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Cheap Getaways for the August Long Weekend

Long weekend getaways are a great short but well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The August Civic Holiday is coming up fast, do you know where you’re headed?

The upcoming Civic Holiday is a great chance to take a brief escape from your everyday life and explore a new place. Whether you only have a day, we’ve gathered up our favourite day trips and weekend getaways from major Canadian cities to give you some inspiration for this summer long weekend.

August Long Weekend Getaways

If you’ve got the time and resources to take off for the August Civic Holiday and are looking for a short flight to a great destination, we’ve got three amazing vacation candidates for you!

view of the city of Portland during the day with snowy mountain in the background
Check out Portland this August Long Weekend

1. Portland

Why visit: Portland is a great city for a whole lot of travellers—whether you’re a foodie, looking for adventure or culture, or simply want to experience a different pace, there’s something there for you! 

What to do: There are a ton of amazing things to do in Portland, depending on what kind of tourist you are. You can get your hands dirty at The Oregon Museum Of Science And Industry where you can see a submarine. Take the kids for a wander around Washington Park where you can also find the Children’s Museum and Japanese Gardens. If you’re looking for a more historic adventure, visit Pittock Mansion. And if you want to take a short day trip outside of Portland to hit up the beach, head to Cannon Beach which is about 90-minutes west of the city.

Places to eat: Portland has just about any type of food you could ask for, so you won’t go hungry here. The Star serves some great Chicago-style pizza, or you can grab some Texas-style BBQ at Holy Trinity BBQ. For something sweet, go for an ice cream cone at Salt & Straw, a local favourite, and enjoy your evening wandering the cute streets of Portland.

Getting around: The cheapest way to get around Portland is by MAX Light Rail, which offers connections to the Portland International Airport (PDX). Portland also has a bus and streetcar system, with frequent services that take passengers around the city.

couple taking a selfie in Dumbo in Brooklyn, Brooklyn Bridge in the backround
Take a getaway to New York City

2. New York City

Why visit: New York City is one of the ultimate destinations in the world, whether you want short or long-term travel. You can do a little or a lot, whatever your dream long weekend looks like, you can accomplish it in this grand city this August long weekend!

What to do: What is there not to do in New York City would be an easier question to answer. There is no shortage of things to do in the city that never sleeps. If you’re looking for carnival fun, consider hitting up Coney Island for some rides, the beach, and all-day fun with friends or family. Head to Times Square and check out what’s playing on Broadway, and you’re sure to find a show that will interest you! If you’re looking for arts and culture the Metropolitan Museum of Art always has something new to explore. After your museum day spend the late afternoon soaking up some sun in Central Park.

Places to eat: It’s hard to recommend only a handful of places to eat in New York City, so instead let’s talk about the types of food you have to try when you head there. Pizza is a must, New York-style pizza will never be the same as it is in the city it’s named after. If you’re headed to a ballgame, it’s mandatory that you grab yourself a hot dog. And for breakfast or lunch? Definitely get yourself a bodega bacon, egg and cheese! Delish!

Getting around: Your best bet for getting around New York City is using their subway system, the MTA. While you can drive a car if you want, you probably don’t want to get stuck in traffic. You can also grab a cab or a rideshare (Lyft and Uber are the most used rideshare apps in New York), but depending on the time of day, walking would probably be faster!

Plan your trip to New York City

tiny street with cobblestone roads in Boston during the day
Try Boston this August!

3. Boston 

Why visit: Boston, MA, is a quick skip-and-a-jump from Montreal—more specifically, it’s about an hour and fifteen minutes. That’s perfect for a quick weekend getaway this Civic Holiday 2019. If you’re itching for some history, beauty and lots of Italian food (so much Italian), then this is the perfect destination for you!

What to do: One of the top must-see attractions in Boston is the Freedom Trail, which includes 16 historic landmarks. It’s stretched over a 4 km distance, so grab your walking shoes and get embedded in some history! If museums are more of your thing, Boston has a ton of them. We recommend the Museum of Fine Arts where you can see over 450,000 works of arts. Or sports fans can catch a game at Fenway Park!

Places to eat: Boston has no shortage of Italian eateries, which is probably why almost all of the top eateries are Italian joints. If you’re up for some cheap eats, The Kitchen Cafe and Mike’s City Diner are both highly-rated Boston restaurants. For a fancy fine dining experience, French Mistral comes highly recommended (one reviewer even said that it’s “not to be missed”), and if you’re looking for the top Italian eats, Mario’s Restaurant is the top-rated in the city.

Getting around: Boston has an extensive transit system, including a bus system and the ‘T’ subway. In some of the more core travel areas, you can simply explore on foot, or tourists wanting a quick zip around all the Boston hot spots can take a sightseeing bus tours. Uber and Lyft are also popular options, so make sure to download those apps on your phone before your trip!

