Every winter Canadians flock to warmer weather. Where exactly are they heading? We’ll take a look at the most popular winter destinations for Canadians.
Florida has been nicknamed Canada’s 11th province thanks to the number of Canadians that head down there every winter. The panhandle state is more than just beaches and sun. Miami is home to Art Deco lined boulevards, Key West boasts Ernest Hemingway’s former home and the Florida Everglades is one of the most diverse ecosystems in North America. Cities like Palm Springs, Lake City, Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale are also all popular stops.
Puerto Vallarta is one of the most popular destinations for Canadians in Mexico. Its sunny Pacific coast has warm beaches juxtapositioned next to the jungles of Sierra Madre. Cafes and restaurants line the streets of Old Vallarta and the boardwalk provides a view of the ocean. The Yucatan Peninsula is full of small towns and fishing villages, while Playa del Carmen is more popular with the younger crowd. San Miguel de Oaxaca, Guadalajara and Lake Chapala are also all popular destinations for Canadians.
Cuba has long been a playground for Canadians while remaining off limits to our American cousins. Full of all inclusive resorts this communist nation is slowly easing restrictions and making it easier for visitors to experience the real Cuba. It only takes a four hour flight to hop from the snow banks of Toronto to the beaches of Cuba.
Many snowbirds swear by the health benefits of Arizona’s warm dry winters. Built smackdab in the middle of the desert, the capital Phoenix offers hiking in the McDowell Mountains, hikes through the Sonoran Desert, horseback riding, Montezuma’s Castle and many old west attractions. The Grand Canyon is easily accessible and so too is Tuscon – one of the most beautiful cities in the South West.
Costa Rica is quickly becoming one of the most popular destinations for Canadians looking to avoid the harsh Canadian winter. Home to beautiful beaches, mountains and lush rainforests, Costa Rica has everything you might look for in a warm winter getaway. The Central American country also boasts one of the highest birthrates in the Americas. Snowbirds can be found primarily on northern Pacific beaches like Playa Hermosa, Flamingo, Tamarindo and Malpais.
Like nearby Costa Rica, Panama is growing in popularity amongst snowbirds. Although it is less of a mainstay than the former, Panama does have reliably gorgeous weather and friendly locals. The country is safe, inexpensive and packed with activities like golf, scuba diving and hiking.
Nicaragua has many of the same features that make Panama and Costa Rica such popular destinations: natural beauty, beaches, friendly locals, inexpensive options and safety. Colonial towns like the 500 year old Granada have charming cobbled streets, shops and restaurants that cater to tourists.
Looking beyond the western hemisphere, more adventurous Canadians might go as far afield as Thailand in Southeast Asia. Friendly locals (once again), sunny skies, warm beaches, a vibrant tourism industry and a unique culture make the decision to fly halfway around the world an easy one for some Canadians. The cost of living is just a fraction of that in Canada, and cheap flights can be found year round. Bangkok, the capital and largest city, is popular with some but for a more peaceful option choose Krabi Town, for an abundance of expats try Chiang Mai or Hua Hin, to save even more try Chiang Rai, or you can always just head to the beach!
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