banff lake moraine

Explore the waters at Moraine lake in Banff National Park. (Photo: Getty Images)

Weekend Getaways

Who Says Canada’s Summer Is Almost Over? Make It an Endless Season of Weekend Getaways

Stretch out your summer weekends well into September and make the most of Canada’s idyllic seasonal landscapes and perfect road trip conditions. Whether you’re traveling with a small cohort or planning a solo getaway, get inspired by what these Canadian destinations have to offer.

As ever, check for any travel restrictions or closures before heading out on your trip.


walkway in vancouver
Leave your fear of heights at home. (Photo: Getty Images)

Unplug and spend some time outdoors in the parks, gardens and beaches at Vancouver’s iconic Stanley Park. Explore the park and Seawall by bike and take advantage of occasional road closures that facilitate even more space for cyclists.

Just north of Vancouver, brace yourself for an exhilarating walk across the Capilano Suspension Bridge and immerse yourself in the beauty of Vancouver’s rainforest.

If you are not afraid of heights, try the Cliffwalk or the Treetops Adventure. These viewing platforms and canopy walks provide unparalleled views of the rainforest, with minimal restrictions, from as high up as 110 feet.

The scenic one-hour drive to Squamish leads to even more immersive outdoor activities, including an aerial adventure park, kiteboarding and rafting.

Drive out to the town of Whistler for a bird’s-eye view of the Coast Mountains from the glass-bottomed Peak 2 Peak Gondola, and enjoy beaches, golf courses and outdoor activities, as well.


tram over mountains
Get sky high on the tram. (Photo: Getty Images)

Endless summer days in Calgary are best spent at Prince’s Island Park. Walk across the iconic Peace Bridge and find a spot to relax, watch the river go by and have a picnic. Preorder and pick up a picnic basket from River Café, or grab a snack from one of the take-out spots in East Village.

In south Calgary, stroll around Heritage Park, a huge outdoor history museum with plenty of food kiosks, picnic areas and entertainment.

Just 90 minutes from downtown Calgary, outdoor adventures await in Banff National Park. Bow Valley Parkway/Highway 1A Junction has been closed to vehicle traffic, giving bikers the opportunity to use this stunning route to get to Johnston Canyon for a hike (check the status of the roadway before hopping on two wheels).

Or climb into your own private Banff Gondola cabin and ascend to the summit of Sulphur Mountain for a view of six mountain ranges. Once you’ve reached the top, head to the interpretive center to grab coffee and a snack to accompany an outdoor stroll, or sit down for a meal at the open-air Peak Patio.


thousand islands canada
Explore the Thousand Islands. (Photo: Getty Images)

Head to downtown Montreal and walk around pedestrian-friendly areas (hubs include Centre St. Jax Garden, Place d’Youville and Place des Festivals) with outdoor live music, entertainment, art installations and vendors.

Soak in the sunshine at urban Verdun Beach, where you can laze away the day in a hammock, go for a swim or ascend the climbing wall.

In just under three hours you can drive to Thousand Islands to tour dozens of wineries and breweries, and be sure to seek out Frontenac Arch Biosphere, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, and Rideau Heritage Route, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Take a road trip of less than an hour to visit the quaint towns that make up the Eastern Townships. Visit wineries, orchards, cheesemakers and microbreweries to gather some homemade and homegrown products for a picnic.


distillery district
Grab a brew in the Distillery District. (Photo: Getty Images)

Visit the Distillery Historic District to browse the vendors and art exhibits, and then relax with a meal or drinks on one of its many patios.

Take a 10-minute ferry ride from Toronto’s urban setting to the Toronto Islands and enjoy outdoor activities, picnics and sightseeing in a lush setting.

If you’re keen on staying active with outdoor activities like hiking and kayaking, head to the stunning Algonquin Provincial Park, less than three hours from Toronto.

Or make your way to the town of Blue Mountain two hours away for shopping, dining and low-key outdoor activities, including golf , Segway tours, a ropes course and an open-air gondola.

Niagara Falls

niagara falls rainbow
Feel the rush at Niagara Falls. (Photo: Getty Images)

Less than a two-hour drive from Toronto is the enchanting, bucket-list attraction, Niagara Falls. It is home to one of Canada’s signature experiences: the Hornblower Niagara Cruises. Thrill seekers will want to try zip lining toward the iconic Horseshoe Falls.

Just a short 20-minute drive away is Niagara-on-the-Lake, a National Historic Site of Canada. Stroll through this quaint town to photograph the picturesque 19th-century architecture and enjoy the shopping and dining, including plenty of takeout options for an outdoor picnic.

Nearby is the region known as Ontario Wine Country — home to more than 40 wineries. Tour the wineries and be sure to try the regional specialty: Niagara ice wine.