Make the Most of Summer: 10 Ideas for Must-Try Experiences Across Canada
Between protected national parks, the long stretches of stunning coastline, dense rainforests, natural hot pools, the Rocky Mountains, vibrant cities, eclectic food scene, and the long list of music, food and drink festivals that take place from coast to coast, it can’t be argued that Canada is quite the place during the summer months. Yes, the land of the toonie, the toque, poutine and red canoes is one to be explored and treasured.
It’s really no wonder, with all of the tastes, sights and sensations to discover across this great land we call home, that Canada attracts millions of travellers a year. So, this summer, why not embrace being a tourist in your own backyard and find new experiences to be enjoyed right here at home?
To help you on your way, we’ve created a list of some of the best bucket-list items Canada has to offer. Here’s to getting to know a little bit of Canadiana you might not yet had the chance to try.
1.Take a road trip through the Rockies
The Rocky Mountain peaks have been spectacular sights to marvel at for over 100 years. Ever since Banff National Park was established in 1885, travellers have been drawn to the region’s turquoise blue lakes, lush alpine forests and charming mountain towns. Take a road trip along the Icefields Parkway – the highway between Lake Louise and Jasper – for a truly memorable, signature Rockies journey, voted one of the world’s most scenic drives by National Geographic.
2. Embark on a tour of the tastebuds
Canada’s diverse food scene is one to be devoured, with freshly-caught or premium-raised produce from across the country being something to delight in. One foodie experience dying to be taste-tested is the Vancouver Foodie Tour. A two-hour stroll of Vancouver’s street food scene awaits. Your local guide will entertain you with the behind-the-scenes stories and sound’bites’ of the city’s favourite food trucks.
3. Get close to the wildlife of Canada’s North
Spend hours watching polar bears gracefully swimming above your head in the underwater viewing tunnels at Winnipeg’s ‘Journey to Churchill’ at Assiniboine Park Zoo. Also on the journey through the wildlife of Manitoba’s North, you’ll get face-to-face with caribou, muskoxen, the Artic Fox and wolves.
4. Take the train cross-country
Traverse five of Canada’s 10 Provinces with a Trans-Canada rail journey. Travel with Via Rail from the Pacific Ocean to the Great Lakes. From the dome of the skyline car, train travellers will be treated to 360-degree views – don’t forget the camera!
5. Camp in the Great Outdoors
Canucks love to get outdoors, so we couldn’t create a list of the best ways to spend summertime without including camping. Hours by the campfire with good friends and family make for lifelong memories. Then there’s the fun of BBQing together at mealtimes. [For inspiration on easy BBQ recipes for your camping trips, see here].
6. Have a picnic in nature
The simplicity of a picnic is a classic way to spend summer days with the family. Whether you settle by one of Canada’s lakes, with a viewpoint of a bustling city, or in your closest National Park, we challenge you to pack up your goodies and dine al fresco this summer. [For a delicious, easy, perfect picnic addition, try the Thai Beef Wraps – recipe here].
7. Sample some of Canada’s best craft brews
Canada’s explosion of craft breweries in recent years offers Canadians a vast choice of quality, locally-brewed craft beers to sample. A visit to these breweries can also involve a behind-the-scenes brewery tour, such as with Calgary’s Big Rock Brewery. Brew lovers should head to BC’s Victoria, with many breweries in the city continuing brewing traditions from the earliest days of settlement. Visit Spinnakers, Canada’s oldest brew pub, or plan your trip to catch The Great Canadian Beer Festival – held in Vancouver Island’s capital every September.
8. Attend a music festival
Canada’s diverse music tastes are reflected in the numerous summer festivals and legendary line-ups that feature across the country every summer. With festivals dedicated to jazz, country, heavy metal and folk, there’s something for everyone. Edmonton Folk Festival takes place every August, and is now one of the leading folk festivals in the world.
9. Relax in a natural hot pool
Venturing to a natural hot spring can be quite the adventure! If you haven’t yet been to Lussier Hot Springs – close to Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park – then add this to your list. There’s a little hike required (but it’s well worth it). Take the forest road up to the top of the Lussier Gorge and discover the pools from there. The water temperature gets as hot as 43 degrees Celsius, but an icy creek runs nearby for those brave enough for a cool dip!
10. Take advantage of Canada’s many pristine natural bodies of water
From mountain springs, to fresh water lakes and beautiful oceans coast-to-coast. Whether you’re a sun soaker, boat lover, fishing fiend or whale watcher, there’s something for every water baby in Canada. Fun fact, Canada is home to 1/5th of the world’s fresh water. Aren’t we lucky?!
Don’t forget to enter to win a choose-your-own-dream trip for 2 to anywhere in Canada!
However you decide to spend your summer days – we want to see it! Enter our Canadian Beef Summer Moments Photo Contest by sharing a photo that showing how Canadian beef is a part of the summer moments you spend enjoying the best things Canada has to offer. Just submit your photos on our Facebook Contest App or tagging your Twitter and Instagram photos with #BestofCDNBeef and you’ll be entered to win.
Click here to view the full rules & regulations.