Celebrate Canada’s 150th with a fall getaway



Canmore, Alberta

Situated near Banff National Park in the Bow Valley, Canmore offers a food and arts scene that rivals its big city neighbour, Calgary, only an hour away. This town of just over 13,000 manages to hang on to its sense of autonomy, while also celebrating the art of relaxing. The Kananaskis Wildlife Drive offers an opportunity to catch some of the area’s natural neighbours up close and personal. And you’ll want to check out the burgeoning food scene. Head on over to Crazyweed Kitchen for contemporary mountain cuisine. Crazyweed merges flavours and styles to create something totally unique.


Vancouver

The west coast could be considered a universe unto itself. Five minutes from the city of Vancouver, you’ll see the majestic Rocky Mountains, bald eagles soaring through the old growth trees, the lush green of the rainforest, and the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. And like any major North American city, British Columbia’s largest metropolis also offers up world-class restaurants, inner-city beaches, cultural events and shopping to rival the best of them. Start your time with a visit to Stanley Park and you won’t be disappointed. Over 1,000 acres, the park itself was created by evolution and erosion, versus most city parks that were designed by a landscape architect. The park is still home to over half a million trees, and in 2014 was named the "Top Park in the Entire World" by TripAdvisor.

Toronto

As the fourth largest city in North America, it should come as no surprise that Toronto has everything that makes a perfect getaway – fashion, food, galleries, famous landmarks and easy escapes. The hustle and bustle of over six million people make the city feel alive no matter the hour, and with over 140 languages spoken in the markets, like St. Lawrence and Kensington, and inner city parks like Trinity Bellwoods and High Park, it is truly the most diverse city in North America.

The Laurentians

An hour and a half from Montréal and two hours from Ottawa, this region flanked by mountains and flatlands is ideal for an escape from the city. In the autumn, the fall foliage transforms this area into a glorious playground in the Québec countryside. One of the best ways to experience the area is to take advantage of Le P’tit Train du Nord . This 232-kilometre cycling and running path is the longest park of its kind in Canada. Local foods are also important in the Laurentians. Visitors can explore the region’s food producers on the Chemin du Terroir. A 226-kilometre trail marked by signposts, it’s a delicious drive for foodies and culture lovers alike.

The Okanagan Valley

At four and a half hours by car from Vancouver, the Okanagan Valley is too far to be a suburb, but ideal for a weekend, or a week away. And with a mild climate, a rich growing season, breathtaking scenery and a wine industry that’s the envy of the continent, the Okanagan Valley should be on everyone’s must-visit list. As one of the largest wine producers in the country, the Okanagan Valley is known for its rich, layered wines that can hold their own on the international stage. Tantalus Vineyard in Kelowna makes an outstanding Riesling, alongside their other varietals. Grab a mid-afternoon bite at Salted Brick. Housemade charcuterie, local produce and artisan cheeses that change with what’s new, fresh and available keep the menu interesting and surprising to visitors as well as locals.

Calgary

Over the past 15 years, Calgary’s landscape has changed to welcome world-class shopping giants like Nordstrom, stand-out eateries and one of the most notable craft distilleries in the country. But despite its cosmopolitan energy, there’s still nothing like a little country hospitality to make you feel like one of the family. Calgary is home to more cowboy hat millineries than anywhere else in Canada, so what better place to shop for a new cowboy hat and boots. Stop by Smithbilt, which opened in 1919, and now crafts between 20,000 to 30,000 custom hats each year. Then two-step your way over to the new (2016) National Music Centre, a must-see for any music fan.

Montreal

Celebrating its 375th birthday this year with an abundance of year-round events, Montréal is a city defined by its unique cultural capital and its history as one of the founding cities in the nation. With the sweltering heat of summer blown away, the fall is a perfect time to sample a little Montréal magic. To get immersed in the city’s roots, start in Old Montreal. Spend an afternoon discovering the artist-stands and kiosks, or walk through the hallowed halls of the Notre Dame Basilica. And after a long day of wandering, head down to the water’s edge with your date, and stop into Spa Bota Bota for a soak, or swim, in one of their rooftop pools.

Prince Edward County, Ontario

Within driving distance of Toronto, Montréal, Kingston and Ottawa, Prince Edward County – or the County, as it’s affectionately known – is perfect for a fall weekend getaway. Situated in farm country, food options are plentiful in this community of just over 25,000 residents in a 1,000 square-kilometre area. The new restaurant on the block, now in its third year of operation, is the much-hyped Toronto annex, the Drake Devonshire. After dinner, kick up your heels at The Hayloft Dancehall, which hosts bluegrass, blues and country musicians from all over the world.

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