10 cities Canadian travellers love most "No room at the inn, but you can sleep in my stable." Sounds biblical, I know. But those words were actually uttered to me by Helmut, owner of a small auberge in the the little out-of-the-way mountain village of Gimmelwald, Switzerland. It was the end of a long day, and I had to sleep somewhere. It wasn't as bad as I anticipated. I climbed up into the loft above his stable - only to find half a dozen other tourists. And that's when a voice piped up through the dark, "Hi there, we're from Ontario. Do you speak English?" I remember feeling surprised but sheepish. There I was, back-packing around the world and I run into folks from my home province. It never surprises where I'll run into other Canadian travellers. When we take to the big highway we're apt to end up anywhere. But we do have our habits, which is mirrored in this recent list compiled by Hotwire.com, a discount travel site, based on the habits of Canadians who travelled on Family Day weekend 2011 (the third Monday in February). Here's their list of 10 most popular destinations for Canadian travellers: [caption id="attachment_8513" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Canadians love New York City. Everyone needs to see Lady Liberty at least once in their lifetime. (Photo: Derek Jensen)"] [/caption] Three Canadian cities made it to the list: Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, along with a few American cities (New York, Orlando) which are perennial favourites among Canadians. 1. New York City, New York 2. Toronto, Ontario, Canada 3. Montreal, Quebec 4. Vancouver, British Columbia 5. Orlando, Florida 6. Minneapolis, Minnesota 7. Fort Lauderdale, Florida 8. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 9. Las Vegas, Nevada 10. Phoenix, Arizona [caption id="attachment_8514" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="The cafe scene and street life of Montreal are tops in Canada -if not the world (Photo: Bonjour Quebec)"] [/caption] If I could choose a weekend getaway from this list my number one pick (on this snowy day in January) would be Las Vegas (not for the gambling strip but for the day trips to the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam). Vancouver and Montreal would tie for second (if I could transplant Stanley Park in the heart of Old Montreal I'd move in a nano sec). My third pick? Well, I'd have to say Minneapolis because (a) I've never been there and (b) to out why it appeals to so many Canadians. [caption id="attachment_8517" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Stanley Park, Vancouver. My favourite city green space in all of Canada (Courtesy: Thorfinn Stainforth)"] [/caption] I mean, who comes into work on a Monday and boasts about having gone to Minneapolis for the weekend? Maybe I'm out of the loop. I'd love to know what I'm missing. So why do Canadians love New York so much? For me, it's an equal mix of Broadway shows, the sites (everyone's gotta get a close-up of Lady Liberty at some point) and the personality of New Yorkers. They're a breed unto themselves - direct, helpful, blunt, a unique urban chutzpah. Have you been to New York? What's you're No. recommendation?