As awesome as travel is, it often comes with two drawbacks: It can be expensive, and well-known places are often crowded with other tourists. Well we’ve got good news, because you can save money and avoid the masses, simply by travelling in the off-season. It is a great way to expose yourself to unique experiences while avoiding the costs of high-season travel. We’ve put together some recommendations on the best off-season vacation destinations in Canada. Happy travels!
Tofino storm watching in winter
The stunning beaches of Tofino on Vancouver Island’s west coast are a huge tourist draw during the warm summer months, but during the winter Tofino is known for putting on one of the most spectacular natural shows in the world. Winter Storm Watching season runs from November to March and attracts plenty of tourists who love to watch the powerful waves crashing — either from the beach or the comfort of a luxury chalet. Once the storms die down, Tofino’s mild climate is ideal for nature walks in the surrounding rainforest or even a surfing expedition if you’re brave enough to face the chilly pacific waters.
Whistler adventures in the summer
While the majority of people only think to flock to Whistler in winter when the ski resort is covered in fresh powder, this mountain destination is actually a year-round tourist spot, open long after the last snow has melted. In fact, there’s even more for the family to do when the weather warms up. Whistler offers a 4.4 kilometre gondola, 50 kilometres of alpine hiking trails, a mountain bike park, an adventure zone for thrill-seeking kiddies and a wide range of family-friendly tours. For those who can’t fathom a trip to Whistler without a ski or snowboard run, there’s even summertime glacier skiing available.
Montreal’s winter festivals
Travelling to Quebec at the height of Canada’s notoriously cold winter season may seem like a crazy move, but in Montreal the city is in full swing once the mercury drops. January’s winter weekends are taken over by Igloofest, an electronic music festival featuring international DJs, and in February the whole city comes out for Montréal en Lumière, a performing arts festival that will take your breath away. Don’t let cold temperatures deter you from exploring this fabulous city to its fullest especially as much of the central part of the city is accessible via the world-famous Montreal Underground City network.
See Niagara’s colours in fall
Niagara Falls in the summer evokes memories of sweltering heat, long lineups and hoards of obnoxious tourists. So why not wait a few months and head there in the quieter, cooler fall season? Not only will you escape the crowds and save money on accommodations, but you’ll also have a front-row seat for the amazing colours that take over Ontario’s foliage. Fall is also the height of Niagara’s wine season when grapes are harvested and turned into award-winning wines, so be sure to enjoy a tipple or two.
Lobster season in PEI
Consider a springtime visit to Prince Edward Island where natural coastal beauty meets historic charm and friendly east-coast hospitality to create a memorable vacation experience. Seafood lovers will want to head there in May and June during the height of lobster season, but the whole island is worth exploring during this time of year when the flowers are blooming and traditional Celtic gatherings are in full swing nearly every weekend. May is also when the Island’s biggest tourist attraction, Green Gables, opens after their winter break.