Vancouver is spectacular to behold: a city of glass on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. The former Winter Olympics host city is a ski paradise in winter—but that’s just the tip of the snow-capped mountain! Its downtown is remarkably cosmopolitan, packed with trendy shops, world-renowned restaurants and stylish craft cocktail bars. Yet it’s only a 30-minute drive to the deep forests and soaring peaks of the North Shore, or a short sail to the wide-open ocean, where orcas and dolphins frolic.
San Miguel, Mexico
San Miguel de Allende, in Mexico’s heartland, serves up European character that distinguishes it from the country’s beach destinations. Here you’ll find quaint and colorful Spanish colonial buildings, cobblestone streets, lively markets and a thriving art scene. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage site thanks to its unique architecture and history, and a must-visit destination thanks to its laid-back and expat-friendly culture.
Austin is known worldwide as a music city, thanks to its more than 250 live-performance venues. But there’s much more to explore here, from gorgeous hotels and spas (two favourites are the Lake Austin spa outside the city and the Skyline Spa in the downtown Hilton) to more than 300 parks and green spaces, such as downtown’s 416-acre Lady Bird Lake. Food-lovers won’t be disappointed, with mouth-watering options ranging from incredible tacos and BBQ to great cafes, food trucks, pubs and fine-dining restaurants.
The polar bear capital of the world! This tiny town on the edge of Hudson Bay in northern Canada is the best place to see these incredible creatures in the wild. Ride a special tundra vehicle out onto the plains in October or November to watch the bears hunt, romp and bask in the dwindling sunlight. Evenings, keep your eyes trained skyward for glimpses of the northern lights.