The land where everything combines...
North America is a whole-package deal. As the third-largest continent in the world, North America has a lot to offer to everyone, every taste, every mood, every preference, and every occasion. Rich in culture, natural beauty, historical sights, beach scene, party scene, and culinary scene, North America could check all the items on your bucket list all on its own.
Because of its gigantic size, North America offers an uncanny variety of experiences to its visitors. Thanks to its towering forests, rich jungles, vast fields, high-plain deserts, bustling metropolises, breath-taking beaches, and extremely varied climates, you can do everything from scuba diving off the coast of Florida to hit the slopes in Canada.
The Incredible Culture of North America
North America is home t some of the culturally iconic cities and landmarks such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, and of course the one and only Broadway Theater in New York City. North America is one gigantic pot where modern art, culture, and history all melt together seamlessly.
North America is also home to some of the world’s most culturally prestigious events, such as the Toronto Film Festival, the Emmy Awards, the Tony Awards, and of course, the Academy Awards, aka the Oscars.
The Gorgeous Landscapes
As we clarified, North America doesn’t fall short when it comes to variety, and landscapes are no different. This phenomenal continent has everything from red-rock deserts to lush rich tropical rainforests and to-die-for-beaches. North America is one of the few places in the world that covers every climatic zone.
Some of the can’t-miss gorgeous places in North America are Mexico’s Copper Canyon and Mt McKinley in Alaska which exceeds geographical extremes. Whether you are looking to sunbathe on a secluded beach or enjoy the slopes of the Great White North, North America is sure to deliver.
When to Visit?
The time to visit North America differs depending on what you would like to see and do. Because of the continent’s diverse climates and landscapes, the time you go should change according to the place or region of North America you are visiting and the experiences you are looking to enjoy.
If you want to visit the national parks and enjoy a rejuvenating outdoor experience, then plan your trip between March and May. This way, you can avoid the overcrowding of the summer and still enjoy somewhat moderate weather.
However, if you plan to hit one of the continent’s tropical destinations and beaches, then your best bet is to go during the summer months from August to October, especially if you are heading to a west coast area in the US, Mexico, or the Caribbean.
On the other hand, if you’re visiting Canada, consider going between September and November. The weather there during those months is typically cooler but not on the extreme cold front. You’ll also get to experience all the Canadian cosy fall vibes. However, if you would like to hike or visit an outdoor Canadian landmark, the best time to go is Between June and August.
How to get Around?
North America’s expansive beauty beckons travellers to explore its diverse destinations, and choosing the right mode of transportation can significantly enhance your journey. Here are some of the best ways to traverse this vast continent:
1. Road Tripping:
- Freedom on Wheels: Consider embarking on an epic road trip. The extensive network of well-maintained highways and scenic byways provides a sense of freedom, allowing you to witness the changing landscapes at your own pace. Renting a car or motorhome offers flexibility, especially when exploring off-the-beaten-path locations.
2. Efficient Air Travel:
- Connecting the Dots: For covering long distances or hopping between major cities, air travel is a convenient and time-saving option. North America boasts well-connected airports, making reaching your desired destinations easy. Watch for budget airlines and travel deals to optimize your itinerary. ParkFellows can help customers find cheap parking at major airports all across the country.
3. Scenic Train Journeys:
- Relaxing Rail Adventures: Experience the beauty of North America from the comfort of a train. Several scenic rail routes, such as the Rocky Mountaineer or Amtrak’s Coast Starlight, offer breathtaking views of mountains, forests, and coastlines. It’s a leisurely and environmentally friendly way to appreciate the vast landscapes.
4. Cruising Waterways:
- Coastal Cruises: If you’re drawn to coastal regions, consider exploring North America via a cruise. Cruises provide a unique perspective, offering stunning views of the shoreline, wildlife, and vibrant port cities. From Alaskan fjords to Caribbean paradises, there’s a cruise for every preference.
5. Interconnected Public Transport:
- City-Hopping: Within urban areas, utilize well-developed public transportation systems. Buses, trams, and metro services make it easy to navigate cities and experience local culture. Many cities also offer bike-sharing programs for an eco-friendly and immersive exploration.
Countries and Regions of North America
As we have previously clarified, North America is quite a gigantic continent that consists of a large number of regions and countries, 23 countries to be specific. However, the North American region mainly consists of three large nations and one large island territory: Canada, the United States of America, Mexico, and Greenland.
