As the cold weather in Canada starts to lift, the light at the end of the cold winter tunnel starts to come into view and it’s time to start planning your perfect summer vacation. Wondering where to go for summer in our Great North? We’ve rounded up the top 11 vacation spots for a summer in Canada to remember.
The best summer vacation is one that’s unforgettable, filled with experience and features the perfect amount of adventure. From the pristine lakes in the west to family getaways out east, the perfect summer in Canada vacation destination is only a click away!
Enjoy Your Summer in Canada at These Top Vacation Spots
1. Victoria, British Columbia
Best place in Canada for foodies and culture lovers
British Columbia’s capital city is known for its sunny summer weather and abundance of outdoor activities. Activities like kayaking, whale watching, and hiking make Victoria a great family vacation destination. You can also experience the city’s culture with its numerous festivals like the Victoria Fringe Festival, Feast of Fields, Great Canadian Beer Festival or the Vegtoria Festival, Victoria’s annual vegan festival.
The city’s surrounding area produces some of Canada’s top sustainable food. Visit farm-to-table restaurants such as 10 Acres, Fickle Fig Farm Market, Nourish Kitchen & Café, or Charlotte & The Quail. Victoria is also part of British Columbia’s Ale Trail. Sample some of Canada’s best brews with a self-guided craft brew itinerary. Alternatively, you can go on a biking beer tour with The Pedaler or Rolling Barrel. Also, don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers at Butchart Gardens.
Where to Stay in Victoria
The Magnolia Hotel & Spa is a luxury boutique hotel located steps from Victoria’s Inner Harbour. With only 64 rooms, each guest experience is unique. Also, the hotel offers curated trails and tours of the city and bike rentals.
2. Golden, British Columbia
Best place in Canada for adventure travellers
Located in the middle of six national parks, Golden is one of the best places to go in Canada for outdoor and wildlife adventures. Summer activities include hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, paragliding, and even heli-rafting. Be sure to visit Glacier Park, Yoho, and the Columbia Wetlands just south of the city. This is North America’s longest protected wetlands and home to over 200 different species of birds and animals.
Also, if you are interested in wildlife, stop by the Grizzly Bear Refuge at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Make sure to pay a visit to its famous resident bear, Boo. Or take a walk on the wild side with wolves at the Wolf Centre.
Where to Stay in Golden
The Kicking Horse Glacier Mountaineer Lodge touts a prime mountaintop location. For larger groups, be sure to book multi-bedroom suites equipped with full kitchens, fireplaces, and private balconies with spectacular views.
3. The Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Best summer vacation spot for nature and wine
A gem in southern British Columbia, the Okanagan Valley is one of the warmest regions in Canada, making it the perfect place to kick off your summer vacation. Whether you fancy the sandy beaches and crystal clear beaches of the Okanagan or fancy yourself a wine connoisseur and head for the rolling hills, there’s something in the area for anyone.
When it comes to enjoying the summer season in Canada via the Okanagan, if you’re coming from out of the area you can touch down in either Kelowna or Penticton. You’ll be greeted with average temperatures of 25 degrees Celcius as you relax beach-side starting off your seasonal suntan or enjoy a bottle of delicious regional wine. Okanagan Valley is the top wine county in the world, so consider splurging on a wine tour of this beautiful region with some of your favourite people this summer. Who knows, you might even come across The Ogopogo!
4. Calgary, Alberta
Best city in Canada for a family vacation
Looking to spend some time on your summer vacation hootin’ and hollerin’ with the best cowboys in the west? Then the Calgary Stampede has to be in your summer in Canada destinations list. Win a (small) human-sized teddy bear on the Midway, try strange deep-fried food (last year they served deep fried bacon wrapped Reese’s Cups), catch your favourite band on the stage or see the main evening show — if your summer vacation include excitement, hustle-and-bustle and cheery summer carnival sounds then the Calgary Stampede just might be the perfect summer getaway.
The Calgary Stampede is one of the biggest draws to the city, but there are many other food and music festivals to experience, too. Consider dancing the days away during Sled Island Festival, the Calgary Folk Music Festival, or the Calgary International Blues Festival. Also, don’t miss out on eating your way through the Taste of Calgary, Calgary Ribfest, and more.
Calgary is one of Canada’s sunniest major cities, logging an average of 2,405 hours of sunshine per year. It’s an ideal place for walking, cycling or running along the world’s largest pathway network, the Rotary/Mattamy Greenway.
Where to Stay in Calgary
Centrally located, the Delta Hotels by Marriott Calgary Downtown is within walking distance of many major attractions in the city. If you’re planning a weekend getaway to Banff National Park, consider booking the Calgary Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel the night before your flight.
5. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Best place to visit in Canada for urban agro-tourism
If you’re looking for a Canadian summer vacation with even more food, outdoor activities, and unique experiences, then head to the prairie city of Saskatoon. Enjoy a run, walk or bike ride along the 80 kilometres of riverfront Meewasin Trails. The South Saskatchewan River is a water lover’s playground. Explore the city of bridges via paddleboard, canoe, kayak, or aboard a Prairie Lily riverboat cruise.
