Barry Choi • May 15, 2019
With summer on its way, it’s time to get out and enjoy the Canadian outdoors! So, where are you headed this summer? Canada has plenty of great spots for weekend getaways for travellers of all types. Looking for some inspiration? Here are some of the best long weekend getaways in Canada for spring and summer 2019.
Prince Edward County is the perfect long weekend getaway for spring and summer in Ontario. It offers a little bit of everything, making it suitable for families, couples, and friends. Sandbanks provincial park and Lake Ontario are obvious favourites for an escape on the hot, summer day with swimming, boating, and watersports readily available. But while the beaches are a definite highlight, Prince Edward County has plenty more to offer. This area is fast becoming a popular food and drink destination with a number of local restaurants, wineries, and breweries. The towns in the region also have a number of boutique, artisan, and antique shops that are definitely worth checking out.
When it comes to a long weekend getaway, Montreal is always a popular choice; and for good reason too. This cosmopolitan city has an endless number of things to do and see, and summer is one of the best times of year to visit. From charming Old Montreal with its cobblestone streets and boutique shops, to the scenic Mount Royal for stunning viewpoints, top-notch nightlife, and tons of restaurants, you’ll want more than just a couple of days here. Montreal almost always has some kind of festival, celebration, or event going on during the summer months as well, so be sure to check and see what is happening around town during your stay. Don’t forget to fill up on Montreal smoked meat, bagels, and of course, poutine.
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Skip busy Vancouver in favour of beautiful Victoria, British Columbia. It’s laid back, there is less rain (a bonus on its own!), and it has plenty to offer. Victoria is home to some stunning parks and gardens including the Butchart Gardens and Beacon Hill Park. In terms of architecture and buildings, The BC Legislative Building and Craigdarroch Castle are both popular to visit and photograph. Be sure to wander down by the Inner Harbour in the evening when it lights up with twinkling lights; it’s absolutely stunning. During Labour Day Weekend, the Classic Boat Festival takes place here as well.
If your ideal long weekend is to get out of the city and explore nature, then head to Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia which is famous for its scenery and Celtic heritage. Cape Breton’s Cabot Trail is known as one of the best drives in the world. Views here will blow you away and, if you are lucky, you may even see some whales off in the distance during the coastal parts of the drive. The route can be done in a day, but most people spend 2-3 days to cover the Cabot Trail, stopping regularly along the way. If you love seafood, friendly small towns, and the Canadian wilderness, it’s a perfect pick for a long weekend getaway in Canada.
Banff and Jasper get most of the attention when it comes to outdoor destinations in Alberta. But the nearby Canmore offers a great, affordable, and less crowded alternative for a long weekend getaway in Canada. From hiking to canoeing, caving to horseback riding there is plenty to do. Plus, it’s still close enough to drive to Banff National Park for a day if you’d like to explore that area as well. In the evenings, be sure to wander through Canmore town and check out the shops, pubs, and restaurants. If you are a beer enthusiast, don’t miss the Grizzly Paw Brewing Company.
Despite being the capital of Canada, Ottawa is often looked over for nearby Montreal or Toronto, however, this beautiful city has plenty to offer. Families will love all of the museums, including the Museum of History and the Museum of Nature, as well as the numerous bike and walking trails throughout the city. There are also the nearby Gatineau hills for hiking and boating. If you are looking to indulge and relax, the Nordik Spa-Nature is a local favourite with its indoor and outdoor pools set in beautiful forest surroundings. Being the capital, Ottawa also has a spectacular fireworks display for Canada Day weekend.
If you plan on charging all your travel purchases to a credit card, consider applying for the amazing Aspire Travel™ Platinum Mastercard® from Capital One®. It has no annual fee and you’ll earn 1 reward mile per $1 spent on all purchases.* The interest rate for purchase, balance transfer, and cash advance for this card is 19.8%. You’ll even get a one-time bonus of 10,000 reward miles – worth $100 in travel – when you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months of becoming a cardholder.**
Barry Choi is a personal finance and travel expert based in Toronto who makes frequent media appearances in Canada and the US. You can read more of his work at moneywehave.com or follow him on Twitter: @barrychoi.
The Capital One product details described in this article may have changed since the time of publication. Please see capitalone.ca for current product details.
*Rewards are applied to total net purchases. That means any purchase that’s charged to your Capital One credit card minus credits or returns. Cash advances, balance transfers and access cheque transactions aren’t eligible for rewards.
** You will be awarded an early spend bonus of 10,000 reward miles when you spend $500 on net purchases in the first 3 months following account booking. Net purchases are any purchases that are charged to your Capital One credit card minus credits or returns. Cash advances, balance transfers and access cheque transactions don’t count as purchases. These bonus reward miles will be reflected within two billing periods after the qualifying purchases have been posted to your account.
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