There are also seven smaller nations that fall under Central America, and around two dozen island nations and territories of different sizes that fall under the Caribbean, in addition to one isolated French territory off the Canadian Atlantic coast.
Despite the fact that Central America and the Caribbean are technical parts of the North American Region, they are commonly listed separately from their larger and more dominating neighbours; Canada, the USA, Mexico, and Greenland.
Here is a quick review of all the regions which compose the great North American Continent.
- United States of America: Easily, one of the largest and most ethnically diverse and multicultural countries and nations on the planet. Home to some of the world’s most famous cities, museums, natural wonders, unmatched beauty, and incredible art. The United States of America is the best representation of North American diversity as it has on its own a variety of climates and landscapes. In the same country, you can go skiing in Alaska, then go relax on a warm beach in Florida the very next day.
- Canada: The largest country in all of America, Canada also has everything a traveller may seek in a travelling destination. Aside from featuring some of the most breathtaking natural wonders, landscapes, and untouched wilderness, Canada is also home to some of the world’s most modern and hip cities. Extended over 5,000 KM from the Pacific coast to the Atlantic coast, Canada has something for basically everyone.
- Mexico: Whether you seek gorgeous beaches and warm weather or seek to discover and ravel the mysteries of history, Mexico is a perfect place for your next adventure. Home to some of the world’s most beautiful tropical beaches as well as the incredible artefacts of the ancient Aztec and Mayan civilizations, Mexico is another North American gem that caters to every taste and preference.
- Greenland: This self-governing country/island offers visitors unique experiences with its incredible landscapes and midnight sun.
- Central America: This 7-nation region that connects North America and South America perfectly brings together elements of both continents; from modern bustling cities and long coastlines to ancient jungle ruins and incredible rainforests.
- The Caribbean: The Caribbean stands alone when it comes to the tropical atmosphere. With gorgeous white sandy beaches, pristine crystal clear waters, and laid-back island culture, the Caribbean is the perfect place for a getaway vacation.
As previously mentioned, although technically consisting of 23 countries and regions, North America mainly comprises its four major countries: the United States of America, Canada, Mexico, and Greenland.
So let’s take a closer look at the incredible nations of which one of the world’s largest and most distinguished continents comprises.
Canada, aka the Great White North, is the closest destination to hikers’ and winter sports’ lovers’ hearts. Whether you would like to join the thousands of visitors that head to the Canadian Banff National Park, hit the slopes in the snowy town of Whistler.
Or enjoy a crisp morning walk around some of Canada’s most popular cities like Montreal, Vancouver, or Toronto, your time in Canada will definitely be well-spent. So let’s go through some of the best places to see and visit during your stay in the Great White North.
Niagara Falls, the Canadian-US border
Arguably the most famous waterfall in the world, Niagara Falls attracts about 20 million visitors every year. Straddling the US-Canadian border between the Ontario Province in Canada and New York State in the US, this naturally breathtaking waterfall has been among the world’s most visited tourist attractions since the 1850s.
Despite the fact that Niagara Falls are not technically Canadian, the Canadian side of the falls contains the largest waterfall of the three falls comprising Niagara Falls which is Horseshoe Falls.
Niagara Falls consists of three waterfalls: Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side of the Falls, the American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls on the U.S. side of the border. Niagara Falls are seen from several vantage points on both sides of the border.
The Niagara Falls National Park contains some of the best vantage points to view Niagara Falls from the U.S. side of the border. On the Canadian side, however, Queen Victoria Park has trails and platforms that offer incredible views of the American Falls and Horseshoe Falls.
Although it is not the steepest nor the largest waterfalls in the world, Niagara Falls’ undeniable charm and unmatched beauty have earned its place on most people’s bucket lists of must-see destinations and attractions.
Banff National Park, Alberta
Probably one of the most popular attractions in all of Canada, Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada has something for nearly everyone. Banff National Park has 13 campgrounds for you to choose from in case you decide to stay there. You are also granted a commercial lodging option right where you are.
Once you arrive at the area where Banff National Park is, you should probably take advantage of the situation and take a bus trip exploring the tri-town area of Banff, Jasper, and Lake Louise. You can relax at one of the visitor centres in either Banff or Lake Louise. There are plenty of water and land activities that you can easily enjoy while being at Banff National Park, such as hiking, ice skating, and swimming.
