Culture, Destinations, Events

Happy Canada Day – 3 Heritage Sites to Visit Now

July 1, 2014 • By

In honor of Canada Day (and our evolving plan to include the country up north on our Progressive Road Trip), here are three intriguing places going onto my Canadian bucket list.  Have you visited any of these?  Let me know what I’ve missed, too.

1.  L’Anse Aux Meadows

The photos of this historical site on the island of Newfoundland intrigue me. Houses of any kind pull me in – and I love seeing how others live, or lived before us.  L’Anse Aux Meadows looks quietly pastoral, and the name, on first thought, seems to reflect that.  But this Viking settlement from around the year 1000 was probably a bit less calm during its heyday.

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And yes, there are many idyllic looking meadows – but the name itself is believed to derive from the French L’Anse-aux-Méduses or Jellyfish Cove! The site was discovered 1960 and today there are the remains of several Norse houses, reconstructed boats and more.

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I really want to explore these houses built into the sod.  Evidently there are occasional reenactments of Viking landings, as well – and I’d love to see that.

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2.  Historic Lunenburg

In Nova Scotia, the historic harbor (I should say harbour, in honor of our Canadian friends) beckons with unique British Colonial architecture, restaurants, inns, shops and museums. The town even has its own dialect, known as Lunenburg English, which is influenced by New England English and German.

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Lunenburg has figured prominently in several global conflicts, including the American Revolution and World Wars I and II.  I’m looking forward to exploring the town’s history and style on a future trip.

3.  Quebec City

The European settlement of historic Quebec began with a fort in 1535 and the town itself was established in 1608, making it one of the oldest cities in North America.  The fortified walls of the old town still exist. Today there are over 500,000 people living within the city limits, most of them French speakers, and the place is home to great architecture, murals, statutes, historic sites and boutiques.

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The view from the walkway near the historic Château Frontenac Hotel offers beautiful views of the Saint Lawrence River.  There are at least 37 National Historic Sites of Canada nearby.

Quebec City is also known for its Winter Carnival, which features daytime and nighttime parades, a masquerade ball, an Ice Palace, outdoor banquets, snow sculpture contests and more.  Then, there is the summer music festival which has featured artists such as Linkin Park, Sting, Santana, Stone Temple Pilots, Bon Jovi, Bruno Mars and more.

Can’t wait to see you, my northern cousins.  Happy Canada Day!

(today’s photos courtesy Wiki Commons – since I haven’t visited yet!)