Just because you can’t head to the beaches in Spain or soak in the warm sun in Mexico doesn’t mean that you can’t plan yourself a last-minute vacation in October right here in Canada. There are still places in your home province that are great for unforgettable October holidays.
No one needs to skip their Thanksgiving holiday break this year! Canadians are encouraged to stay in their home provinces this year. So these destinations include warm places in October, fun fall activities, and must-do experiences all from the comfort of your home province. Just please make sure to follow local health guidelines and research your province’s destination before heading out.
You can find the latest international travel information on Skyscanner’s travel restrictions global map.
Unmissable October holidays in 2020
- Victoria, British Columbia
- Pinecone Burke Provincial Park, British Columbia
- Corn maze in Alberta
- Drumheller, Alberta
- Great Sand Hills, Saskatchewan
- Pembina Valley, Manitoba
- Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery, Ontario
- Carl Laidlaw Orchards, Ontario
- Tadoussac, Quebec
- Twillingate, Newfoundland & Labrador
- See the Northern Lights, Northern Territories
Places to see in October in the Western Provinces
Walk the wharf in Victoria, British Columbia
Wondering where the warm is in October in Canada? Victoria is listed as the warmest place in Canada in both the fall and winter, so if you’re looking to stay in t-shirt weather for your October vacation this is it. British Columbia’s capital city has offers plenty to explore, and you’ll find yourself an average temperature of 14 degrees Celsius.
Victoria’s a great pick for warm places in October to visit for BC residents because there’s a lot of things to see and do. You can walk on the wharf, eat a plate of seafood while overlooking the ocean or explore autumn foliage by wandering through one of their natural spaces. While this won’t make the best beach destinations in October international list, the island does hit the mark for Canadian beaches this fall.
Things to do in Victoria:
- Explore the island’s history through Craigdarroch Castle
- Check out the wildlife exhibit at the Royal British Columbia Museum
- Grab a plate of fish and chips at Finn’s
Looking for more ideas? We’ve got some suggestions for things to do in Victoria.
Pinecone Burke Provincial Park, British Columbia
Get some quality camping time in this October before the season ends! The end of the season is a great time to enjoy the BC outdoors with fewer crowds. Only a 45-minute drive from Vancouver, Pinecone Burke Provincial Park near Coquitlam provides the perfect fall weekend getaway.
Take the whole family or your favourite hiking partner for some group camping, or you can even explore the backcountry here. Hike to the famous Pitt Lake, go kayaking, and explore one of the many scenic trails nearby where you’ll be rewarded with views of beautiful glacier lakes amongst the BC forest. They don’t take bookings here so everything is a first-come, first-served basis. Remember to bring your own water, pack up and dispose of your food waste accordingly, and always #LeaveNoTrace.
Best trails and experiences in Pinecone Burke Park
Get lost in an Alberta corn maze
Corn mazes are by far one of the best places to visit in October and Alberta is full of them, thanks to its vibrant farming community. No matter where you are in the province, you’re only a quick trip away from an afternoon of family fun.
While the October weather varies across the province if you’re in the Calgary area, you’re looking at an average of 12. In Edmonton, you can expect 11, Lethbridge around 14, and High Prairie 10. So, grab a coat and head into nature.
Check out Alberta corn mazes:
Walk with dinosaurs in Drumheller, Alberta
Albertans looking for where’s hot end of October should consider Drumheller. It’s a day trip for Calgarians or a short weekend for those in Edmonton. It’s truly located in a world of its own with dinosaurs, amazing landscape features, and a quaint small-town vibe.
Drumheller is one of the best places to travel in October if you’re an Albertan. The hotel rates are reasonable, there’s a ton to do in the area and you can, quite literally, get lost in another world. Plus, with an average temperature of 14 degrees, it’ll be a lovely weekend.
Things to do in Drumheller:
- Explore Jurassic history at the Royal Tyrrell Museum
- Grab a meal at the historic Last Chance Saloon
- Learn about mining at the Atlas Coal Mine (pre-booking is required)
Experience nature at the Great Sand Hills, Saskatchewan
If you’re looking to have a truly unique adventure for your October holidays, you might want to put the Great Sand Hills on your list. While it’s not the Great Dune of Pyla or an adventure in the Namib Desert, the Great Sand Hills in Saskatchewan are a sight to be seen.
This protected area is home to 1,900 square kilometers of sand-covered landscape. They’re one of the largest active dunes in Canada and they’re constantly changing. You’re looking at an average temperature of 13 degrees Celsius during October, which is decent for Canadian warm places in October.
Visiting these unique sand dunes might only take over an afternoon of your October vacation and they are surrounded by some pretty rural towns.
Places to visit around the Great Sand Hills:
- The Town of Eatonia—where you’ll find the Heritage Park where you can hold historic buildings and stories.
- The Town of Leader—home to a good ol’ fashioned CNR Caboose, St. John’s School and loads of bird watching.
