Two Canadian spots make National Geographic’s 2013 must-see places

Nadine Kalinauskas
Daily Brew

National Geographic just released its list of the world's 20 must-see places in 2013.

On the list are two Canadian destinations: British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest and Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Island.

"The Great Bear Rainforest, the planet's largest intact coastal temperate rain forest, is an untamed strip of land stretching 250 miles along British Columbia's coast that harbors extensive tracts of giant hemlock, Sitka spruce, and red cedar. The mighty trees rise high above a moist and ferny forest floor patrolled by coastal wolves, minks, Canada's largest grizzly bears, and rare white Kermode spirit bears," the magazine's editors wrote.

They noted that with the pipelines poised to to alter the coast by the end of next year, a visit to the Great Bear Rainforest should be booked sooner than later.

[ Related: B.C. paraplegic skier gets National Geographic nod ]

At the other end of the country, picturesque Cape Breton Island gets its recommendation from inventor Alexander Graham Bell, who spent 37 summers there.

"I have seen the Canadian and American Rockies, the Andes, the Alps, and the Highlands of Scotland," Bell once said. "But for simple beauty, Cape Breton outrivals them all."

The island's 300-kilometre Cabot Trail — National Geographic recommends driving its loop counterclockwise loop beginning in Baddeck — "is often ranked among the world's most spectacular drives," the Canadian Press added.

Neither Canadian spot had a winter-visit recommendation. According to the magazine, it's best to explore Great Bear between May and September, and to enjoy Cape Breton between May and October.

Four American destinations made the list: Hudson Valley, New York; Missouri River Breaks, Montana; Memphis, Tennessee; and St. Augustine, Florida.

[ Related: Canada's Best Ambassador nominee: St. Lawrence Market ]

The international locations completing the list were the following: Crimea, Ukraine; Marseille, France; Raja Ampat, Indonesia; Ravenna, Italy; Malawi; Quito, Ecuador; Bagan, Myanmar; Uganda; Thessaloniki, Greece; Grenada; Bodo, Norway; Valparaiso, Chile; Kyoto, Japan and Jarash, Jordan.

Have you been to any of next year's must-see places?