Set on the shores of Hudson Bay, right in the middle of a migratory route—from forest, to tundra, to sea—Churchill has earned its nickname, Polar Bear Capital of the World. Every year, during the autumn “polar bear season”, visitors from across the globe descend on this tiny, subarctic village where the bears outnumber the residents (1,000 local polar bears, according to some estimates to just 899 people).

But while these furry, four-legged, ferocious creatures (they may look cute, but they are bears) are worth the trip, there’s so much else to do in this town of the great white north—trust me, I’ve done it all.

Going for a hike in the wilderness near the untamed coast in a place that’s home to the world’s largest land-based carnivore will get you up close and personal with everything that makes this place special (important note: do not walk alone!).

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