The Best Places To Experience Fall In Canada
Fall in Canada is a beautiful time. As the balmy breezes and blue skies of summer give way to crisp air and shorter days, it’s a great time to discover new places and use up those well-earned vacation days before winter takes grip. You may be tempted to head to the coast of Vancouver Island to spot some whales, enjoy a vibrant city break in Calgary, or soak up some of that je ne sais quoi in Montréal. However you travel, here are 6 of our fave places to truly experience fall in Canada.
Why Is Fall In Canada So Great?
Canada is home to a bounty of flora and fauna that complement this special transition of seasons. You may find yourself transfixed by the blazing reds of a maple tree or the bold yellows of a larch. Our vast skies become animated with the migrations of Canadian geese in arrow-like formation, and our beloved bears begin to hunker down for their annual hibernation. The change is tangible as our senses become flooded with cinnamon and pumpkin spice, and plaid begins to become the norm once more.
Fall in Canada is often referred to as the “Shoulder Season”–it’s an opportunity for the travel and tourism sector to catch a breath following a chaotic summer. It’s also an opportunity for you to grab a hotel bargain or a cheap flight!
Say “Bonjour” to fall in Canada’s capital, Ottawa. The native foliage here lends itself so perfectly to this fleeting season, and areas such as Mer Bleue Bog and Gatineau Park are great points to take it all in. Ottawa itself maintains cultural and tourism traction into the fall with a variety of season-appropriate events and activities to enjoy. Check out Arbraska Laflèche about 30 minutes from downtown. It offers outdoor fun for all ages such as ziplining and kids’ aerial park, hiking trails, suspension bridges and even caves. You could choose to rent a bike and explore some of Ottawa’s 800km of recreational pathways–a great way to experience fall in Canada! From September 12 – October 1, 2022, check out Torchlight Shakespeare Festival, which presents Hamlet in a different park each night of the week. Or to celebrate Halloween, take on an escape room/scavenger hunt/geocaching/amazing race-esque adventure along the Rideau River to wrangle a ghost at Moodie Cemetary! Book tickets for your ‘Ghost Outing’ here.
Finding A Hotel In Ottawa
As well as being great for air arrivals to the city, Sandman Signature Ottawa Airport is the perfect base camp to access downtown Ottawa and the surrounding area, too. Historic Parliament Hill is just 15 km from its front doors, as well as the famous Byward Market featuring restaurants, local shops and bars. Pets are welcome at Sandman Signature Ottawa Airport and guests enjoy value-add amenities such as a free airport shuttle, free overnight parking, and an indoor pool with a fitness centre.
St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador
Rejuvenate on the rugged Atlantic coast with a trip to St. John’s. As North America’s easternmost city, you’ll feel a million miles away amid the colourful cityscape, historic sites, and endless coastlines of this incredible destination. Generations of influence from Ireland and the United Kindom make St. John’s no stranger to pubs, pints and laughs, and you’ll find top-tapping live music any day of the week. A walking tour is a great way to explore this historic city, but if you’d prefer to adventure solo be sure to add Signal Hill, The Rooms, and Quidi Vidi to your itinerary. While you’re in St. John’s, you simply have to go out on the water. Book a guided boat tour for your chance to see puffins and whales!
Find A Hotel In St. John’s
You’ll find comfort and calm at Sandman Signature St. John’s Hotel, which is ideally located close to everything that the city has to offer. You’ll enjoy free, unlimited Wi-Fi during your stay (perfect for streaming your favourite shows), and pets are always welcome to join you. There’s a Moxies restaurant and a Denny’s onsite, too, which makes it a breeze to find somewhere convenient to dine.
