Often below the radar in the travel world, Canada is an immensely large country full of diverse cities and vast natural landscapes. If traveling to North America, make sure to put Canada on your itinerary.
Canada is a wonderful destination year-round, but it’s important to plan your trip accordingly, as your experience will depend greatly on the time of the year that you visit. Here are the best times to visit Canada based on the type of attractions you are looking for.
For hiking and visiting national parks
You cannot travel to Canada without taking full advantage of its immense and beautiful landscape. The best time to visit Canada to get the best views and weather for outdoor activities is during its summer season of June to August. During the summer, average high temperatures range between 77-86°F (25-30°C).
One of the best national parks to visit during this season is Banff National Park, which is located in the southern region of the Alberta province. The summer is the best season to have the best views of the park, with blue skies and minimal rain.
Summer is also the best season to visit one of Canada’s most recognized sites, Niagra Falls. Not only will you have the best visibility during the summer, but the mist from the falls does a great job of cooling you down in the summer heat.
For the best weather
For those who want to experience the perfect “middle” weather in Canada, which is not too hot and not too cold, the perfect season to visit is during the early Autumn of late September to late October. During this time, the weather starts to cool down gradually, with average temperatures ranging between 50-65°F (10-18°C).
Autumn is also one of the best seasons to visit Canada because you will be able to experience the changing of seasons, where the trees begin changing colors to vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges. This is a really unique window of time to be in Canada, as these views offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences and photos.
Not only is the weather cooler during this season in Canada, but you will also experience lower prices and fewer crowds, as it falls during Canada’s shoulder tourism season.
For the lowest prices and best winter activities
If you are looking to save some money during your trip to Canada, consider going in the winter, between December and early March. Winter is Canada’s lowest tourist season, with good reason, as the temperatures drop considerably and there are high levels or snowfall. In some regions of Canada, temperatures can drop as low as -30°F (-34°C). Generally, temperatures in the more temperate regions of Canada range between 20-35°F (-7-2°C). Toronto, one of Canada’s most touristic cities, receives between 7-13 inches of snow per month in the winter.
With this in mind, travel can be complicated in these extreme climate conditions. Because of this, you can find rates on accommodation, transport, and activities to be 50-90% cheaper during this season. Traveling in Canada in the winter can still be a memorable experience, and there are plenty of activities to enjoy.
Winter is actually the best season to visit Canada if you are interested in winter sports and activities. Some of the most sought activities in Canada during this time are skiing and snowboarding. Canada has some of the best ski resorts in the world, with perfect terrain for downhill slopes.
If skiing is not your thing, one of the most unique things you can do in Canada in the winter is dog sledding. There is a plethora of dog sledding tours throughout the country, and it is considered an important cultural aspect to Canada’s early indigenous populations.
To see the Northern Lights
Canada is one of the few locations on Earth to witness the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. This incredible skylight show is a natural phenomenon resulting from energy release in solar wind.
The two best seasons to see the Northern Lights in Canada are between late August and October, and mid-November to early April. These are the times when sky conditions are clearest. November through February is the ideal time to see the best lights, as this is the period when the skies are darkest and nights are longer. The best time of night to see them is between 11 PM and midnight.
The best regions of Canada to see the lights are Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, Churchill in Manitoba, and Whitehorse in Yukon. If you want to guarantee seeing the lights, consider going on an organized Northern Lights tour, where you can also learn the cultural, scientific, and historical significance of the Aurora Borealis in Canada.
Canada is an up-and-coming travel destination in North America because of its amazing diversity of landscape, bustling cities, and cultural history. Because of its sheer size as a country, climate and seasons vary greatly during the year. This means that planning your trip to Canada accordingly is crucial to your travel experience.
If you are interested in having the warmest temperatures and ideal conditions for hiking, visit during Canada’s summer between June and August. If you want to go skiing or see the Northern Lights, visit during the winter between November and February. For the perfect mild temperatures and gorgeous autumn foliage, visit between September and late October. Whichever season you decide to visit, Canada always has a wide array of unique experiences and sights to see.