Sip some craft brews, stock up on fresh local veggies, dine on the streets, and dance until the sun rises. Fall is many Vancouverites' favourite time in the city, but many travellers are missing out on the action-packed and picturesque season. These five must-visit festivals are ones you don't want to miss in Gastown.
Photo credit: GoToVan
Bring summer to a close with a trip to Taiwan, but don't worry about an around-the-world flight. Just head down to Granville Street on Sept. 3, 4, and 5, this year to take part in a number of cultural events that bring the infectious personality of Taiwan to Vancouver. Sip on traditional Taiwanese drinks, attend lectures, discover new music, learn about Hakka culture in the heart of downtown Vancouver's main entertainment district.
The Vancouver International Flamenco Festival
The Vancouver International Flamenco Festival brings sizzling, world-renowned flamenco performances to the culturally diverse British Columbian city. The festival, featuring local and international artists, is set to take place from Sept. 10 through 20, with everything from performances and demonstrations to classes and kids events. You may not be a fan of the native Spanish dance when you arrive at the festival, but you're guaranteed to leave with a newfound love for flamenco.
Vancouver Fringe Festival
Photo credit: ItzaFineDay
The Vancouver Fringe Festival is one of the most anticipated events of the year, and it's just around the corner. Also known as, "The Fringe," the 11-day-long celebration of theater includes more than 80 shows, ranging from dance and musicals to comedy, parodies, concerts, and more. The festival will begin on Sept. 8, and extend through Sept. 18, with performances at numerous venues throughout the city, including Studio 16, Waterfront Theatre, Performance Works, the False Creek Gym, and several indoor and outdoors arenas. Log onto the Vancouver Fringe website to view the entire schedule of events and purchase your tickets.
Vancouver is a melting pot of cultures from around the world. British, French, German, Japanese, Indo-Pakistani, Italian, Scandinavian, Greek, Filipino, Aboriginal and countless other international populations combine to make this city one of the most diverse in the world. Culture Days is collaborative event held across the country to raise awareness to the countless cultures that make the Great White North so unique. Festival events are held across more than 700 Canadian towns and cities, with Vancouver being one of the biggest hubs.
The three-day-long festival will take place from Sept. 30 through Oct. 2, this year, and Vancouver will be home to art and architecture walking tours, storytelling events, sculpture tours, open houses, craft workshops, yoga and meditation practices, poetry readings, and more. There's no better place to discover the personality of the city, the province, and the country than at Culture Days.
Vancouver Halloween Parade and Expo
Photo credit: Larissa Sayer
True Halloween excitement begins in October, but perhaps better than the holiday itself is the annual Vancouver Halloween Parade and Expo. The third annual edition of the event will take place on Oct. 13 through 16, this year at downtown Vancouver's Robson Square. More than 100,000 locals and visitors are expected to attend the event, which will feature a parade, more than 2,000 performers, and the world's largest cosplay stage. This family-friendly event is guaranteed to give you some out-of-this-world ideas for this year's Halloween costume.
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Fundy Coastal Drive, N.B. What to do: Walk along the shoreline trail to take in the fall foliage; enjoy the famous tides; camp in Fundy National Park; or hike coastal, wetland, and forest trails.
Elliston, N.L. What to do: View Atlantic puffins until late September; attend the Roots Rants and Roars musical and culinary festival; or visit nearby Bonavista for dinner, history, and lighthouse viewing.
Tofino, B.C. What to do: Put on a wet suit and go surfing; visit Virgin Falls; catch grey whales before they migrate south to Baja; walk trails in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve; or attend the Queen of the Peak surfing competition late September.
Banff National Park, Alta What to do: Rent a trailer and camp at Lake Louise Trailer campground; warm up in the hot springs; take an overnight horseback riding trip; view the fall trees during dinner on a train; hike or cycle on trails; or attend the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival.
Whitehorse, Yukon What to do: Time your visit to when Kate Middleton and Prince William will be there; catch the northern lights late in the fall; hike to waterfalls and hot springs; or drive the Alaska Highway.
Algonquin Provincial Park, Ont. What to do: Camp in the spots you couldn’t book in the summer months, when the bugs are less plentiful; canoe; watch for moose during mating season; enjoy the brilliant fall foliage; or go on a photography safari.
Mont Tremblant, Que. What to do: Check out the fall colours; golf; enjoy the scenic Laurentian Mountains; go horseback riding; hike at all levels in the Laurentians; or attend the Symphony of Colours Festival.
Gros Morne National Park, N.L. What to do: View the fall canopy on a zip-line tour; walk on the Earth’s mantle at the Tablelands; hike the Western Brook Pond Trail; or hike through nearby community trails.
Okanagan Falls Provincial Park, B.C. What to do: Visit the many fruit orchards; tour a local winery; check out the fall leaves along the coast of the Okanagan River; or go both bird watching and bat watching.
Churchill, M.B. What to do: Visit later in the fall for prime polar bear-viewing season; view the northern lights in late November; view beluga whales in early September; or view more than 250 species of birds.
Prince Edward Island What to do: Enjoy fall foliage for one of the longest time periods in North America; visit Anne of Green Gables sites ahead of the upcoming TV remake; eat fresh oysters; walk the sandy shorelines; hike and bike; and do Charlottetown’s Taste The Town walking tour.
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. What to do: Take a side trip to see the falls; drink some ice wine; take in the fall colours; tour wineries; drive the Niagara Parkway; or catch the tail end of the Shaw Festival.
Cape Breton Highlands, N.S. What to do: Camp by the sea or at the backcountry “Fishing Cove” site; hike through fallen leaves on the Cabot Trail, to the Skylight Trail; view gorgeous sunrises and sunsets; and attend the Hike The Highlands Festival.
Jasper National Park, Alta. What to do: Hike some of the 1,200 kilometres of trails; camp by mountains and trees with changing leaves; stargaze at the world’s largest Dark Sky Preserve; or seek out the park's waterfalls.
Thornbury, Ont. What to do: Attend the Apple Harvest Festival; enjoy off-road and on-road cycling; or hit up the Apple Pie Trail.
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