Your Unforgettable Summer Vacation Destination is Right Here in Your Backyard

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Bucket List Worthy  

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From bustling city life to outdoor adventures without another soul in sight, Canada is home to more vacation destinations than many of us may think. So if you’re not able to venture abroad this summer, don’t count an unforgettable vacation out of the picture. Take some time to visit these 11 incredible destinations right here in your very own backyard.

#1. Explore Tribune Bay — Hornby, British Columbia

There’s a reason Tribune Bay has been nicknamed, “Little Hawaii.” It’s the pristine white sand beaches, near-tropical water temperatures, turquoise sea and short walk to the shops at Hornby Island that draw summer vacationers back year after year.

Photo credit: Ross Collicutt
Photo credit: Ross Collicutt

#2. Go Iceberg Hunting — Twillingate, Newfoundland

Twillingate is known as the “Iceberg Capital of the World,” and it’s one of the most likely places you’ll be able to spot an iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland in summertime. This cozy fishing village situated roughly 5 hours from St. John’s is prepared for spring and summer visitors with boat tours, quaint Inns and charming shops and restaurants.

Photo credit: Robert Hiscock
Photo credit: Robert Hiscock

#3. Scale the Dunes — Sandbanks Provincial Park, Ontario

Instead of visiting just one beach, explore all three of Sandbanks Provincial Park’s sandy beaches. The park is known for offering some of the world’s tallest dune formations as well as being a great jumping point for exploration of Prince Edward County.

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#4. Snorkel with Whales — Churchill, Manitoba

Churchill may be most widely known for its winter polar bear sightings, but summer adventures in Manitoba are much warmer and arguably more exciting. Snorkel with beluga whales at the mouth of the Churchill River this summer, and you’ll return home with plenty of pictures and memories that will last a lifetime.

Photo credit: Travel Manitoba
Photo credit: Travel Manitoba

#5. Feel the Music — Montreal, Quebec

Start planning your trip to the Montreal Jazz Festival — held June 26 to July 6 this year — and you’ll find yourself in beautiful Montreal for the most exciting 12 days of summer. Formally known as the Festival International de Jazz de Montréa — this festival shuts down the streets of Montreal as nearly 2.5 million attendees gather to watch over 650 live concerts.

Photo credit: Anirudh Koul
Photo credit: Anirudh Koul

#6. Ride the Rockies — Canmore, Alberta

The ranches in Canmore offer family fun in the Canadian Rockies with scenic trail rides for kids and adults of all ages. But if you really want to get a true Canadian Rockies cowboy experience, sign up for an overnight pack trip featuring six hours of daily riding, plenty of wildlife sightings, remote camping and an old-fashioned cowboy barbeque.

Photo credit: tslane888
Photo credit: tslane888

#7. Walk the Golden Sand — Magdalen Islands, Quebec

The deep blue waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence coupled with golden sand and vivid red cliffs make the Magdalen Islands archipelago a storybook summer destination. Although you may just want to sit on the porch of your gorgeous (and affordable) rental home all day, art galleries, outdoor adventures, golf courses, pubs and quaint bistros will be calling your name.

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#8. See the Stampede — Calgary, Alberta

If you haven’t been to the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” yet, this is the summer to vacation in Calgary. From classic stampede breakfasts in the morning to rodeos in the afternoon and line dancing all night, you’ll quickly understand why 1.2 million people visit Alberta for the 10-day-long Calgary Stampede every year.

Photo credit: Teddy Kwok
Photo credit: Teddy Kwok

#9. Taste the Summer — Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

There’s no need to travel all the way to Napa Valley when the “Napa of the North” is right here in your back yard. Okanagan Valley offers an ideal setting — with vibrant green vineyards overlooking the crystal blue (and 70-mile-long) Lake Okanagan — for a romantic summer getaway that involves a ton of time outdoors. And with 120 established wineries in the Okanagan Valley right now, you probably won’t go thirsty either.

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#10. Build Sand Castles — Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia

Soaking in the sun, picking farm-fresh fruits, playing in the red sand or embarking on a whale watching tour are just a few of the summertime activities that make Annapolis Valley one of the best destinations in the country. And if you left the kids at home, don’t forget to visit some of the area’s award-winning wineries and breweries.

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#11. Snap Plenty of Photos — Yoho National Park, British Columbia

The moment you set eyes on Lake O’Hara and all of Yoho National Park, you’ll probably start snapping photos. But hiking the scenic trails, admiring the mountains from the seat of a canoe or simply sitting on your cabin porch taking in the sights are what will make this summer vacation destination truly unforgettable.

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About the Author: Courtney McCaffrey

Courtney McCaffrey is a travel writer and editor based in Wilmington, N.C, Mexico and around the world. In addition to writing, she lives for travel - seeing new places, experiencing new cultures and surfing new waves.

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