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Canada is unique in that it is a country which is popular with visitors in any season as there is always so much you can see and do. With the coronavirus pandemic ongoing, many of us are thinking about planning our next summer holiday and there really is no better place to spend the summer than in Canada.
The summer in Canada runs from June to August and from Québec City and Calgary to Niagara Falls and Prince Edward Island, there are so many places which are great to visit during the summer months.
Canada is the second-largest country in the world and has lots of wide, open spaces, so it will be impossible for you to visit the whole of Canada in one trip. Instead, it is best to focus on just a few areas so you can enjoy all of their highlights.
Read on to find out about just some of the top places to visit in Canada this summer.
Top places to visit in Canada this summer
•Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve
•The Okanagan Valley
•Prince Edward Island
There are lots of flights to Canada from the UK that head to Québec City and summer is the perfect time to visit as the balmy evenings are perfect for enjoying the city’s Parisian-style cafes.
Canada’s oldest city just oozes old-world charm and as well as its world-class cuisine, there is incredible architecture to see, historic neighbourhoods to explore and a plethora of attractions to visit. Some of these top attractions include the Chateau Frontenac, Cap Diamant, Ile d’Orleans and Montmorency Falls – which reaches higher heights than the Niagara Falls.
A popular way to see the city in all its glory in the summer is to take a river cruise down the St Lawrence River as you can see the most famous landmarks in the city and get told about their history. Visiting La Citadelle is a must as it will give you a great insight into the history of the city and walking around Parliament Hill is a great area to walk around and discover the unique neighbourhoods that surround it.
If you’re looking to stay at a stunning hotel, then you can stay at the Chateau Frontenac, which is the most photographed hotel in the world, with us here at Canadian Affair.
Perfect holiday for you: Québec City Holidays
READ MORE: 7 hidden gems in Québec
Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve
Source: Leigh McAdam
If you love natural beauty, then you need to head to Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve as you will be amazed by its colossal limestone outcroppings.
During the summer months, you can watch whales and seals frolicking in the sea, colonies of seabirds and you can explore some of the parks islands (there are more than 1,000 islands so you might have time to visit them all). There are countless nature trails you can hike along, which is the best way to see the unique flora in this region.
Leigh McAdam, the co-author of the travel blog HikeBikeTravel, tells us about why she loves the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve.
“One of my top picks for a summertime visit to Canada is the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, located over 800km east of Québec City. Explore an archipelago of over 1,000 islands either by kayak or guided boat tour. Go for the whale watching and plentiful sea life, the puffins and seabirds, the outstanding hiking among Canada’s largest concentration of fantastically eroded sandstone rocks called monoliths, the tide pools and the lighthouses that hearken back to another era.
“Allow at least a few nights on the islands – camping where allowed, in a Parks Canada oTENTik, or in the fabulous lightkeeper’s cabin on Iles aux Perroquets. There is nowhere else quite like this in Canada – and summer is the only time that these islands are easily accessible.”
If you are looking at organising Canada self drive tours then you can easily drive to the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve and visit the likes of Québec City on the same trip.
Perfect holiday for you: Québec Holidays
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There’s no doubt that Calgary is one of the best locations to visit during summer—largely thanks to the ‘Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth’—the Calgary Stampede.
Hosted annually in July, this iconic event is a must-visit, delighting visitors with world-class rodeo action, delicious food, top music acts, and many other exciting shows.
This world-famous summer event is naturally one of the biggest draws to the city, but there is a lot more that Calgary has to offer in the summer than cowboys and cowgirls.
It is one of Canada’s sunniest major cities, receiving around 2,400 hours of sunshine per year on average, and it is the gateway to the iconic Canadian Rocky Mountains. In fact, Calgary is surrounded by four UNESCO heritage parks, so you can go on day trips to the Rockies, the Dinosaur Provincial Park and Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.
