North America is a delight. Prior to the 1400s, this was the domain of indigenous peoples-Indians, as the early Europeans called them. It was first discovered by Vikings around the year 1000, but when Europeans landed on its shores in the late 1400s, a transformation began to take place. But, the constant battles between the First Nations, the Europeans, and the British over this land, and the consequent merging, blending, and colliding of cultures shaped it into the vibrant, culturally diverse, historically colourful continent it is today.
Come to North America to visit the iconic cities of New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Toronto, Vancouver, and Mexico City,each with its own unique flavour. Come to admire geographical wonders like the Grand Canyon, the Rocky Mountains, the Badlands, and Mammoth Cave. Relive the Wild West and the Gold Rush eras. Learn about the Mayans and the Aztecs, the ancient civilizations of Mexico. Embrace the history of the First Nations peoples who called this continent home before anyone else did. Hike mountains, laze on beaches, and visit world-class museums. You'll find wide open spaces, blue skies, fresh air, and roads and highways that literally disappear into the horizon.
The continent lies completely in Earth's northern hemisphere. It includes three countries: Canada, the United States, and Mexico. It also includes three dependencies: Bermuda a dependency of the United Kingdom; Greenland, a dependency of Denmark; and Saint Pierre and Miquelon, an island archipelago that is a dependency of France.
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There are numerous major airport hubs in North America, so whether you're flying to the continent from overseas, or your flying within the continent, you can easily find flights to wherever you want to go. Major carriers include Air Canada and WestJet, two Canadian airlines that offer numerous domestic, intercontinental, and international flights. Major US carriers do the same, and include American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, and many others. Most of these airlines fly to Mexico, as do many European and South American airlines, and of course the Mexican-owned airlines themselves, such as Aeromexico.
Booking flights to and within North America can be a challenge—and will be on the pricey side—if you want to travel during Christmas vacation, over Thanksgiving weekend (which is in October in Canada, but in November in the US), over Presidents' Day Weekend (Presidents' Day is a US holiday, celebrated on the 3rd Monday in February) and during school/university/college holidays like Spring Break, Reading Week, and semester/term breaks. Keep in mind that school holidays are determined by each individual school district or university/college.
"All Inclusive" package travel from Canada and the US to Mexico is extremely popular during the winter months (November through March), and is offered by scheduled airlines and by tour operators that use charter airlines. During peak holiday times, these packages sell out quickly.
The four seasons of spring, summer, fall, and winter are distinctly different from each other throughout most of North America. Summer (July/August) is glorious, making this the peak tourist season almost everywhere, except in Mexico and the most southern of the southern United States, where it's simply too hot—often around 40°C Celsius—at this time of year. Mexico is lovely to visit any time from October through April, and the southern US states such as Florida, Arizona, and Texas are lovely in the spring (April through June) and fall (September through November).
In the winter (November through March), snow covers most of Canada and the northern US states, and in the mountain regions of both countries, this is ski season, another popular tourist period. Early fall, when the leaves have changed colour, is another delightful period for travelling on the continent. This is the best time to do a train trip or a road trip.
Because of the size of the continent, and its range of climatic zones, there's always a perfect destination in North America, no matter what time of year you travel.