Canada 150 is going strong. The Canadian dollar has risen a bit with a falling U.S. dollar but the exchange rate is still at about 20% in favour of the American tourist.
Perhaps you are on vacation in Canada right now. If not, why aren't you in Canada?
The free admission to national parks has certainly helped increase interest. In the first 7 months, more than 14 million have gone to national parks and historic sites, up 12% from the same time period in 2016. The increase is more than 1.5 million visitors.
Point Pelee in southwestern Ontario has seen a 66% spike over the same time from last year. Prince Edward Island National Park is up 37%.
We thought we would look back at some of our best travel-related stories in 2017:
U.S. presidents do go to Canada (some of them anyway) but they don't get to stay long or take time to appreciate what Canada has to offer.
The former president gave a speech at the Palais des congrès before the Montréal Chamber of Commerce. President Obama also took some time to hang out with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Liverpool House.
Obama even wished Montréal "bon anniversaire" for the city's 375th birthday.
The two leaders enjoyed oysters and lobster spaghetti as well as local fare such as smoked trout, asparagus, rib steak, halibut, and morel mushrooms.
Former President Bill Clinton and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spent part of this summer in North Hatley in Quebec's Eastern Townships.
The awareness of Newfoundland has significantly increased in the last year or so thanks to Come From Away. Even with only a single Tony Award, the cast performed a song during the 2017 Tony Awards.
We even talked about a potential tour of Newfoundland destinations from The Shipping News in New Bonaventure to Gander, the site of the play. You can see where Newfoundland films were made from The Grand Seduction to Rare Birds.
If you want to see location shots from Republic of Doyle (now on Netflix), St. John's has plenty of shots, including the exterior of the Doyles' bar. There is a real bar on the inside with outstanding gravy.
The trip is a long distance from everywhere and the climate may not be warm, but the area will bring a lot of good travel memories.
Prince Edward Island. Potatoes. Red soil. Mussels. Anne of Green Gables.
The updated series that aired on CBC and Netflix has been renewed for a second season. Though most of the show is not shot in PEI, the show should be inspiration to explore the land that inspired the great novel.
I do share my travel memories of the island in the travel story as well. Try the Cows ice cream. Mmmmm. Extra butterfat.
Niagara Falls is barely in Canada but Live with Kelly and Ryan did spend a couple of days on the Canadian side of the falls. The show did travel to Two Sisters Vineyards at Niagara-on-the-Lake where Americans saw a 20-year-old legally drinking. That felt Canadian.
Use Niagara Falls as a jumping off point to explore the southern Ontario region, even if that only involves vineyards. Stratford is a bit more than 2 hours away and Toronto is only a couple of hours away.
The Washington Post got into the spirit of Canada 150 and free admission to national parks to produce 5 significant travel stories for the newspaper.
If you aren't able to travel where you want to go in Canada, these articles would prove to be a fine resource well after Canada 150.
We cover a lot of Canadian ads during MLB Extra Innings and NHL Center Ice free previews. The winter break had so many tourism-related ads that we created a separate story. The ads were summer-related including the polar bears in Churchill. I had a friend who was just up there this summer. Her polar bear pictures were beautiful.
The collection includes Manitoba, Edmonton, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. The Ontario refugees was more about how welcoming the province is to new arrivals.
Summer travel may be over soon but traveling for the CFL is almost at the halfway point. I've been to every CFL city as well as Moncton for Touchdown Atlantic.
Coming from downtown Montréal, getting to Molson Stadium is a bit of a climb, but the views are really amazing at the Alouettes home stadium. Trains take you right to the stadiums in Edmonton, Vancouver, and Calgary.
Walking to old and now new Mosaic Stadium is a reasonably short walk in downtown Regina. Buses take you right to the stadiums in Winnipeg, Hamilton, and Ottawa. Toronto requires a streetcar and a healthy walk or a GO train and a relatively short walk.
However you get there, you have a lot of good options to take in a CFL game this fall.
Things have been fairly smooth in Banff National Park other than a few wildfire-related problems. Banff was expected to be crowded with the free admission for 2017. The scenery is absolutely off the charts. If you go in 2018 and the parks are no longer free, you will get a lot of beauty for the admission price.
The BC wildfires have caused a lot of damage in people and property. Was glad to get to Tofino last year in between the years of extreme wildfires.
You had and have a lot of choices for national parks in Canada. And there is still plenty of beauty remaining this year.
This is a bonus article since this first ran on December 28 but you might not have read it until 2017. Tofino offered a true escape inside a rainforest. Surfing in wetsuits is a major activity. You can find plenty of places for relaxing nature and then fish tacos for sustenance.
You can find all our travel coverage here.
photos credit: me; Obama Foundation; me; Live with Kelly and Ryan; Prince Edward Island tourism; Parks Canada; me