Travel & Leisure

Great Canadian Fall Getaways

Looking for somewhere to check out the changing of the leaves? Here are some of the top spots in the country


By Katrina Caruso


I’ve yet to meet any Canadian who doesn’t love Fall. It’s the season for pies, giving thanks, and leaves at their colourful best. It’s also a great time to book a little getaway to see our beautiful country. Here’s a list of some of the top spots to check out in autumn.

Alberta’s Rocky Mountains
One of the most beautiful drives in the country is between Calgary to Canmore, AB—seeing the Rockies slowly rise up ahead is like nothing else—and Fall is a wonderful time to drive through Alberta’s mountains. While you’re there, you can appreciate Banff’s charming architecture, Lake Louise, and the Johnston Canyon— a breathtaking trail with a waterfall. This is an ideal trip for outdoorsy folks, as there are plenty of hiking trails to be had.

British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley
The Okanagan Valley hosts wine festivals once each season, but the Fall wine festival (happening between September 27 and October 7) is something else. This is a great time to visit the West Coast and take in some of the sights and tastes that it has to offer. During the festival, there are workshops, wine tastings, and other events.

Nova Scotia’s Cabot Trail
Cape Breton is beautiful all year round, and the winding Cabot Trail makes for an incredible drive but Fall, with its many colours, may be the best time to visit. If you have time, make a few stops along the way to see Cape Breton Highlands National Park and Kejimkujik National Park.

Ontario’s Kawartha Lakes and Algonquin Park
Between Ottawa and Toronto lie the Kawarthas, which make for a gorgeous weekend getaway in the autumn. You can rent a cabin or book a bed and breakfast, and you’ll be close enough to Algonquin Park to stop by there, too, if you wish. Near Peterborough, the Norwood Fall Fair takes place every Thanksgiving—this is the fair’s 150th year—and hosts a number of events including an antique car show, horse and pony events, and lawn tractor races.

Quebec’s Laurentian Mountains
Take a drive north from Montreal to visit the Laurentians. Not quite as big as the Rockies, these mountains still offer glorious vistas. You can stay overnight in the picturesque Tremblant village (there are plenty of activities to do there, as well as fine dining), unwind at a Nordic spa, try some poutine at a roadside casse-croute, and even go antiquing. The area is full of romantic villages to explore.

Vineyards, Okanagan Lake and Naramata from Munson Mountain.
Photo: Destination BC/Kari Medig.