Despite sharing plenty of land and water with the United States, few Americans have checked out the excitement to be had just across the border in Ontario. More than just Niagara Falls, the region stretches from the Great Lakes to the Hudson Bay with two of Canada’s largest cities squarely in the center of it all. Known for its outdoor recreation opportunities, the region can seem mind-blowingly huge to first-time visitors.

To help you get started planning your first trip to Ontario, here are a few things we adore about Canada’s most populous providence.

"CN Tower Edgewalk" by Kevin Costain via Flickr Creative Commons

It’s full of adventure

Ontario spans over 415,000 square miles, which means there’s more than enough room for adventure. Dangle from the top of Toronto’s largest skyscraper, get up close and personal with Niagara Falls, snowshoe or ski the endless trails, or hike through the provincial parks are just a few suggestions to get you daydreaming.

"Niagara Falls Frozen Illumination" by Elvir K via Flickr Creative Commons

It’s a year-round destination

Spring or summer, winter or fall, Ontario natives celebrate each season to the fullest with a calendar chalk full of events. Rub elbows with celebs at the Toronto International Film Festival, get lost in the beauty of endless flower fields at Ottawa’s Tulip Festival or see Niagara Falls bathed in lights for the holidays at the Winter Festival of Lights. One of our favorite events is Toronto’s annual Dragon Boat Race in June. This cultural weekend allows amateur rowing teams to train with the professionals while competing against each other.

Winos, rejoice | Photo Credit: Graham

They really love their wine

For Ontario residents in the Niagara region, it isn’t a meal without at least a glass or two. In the winter months while everyone else is sipping on hot cocoa, locals are checking out the ice wine at Niagara-on-the-Lake, while summer months bring relaxing days at the vineyards in Ontario’s Wine Country. Such a deep affinity and appreciation for their local vitners is something we can get behind 100 percent.

"Mammoths" by Paul Bica via Flickr Creative Commons

You can’t top the city life

The province’s capital of Toronto and the country’s capital of Ottawa are two of the largest cities in Canada and neither disappoints in terms of recreation. Whether you prefer to have a picnic in Toronto’s High Park or skate on the world’s largest rink in Ottawa during the Winterlude Festival, there's plenty of urban activities to enjoy throughout the year.

"Indian Head Cove Bruce Peninsula National Park " by Colonel John Britt via Flickr Creative Commons

There’s always a reason to come back for more

Ontario may not be the largest of Canada’s provinces, but it certainly feels like it has the most to offer. Each region is different than the next and unique to the season. The best advice we can offer? Road trip it in the spring, snowmobile in the winter, and hike in the summer. After all, a few trips a year never hurt anybody.