Historic Quebec City, Quebec
Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, historic Quebec in Quebec, Canada dates back to the 17th century when this neighbourhood was the complete main city. Within the streets and allies of historic Quebec, you can see a variety of centuries-old attractions and buildings that are of historic nature. Therefore, it was no surprise that historic Quebec became one of the top and must-see attractions in Canada and even the entire Northern American continent.
Haida Gwaii, British Columbia
Formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, Haida Gwai is the perfect getaway spot with its wild and quite breathtaking nature. When visiting this gorgeous archipelago, you can sign up for a kayaking tour and enjoy paddling on untampered waters through Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve.
You can also hike along the Golden Spruce Trail and take some seriously breathtaking shots to commemorate your hike and trip to the Canadian natural gem.
The CN Tower, Toronto
As Canada’s tallest free-standing infrastructure, the CN Tower is considered to be the Canadian Space Needle and one of the most significant landmarks in the world. Located in the province of Ontario, in the heart of Toronto, the CN Tower is visited by millions of locals and tourists from all over the world. So much so that it holds the Guinness Book of World Records title of being the most visited landmark in Canada.
The idea of building the CN Tower dates back to the late 1960s the Canadian National Railway decided to build a television and radio platform to serve the Toronto area. This need is what motivated the minds behind the construction of the CN Tower to take choose the tower to serve as a symbol of the strength of the Canadian economy.
However, that was the time when Toronto was developing and turning into the cosmopolitan metropolis it is today and skyscrapers were coming up fast all across the city. Therefore, the construction of another skyscraper made it so the CN Tower did not have enough airspace to allow it to transmit television and radio signals throughout all of Toronto. To overcome this dilemma, the height of the tower kept increasing until it was completed at 500 meters high.
Today, the CN Tower is open for the public to visit on a daily basis. On the elevator ride to the top of the tower, you will get a fantastic view of some of the city’s most breathtaking sights.
Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia
Stretching from Nova Scotia to New Brunswick, this 170-mile-long swath of coastline is one of Canada’s greatest natural treasures. One of the main attractions of the Bay of Fundy is that the bay experiences the highest tides in the world. In a single day, the tides of the bay move more water than exists in all freshwater sources across the whole world.
You can enjoy the wonder that is the Bay of Fundy in more ways than one. You can go hiking along the coastline in one of the bay’s provincial and national parks. You can also visit one of the natural history museums along the way. As expected, the gorgeous nature of the Bay of Fundy has always attracted a huge volume of tourists and visitors.
Therefore, there are several cosy guesthouses and bed and breakfasts along the coastline, many of which are converted Victorian houses. Don’t forget to also indulge in a delicious seafood feast of fresh lobster, salmon, mussels, scallops, and more of what the Bay of Fundy has to offer. You can even get a taste of the area’s local seaweed snack named ‘dulse’.
Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta
Travel back over 70 million years in time the second you step foot in this incredible Canadian Landmark. The Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta is famous for its harsh landscapes that have been carved by centuries of semi-tropical temperatures, wind, and rain. Located in Alberta, Canada (about 2 hours from Calgary), Dinosaur Provincial Park gives visitors a chance to escape today’s fast-paced world and see firsthand what life was like millions of years ago when dinosaurs were around.
If you are a dinosaur lover, then you will most likely have the time of your life in Dinosaur Provincial Park because it has the largest known collection of dinosaur fossils, as well as other animal species that lived alongside dinosaurs. Among the fossils in Dinosaur Provincial Park, thirty-nine different dinosaur species have been identified and over 500 samples have been excavated for research purposes. This spectacular and unique collection of fossils was what earned Dinosaur Provincial Park its World Heritage Site status in 1980.
Revelstoke, British Columbia
There are only a few places in the world quite as charming and beautiful as Revelstoke. Whether you go hiking, paragliding, skiing, or even just wandering around the gorgeous Revelstoke Mountain, you will most probably forget that you are in Canada and feel like you stepped right into Narnia.
If you feel up for an intense exercise, then consider cycling the Keystone Standard Basin Trail. Although incredibly challenging, this 11-km long trail offers some of the most breathtaking views you could ever see.
