The top spots here at home

A new travel and tourism group has chosen seven sites and events across Canada as the nation’s best. The Attractions Canada Awards is a competition designed to recognize and spotlight the unique character of our nation’s top travel spots. A look at the winner’s list reveals some very obvious choices along with some surprises, and a couple of sites that might offer something completely new to the jaded Canadian traveller.

Winners include the Calgary Zoo, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, Les FrancoFolies de Montréal (a French-language festival held for ten days in late June), Alcan Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival (British Columbia) and two attractions in New Brunswick.

New Brunswick’s Hopewell Rocks site is the location of the highest tides in the world and the celebrated “flowerpot rocks”. The site features an interpretation centre with multimedia exhibits and an extensive network of trails and wildlife viewing points. New Brunswick also scored with its Kings Landing Historical Settlement, on the banks of the Saint John River. The settlement lets visitors travel back in time and relive the experiences of the first loyalist settlers in the ovince. These selections were made by a 6-person jury from various business fields.

Not surprisingly, the “People’s Choice” award went to Banff National Park. Created in 1885, Banff was Canada’s first national park, the second in North America and the third worldwide. Although Banff now welcomes some 4.7 million visitors every year, it is simply a beautiful place, and you should go there long before you visit any of the other winners.