The city itself is home to one of the world’s largest pathway networks called the Rotary/Mattamy Greenway, making Calgary an ideal destination to explore on foot or on a bike. The Heritage Park Historical Village, which is Canada’s largest living history museum, is a must-visit as you will hear fascinating stories from First Nations people and the voyagers who travelled into Canada’s wilderness.
Despite it being summer, you should still visit WinSport Calgary, located at the Canada Olympic Park, as you can go on zip lines and travel down the Bobsleigh track.
Perfect holiday for you: Calgary Stampede holidays
READ MORE: Where to stay in Calgary
The Okanagan Valley
The Okanagan Valley in British Columbia is the perfect summer destination if you want a mix of stunning nature and wine.
One of the warmest regions in Canada, there is so much the area has to offer in the summer as you’ll find lush river valleys, grasslands, sandy beaches and sun-soaked vineyards. If you’re in search of relaxation and rejuvenation, then you’ve come to the right place.
Kelowna is the largest city located in the interior of BC’s Thompson Okanagan region, bursting with vineyards with over 40 wineries within a 20-minute drive of the city. Although Kelowna is a city, it has that small-town feel to it with its sanctuary of orchards, pine forests and lakes all around the city.
Another place you should visit in the Okanagan Valley region in the summer is Vernon, the oldest settlement in the Valley. The town offers up stunning lake and mountain views and these natural attractions entice hikers and bikers to its slopes.
If you’re looking to do some wine tasting, then head to some of the following vineyards:
•Calona Vineyards (Kelowna)
•The Mission Hill Family Estate (Kelowna)
•50th Parallel Estate Winery (Vernon)
•Arrowleaf Cellars (Vernon)
Perfect holiday for you: A holiday in Kelowna
Toronto is one of those cities that you can visit any time of the year and it is full of energy with its diverse neighbourhoods and abundance of attractions.
Visiting Toronto in the summer is special as there can be up to 40 different events taking place throughout July and August and with more professional sports teams than any other Canadian city you can go and watch one of them in action.
You should also go and watch the sunset at the CN Tower and to get a great insight into the history of Toronto you should look to go on a walking tour. With Toronto Free Walking Tours you can visit St Lawrence Market, see old town Toronto, wander around the famous Distillery Historic District and explore the cathedral and great halls.
If you are a keen shopper there are some summer markets in Toronto which you can visit and these include:
•Lawrence Market (on Saturday’s)
•Kensington Market Pedestrian Sundays
From Toronto, you can travel to Niagara Falls and although it is at its busiest over the summer months, we’d recommend going on at least a day trip to see the majestic waterfalls.
Perfect holiday for you: Toronto Holidays
Prince Edward Island
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Prince Edward Island is a great place to visit in the summer as you can experience its miles of pristine beaches in all their glory.
Cavendish Beach is regarded as one of the most beautiful places in Canada and if you fancy a beach day during your summer holiday to Canada then there isn’t a better place to do it.
The summer is the best time to rent kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and go para-sailing with the calmer waters making it ideal conditions for exploring the red sandstone cliffs and coastline that are synonymous with Prince Edward Island. Other popular summertime activities on the island include golf and hiking.
Prince Edward Island is also renowned for its cuisine and their lobster is world-renowned. If you want to try it, then The Pearl Eatery is a restaurant that excels in serving up local cuisine such as its famous lobster.
During your trip, you should visit Province House National Historic Site, the birthplace of Canadian Confederation, and the Anne of Green Gables Heritage Place in Cavendish to honour the fact the island is the setting for one of the world’s most famous musicals.
Perfect holiday for you: Prince Edward Island Holidays
READ MORE: 8 reasons why you should visit Atlantic Canada
We all need something to look forward to and that’s why you should consider where you want to go on your next summer holiday. These are just some of the top places to visit in Canada in the summer and here at Canadian Affair, we can help you organise all sorts of Canadian holidays so you can go on a trip that suits you.