The United States of America
Stretching over 9,831,510 km² with a population of over 332 million people, the United States is the largest country in North America by population and the second-largest by area. Some say you haven’t truly lived until you have been to the United States at least once.
Whether this is an overstatement or not, a visit to the US will definitely enrich your life in more ways than one. Whether you want to see mountains, rivers, incredible beaches, or distinguished museums, the United States of America is the place to be. So without further ado, here are some of the best things to do and see in the US:
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
Although it is man-made, the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the world’s most iconic wonders. The second-longest bridge in the United States of America and the Seventh longest bridge in the world, the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge was completed in 1937. Ever since then, this one-of-a-kind suspension bridge that connects the San Francisco Peninsula to Marin County has been a source of pure pride to all San Francisco’s residents as well as all US citizens.
Another thing that is just as fascinating about The Golden Gate Bridge is its backstory. Before the bridge was constructed, ferries were used to move from one point to the other which later caused the clogging of the ferries at the bay. It was then that James Wilkins, an engineer, evolved the idea to build a bridge to span the Golden Gate Strait. The idea was later developed by Joseph Strauss, a structural engineer.
This was during the Great Depression in the United States, so funds were coming easily for construction work. However, Strauss was more than just an engineer, he was a visionary poet who truly believed his vision of the Golden Gate Bridge will one day come true against all odds. And sure enough, in 1930, voters funded the project and raised a total of 35 million dollars. Therefore, construction began. Over four years later, the project was completed.
Finally, on April 13th, 1937, the bridge was completed, followed by a weeklong celebration to mark this incredible milestone. Then, on May 28, 1937, exactly at 12 pm, the Golden Gate Bridge was officially open to the public.
The Golden Gate Bridge can be approached from two points: the northern point from Marin County, and the southern point from San Fransisco. Extended for over 1.7 miles long and 90 feet wide, the Golden Gate Bridge is a truly breathtaking monument.
The Grand Canyon, Arizona
One of the most popular National Parks in the United States, if not the world, the Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon that was carved by the Colorado River in Arizona, United States. This truly American National Treasure is 227 miles long and up to 18 miles wide, with a depth of over a mile.
The theories as to how the Grand Canyon was created vary, however, one thing that is agreed upon is that it took a significant amount of time to form and become what it is today. This also means that the Grand Canyon is constantly changing if you have already visited, visiting again after a while will probably feel like a completely brand new experience.
When you pay a visit to the Grand Canyon, you will get to witness and see views so spectacular they can’t be found anywhere else. With the walls of the canyon so uniquely coloured and the one and only Colorado River winding its way along the bottom of the giant canyon floor. This paired with the incredible wildlife that lives and thrives within the park of the Grand Canyon makes for a truly complete experience.
Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Needless to say, Disney World is the place where the magic never dies. The minute you will set foot in Disney World, you will instantly be transported to a whole different world where your wildest dreams and imaginations are no longer just a fantasy.
The Walt Disney World Resort which contains four large theme parks is the perfect place for you to unleash your inner child again. There is the Disney Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney Hollywood Studios, and Disney Animal Kingdom Park, so the things to do, experiences to enjoy, and incredible sights to see are practically endless.
The Walt Disney World Resort Complex also has two water parks – Blizard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. Aside from the entertainment options that exist nowhere in the world, the resort also features a variety of accommodations and dining options that cater to all tastes and budgets.
Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, especially, offers the resort’s visitors a chance to experience the adventure of a lifetime. You can go on wild rides that will make you feel like you travelled to outer space and others that will make your water adventures come true like Splash Mountain.
Other unskippable rides include Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Monster Inc., Cinderella’s Golden Carousel, It’s a Small World Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and a lot more. While there, don’t forget to take your picture in front of the one and only Cinderella Castle.
Big Sur Region, California
Located in central California, the Big Sur region is the perfect haven for those who are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city and enjoy a transcendent experience by the side of the ocean.
The Big Sur region is considered to be one of the most touristically popular regions in the United States. One of the main reasons for its popularity is the breathtaking and stunning sceneries visitors get to enjoy while visiting the Big Sur region. Among the many sights in the Big Sur region, Cone Peak is probably the most visited as it is considered to be the highest coastal mountain in all of the states.
