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10 Best Summer Destinations in Canada 2023

Lakeside communities and natural landscapes are among the top summer locations in Canada, offering a variety of land and water activities. Ample daylight also means plenty of possibilities to get out your camera and take amazing photos.

Summer in Canada is typically from June through August, though good weather can be found earlier or later in some parts of the vast country. Here’s where to start your Canadian journey this summer, from beautiful villages rich in French tradition to scenic hiking routes and wide peninsulas where you can glimpse whales directly from the coast.

Niagara Falls, Ontario

Niagara-Falls
Niagara-Falls

Summer is the finest time to see Niagara Falls because the beautiful cascades are at their most dazzling. The thundering falls sparkle in all their splendor in warm and sunny weather, and longer daylight hours allow you to take it all in on a foggy, close-encounter cruise – just don’t forget your poncho.

The nightly Niagara Falls Fireworks show takes place during the height of summer, in July or August, with stunning pyrotechnics lighting up the sky against the backdrop of the falls. Other summer activities include the Niagara SkyWheel, Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, and Butterfly Conservatory. There is also lovely landscape to visit around Niagara Falls. Rent a bike and ride around the region, stopping at charming towns, wineries, and quaint restaurants along the way.

Muskoka, Ontario

Muskoka-chair-lake-canada
Muskoka-chair-lake-canada

Muskoka is Ontario’s picturesque cottage country, with its lakes, rivers, and forests. It’s definitely one of the top summer resorts in Canada and a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. It has various parks and lakeside beaches for camping, as well as waterfalls to claim as a reward for completing a spectacular climb. You may even canoe or kayak to some of the magnificent falls.

Mountain bike along woodland routes or clamber through Muskoka’s forest canopies at a treetop park. Boat rides in Honey Harbour in Georgian Bay, through magnificent rocks and dozens of pine-forested islands, are milder but no less exciting. Take to the skies and see the bay from a completely new perspective by seaplane for an amazing experience.

Victoria, British Columbia

victoria-canada
victoria-canada

Victoria is British Columbia’s lovely capital. The city’s various attractions shine even brighter in the summer sun. The Butchart Gardens, notably the rose gardens, are in full bloom from June through August. Not to mention the Night Illuminations, which turn the gardens into a brilliant dream land. Nature’s artistry may be seen in Victoria Butterfly Gardens through iridescent chrysalides and colorfully patterned wings.

Summer also adds a gleam to Victoria Harbour, with its iconic small ferries putting on a performance every weekend – be entertained by their superbly synchronized “dance moves” on the water. Take a stroll down Johnson Street and do some window shopping. On delightful strolls along the harbour and Chinatown, you may enjoy take in vistas of historic structures. Have lunch with seals in view at Fisherman’s Wharf, or go on a Salish Sea trip to see whales and orcas.

Nanaimo, British Columbia

Downtown-Nanaimo
Downtown-Nanaimo

Nanaimo is a harbour city on Vancouver Island’s east coast that provides fantastic discoveries beneath beautiful blue summer skies. Downtown Nanaimo is a joy to walk through, all the way down to the lovely Harbourfront Walkway with its fishing piers. Crabbers may be seen carrying their catch or seaplanes taking off and landing. The marina, where you may embark on a whale-watching cruise, is full of adventure.

There are excellent hiking and mountain bike paths nearby. Hikes through Petroglyph Provincial Park reveal fascinating old stone etchings. The Doumont Trails provide mountain bikers with fantastic forest singletrack and cross-country rides complete with ramps for some major airtime. Beyond Nanaimo, take a boat to Newcastle Island for further outdoor excursions.

The Okanagan Valley in British Columbia

okanagan-valley
okanagan-valley

The Okanagan Valley and its mountain resorts may entice skiers, but the region is also a popular Canadian summer retreat. On the eastern bank of Okanagan Lake, the main town of Kelowna is home to picturesque local vineyards and orchards, as well as lakefront parks and pine forests. Lake kayaking, hiking, and wine tasting are all options.

Okanagan Lake is a popular summer destination for beachgoers, with over 30 beaches offering a variety of attractions ranging from water sports to playgrounds for family fun. Summer also brings with it a plethora of cultural delights to its communities. Kelowna hosts summer music events and festivities in city parks and chosen vineyards on a regular basis.

