Where to spend your summer in Canada

Authored by Eric Harris

Where to go in Canada this Summer- The Great White North goes green in the summers and with temperatures ranging from 62 to 77 °F (17 to 25 °C,) it is a true joy to visit in the summer!

Let’s start our journey on the west coast with Vancouver

From whale watching to taking monumental hikes, Vancouver is a city made for nature lovers! The Vancouver area is home to one of the top-rated drives on the globe! Cruise down the Sea-to-Sky Highway, 1.5-hour drive between Vancouver and Whistler. While in V-town, take time out to visit Vancouver’s North Shore and charge up “Mother Nature’s Staircase,” better known as Grouse Grind. The 850m climb up a misty, seemingly mystical mountain to reach a picturesque pinnacle overlooking the city. 

Vancouver’s mastery over nature doesn’t stop there, it is also home to Stanley Park which has edged out much more well known urban parks to become World’s Best Park according to Trip Advisor. When visiting in the summer, I would recommend kayak some of the local fjords, one of the most popular being Deep Cove. Sea to Sky Gondola is a newer attraction to Vancouver. Just a 45-minute drive north of Vancouver, this is a 100-meter long suspension bridge that spans the picturesque Squamish region. Breathe in the vibrant mountains to the east, the fierce fjords to the west and everything in between! 

Vancouver

Vancouver is also home to one of Canada’s most impressive Zen Gardens. Open only during the summer, the Richmond Night Market will give you a new view of Vancouver’s rich Chinese community!

Granville Island: Just off the coast of downtown Vancouver is 37 mile Granville Island. The former industrial area is now a thriving cultural community including many one of a kind shops, galleries, restaurants, and theatre! Open year-round it is definitely worth the day trip for anyone looking for the Pacific-Canadian vibe! 

Moving eastward is Banff National Park

An hour and a half west of Calgary in Canada is Bow Falls. Take a Gondola Ride up to the top of Mt. Sulphur. Take in 6 different mountain ranges from throughout the 8-minute ride. Take a day cruise on Lake Minnewaska, soak in views of the lake and Devil’s Gap or take explore the park via Canoe. Kayak Moraine Lake. This lake is hidden in between the Valley of the Ten Peaks just an hour north of Banff Town. 

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One of the best spots in the world, Banff’s hiking paths are equally as gnarly to explore in the summer! There are a variety of different difficulty levels for you to explore while conquering the summer slopes. To help those sore muscles you could soak in the Budapest-like hot springs with water infused with Calcium, Sulfate, and Magnesium. Relax in the 98-degree waters after a long day of hiking. Jasper National Park is also a must-see. It is just a two-hour drive north of Banff.

Toronto

Toronot Canada in the summer

My next recommended spot on this marc is Canada’s largest city. For the history buffs out there, Toronto’s favourite castle is Casa Loma is for sure a must-see. Taking 3 years to complete, it’s construction was completed in 1914 by its original owner Sir Henry Pellatt. It has been the setting for several movies including X-Men, Descendents, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Sitting 140 meters (460 ft) above sea level, it has a fantastic view of northern Toronto. Summer is the perfect time to sit in the 5 acres worth of gardens surrounding Toronto’s favourite castle! 

Don’t forget to visit the pedestrian-only Distillery District. Featuring over 40 boutiques and 19 different bar/restaurants, this fantastic glimpse into Toronto’s past features several music festivals, yoga classes, flea-market and other outdoor exhibits throughout the year. The Distillery District also turns into their Christmas market every winter!

Toronto is also home to the Hockey Hall of Fame, Canada’s National Sport. Home of the Stanley Cup when it isn’t globetrotting, the Hockey Hall of Fame is one of the most photographed areas in Toronto. The Museum holds regular exhibits on the sports most famous team dynasties, a 120 seat theatre which plays Stanley Cup highlights from years past, and a scale replica of a Pro team locker room! 

An essential day trip when visiting Toronto is the always iconic Niagara Falls. Just an hour and 40-minute drive, from Toronto, for those who have never seen the legendary waterfall, it is a must-see! If you’re not in the mood for driving, I recommend hopping on VIA Rail’s website and finding a train which allows you to take in even more on the ride down to this gorgeous site! 

Montreal

Up next on my list one of my favourite Canada cities on the North American continent: Montreal- Continuing with the nature theme that is laced throughout Canada, a hike up Mount Royal is totally necessary! Mount Royal is a micro-mountain formed by a now dormant volcano set in the centre of downtown Montreal and some claim it to be the namesake of the city itself.

For the architecture and history enthusiasts out there, visit the Notre-Dame Basilica. Completed in 1829, it is still seen by 11 million people a year, it is one of North America’s most visited monuments. 

For better views of the Montreal skyline, take a ride on La Grande Roue de Montreal – Canada’s largest observation wheel. This Ferris wheel was built for the city’s 375th anniversary in the old town and it has since become an iconic part of the cityscape! While down there, take the opportunity to take in the Vieux-Port, or Old Port of Montreal. Located on the St. Lawrence river, this is Montreal’s historic district. Embark on a river cruise, go ziplining, or just grab some maple iced cream and stroll the riverside, it is definitely a great place to spend a day! 

Cool off in Montreal’s underground city. Linking several office towers under the surface of Montreal is a series of malls that can help you avoid the hustle of big streets. While there one should take in one of Montreal’s countless summer street festivals, Biodome,  and views from the 1976 Summer Olympic Games Stadium! 

Newfoundland

Ending on the East Coast of Canada is Newfoundland: With St. John’s as your starting point, you can take in everything that is great about Maritime Canada! Take in coastal cruises that let you watch whales in the Atlantic, get a close-up look of Icebergs, and watch Puffins in their natural habitat along the Bonavista Peninsula! Newfoundland is a prime location for camping, especially in the summer months, take the Viking Trail to get the best experience of the island’s northern peninsula. 

This was a guest post courtesy of http://instagram.com/travelheaderic

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