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Summer Travel Ideas - Canada

Get summer travel ideas for your trip to Canada.


Summer in Canada | Best Summer Festivals | Summer Weather & Event Guide

Summer travel ideas for Canada are wide ranging. July and August are high travel season, so expect prices to jump and crowds are common. Nevertheless, Canada is a big place and it's not hard to find some peace and quiet in a remote location. Or, if crowds are your thing, some of the biggest festivals occur in July and August, so parties are equally easy to find.

1. Pick a Festival, Any Festival

From the serenity of Shakespeare performed on the beach in Vancouver to the colourful and spicy Caribana parade in downtown Toronto, Canada's summer festivals suit a wide range of tastes and interests.

Everyone has heard of the Calgary Stampede, but there are plenty other lesser known festivals well worth checking out.

2. Take a Scenic Train Ride

Photo © Rocky Mountaineer / Armstrong Group

Canada train trips offer stunning scenery and are considered more than just transportation from point A to B. Although train travel tends to be more expensive than bus or even air travel, train travel is relaxing and scenic. The romance of the train is alive and well on Canada's major rail systems.

Some Canada train adventures, such as Rocky Mountaineer, only operate in the summer.

3. Take a Theater Vacation in Southern Ontario

Southern Ontario offers at least three high-quality live theatre destinations: Toronto, Stratford and Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Toronto is a top theater (Canadian spelling: "theatre") destination. Canadians and Americans flock to Toronto to take in one of the many Broadway-style musicals, plays or concerts. See Toronto's Top 10 Theatres.

Stratford has the Stratford Festival, featuring the best works of theatre in the classical and contemporary repertoire, with special emphasis on the works of William Shakespeare.

Next door to Niagara Falls, the Shaw Festival highlights works by George Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries. The lineup of plays also includes those by forgotten female playwrights and "undiscovered" or otherwise undervalued works.

4. Watch the Whales

Photo © Scott McLean

Canada has the most shoreline of any country in the world. It's no surprise then that migrating whales can be observed in many parts of Canada, notably the coasts of British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec and the Maritime provinces.

5. Experience Falls, Ferries and the Far Eastern Shore

This 11-day/10-night itinerary takes you on an exclusive journey through Eastern Canada that provides an exclusive look at the scenery and culture between Toronto and Canada's Atlantic provinces.

The trip by coach, rail, and ship includes two nights in each of Toronto, Montréal, Iles de la Madeleine and Charlottetown, plus a full-day Niagara excursion (including lunch, Maid of the Mist boat tour and wine tasting). Also included is one-way Comfort Class Via Rail Ticket Toronto to Montréal, guided walking tour of old Montréal and a three-day MV Vacancier cruise from Montréal to the Iles de la Madeleine, including all meals and port fees.

6. Camp in Algonquin, Ontario

Photograph: Doug Hamilton / Getty Images

Algonquin Park is one of Canada's finest and most famous parks. Located in northern Ontario, Algonquin Park covers 7,725 square kilometers of lakes and forests, bogs and rivers, cliffs and beaches.

Book ahead online to choose from one of hundreds of campsites. Be sure to pay attention to the type of campsite you reserve - some are large and have trees and shrubbery to give you privacy from neigbours. Others are quite public.

Read the About.com Guide to Camping review of Algonquin Park and those of other readers.

7. See the Polar Bears

Photo © Jeremy Woodhouse / Getty Images

Cruise North offers a land-based safari to give you an up-close look into the life, culture and spectacular wilderness of Northern Labrador.

Enjoy a scenic charter flight through the Koroc River Valley. Embark on daily land and sea adventures with scientists, Inuit and Parks Canada wardens. Experience the region's culture, archaeology and wildlife, including polar bears, whales and caribou. At night, enjoy fine and traditional Inuit cuisine and relax in comfort at our secure safari-style tent camp.

8. Bike the Okanagan Valley

Photo © John Kelly / Getty Images

Whether on your own or with a tour group, a bike ride through British Columbia's Okanagan Valley is a beautiful journey: lakes, mountains, ancient Douglas Firs.....even wineries.

Though you can cycle most of its trails year round, the region's best weather conditions occur between April and October.

BC Tourism has several easy to moderate trails laid out to follow or sign up for a tour with an established tour operator like Freewheeling Adventures or Monashee Adventure Tours.

9. Taste Test Your Way through the Eastern Townships

Alan Marsh / Getty Images
The Eastern Townships is a southeastern Quebec gem that many U.S. travellers have come to appreciate along with weekending Montrealers. The area is particularly popular with foodies: fine local cheeses, oatmeal pancakes, corn chowder, roasted lambfreshly steamed brown bread, all complemented with local wines, beers or ciders are just some of the delicacies to be discovered.

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