The continent of North America consists of 23 countries, each of which has something different to offer the travel enthusiast. There is such a range of natural beauty on this continent, from vast deserts to majestic waterfalls, shadowy caves to rocky canyons and mountain ranges to beaches. And, there are hundreds of national parks that are home to the flora and fauna of this region. Since each place offers something unique to travelers, it can be difficult to decide which one to visit.
Here are some of the best vacation destinations in North America that will surely make your trip memorable.
1. Hawaiian Islands, USA
Hawaii is a very popular tourist destination for travelers from around the globe. Every year, more than 8 million travelers visit these islands and it is a dream vacation spot for most people planning to visit North America. There are a number of scenic locations that make it a great place for a vacation.
Variety of Stunning Beaches
Hawaii has a shoreline stretching across 750 miles, covered with more than 400 public beaches. This makes it very easy to find a beach that suits you and your family. Also, there are beaches of different colors, such as yellow beaches, black beaches, red beaches, and also a green sand beach!
Active Volcanoes and Mountains
The Hawaiian Islands were created from a single hotspot on the ocean floor. Since their creation, the islands have been drifting apart from this spot, but several volcanic sites are still present.
On Kauai island, you can take an aerial tour via helicopter and explore the crater of Mount Waialeale. It is one of the wettest spots on the planet. If you love hiking, then Oahu Island is an excellent place for you. Here, most tourists hike all the way to the top of the volcanic tuff cone, known as the Diamond Head. However, the most exciting geographical area is the active volcano, Kilauea, which has been erupting since 1983!
Pleasant Weather Conditions
Hawaii has the one of the best weather conditions in North America, which makes it an excellent choice for a vacation. The temperature remains moderate throughout the year and there are no extreme winters or summers. Regular rain showers keep the landscape green and every island has some areas that receive sunshine all year round. Apart from this, the cool breeze that blows due to the trade winds make it a perfect place to relax.
Thrilling Water Sports
Hawaii offers a plethora of water sports that you can take part in during your stay. For people who want to ride the ocean waves, Hawaii has some of the most amazing boogie boarding, surfing and windsurfing spots.
If you want to go underwater and explore the aquatic flora and fauna, there are snorkeling and scuba diving centers that provide such services. Other than this, there are sailing tours, raft tours, catamaran tours, parasailing and deep-sea fishing to keep you entertained.
2. Quebec City, Canada
For people interested in architecture, history and nature, Quebec City is the go-to place to spend a vacation. Although it experiences heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures (-5.9oC) during winter, there are a couple of reasons why holidaying in Quebec City is totally worth it.
Old Quebec District (Vieux Quebec)
The Old Quebec District is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is highly popular among tourists. This place is special because it is the only historic neighborhood in North America that has preserved its walled ramparts. From the Upper Town, you can get a view of the great Saint Lawrence River, or wander along the streets of Quartier Petit-Champlain, which is lined with restaurants and boutiques. There also are convents, monuments and churches to visit in the Upper Town.
Ice Hotel (Hotel du Glace)
Just 10 minutes from downtown Quebec City is the Ice Hotel, which was opened in 2001. Since then, it has attracted about 44,000 overnight visitors from all over the world. It consists of 44 rooms and is made entirely of 500 tons of ice and 30,000 tons of snow from the Laurentian mountains.
Average temperatures inside the hotel are between 3oC to -5oC. The rooms have beds that have a base formed of solid ice, covered by a wooden bedspring and then a mattress over it. You can sleep in these rooms, inside arctic themed sleeping bags, which makes it a unique experience.
During the night, guests can access various spas and saunas, but there is no need to stay the night for it. Tour packages are available throughout the day and you can also get married in the Ice Hotel’s chapel.
3. Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico, has been a center for culture and art for a very long time. It has nearly 300 art galleries and also the third largest museum system in New Mexico. To make your vacation a truly enlightening one, here are a few places you should visit in this city.
Museum of Indian Arts and Culture
The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture will help you to learn about the native population of North America. It features archaeological exhibits, art pieces, historic jewelry and many other artefacts of historical significance. More than 75,000 artefacts are present in the museum’s collection, although not all are put up on display. You are bound to learn some new facts about Native American history during your visit to this place.
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
This museum gets its name from one of the most renowned artists of the 20th century, Georgia O’Keeffe. Here, you can observe O’Keeffe’s artistic methods and the vast desert landscapes that inspired her work. Since 2006, her house and studio, which are close to the Chama river, are also preserved by the Museum. These are considered national historic landmarks and counted as one of the most artistic places in the US. The home where Georgia O’ Keeffe lived and created magnificent works of art is open for public viewing. You can get a tour of the place by making a prior appointment.
4. Vancouver, Western Canada
This city is the perfect destination for travelers who have a keen sense of adventure and the desire to explore various cultures and cuisines. Located amidst valleys, dense temperate forests and picturesque mountains, Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities to live in. It is a relatively new Canadian city and has the highest ethnic diversity and population density in the country. Since the successful Winter Olympics in 2010, it has become a popular vacation destination for tourists. Some of the things that make it a popular choice for tourists from around the world are:
Deep Cove Kayak Center
If being close to nature gives you an adrenaline rush, then a visit to the Deep Cove Kayak Center is a must. Kayaking is one of the most exciting things Vancouver has to offer and Deep Cove is the safest place to do it. You can paddle your way up to the Indian Arm, a scenic fjord, where forest animals often come down to drink water. If you’re lucky, you might just get a chance to see a red fox or a harbor seal on your way.
Sea to Sky Gondola
The town of Squamish is home to the epic Sea to Sky Gondola, which offers a thrilling ride and an amazing view to tourists. It first opened in 2014 and provides a 10-minute ride that puts you 885 meters above sea level. From here, you can get breathtaking views of the mountains and the coastal rainforests. At the Summit Lodge, you will find a variety of food options, along with viewing decks to soak in the view of the great Howe Fjord below.
Pacific Spirit Park
A lot of Vancouverites like staying outdoors during their spare time and the one place that they absolutely love is the Pacific Spirit Park. This park is covered by 2,160 acres of lush forest cover and there are a lot of designated paths for runners. You can enjoy a long hike around its perimeter or simply wander through the park and soak in the sights.
Being a large continent, North America has a large number of cities that you can choose to spend your vacation. The cultural diversity, weather conditions, entertainment options, cuisines, historical relevance, natural beauty and other factors make each place unique. So, if you want to plan a trip that you will remember for a long time to come, choose the vacation destination that is the best suited for your interests.