In city centre, drop by the Remai Modern to explore a fantastic collection of modern and contemporary art in The Prairies. Meanwhile outside the city, you can visit the Wanuskewin Heritage Park, a 6000-year-old aboriginal meeting ground. It is currently under consideration for UNESCO World Heritage status.
Dine downtown at hotspots like Little Grouse on the Prairie, the Hollows, Drift Café and Vista Lounge, and Sticks and Stones. Saskatoon also has vibrant agro-tourism offerings along Valley Road. Pick strawberries and other Saskatoon berries at the Strawberry Ranch, or sample gin at Black Fox Farm & Distillery.
Travel tip: Outdoor lovers will want to plan a weekend getaway to Grasslands National Park. It’s one of the most beautiful places in Canada, thanks to its rolling green landscape. Additionally, there are dinosaur bones to be found – making it a fun family vacation destination, too.
Where to Stay in Saskatoon
The ALT Hotel Saskatoon is set along the South Saskatchewan River steps away from the Remai Modern. Known for contemporary, comfortable and affordable suites, this property is perfect for the modern traveller.
6. Winnipeg, Manitoba
Best place to go in Canada for history buffs
Spend a day or two at the world-class Winnipeg Folk Festival or the world’s largest and longest-running multicultural festival, Folklorama. Or, get close to polar bears, seals and other Arctic species at the Assiniboine Park Zoo’s Journey to Churchill exhibit. Make an educational stop at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Or visit the Manitoba Legislative Building for the Hermetic Code Tour.
For total relaxation, head to the Thermëa by Nordik Spa-Nature. Choose between an array of Scandinavian-style treatments that mix hot and cold saunas and pools.
Where to Stay in Winnipeg
Located in downtown Winnipeg, the Inn at the Forks is a luxury boutique hotel with 117 rooms and suites. Rooms are decorated with modern amenities, luxurious king-sized beds, a settee lounge area, and a stylish bathroom. Guests can also take advantage of the on-site Riverstone Spa and SMITH restaurant.
7. Toronto, Ontario
Best place to visit in Canada for sports fans
Visiting Toronto in the summer means there are plenty of festivals to experience. Throughout July and August, there are at least 40 different summer events happening throughout the city. Toronto is also home to more professional sports teams than any other Canadian city. Catch a home game of the Blue Jays or the Toronto FC, or even the Wolfpack Rugby team. At night, add theatre or Broadway musicals to your Toronto itinerary.
Be sure to visit Toronto’s markets in the summer months, including:
- Kensington Market’s Pedestrian Sundays
- Gerrard India Bazaar
- St. Lawrence Market Saturday’s
- Leslieville Farmer’s Market
- Evergreen Brick Works
Where to Stay in Toronto
The Kimpton Saint George is located in The Annex, across the street from the Royal Ontario Museum. With contemporary design features in its 188 guestrooms, this property feels more like a chic Toronto condo than a typical hotel.
8. Niagara Falls, Ontario
Best place to visit in Canada for a romantic weekend getaway
If you’re looking for a weekend trips from Toronto, Niagara Falls is one of the most beautiful places in Canada. But the majesty of the natural wonder and its surrounding attractions make the city a summer vacation destination not to be missed!
Here are some of Niagara Falls’ most popular attractions:
- Hornblower Niagara Cruises
- White Water Walk
- Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
- Niagara SkyWheel
- Fallsview Casino Resort
Travel tip: Save some time to explore the charming town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Arrange a tasting at one of the nearby wineries or catch a play at the Shaw Festival Theatre. And for a cheap vacation, make sure to stay on the Canadian side of the border.
Where to stay in Niagara Falls
Holiday Inn Hotel by Niagara Falls is situated close to the Casino, Skylon Tower and the Canadian Horseshoe Falls allowing you to walk to the main strip. On-site restaurants like Coco Terrace Steakhouse and Coco’s Pizza Bar and Lounge, are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and offer views of the falls. Consider these hotels in Niagara Falls as well.
9. Montréal, Quebec
Best place to visit in Canada for your art and culture fix
Montréal keeps things interesting year-round but summer is when this bilingual city shines brightest. The festival, culture, and culinary richness of Montréal makes it one of the most unique places to visit in Canada. Also, the city’s incredible culinary offerings will make you want to dine out and dine often. Check out our Montréal food and drink recommendations.
A summer vacation in Montréal will make you fall in love with this diverse, multicultural city. Head to the Quartier des Spectacles for endless activities, events and festivals. Music lovers can get their fill at the Montréal International Jazz Festival, Francofolies, Osheaga, and more.
Where to stay in Montréal
Relive the history at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth during your next trip to Montréal. This hotel is where John Lennon and Yoko Ono famously staged their 1969 Bed-In for Peace. Guests can stay in the John Lennon & Yoko Ono Suite or explore one of the many guest rooms.
10. Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
Best for place in Canada for multi-generational family vacations
Enjoy the ultimate summer vacation by experiencing the lovely east coast life on Cape Breton Island. Dive headfirst into the freshest seafood, visit breweries and distilleries, and say “yes” to impromptu kitchen party invitations. Explore the winding and world-renowned Cabot Trail, one of the most beautiful places in Canada. Take 3-5 days to travel the trail and enjoy its abundance of scenic overlooks, beaches, cultural heritage sites, and diverse outdoor activities.
Nova Scotia is home to a ton of wildlife. Cruise with Bird Island Boat Tours to spot puffins. Whale and seal cruises with Captain Mark are another fun way to explore Canada in summer. For more water fun, enjoy the unspoiled coastline of St. Ann’s Bay with a guided North River Kayak tour.
Where to stay in Cape Breton
Along The Cabot Trail, the Cabot Shores Wilderness Resort & Retreat Centre is a full-service property offering outdoor and cultural adventures to guests. If you’re flying into Halifax first, spend your first evening at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel to explore the pier before starting your road trip. Or consider these Halifax airport hotels.
11. Cavendish, Prince Edward Island
Best place to visit in Canada for beachside charm
Canadian writer Lucy Maud Montgomery put Prince Edward Island on the map with her Anne of Green Gables novels. There’s a store dedicated to the beloved character in Charlottetown, but keeners can also make the trip to Cavendish to visit the green-trimmed Anne of Green Gables Heritage Place.
Cavendish Beach is undeniably one of the most beautiful places in Canada, which is why it becomes the busiest place on the island in July and August. Stoll down the Cavendish Boardwalk with a cone from Cows Ice Cream, a local favourite. Or head to The Pier to rent kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, sea-doos and try para-sailing. Golf lovers may like a scenic round on the Green Gables Golf Course.
Travel tip: A visit to Prince Edward Island isn’t complete without a trip to Point Prim Lighthouse. Not only is it the oldest lighthouse on the island, but its seaside vistas also offer one of the most beautiful views in Canada.
Where to stay in Cavendish
Cavendish Country Inn & Cottages are ideal for those on a family vacation. The cottages are pet-friendly, too, which is a bonus for those travelling with furry friends. The grounds boast two heated outdoor pools, hot tubs, picnic tables, fire pits, and even gardens you can pick fresh veggies from.
Best Festivals in Canada This Summer
- Luminato (Toronto, ON) – June 7-23
- Saskatchewan Jazz Festival (Saskatoon, SK) – June 21-30
- Bluesfest (Ottawa, ON) – July 4-14
- Montreal International Jazz Festival (Montreal, QC) – June 27-July 6
- Calgary Stampede (Calgary, AB) – July 5-14
- Winnipeg Folk Festival (Winnipeg, MB) – July 11-14
- Wanderlust Whistler (Whistler, BC) – August 1-4
- Old Home Week (Charlottetown, PEI) – August 8-17
- Fundy Fringe Festival (Saint John, NB) – August 19-24
Best Summer Camping Places in Canada
Looking to connect with nature or plan a cheap family vacation?
Canada has over 450 000 km² of National Park grounds and even more provincial and municipal parkland. You can reserve accommodations online in 39 national parks and historic sites across Canada, ranging from campsites to backcountry experiences. For a unique family vacation with Parks Canada, book an oTENTik. These cabin-like tents allow you to enjoy the joys of camping without having to lug equipment with you.
To help you plan your trip, here are the best National Parks and places to go in Canada for camping:
- Yukon – Kluane National Park and Reserve
- Northwest Territories – Wood Buffalo National Park
- British Columbia – Kootenay National Park
- Alberta – Elk Island National Park
- Saskatchewan – Grasslands National Park
- Manitoba – Riding Mountain National Park
- Ontario – Pukaskwa National Park
- Quebec – La Mauricie National Park
- New Brunswick – Fundy National Park
- Prince Edward Island – Prince Edward Island National Park
- Nova Scotia – Cape Breton Highlands National Park
- Newfoundland & Labrador – Terra Nova National Park
Celebrate the First Day of Summer at the Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival
Celebrate the first day of summer in the nation’s capital at the Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival. This festival brings together Indigenous chefs at Long Table Feasts, powwow competitions and traditional dance over a weekend. Overlapping with Indigenous Peoples Day, this festival is a great excuse to explore Ottawa in the summer months. Also, if you’re flying, the festival is a good candidate for weekend trips from Toronto.
What’s the hottest place in Canada in the summer?
Did you know that Kamloops, British Columbia, ranks as the hottest place in Canada in summer? A close second is its neighbour, Penticton. Summer in Kamloops extends from April to November with weather that is perfect for hiking and biking trails, paddling lakes and rivers. The semi-arid temperatures of the interior also make the region ideal for one, or several, rounds of golf.
Up and coming Canadian summer destination
Looking to explore somewhere new, Canadians? Penticton is your gateway to the South Okanagan wine region in Oliver and Osoyoos, British Columbia. The region is one of the best places to experience summer in Canada thanks to its vineyards and desert-like landscape. Also, runners should be sure to reserve a spot early for the Half Corked Marathon in May, which runs through the vineyards.
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