthday party in recent memory with the sesquicentennial next year, and they won't be shy about celebrating. Now is the time to start planning a trip."