- The Village of Empress—this small town with addresses in both Alberta and Saskatchewan is home to a railway museum and a restaurant located in the town arena.
Zipline in Pembina Valley, Manitoba
For Manitobans looking to get away for the weekend, Pembina Valley offers a host of adventures just above the US border. That includes Ziplining above Manitoba’s gorgeous golden trees.
Not only does HiWire Zipline offer an experience soaring above the trees, but you can also partake in a bunch of good ol’ family fun activities. From mini-golf to a bush maze, there is a ton to explore in the outdoors.
Things to do around the Pembina Valley:
- Catch a flick at the Stardust Drive-in Theatre
- Visit the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre
- Grab a bite to eat at The Outpost Grill
Where to go in October in Ontario and Quebec
Harvest cranberries at Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery, Ontario
Harvesting cranberries might not be first on your list for an October vacation, but it’s a ton of fun if you visit the Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery during their harvest time. And you’ll get an average temperature of 12 degrees.
Not only can you enjoy wagon tours, but there are wine tastings and a cranberry plunge to be had as well. For fun-on-the-farm, the Lake Muskoka region this is a great city escape choice for October holidays from both Ottawa or Toronto.
Things to do around Muskoka Lakes:
Carl Laidlaw Orchards in Brampton, Ontario
Whether you’re in it for the sweet, savoury candy apples, the scrumptious pie, or you just want to spend some time outdoors with the family, the Carl Laidlaw Orchards is a great October destination for those living in Toronto.
This small farm in Brampton, Ontario, offers a ton of activities for families or couples looking to spend some time together. You can ride on a wagon, pick fresh apples and pears, sip apple cider by the river, or get lost in the corn maze.
If you’re headed out to the orchards for the afternoon, you may as well make a day out of it!
Things to do around the orchards:
- Grab a plate of pasta at Fanzorelli’s
- Take a walk through Gage Park
- Take a gander at the Peel Art Gallery + Museum
Stay seaside in Tadoussac, Quebec
If you’re looking for the best places to go in October for a little getaway in Quebec, then the seaside town of Tadoussac is your spot. This is a great destination to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, and about a three-hour drive from Quebec City.
Located along Quebec’s maritime coast, Tadoussac is home to good food, gorgeous seaside nature and a more laid-back vibe than you’ll find in the busy seats of a major city. While it’s not a balmy seaside choice, you’ll still be able to head out with a light sweater in their 10 degree weather.
Things to do in Tadoussac:
- Explore the Chauvin Trading Post
- Grab a bite to eat at La Galouïne Auberge & Restaurant
- Go whale watching
Will you be in Montreal this October? Here are some amazing hikes near Montreal for the perfect outdoor day trip.
Where to vacation in October in Atlantic Canada
Twillingate, Newfoundland and Labrador
Looking for somewhere to travel this October in the Maritimes? Try the Twillingate Islands in Newfoundland. If you’re in Atlantic Canada, you have the privilege of accessing the Atlantic travel bubble for your October holidays.
The small town of Twillingate is the main point of the Twillingate Islands on the north east coast of Newfoundland. Explore this region and you’ll be inspired by unique rugged coastlines, quaint, picturesque streets and a small town embroiled with history. It’s the perfect place to sneak off for the weekend this October. Unfortunately, it’s not the warmest Canadian destination in October but with the weather typically averaging 10 degrees, you’ll still be able to enjoy yourself.
Things to do in Twillingate:
- Grab a bite to eat at Doyle Sansome & Sons Lobster Pool
- Visit the Long Point Lighthouse
- Hike Sleepy Cove Trail
October vacations in northern Canada
Experience the Auroras in Northern Canada
If you’re lucky enough to be living in Yukon, Northwest Territories, or Nunavut this fall, then your best weekend getaway experience is definitely going to be experiencing the Northern Lights.
Fall means darker skies earlier in the night, which means these beautiful lights are even more prominently displayed. It’s important to note that entry to the territories is very restricted, so it’s truly only residents that can enjoy the stars this fall.
Is it time to start planning your next trip? Check out these remote destinations around the globe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Travel, especially on the international scene, is up in the air right now. No one really knows when borders will be open so we can freely move around. That said, there are a ton of great destinations right in our own back yard. For more detailed information about the future prospect of travel, check out this blog post on safety and travel during coronavirus.
In recent weeks, provincial governments and health experts have strongly suggested that Canadians stay within their provincial borders to reduce the spread of COVID-19. So by following the latest local health guidance, travellers can make the most of their time outdoors, discovering new places in their home city this October.
Discover where you can go as a Canadian
Making plans to get back out there? Find out whose borders are open with our interactive global map, and sign up to receive email updates when your top destinations reopen
Want to read more about travel?
- Get the latest travel updates and advisories for Canadians here in the Coronavirus travel advice page
- Wondering if a winter vacation is right for you? Be inspired by these top places to visit in Canada during winter.
- It’s more than just a travel trend. Here are some expert tips on how to be a sustainable traveller.