10 amazing reasons to visit Canada

2:31 PM, Feb 17, 2014   |    comments
Canada's Yukon region has mountain peaks that have never been climbed before. Government of Yukon
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USA TODAY - Oh Canada. With its beautiful west coast, snow-glazed Rocky Mountains and quaint east coast, America's neighbor gives a whole new meaning to breathtaking. Its reputation of being friendly is just the beginning of Canada's vast appeal. Here are 10 unique Canadian experiences:

First ascent

"There's a land where the mountains are nameless," said poet Robert Service about the peaks of the Yukon, a territory in Canada's north. The region has mountain peaks that have never been climbed before. A vast wilderness spread across thousands of acres, it gives those looking for an adrenaline rush a chance to become true pioneers.

Highest tides

Home to the highest tides in the world, Hopewell Rocks give travelers a remarkable chance to explore rock formations and plant life under the ocean without getting wet. The huge difference in depth between high tide and low tide means that visitors can kayak in the Bay of Fundy at one point in the day, and walk on the ocean floor a few hours later.

Suck on a toe

Found in Dawson City in the Yukon, the Sourtoe Cocktail is served with a real human toe in it. Hear about the legend behind the tradition if you're brave enough to take a sip, but remember that your lips must touch the toe to become a member of the Sourtoe Cocktail Club.

Sweet with a twist

Named after a lush green city nestled on the west coast, the Nanaimo bar is made from a recipe believed to have been passed down from generations of European settlers in the region. The no-bake layered dessert is an iconic Canadian sweet, with chocolate, custard and wafers coming together in one bite. Today, travelers can venture on a Nanaimo Bar Trail and stop at restaurants serving everything from Nanaimo bar martinis and cupcakes to fudge and the original recipe.

Grapes in a glass

A refreshing dessert wine, ice wine is made from frozen grapes and requires ideal, below-freezing temperatures to be harvested. Known as British Columbia's "liquid gold," the award-winning Mission Hill's Riesling Icewine and Paradise Ranch Merlot Icewine are among the must haves.

Warm and windy

A Chinook is like a cup of hot cocoa on a cold winter day. The warm wind cascades onto parts of southern Alberta, melting snow and warming temperatures along its path. A rare natural phenomenon, a chinook can result in huge temperature gains within hours, and the transformation is a unique experience.

Wallenda wannabes

It's not every day that you can go for a stroll 1,168 feet high up in the sky. Book the daring EdgeWalk around the circumference at the top of the CN Tower for stunning views of Toronto's skyline and an adrenaline rush like no other.

Dancing with bears

While most Canadians don't actually live in igloos, the country is home to a polar bear population travelers can get close to. Head to Churchill, Manitoba - known as the polar bear capital of the world - for the rare opportunity to observe the majestic creatures, and if you're lucky, also catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

Bite into a beaver

Shaped like an iconic Canadian animal's tail, the oddly named BeaverTail is addictive and can be found across Canada. The delicious fried-dough pastries are dipped in boiling oil and topped with a variety of flavors including chocolate hazelnut, maple butter or the classic cinnamon and sugar.

Bridge to somewhere

The 8-mile-long Confederation Bridge is an engineering marvel that connects Prince Edward Island with mainland New Brunswick in eastern Canada, making it the longest bridge in the world crossing ice-covered water. It is part of the Trans-Canada Highway, one of the world's longest, with the highest point of the bridge reaching 197 feet above sea level, allowing large sea vessels to cross under it.

(Copyright © 2014 USA TODAY)

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