Fortunately, the residents of the Big Sur region are highly conscious of the safety of the environment. Therefore, the natural beauty of the terrains that make up the Big Sur region has remained untouched and unspoiled.
The Statue of Liberty, New York City
When it comes to American landmarks, this one is not in need of much or any introduction. It is a national treasure, an international symbol of freedom, and the first thing immigrants see when they make their way into the New York Harbor letting them know that their American dream is coming true; it is the one and only; Statue of Liberty.
Ironically enough, the Statue of Liberty was not actually created by the hands of an American, nor was it built in the United States. In fact, the Statue of Liberty was gifted to the United States by France as a token of the strong friendship that took place between the two countries. This American national treasure was dedicated to the United States in October of 1886, however, it wasn’t declared as a National Monument until 1924.
Yellowstone National Park
Are you looking to escape humanity and truly feel at one with nature? Then Yellowstone National Park is definitely the perfect spot for your next getaway. Made up of almost 3,500 square miles of unspoiled land and free wildlife, Yellowstone National Park is spread across 3 naturally gorgeous states of the United States of America: Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. As the world’s first national park, Yellowstone is one of the most treasured landmarks by all US citizens, and rightfully so.
Walking along any of Yellowstone National Park’s many marked trails, you will get to witness some of the rawest and most breathtaking scenery around you. From hot springs to a unique collection of wildlife rarely seen anywhere else including animals such as buffalos, elks, grizzly bears, and even wolves.
However, it is extremely important to make some noise as you are hiking Yellowstone National Park so as to not surprise the animals ahead to avoid any potential animal attacks, especially from grizzly bears as they are extremely protective of their young cubs and might attack if they were caught off guard by your sudden appearance.
When it comes to naturally gorgeous getaway spots, it can not get better than Mexico. Featuring everything from vast deserts, tropical weather, uncanny beaches, and historical monuments and landmarks, Mexico is the perfect place to throw away your troubles and have a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Here are the best things to do and see while you are there:
Mexico City, Federal District
You can’t go to Mexico without visiting Mexico City; the country’s capital and the epitome of what Mexico is all about. Whether you decide to visit the incredible Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral which is one of the largest cathedrals in the world, check out the amazing art in Palacio de Bellas Artes, explore some historic ruins and structures in Plaza de las Tres Cultures, or simply relax on the warm sand by the water at one of the famous Mexico City beaches, you are guaranteed to have the time of your life during your visit to the Mexican capital.
Tenochtitlan, Federal District
Located in the Federal District in Mexico, Tenochtitlan was built on an island in Lake Texcoco. Although the capital of Mexico was built on top of the ruins of Tenochtitlan, many ancient structures from the original city can still be seen today.
Founded in 1325, Tenochtitlan is one of the most ancient cities in Mexico. At its height, Tenochtitlan was home to almost 250,000 people and covered around 13 square kilometres. Tenochtitlan was divided into four different zones, each had 20 districts and featured several public buildings such as temples and schools in the city centre.
Tulum, Riviera Maya
Tulum, Mexico offers you some of the most unusual and rare experiences you can ever have, where else can one find ancient, broken, and historic ruins side by side with gorgeous rain forests?
That’s not all, while in Tulum, you can have the time of your life during your cenote tour where you get to swim in an underground cave filled with swimming waters, there is literally nothing quite like it.
If you have enjoyed our North America travel guide, make sure to check the rest of our travel guides to the rest of the world so your next trip is planned with ease.
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Historic Quebec City, Quebec
Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, historic Quebec in Quebec, Canada dates back to the 17th century when this neighborhood was the complete main city. Within the streets and allies of historic Quebec, you can see a variety of centuries-old attractions and buildings that are of historic nature. Therefore, it was no surprise that historic Quebec became one of the top and must-see attractions in Canada and even the entire Northern American continent.The Best Christmas Destinations in 2023
Banff National Park, Alberta
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Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Needless to say, Disney World is the place where magic never dies. The minute you will set foot in Disney World, you will instantly be transported to a whole different world where your wildest dreams and imaginations are no longer just a fantasy.
The Walt Disney World Resort which contains four large theme parks is the perfect place for you to unleash your inner child again. There is the Disney Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney Hollywood Studios, and Disney Animal Kingdom Park, so the things to do, experiences to enjoy, and incredible sights to see are practically endless.3 Top Sports Museums to Visit in the US