Destination SpotlightCategory|

Oh, Canada! The Great White North Reopens to U.S. Citizens—Here’s Where to Visit

Flock north for outdoor Canadian fun, food & culture

The Canadian border just reopened to fully-vaccinated American citizens, which means trips to Great White North are back on again. 

The country offers a beautiful mix of vibrant natural wonders, unbridled nature, historic cities and culture, as a myriad of unforgettable ways to reconnect with one another. 

Here’s a peek inside of just four of Canada’s must-visit cities and the types of experiences you can explore there.

Live Out French & British History in Quebec

Quebec is a city built around honoring its French and British history. Head to the epicenter of activity in Old Quebec, an area of town that looks like it was plucked from a fairy tale with its cobblestone streets and European architecture. Here you can shop the boutiques along Petit-Champlain, one of the oldest shopping streets in North America, or dine outdoors in Place Royale. Or get a birds-eye view of the city with a ride on the Old Quebec Funicular, which has been in operation since 1879. Hilton Québec  reopened its doors to guests following a $70 million renovation in January. Each room offers an incomparable view of Old Quebec, the Plaines of Abraham, the St-Lawrence River and the Laurentian mountains. Culinary aficionados can look forward to food and beverage offerings from renowned Executive Chef Simon Renaud showcasing local, authentic ingredients from Québec and Canada. Situated in the hotel’s lobby, the hotel’s newest addition, CABU boire et manger presents inventive and comforting cuisine featuring locally-sourced products from throughout the region which is reflected in the dishes, cocktail and wine menus. The restaurant is named in honor of “Caboulots”, small ephemeral wooden cabins built on the St. Lawrence River’s natural ice bridge in the 19th century. 

Enjoy Whale Watching & Wildlife in Vancouver

Vancouver is one of the best whale-watching destinations in the world, and the best time to spot orcas — and occasionally humpback whales — on their journey is May through October. Plenty of companies offer whale-watching tours off the west coast of Vancouver (reservations required). There’s also a plethora of things for outdoors aficionados to do in Vancouver, like cycling around Stanley Park, hiking the alpine Grouse Grind (nicknamed “Mother Nature’s Staircase”), or go kayaking in Deep Cove surrounded by forest. Located in the center of Vancouver’s entertainment district, Hilton Vancouver Downtown provides the best experience for guests looking to bask in all the adventure that the city has to offer. The hotel features a 24-hour fitness facility, steam rooms and saunas, a year-round heated outdoor pool overlooking the legendary Robson Street. Guests and locals can also enjoy a night of mingling and dining at Hendrick Resto-Lounge, an old-school cocktail bar and full-service restaurant overlooking the vibrant Liberty Square. Additionally, Hilton Vancouver Downtown is located ideally nearby the buzzing restaurants, boutiques, and bars of the neighboring Yaletown, as well as several top concert and sports venues. 

Dive Into French-Canadian Culture in Montreal 

Ready for a dose of culture? Montreal is the second-largest French-speaking city in the world. It’s chock-full of museums, shops, restaurants, and historic monuments, making the city a big draw for those who love to explore. Top attractions include Notre-Dame Basilica, Montréal's oldest church, Oratoire Saint-Joseph, which is a stunning example of Renaissance-style architecture, and the Musee des Beaux Arts (Museum of Fine Arts). Vogue Hotel Montreal Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton provides a chic experience in the heart of Montreal’s fashion and shopping district. Guests can enjoy a stay in one of the hotel’s oversized guestrooms with soaking tubs perfect for unwinding after a busy day, and enjoy dinner at La Societe, a modern bistro and bar that blends Parisian flair and cuisine with North American contemporary style. Travelers looking to explore will love that the hotel is only steps away from some of the most luxurious shops and top-rated restaurants that Montreal has to offer and numerous other downtown attractions including local art museums and parks all within a few minutes’ travel. 

Experience the Untamed Wilderness in Calgary

Set amongst a Rocky Mountain backdrop, Calgary is still known today as a destination that offers a taste of the untamed West. With a handful of national parks nearby, skiing and hiking are popular activities—as are day trips to Banff National Park and Lake Louise. You can also experience Canadian history at Heritage Park, which offers an 1860s-era fur trading fort, a steam engine train, and paddlewheel tour boats to explore during your visit. Another popular attraction is the Calgary Zoo, which is home to more than 1,000 animals. The Westley Hotel, Tapestry Collection by Hilton just opened in the Eau Claire neighborhood and, in addition to stylish accommodations, offers flavorful Mexican food at Fonda Fora, where Chef Rafael Castillo presents fresh seafood and veggie-forward dishes.

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