Home to big skies and never-ending horizons, the Prairies are a dream in the fall. As home to vast ranches and farmland, it’s no surprise that the fall is centred around the harvest here–expect picture-perfect pumpkin patches, bewildering corn mazes, and welcoming breweries. Check out Stumbletown and their ‘Distillation – A Grain To Glass Experience’. You’ll enjoy a tour of the distillery as well as a unique gin or whiskey tasting. While you’re in Saskatoon, we also recommend discovering more about the peoples and cultures indigenous to the land. Maanipokaa’iini is the first-ever survey of the work of the Siksika Nation artist Adrian Stimson and is currently on display at The Remai Modern. Maanipokaa’iini, is the Blackfoot word for newborn bison and the exhibition was inspired by the recent finding of four petroglyphs near the Newo Asiniak buffalo jump site, and the reintroduction of bison at Wanuskewin in 2019.
Find A Hotel In Saskatoon
You’ll find Sandman Hotel Saskatoon in the perfect location just minutes from both the airport and downtown. The hotel provides a free airport shuttle and there’s Denny’s restaurant and a Shark Club Sports Bar & Grill onsite. Snuggle up in one of our famously cozy beds and recharge each night at Sandman Hotel Saskatoon.
Prince George, British Columbia
Looking to experience a beautiful fall in Canada? Head to Prince George, but be quick–fall doesn’t last long in this part of northern BC. A craft fair is a great way to mark the season here and schools across the area host a variety of vendors. Head to The University Of Northern British Columbia to check out the Artisans Of The North Fair. For fresh, local produce, we recommend The Prince George farmers’ market, located on Third Avenue. It’s indoors and so it’s year-round and offers 100+ stalls selling local vegetables, meats, and fruits as well as baked goods, preserves, and handcrafted goods. For something unique, head over to the historic Huble Homestead, which typically hosts a number of fall activities suitable for the whole family. This includes an old-fashioned Thanksgiving and a Halloween Spooktacular.
Find A Hotel In Prince George
Choose Sandman Signature Prince George Hotel and enjoy being moments from it all. As usual, free Wi-Fi and onsite dining are available, and to make your trip even more relaxing, the hotel has a pool, hot tub and state-of-the-art fitness centre.
Cranbrook, British Columbia
The great thing about fall in Canada is that there’s just so much variety in terrain and weather. Head to the mountains and you’ll witness the slow but steady shift of the snowline as it creeps from peak to valley. Cranbrook sits among the majestic Kootenay ranges with jaw-dropping views from every vantage point. Hiking is a great pastime in the fall. Not only because the weather is cooler and there are fewer bugs, but also because of the ever-changing foliage and low-hanging clouds, which sideswipe the mountains and drift among the trees. Explore some Kootenay heritage with a visit to Fort Steele Heritage Town. They host the Kootenay Country Fair each September as well as a Halloween Extravaganza. You can try your hand at gold-panning and check out the Clydesdales before grabbing a fresh cinnamon bun from their bakery!
Find A Hotel In Cranbrook
Feel at home at Sandman Hotel Cranbrook. It’s nestled in the heart of downtown and close to popular attractions and you’ll enjoy charming rooms, famously comfy beds and the convenience of a Denny’s on-site. Overnight parking is free and you can even bring your dog along for the adventure.
Squamish, British Columbia
Drive an hour north of Vancouver and you’ll discover the friendly town of Squamish. It sits where the ocean meets the mountains, and mammoth peaks stretch skyward as if from the water. Self-titled ‘the outdoor capital of Canada, Squamish is home to plentiful hiking, biking, and climbing adventures. In the fall, you can enjoy popular spots–like The Stawamus Chief or Murrin Lake Provincial Park–without the crowds, or ride the Sea-To-Sky Gondola to take in the change of seasons from 2,900ft. Check out Britannia Mine Museum for family-friendly fun such as Halloween Spooktacular or their annual Copper & Fire art festival. Fall is also a good time to try your hand at fishing. Valley Fishing Guides offer half-day and full-day options–it’s a great way to experience a different side of Squamish in the fall.
Find A Hotel In Squamish
Rest your head at Sandman Hotel & Suites Squamish. Not only is it great for exploring Squamish, but it’s also a good launchpad for heading further afield to the popular resort of Whistler. Your reservation includes a free continental breakfast and kids will love splashing in the onsite pool and riding the waterslide.