Canada ranks as the second most beautiful country in the world.

Early this week British travel book company Rough Guide announced the results of their recent reader poll on the most beautiful country in the world. The top spot fell to Scotland because of its scenic lochs and rich history. Not far behind, Canada took second place as the most picturesque nation.

Perhaps an unsuspecting candidate at first, Canada has many hidden gems. The land of Tim Hortons, maple syrup, and noticeably polite citizens is also home to some astounding natural wonders. Don’t let Canada’s harsh winter temperatures intimidate you. If you are averse to cold weather, we assure you that the other three seasons provide ample opportunity to visit.

Canada’s urban culture is indeed thriving, which cities like Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto clearly demonstrate. The eclectic nightlife and diverse population certainly draw a crowd. But during your stay, we encourage you to travel outside the metropolis and into the woods. Here you will be met with beauty enough to leave you awestruck.

Canada is home to over 40 national parks, each possessing unique features. Here are a few of our favorites.

Lakes, forest, and mountains decorate Alberta’s Jasper National Park. Mt. Edith Cavel is the most notable peak, standing at 11,033 feet. Ride a canoe across the Pyramid and Patricia Lakes for optimal viewing of the surrounding mountains.

Arguably the main attraction on Canada’s nature crown, Baniff National Park lies among the Canadian Rockies. As Canada’s first national park, it has grown into an epitome of natural wonder. A 6,641 square kilometer color palette, all of Baniff is appealing to the eye. The iconic Lake Louise resembles liquid sky, contrasting the deep greens of the surrounding forest.

For a change of scenery from your traditional outdoors experience, head to Cape Breton Highlands National Park. This quaint island is nestled along the coastline of Nova Scotia. Watch moose roam along the rolling green hills or enjoy a spectacular ocean sunrise. If you happen to visit in the autumn, you will be met with a vibrant display of orange and red leaves for your viewing pleasure.

Adventuring in the vast outdoors of Canada is an unreal experience. No matter where you find yourself in this country, there is always new beauty to behold. Make a trek to Canada soon and find out for yourself why it ranks as the second most beautiful country in the world.

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