Read our Boston travel guide to plan your trip

Other Weekend Getaway Ideas

Not excited about any of those weekend destinations? Find somewhere else to spend your August Long Weekend, use Skyscanner’s Everywhere Search to find a great destination. Here are some of the great deals we’ve found:

Departure CityDestination CityRound-trip Fare
(estimated)
TorontoLas Vegas$233
TorontoMontreal$137
VancouverLos Angeles$401
VancouverColumbus$437
MontrealToronto$198
MontrealBoston$465
CalgaryDallas$444

Short Day Trips

Not everyone has the time (or money) for a full-on getaway. If that’s the case for you, we’ve got some ideas for a short day or overnight trips that you can take this August long weekend. 

person canoeing on a misty lake a sunset
Chill out in Ontario’s most beautiful beaches

1. Wasaga Beach

Why visit: Home to the longest freshwater beach in the world (yes, the entire world), Wasaga Beach is a great day trip from Toronto to end your summer vacation. Located about 90 minutes outside of Toronto, this is a bustling summer vacation spot enjoyed by many travellers—local and not.

What to do: If you’re up for kayaking, paddleboarding or just sunning on the beach, hit up Wasaga Beach Provincial Park. Note that it is a provincial park, so you’ll have to pay to access. If you’re looking for history, check out the Nancy Island Historic Site where you can learn about the War of 1812. Or bring your golf clubs and play a round at the Marlwood Golf & Country Club.

Places to eat: For cheap eats head to Mosley Street Grill or Topper’s Pizza Wasaga Beach. And if you’re looking for something a little more date night, Catch 22 Fresh Market Grill and the West River Cookhouse, both serve scrumptious local cuisine!

Getting around: Wasaga Beach does have local residential transit, but it only has two lines that run from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Your best bet is to bring a vehicle yourself, and if you’re not driving to an outing, try calling a cab.

Staying overnight? Here are the best hotels near Wasaga Beach.

view of the exterior and lawn of the Victoria city hall in BC
Spend your August holiday in beautiful BC

2. Victoria, BC

Why visit: Located on Vancouver Island, Victoria is a blend of hipster-cool, natural beauty and historic sites, perfect for your August long weekend trip. It’s a quiet oceanside city that somehow still bustles with activity. Plus, it’s just a ferry ride from Vancouver, making it a great day or overnight trip!

What to do: If you’re a history-lover, Craigdarroch Castle built by the Dunsmir family is a great choice for a tour. The Dunsmir’s also built Hatley Castle where they film a ton of Hollywood blockbuster films like X-Men were filmed—you can also tour it, too. Take a walk on the inner harbour wharf and watch the ships come in, then wander over to the British Columbia Legislature to take in the beautiful historic building (go at night when it’s lit up). Or head out on the ocean for a whale-watching expedition!

Places to eat: Victoria has a ton of amazing places to eat, if you’re looking for seafood stop at Finn’s on Wharf Street to grab a bite on their balcony overlooking the harbour. For a fancy night out, the Steamship Grill offers a great selection of food. And if you want good ol’ fashioned diner food, check out Frankie’s Modern Diner.

Getting around: Victoria does have a busing system where you can get from one place to another, and while it’s good it can take quite some time to get to your destination because the Greater Victoria Area is so spread out. Victoria also doesn’t have any rideshare companies yet, but you can take a traditional taxi or a water taxi to some places. Your best bet is probably bringing or renting a vehicle.

Plan your trip to Victoria.

eroded rocks at badlands national park in Alberta Canada
Take a trip to the Badlands this August long weekend

3. Drumheller, Alberta

Why visit: Home to the bones of dinosaurs, the world’s largest T-Rex and otherworldly landscapes, Drumheller is a short hour-and-a-half drive from Calgary. If you’re looking for a unique small-city experience and are itching to learn about dinosaurs, then this is your ideal long weekend getaway.

What to do: The Royal Tyrrell Museum is Drumheller’s top tourist attraction. Housing some of the most amazing skeletons and displays of prehistoric beings, you can walk among the largest collection of dino skeletons in the world in Dinosaur Hall, see a woolly mammoth in the ice age exhibit, and even go on a dig! While you’re in the area, make sure you pop by and visit the World’s Largest Dinosaur, check out the Hoodoos or take a quick drive out to Coaldale and see the old mine!

Places to eat: If you’re looking for cheap eats, try the recommended Café Ole. The food at Athens Greek Restaurant is also highly-rated. Or check out the authentic atmosphere at the Last Chance Saloon

Getting around: Your best bet for getting around Drumheller is a car, while there is a transit system, Drumheller is a small city so it’s not the same of taking transit in a major city. Likewise, you can take a taxi from place-to-place, but you won’t find any rideshare programs here. 

Find about some other great underrated Canadian summer destinations.

Get More From Skyscanner

Not convinced that these destinations are for you, or simply want to check out what other fish are in the travel sea? You can check in with our Daily flight deals to find your perfect August long weekend vacation spot!

We’ve also created a handy guide to help get you the best deals for last-minute trips. And if you’ve got somewhere else in mind, use the search engine below to find the best deals. 👇🏽