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12 unbelievable facts about the USA and Canada

Recently updated on July 24th, 2023 at 04:43 pm

Did you know that the Statue of Liberty isn’t actually in New York? Or that there’s a place in North America where you have to pay to see the sunset? Here are 13 surprising facts about the USA and Canada that you probably didn’t know about.

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1. Canada has the most lakes in the world

Not only does Canada have some of the largest lakes in the world, it also has the most. In fact, a whopping 62% of lakes can be found in Canada. With Trafalgar, you can see some of the country’s most beautiful lakes firsthand, from the crystal-clear Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies, to overlooking Lake Ontario by helicopter.

EXPERIENCE THIS ON: Canada’s Rockies

2. The North Pole is an actual place in Alaska

The North Pole exists outside of Christmas movies and stories — it’s a festive little town just outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. Complete with year-round decorations and streets called “Santa Claus Lane” and “Kris Kringle Drive”, it’s a must-see if you love Christmas!


3. There is a sunrise in Hawaii that you have to pay to see

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Yes, you read that correctly. Haleakala National Park in Maui charges an entrance fee for cars entering the park between 3am and 7am. The fee was established to prevent overcrowding so that every visitor can experience the spectacle to its fullest.

If you want to experience it for yourself, our Best of Hawaii tour has a full day of free time in Maui at the end of the trip which you can use to see this spectacular sight.

4. Winnie-the-Pooh has Canadian roots

The fictional bear that you know and love is actually based off a real bear who was named after the Canadian city of Winnipeg. Winnie was a Canadian black bear who lived in London Zoo and was often visited by Christopher Milne, the son of the author of Winnie-the-Pooh, A.A. Milne.

5. Canadians eat “Beavertails” — and they’re delicious

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For Canadians, a delicious winter treat is a fried donut, which is shaped like a beavertail and covered in sweet toppings like cinnamon, sugar and chocolate. The dessert originated in Ottawa in 1978 and has been a hit ever since. 

EXPERIENCE THIS ON: Canada’s Northern Lights

RELATED CONTENT:9 iconic Canadian dishes you need to try next time you visit Canada

6. There are more cattle than people in Montana

Montana is the fourth largest state in terms of size, but it’s the third least dense. In fact, the sprawling land is home to an estimated 2.6 million cows, which is more than twice the number of people. See for yourself on Trafalgar’s Wild West Cowboy tour, where we take you to a guest ranch near Yellowstone National Park.

7. America’s oldest pizzeria is still open today

Lombardi’s opened in 1905 in New York’s Little Italy neighbourhood and has been serving mouth-watering pizza ever since.

8. Canadian winters can reach -20 degrees Celsius

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The rumours are true — Canadian winters are cold! In many parts of the country, like Winnipeg, Whitehorse and Saskatoon, temperatures average at -20 degrees Celsius in the heart of winter. Canadians make the most of the cold season by bundling up and enjoying winter activities, like skiing and ice hockey.

RELATED CONTENT: 7 unforgettable experience you can do with Trafalgar in Canada

9. The United States has no official language

Even though the majority of Americans speak English as their first language, the country doesn’t actually have an official language. Spanish is the second most popular language and French, German, Arabic and Vietnamese are also common in many states.

RELATED CONTENT: 21 bucket list experiences you can only have in the USA

10. New York used to be New Amsterdam

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In the 1600s, what’s now New York was once known as New Amsterdam by Dutch settlers. You can spot the similarities and learn more about New York’s rich cultural history on Trafalgar’s New York Explorer tour.


11. Alaska was purchased from Russia

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In 1867, the year that Canada became a country, Russia sold Alaska to the United States for $7.2 million. However, Alaska didn’t become recognized as a state until years later in 1959.

12. Canada is home to the biggest forest region in the world

Almost half of Canada’s land is covered in forest, and one of its major forest regions, Boreal, is known as the largest intact forest on earth. The Boreal forest consumes over 16 million square meters, or one third of the world’s forested area.

Do you know any other interesting facts about the USA and Canada? Share them in the comments!

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