Our northern neighbor and the second largest country in the world, Canada is a treasure trove of natural wonders and urban appeal just a few hours away. A country renowned for its stunning scenery, there are as many adventures indoor as out spread across the vast landscape. Whatever providence you choose, don't miss these five awesome Canadian gems right across the border.

Rock Out

For music lovers, Salmo, British Columbia is the place to be in August as the town hosts the annual Shambhala Music Festival. Celebrating electronic music with talent from around the globe, over 10,000 people can be found rocking out around six uniquely themed stages complete with light show and art installments.

Photo Credit: Grant MacDonald

Hit the Ice

If you're a hockey fan, you'll feel right at home in Canada, but your mecca should be the Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Toronto. Marvel at the Stanley Cup and enjoy state of the art interactive games with a life-size computer simulated goalie or hockey superstars Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier. There are theaters on site showing hockey films, along with the D.K. "Doc" Seaman Hockey Resource Centre for memorobelia.

Photo Credit: Chris Pawluk

Travel to Old West

Looking for a break from city life? Travel to Calgary, Alberta in July for some Western fun. The Calgary Stampede is a popular summertime shindig that happens annually. Bring your boots and cowboy hat and join the town in preserving western heritage complete with live country music, a parade and the rodeo derby as 36 drivers compete for a grand prize of over a million dollars. Each evening of the ten-day event features pyrotechnics and music from Volte at the Grandstand show making for a memorable and family-friendly event.

Photo Credit: Aussendorf

Explore the Great Outdoors

For active adventurers, Canada beckons with mile after mile of wide open spaces. Check out the Trans Canada Trail a 13,700-mile network that takes you across the country from St. Johns, Newfoundland, Victoria to British Colombia and north to the Arctic Ocean. Explorers can pick their poison by hiking along the path, paddling through the Athabasca River, cycling the Galloping Goose, kayaking, horseback riding, or even skiing depending on the season. Take the trail for an hour hike, or a month long backpacking adventure.

Photo Credit: Gary J. Wood

Get off the Grid

Looking for a relaxing vacation? Travel to Muskoka Cottage Country in Ontario for your own little slice of heaven. Spend the weekend at a cottage in the woods with views of Muskoka Lake and the sound of waterfalls close by. A two-hour drive from Toronto, the region is home to 17 historic towns, the Algonquin Provincial Park to the east and the 30,000 islands of Georgian Bay Islands National Park to the west. Enjoy paddle boarding on the lake, shop along the river walk, or go to the Pow Wow Point Lodge for campfires, canoeing and volleyball.