Squamish, B.C. named to New York Times’ best travel for 2015 (with VIDEO)

Squamish and Quebec City were the only Canadian cities on the Times' 'To Do' list for 2015, which totalled 52 cities and destinations.

A view of Squamish Valley from the Chief

Squamish, B.C. has been named to the New York Times‘ 52 Places To Go in 2015, coming in 32nd overall and higher than any other city in Canada.

In its reason for the ranking, the Times – which names both traditional travel favourites and road less travelled types in its annual feature – recognized Squamish’s transformation from a Vancouver-to-Whistler stopover into a destination on its own.

“Can a $22 million gondola put a Canadian mountain town on the world map? Maybe,” writes Remy Scalza, on the Sea to Sky Gondola. “Already, nearly a half-million people have made the ascent. Many are sticking around after the ride down, drawn by an unusual combination of West Coast wilderness and accessibility.”

(The Squamish recognition is not the only recent bit of love the Times has tossed the area’s way. In December, the paper published a video feature on ’36 Hours’ in Whistler, B.C.)

Scalza also gives love for the city’s well-documented outdoor activities – “Hundreds of trails weave through Pacific rain forest to glacial lakes, waterfalls and peaks” – like its kiteboarding, its Bald Eagle-watching, and the Stawamus Chief, a 2,300-foot hiking climb.

(*As long as the Times is giving credit to B.C., the beauty of the travel feature’s online version should be noted. From Nos. 1 to 52, it’s a top-down masterpiece in long-form journalism – every second entry, it seems, contains a GIF of some great exotic scene. And every photo jumps off the screen.)

Quebec City was the only other Canadian city to place on the list. The highest North American city was Philadelphia, which finished third, and Yellowstone National Park finished fourth.

Milan, Italy finished first overall, just ahead of Cuba – which of course only recently became a possibility for some American travellers.

*The list was originally published on NYTimes.com on January 9, 2015.

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