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10 Most Underrated Summer Weekend Getaways in Canada

Flying or driving into any major cities in Canada this summer? After experiencing the hustle and bustle of the city, take some time to explore these nearby destinations that might just be perfect for a weekend getaway.

Switch up your summer weekend plans with these lesser-known places in Canada

Are you travelling to popular Canadian cities this summer and want to get away from the crowds? Then it may be worth checking out some of these spots for a little weekend getaway. Because the fact is, there are tons of lesser-known destinations outside of the hotspots that offer a lot when it comes to natural beauty, culture, and charm all across Canada!

If you have extra time in these places, we’ve rounded up our top 10 underrated weekend getaway destinations that are all reasonably close to the major airports in these cities. These are all places in Canada off the radar from the typical tourist path but close enough that all you need to do is rent a car and you’re off for an adventure!

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ice cream cone held up in front of charming city and waterfront
10 Most Underrated Summer Weekend Getaways | Skyscanner Canada

Top Underrated Weekend Getaway Destinations

From Toronto:

Elora

Located about an hour from Pearson Airport is Elora, the perfect quaint weekend getaway destination or even day trip from Toronto. A must-see and highlight is the Elora Gorge. Boasting with stunning natural beauty, this 350-acre conservation park has the Grand River that flows right through it, in addition to the Limestone Quarry which is one of the best watering holes to swim in. If you’re craving more of the outdoors there are plenty of opportunities to camp and hike as well.

Huntsville

Roughly a two and a half hour drive from Toronto is this underrated destination in Ontario, worth a weekend getaway at any time of year! Huntsville lights up in any season as it’s a welcoming, warm town situated in the middle of serene forests and lakes trickling from Algonquin National Park. You can have the best of excitement and calm on a weekend getaway here.

There are several beaches close to Huntsville, Ontario, including trails to hike like Lion’s Lookout and other outdoor activities to enjoy. You can stroll down the charming downtown street, go treetop trekking, paddle down the Big East River or enjoy classic Canadian art at the Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll surely have a fun weekend.

man canoeing on a lake at sunset in Muskoka next to Huntsville as a weekend getaway
10 Most Underrated Summer Weekend Getaways | Skyscanner Canada

From Halifax:

Lunenburg

Once you drive into the port town of Lunenburg smelling traces of seafood and feeling the sea breeze, you might just think you have stepped into history. Lunenburg is classic Nova Scotia and only about an hour away from Halifax. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features quaint streets, colourful houses and an operating harbour. A trip here wouldn’t be complete without having traditional, fresh fish and chips at The South Shore Fish Shack. This is the best weekend getaway that requires less planning and more enjoying.

colourful pier houses in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
10 Most Underrated Summer Weekend Getaways | Skyscanner Canada

Chester

Another short drive from Halifax is the serene, picturesque town of Chester, Nova Scotia. More fresh seafood and sea views are to be enjoyed here. So make the most of this sweet weekend getaway by getting a room at a local B&B and spend some quality time with your family, friends or significant other. If you’re up for something a little adventurous, Chester is the ideal place to try sailing or kayaking!

From Vancouver:

Harrison Hot Springs

Most don’t realize that a short hop-skip away from the major metropolis of Vancouver is Harrison Hot Springs, a lush and peaceful weekend getaway escape from the city. This is the perfect place to unwind and take in the nature B.C. has to offer. If you are in the mood for a splurge then the Harrison Hot Springs Resort, located on Harrison Lake, is the place to do it. You can either make this weekend about lounging or partaking in a number of light-heart activities like kayaking and fishing or even both!

10 Incredible Hot Springs in Canada

Kelowna

A bit of a longer drive further east of Vancouver (approx. 4 hours) but still accessible enough to get to on a whim, is the beautiful city of Kelowna. Situated in the Okanagan Valley and surrounded by parks, forests, mountains, and Okanagan Lake, this perfectly sized city is a completely underrated destination in British Columbia. With exceptional vineyards, scenic hiking trails, and glorious beaches, you’ll have plenty of variety during a weekend getaway here. Make sure to pay a visit to Mission Hill Family Estate Winery for the perfect pairing of a wine tasting and views, Boyce-Gryo Beach for a day in the sun, and Knox Mountain for a picturesque hike.

Lake in Kelowna, Okanagan Valley as a top underrated weekend getaway
10 Most Underrated Summer Weekend Getaways | Skyscanner Canada

From Ottawa

Gananoque (1000 Islands)

While Ottawa is the nation’s capital, it is not lacking in nearby natural sanctuaries. An hour and a half drive away is Gananoque, also known as the gateway to the 1000 Islands, which is a collection of hundreds of islands situated along the St. Lawrence River. The most optimal way to enjoy it is by taking a scenic river cruise to take you past the islands, in addition to lighthouses, castles and more. Throughout the summer, there are also tons of festivals and events occurring such as Ribfest (June 28 – June 30) and Music in the Park every Thursday evening. Gananoque is truly a friendly and fun underrated destination worth a visit.

From Calgary

Drumheller

A weekend getaway Drumheller is definitely an exciting one. You may feel as if you have entered into a prehistoric era – but that’s exactly how you should feel! Also known as the Alberta Badlands, it is where dinosaurs roamed many moons ago. It’s a great place for a hike that will keep your jaw dropped at every corner; the rock formations and hoodoos here are seriously otherworldly! If you’re interested in history, head to the Royal Tyrell Museum to learn about how dinosaurs lived and left the earth.

The badlands in Drumheller, Alberta
10 Most Underrated Summer Weekend Getaways | Skyscanner Canada

From Montreal

Gatineau

Montreal is a city with everything from culture, to art, to food. However, you may crave a bit of the outdoors at the end of your Montreal city trip. If that’s the case, a two-hour drive to Gatineau is just up your alley. Gatineau Park is a truly impressive natural place in Canada, especially Pink Lake, King Mountain, and the Lauriault and Waterfall Trails Loop. If you are more interested in a relaxing getaway, Nordik Spa is the perfect place to indulge in. Finally, if you have extra time and want to squeeze in a stop in the Nation’s Capital, Ottawa is just a hop, skip and jump away across the Ottawa River.

From Winnipeg

Spruce Woods Provincial Park

Manitoba overall is still an underrated Canadian province. Besides the up-and-coming city of Winnipeg, Spruce Woods Provincial Park is another incredible place in Canada worthy of a weekend trip if you are travelling to Manitoba. Only a two-hour drive from Winnipeg, this stunning park has the ideal, natural combination of lush, green forests and golden brown rolling prairie hills. There are endless activities to pursue such as kayaking, biking, golfing, horseback riding and more. The best thing to do for this trip is to set up camp and then set off exploring.

Spruce Woods Provincial Park, Manitoba
10 Most Underrated Summer Weekend Getaways | Skyscanner Canada

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