Cn tower in fall

The CN Tower cloaked in autumn leaves makes for a stunning staycation photo. (Photo: Getty Images)


Rediscover Canada This Fall on a Weekend Staycation

With its diverse major cities spread across a vast swath of astonishing landscapes, Canada has an enviable array of staycation possibilities. Here’s just a taste of what some of the country’s most inviting centers have to offer those looking to vacation close to home.

(Don’t forget to check for any travel restrictions or closures before planning your staycation.)


montreal botanical garden
Get a nature fix at the Montreal Botanical Garden. (Photo: Getty Images)

Stretch your legs with a walk or bike ride along the waterways of Quartiers du Canal. The once-industrialized area hugging the historic Lachine Canal has been recently revitalized and is now emerging as one of the city’s trendiest districts filled with restaurants, local merchants and outdoor activities.

If you’re pining for an unforgettable urban oasis, look no further than Montreal’s Botanical Garden. The 190-acre green space is known as one of the largest and most attractive collections of gardens in the world. Whimsical living sculptures, a fascinating First Nations Garden, an Insectarium and more await visitors looking to connect with nature.

Oenophiles won’t want to miss one of the region’s most appetizing, under-the-radar attractions, the Brome-Missisquoi wine route. The route features a selection of Quebec’s best boutique wineries and cideries, some of which feature small, homey restaurants that also sell takeout foods or prepared picnic baskets that can be enjoyed among the vineyards.


toronto music garden
Settle in at the Toronto Music Garden. (Photo: Getty Images)

The Distillery District, a collection of restored Victorian industrial buildings, is arguably Toronto’s most enchanting neighborhood thanks to its authentic cobblestone alleys, hip local shops and gorgeous art galleries. The area also houses Toronto’s (and possibly Canada’s) largest patio district, featuring at least a dozen restaurants with patios, outdoor art displays and live performances.

Visit another of the city’s captivating areas with a trip to the Toronto Music Garden. Designed by celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma and landscape designer Julie Moir Messervy, the verdant park brings to life Bach’s First Suite for Unaccompanied Cello, with different gardens representing each movement within the suite.

Plan a day trip to nearby Niagara Falls, where you can see one of nature’s most awe-striking wonders and indulge in a wine tasting at some of the many wineries peppered throughout the Niagara Peninsula, Canada’s largest wine region.


aerial view of ottawa and bridge
Cool down in Ottawa this autumn. (Photo: Getty Images)

Get to know Canada’s capital city with an intimate, private walking tour (general group tours are also available) where you’ll discover the city’s historical highlights, lauded heroes or public artworks.

Just a short drive from downtown, enjoy family-friendly rafting tours (for all levels of rafting experience) along the Ottawa River with Ottawa City Rafting. Guides regale guests with tales of the river’s storied history and central role in the city’s development. Or opt for the company’s more relaxed river float trip, and float down the waterway in individual tubes.

A short 30-minute drive from Ottawa lies Saunders Farm, a family-run attraction with mazes, farm-fresh produce and hayrides. Especially unique are the Campfires at Saunders Farm, where you can spend an hour or two at sundown with your very own cozy fire complete with a light meal and all the fixings to make s’mores.


red adirondack chairs on elk island
Settle in for sunset on Elk Island. (Photo: Getty Images)

Discover for yourself why Edmonton is considered one of Canada’s most walkable cities. Wander around the 4th Street Promenade to visit some of the city’s best artisanal chocolate and coffee shops, the beloved Wee Book Inn, art galleries and Canada’s only outdoor neon sign museum.

Don’t miss a chance to ride on the unique 100 Street Funicular, a free glass funicular with breathtaking views of the city and stunning River Valley.

If seeing “where the buffaloes roam” is on your bucket list, take a quick 35-minute drive to Elk Island National Park. This protected area is home to more than 600 free-roaming bison and pastoral Astotin Lake, which is an ideal spot for a picnic lunch.


stanley park trail
Walk the walk in Stanley Park. (Photo: Getty Images)

Without a doubt, Vancouver is one of Canada’s most beautiful cities, but the jewel in its crown is the Seawall in Stanley Park. The nearly path along Vancouver’s waterfront is the longest uninterrupted waterfront path on the planet, and the nearly 10-km (6-mile) section running through Stanley Park is its most picturesque portion. You’ll find lots of hiking and biking paths, as well, and the park’s First Nation totem poles at Brockton Point are one of a kind.

Explore Vancouver’s artistic side at Granville Island. The charming peninsula is famous for its vibrant public market, theater, locally owned shops and eponymous brewery.

If you’re feeling adventurous, head about 15 minutes outside of town to take a walk across the iconic Capilano Suspension Bridge. Not for the faint of heart, the jaw-dropping bridge measures 450 feet across and hangs 230 feet above the Capilano River. Top off your adventure with a hike through the surrounding ancient West Coast rainforest.

Want to explore someplace even further afield? Make the 90-minute drive north to Whistler, and experience one of Canada’s ultimate destinations for outdoor lovers.