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11 amazing places to visit in Canada for a summer vacation

Times are tough for travellers. But with the world preparing to reopen in 2021, we're here to keep you dreaming and planning for your next adventure – whether that's a staycation or flying off to parts unknown. Until then, we've got the latest COVID-19 travel advice and updates to keep you up to date and ready to go.

As the cold weather in Canada starts to lift, the light at the end of the winter tunnel starts to come into view and it’s time to start planning your perfect summer vacation. Wondering about some of the most beautiful places in Canada to visit for a staycation this year? We’ve rounded up the top 11 vacation spots for a summer in Canada to remember.

Most beautiful places to visit in Canada during the summer

Please note: Always remember to check the latest global, national, and local guidelines and advice before booking any type of travel.

1. Victoria, British Columbia

Best place to visit in Canada for foodies and culture lovers

Victoria BC Parliament building with lights in the evening
11 amazing places to visit in Canada for a summer vacation

British Columbia’s beautiful capital city is known for its sunny summer weather and the abundance of outdoor experiences (and stunning scenery!) that can be found here. The weather in Victoria is actually pleasant year-round, and this city is known for being one of the warmest places in Canada. But the summer months in Victoria are when the luscious greenery of Vancouver Island is at its peak, making for epic island hiking experiences and sightseeing you won’t find anywhere else in Canada. Summer activities like kayaking and whale watching also 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.

Victoria’s surrounding area produces some of Canada’s top sustainable food experiences. Visit farm-to-table restaurants such as 10 Acres, Fickle Fig Farm Market, Nourish Kitchen & Café, or Charlotte & The Quail. The city is also part of British Columbia’s Ale Trail, where travellers can sample some of Canada’s best West Coast beers with a self-guided craft brew itinerary. Or, take things to the next level and go on a biking beer tour! Some beer bike tours to try are with The Pedaler or Rolling Barrel. One of the top things to do in Victoria is to visit Butchart Gardens, so make sure to stop here to explore everything from the Rose Garden to the Mediterranean Garden, which features 110 varieties of plants.

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 to visit in Canada for adventure travellers

a camper trailer in front of the mountains
11 amazing places to visit in Canada for a summer vacation

Located in the middle of six national parks, Golden is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Canada for outdoor and wildlife adventures. Summer activities here include hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, paragliding, and even heli-rafting. Be sure to visit Glacier Park, Yoho, and the Columbia Wetlands, located just south of the city. This is North America’s longest protected wetlands and home to over 200 different species of birds and animals.

If you’re 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 in Canada for nature and wine

a winery in the Okanagan Valley, a beautiful place to visit in Canada
11 amazing places to visit in Canada for a summer vacation

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’re longing to lounge and play at the crystal clear beaches of the Okanagan or want to head for the nearby rolling hills and explore the wine region, there’s something in the area for anyone.

If you plan to travel to the Okanagan Valley, 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. Jasper National Park, Alberta

Best park in Canada for an outdoor family vacation

an open road with a grand mountain in the background of Jasper National Park, a great place to visit in Canada during the summer
11 amazing places to visit in Canada for a summer vacation

Jasper National Park happens to be the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies, taking over 11,000 square km. One look at pictures of this mountain region and you can understand why this is one of Canada’s most beloved places to visit for a summer vacation, or even any time of the year.

Jasper National Park is your gateway to fun summer mountain activities and peaceful tranquility. Even though it’s close to well tread Banff National Park, Jasper tends to be a little quieter – yet there’s tons to do. You’re truly spoiled for choices. We recommend checking out Athabasca Falls, Maligne Lake, and the Columbia Icefields. The recently built skywalk is an incredible (and somewhat hair-raising) experience that allows you to walk across a glass-floored lookout for views of waterfalls, wildlife, and giant glaciers.

Whether you have a trailer or a tent, Jasper is also the perfect place to make camping memories and sleep under the Canadian night sky. Just make sure you book ahead and reserve your spot!

Where to stay near Jasper National Park

Centrally located, Jasper Inn & Suites by Sunrise is great value for money. If you’re also planning a weekend getaway to Banff National Park, consider booking the Moose Hotel & Suites.

5. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Best place to visit in Canada for urban agro-tourism

prairie fields in Saskatchewan
11 amazing places to visit in Canada for a summer vacation

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 hot spots 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 visit in Canada for history buffs

Winnipeg museum of human rights
11 amazing places to visit in Canada for a summer vacation

Winnipeg is a summer vacation destination with plenty of family-friendly activities or laid back energy for a weekend away with friends. And with plenty of cheap hotel options, Winnipeg is also much more affordable than other places in Canada.

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. Then follow it up with a pint of local craft beer and delicious eats at The Forks.

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

people walking through the Distillery District in Toronto
11 amazing places to visit in Canada for a summer vacation

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.

And calling all foodies! Toronto is home to some of the best food and craft beers in Canada. A summer trip to this multicultural city is not complete without experiencing the food scene. From European to Asian to Caribbean influences, there’s something that will attract your taste buds. Some food and drink hot spots include The Distillery District, Chinatown, Little Italy, Junction, Parkdale, and The Annex.

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

Not to mention, Toronto is the perfect springboard for plenty of fun weekend getaways.

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

an aerial view of Niagara Falls
11 amazing places to visit in Canada for a summer vacation

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

Person holding two polaroid images of Montreal architecture in front of Notre Dame Cathedral in the old port of Montreal, a great place to visit in Canada
11 amazing places to visit in Canada for a summer vacation

Montréal keeps things interesting year-round, but summer is when this bilingual city shines brightest. The festivals, 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 for some of the best eats in the city.

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

view of the coast around Cape Breton Island in NovaScotia
11 amazing places to visit in Canada for a summer vacation

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 and more

a lighthouse on Prince Edward Island
11 amazing places to visit in Canada for a summer vacation

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. Stroll 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 summer camping places in Canada to visit

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:

a person camping and looking outside their tent to the mountains for a canadian vacation
11 amazing places to visit in Canada for a summer vacation

Best summer festivals in Canada for 2021

Get swept up in a festival this summer! There’s nothing like listening to live music under the sun. Here are the festivals that have currently been announced:

Please note: Even though these festivals are currently planned, things can change at a moment’s notice. Always remember to check the latest global, national, and local guidelines and advice before booking any type of travel.

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.

Please Note: The Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival is currently being offered virtually.

Check out this underrated Canadian summer destination

Looking to explore somewhere new for your vacation, 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.

Where can I travel to now?

Read up on the latest travel restrictions and guidelines for Canadian travellers. Want to know when your favourite destination opens up again? Sign up for email notifications and you’ll be the first to know.

Coronavirus travel advice and the latest restrictions for Canadian travellers: map
Where’s open at the moment? See our map and find out.

Places in Canada to Visit: FAQs

When does summer start in Canada?

Summer in Canada officially starts on June 20 and goes until September 22.

Where is the best place in Canada to visit?

Any of the places we’ve listed in this article would make amazing vacation spots! Whether it’s ocean, mountains or charming towns, all of these destinations have so much to offer.

What’s the hottest place in Canada in the summer?

Kelowna, British Columbia ranks as the hottest place in Canada during the 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.

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