Charlevoix, Quebec City

Charlevoix-Quebec
Charlevoix-Quebec

Charlevoix is a World Biosphere Reserve with many national parks and farmlands. The parks make excellent summer trekking destinations. The Acropole des Draveurs trek, which rewards you with amazing views of the Malbaie River, is one of the most popular. It’s also a delight to get here: the hour-long drive from Quebec City follows the sea-like Saint Lawrence River, with a gorgeous backdrop of undulating hills.

Another excellent way to appreciate the region’s splendor is to board the Train de Charlevoix, which travels between Beauport and La Malbaie and makes a stop at Baie-Saint-Paul. Consider yourself fortunate if you see cetaceans breaching the river’s surface along the way. Parc du Gouffre is a popular riverfront summer campground near Baie-Saint-Paul. Rivière du Gouffre, a little tributary of the Saint Lawrence River’s left bank, is a fantastic area to kayak.

Quebec City, Canada

Quebec-City-canada
Quebec-City-canada

Quebec City is one of North America’s oldest cities, having been founded in 1608 by a French explorer. It still proudly wears its French past on its sleeve today, as seen by spectacular architecture such as Place Royale and the Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church, which houses the Saint Geneviève chapel. A stroll through the cobblestone alleyways of Old Quebec under summer skies will transport you to Europe.

Aside from the UNESCO World Heritage Site, there are numerous opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. City parks, such as the Plains of Abraham, are nearby and ideal for a lovely picnic. Away from the city, various hiking paths lead through verdant valleys with beautiful cliffs overlooking the Saint Lawrence River. The Bras-du-Nord track, which rewards you with stunning waterfalls at the end of your climb, is a popular alternative.

Quebec’s Gaspesie region

Gaspesie, commonly known as the Gaspe Peninsula, is a popular outdoor adventure destination in Quebec’s Bas-Saint-Laurent area. With its wonderful combination of lush mountain views and seascapes from the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, the broad peninsular area offers some of the most picturesque travels in Canada. Along the vast coast, you may discover attractive towns and villages, as well as picturesque lighthouses (which are wonderful sites to search for breaching whales). Some have calm but gorgeous beaches where you can rest.

The hills are home to four national parks, with forest trails leading to cooling waterfalls like the Saint-Anne Waterfall. Try the Mont Albert trail for a fast hike where the summit plateau rewards you with stunning views of the surrounding valleys. Canyoning, canoeing, rafting, kayaking, and even hang-gliding are just a few of the exciting summer sports available in Gaspesie.

Jasper, Alberta

spirit-island-jasper
spirit-island-jasper

Jasper is a relaxed mountain town that serves as a fantastic base for exploring the Canadian Rockies, with access to stunning mountains and alpine lakes. The largest national park in the Rockies is Jasper National Park. Naturally, there is plenty of action to try within the park itself during the summer. Hike to Pyramid Lake, kayak Lake Edith or Lake Annette, or take a boat tour down Maligne Canyon.

The Icefields Parkway, southeast of Jasper, should go on everyone’s bucket list since it’s magnificent even in the summer warmth. Riding the Jasper Skytram, Canada’s highest and longest guided aerial tramway, at almost 2,000 meters above sea level and lasting around 7.5 minutes, is an unofficial rite of passage when visiting Jasper.

Alberta’s Banff National Park

banff-kayaking
banff-kayaking

Summer at Banff National Park is beautiful, with its breathtaking alpine lakes and woods. Longer daytime hours imply nice weather both during the day and at night. Popular activities for taking advantage of the warm weather include camping, lakeside picnicking, mountain treks, and paddling. Whatever your plans are, don’t forget to take the gondola to Sulphur Mountain.

Summer is the ideal season to play golf at the world-renowned Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course. As long as you have a permit, you will have an unforgettable fishing experience at the Bow River or Lake Minnewanka. The Bow River itself is a playground for paddling experiences, with canoes running from Castle Junction to Banff and Bow Falls to Canmore. You can even ride your horse through Banff’s backcountry, discovering pine-forested valleys and old tea houses along the route.

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Maris Lopez
Maris Lopezhttp:////my-lifestyle.co
Hey there! I'm Maris, an American girl who is passionate about adventure, the outdoors and all things travel!
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