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Best Places to Travel in Canada: 2014

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TORONTO, ONTARIO -- The word is sesquicentennial and Canadians and visitors to the country are going to hear lots about it, and a few will even learn how to properly pronounce it.

In 2017, the nation marks its 150th birthday. The celebratory mood spikes this Canada Day, when the sesquicentenary of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference turns the Prince Edward Island capital into a summer party zone that will be on the itinerary of thousands of travellers.

Thanks to the festive atmosphere, Charlottetown tops the list of the 20 Best Places to Travel in Canada in 2014. The list is selected by Vacay.ca's team of travel experts that includes acclaimed writers, editors, and photographers. A map featuring Pinterest Place Pins has been created to highlight each destination.

"Our content creators felt Charlottetown was a clear number one because of the celebratory mood that promises to uplift the city all year," says Rod Charles, Vacay.ca Director of Communications. "It is the most festive spot in Canada in 2014 and domestic and international travellers from around the world will be treated to a series of celebrations that are not likely to be repeated. That's what our list is about -- determining the hot spots and unique experiences for the next 12 months and spotlighting them so our global audience knows where and when to book their trip."

The Vacay.ca list is in its third year and has emerged as a great forecaster and influencer of Canadian travel. For 2013, Fortress Louisbourg in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia was the No. 1 destination and it saw a 37 per cent increase in visitation from its 2012 levels. In 2012, Calgary topped the list and witnessed record numbers of travellers, many of whom arrived for the 100th Calgary Stampede.

Voters named destinations for their significance in 2014, including notable anniversaries, events and festivals.

Some entries were also recognized for their unheralded or emerging tourism infrastructure -- such as No. 3 Fogo Island in Newfoundland and Labrador -- and their uniqueness as a travel offering. Following Charlottetown was another provincial capital, Quebec City, which also played a pivotal role in the building blocks that led to the nation's constitution.

British Columbia leads all provinces with five entries, including No. 7 Vancouver, which will host the 30th annual TED Conference in March -- marking the first time the event that attracts global luminaries will be held outside of California.

Also of note is the inclusion of Winnipeg, which ranks fifth, thanks in large part to the $351-million Canadian Museum for Human Rights that is scheduled to open on September 20.

"All across Canada sensational new attractions, restaurants and hotels are arriving, re-shaping the nation's tourism landscape before our eyes," says Charles. "As Canada builds towards its 150th birthday, Vacay.ca will continue to create all original, high-quality and innovative content that chronicles the best new tourism experiences in the country, as well as hidden gems, top restaurants and timeless favourites."

To read the story and see the entire list on Vacay.ca, click here.

The top 5 winners from 2013...

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