Autumn in Canada is a wonderful time to visit. The air is cool and crisp, it’s not too hot / not too cold, and the summer and winter tourists have either gone or they’re preparing to arrive. Here are the best places to go to enjoy Canada in the Fall.
Autumn is becoming a favourite season for tourists to Canada, as more and more people come to watch the sugar maple trees change to a magic palette of red, orange, and yellow. The trees turn the green countryside into a yellow-reddish wonderscape. It is a wonderful change of canvas in Canada’s most beautiful season.
Last year Ben and I went to Canada in Autumn for our ‘babymoon’. On October 1st we travelled to Montreal and then made our way down to Toronto and over to Niagara Falls. It really was an amazing time of year to be there.
In Fall in Canada, you can feel the air is getting crisp, and the autumn colours are appearing on trees. You can also taste fall fruits and savour harvested Canadian wines under a blue autumn sky. Leaves falling off of the trees do more than offer some pretty colours though – every year billions of leaves are blown away and eventually made into fresh organic matter in forests.
A Canada road trip is one of the best ways to enjoy these autumn colours in your own time and without restrictions. But where to go?
Here are 7 of the best places to visit in Canada in Fall.
11 Best Places to Go in Canada in Autumn
All the best places to visit in Canada in October
1. Montreal, Quebec, in Autumn
A weekend in Montreal is a wonderful idea in Autumn. You can enjoy the multitude of shops and restaurants, as well as the autumnal delights of the Parc du Mont Royal (or Mount Royal). Climb up there and you’ll see the views across the city are incredible. It’s also a nice place to seek refuge from any hot days in among the trees.
Autumn is the perfect time for city sightseeing so enjoy those fresh days around this wonderful Canadian city – and don’t miss going on the Big Wheel near the old part of the city. You’ll get some great views of the colourful trees from up there!
2. Bobcaygeon, Ontario, in Autumn
The Kawarthas are one of the most scenic areas of Ontario, and Bobcaygeon is the ideal spot to start your autumn escape. This pretty town is located on three connected lakes – Sturgeon, Pigeon, and Cameron – and is surrounded by forestry.
As well as being a mecca for outdoor activities like canoeing, kayaking, and fishing, Bobcaygeon is also home to some great restaurants and cafes. In Bobcaygeon, fall means crisp mornings, colourful leaves, and cosy fireside evenings. Imagine paddling through serene lakes as the leaves change colour, before heading back to your Bobcaygeon vacation rental for a fireside meal and glass of wine. Or imagine taking a leisurely stroll along the waterfront, before browsing the shops and stopping for coffee in one of the historic buildings. With so much to do, Bobcaygeon is the perfect destination for autumn in Canada.
If you’re looking to explore the Kawarthas further, make sure to visit nearby Fenelon Falls, another lovely spot for autumn colours. A great place to visit in Fall in Canada.
3. Thousand Islands, Ontario, in Autumn
The Thousand Islands region is a paradise for nature lovers, with over one thousand islands dotting the St. Lawrence River. The river is at its most picturesque in autumn in Canada, when the leaves of the deciduous trees on the islands turn a beautiful red, yellow, and orange. Explore the islands on foot or by bicycle or take a cruise to admire the views.
The Thousand Islands are also a great spot for fishing, with some of the best bass and other freshwater fish to be found in the country. With its unspoiled natural beauty and abundance of outdoor activities, the Thousand Islands region is perfect for an autumn escape in Canada. After a day spent exploring, return to your vacation rental houseboat or cottage for a cosy evening by the fire. Imagine watching the autumn sunset over the water, with nothing but the sound of leaves rustling in the breeze.
4. St. John’s, Newfoundland, in Autumn
Newfoundland is renowned for its natural beauty, and autumn is a great time to explore this Canadian province. The leaves of the trees in St. John’s turn a vibrant yellow in autumn, and the city is also home to some amazing hiking trails.
Newfoundland is also a great place for wildlife watching – keep your eyes peeled for caribou, moose, and bears!
Autumn is also the time of year for the Harvest Festival, when the city comes alive with food and wine tastings, live music, and farmers’ markets. After a day spent exploring, you can relax in your vacation rental condo or house with some of Newfoundland’s famous codfish and potatoes. Head out of St. John’s to Twillingate, an exponentially more charming town a few hours drive north on the island.
5. Toronto, Ontario, in Autumn
Check out this great itinerary for a weekend in Toronto in Autumn. We went in October last year and had a great time. It was the perfect temperature for wandering around. Too hot and we went in a museum, too cold and we went in a restaurant.
We also went out to the Toronto Islands and enjoyed a little looksee around there too. Autumn was a great time to be in the city. Definitely one of the best Canadian Fall destinations.
6. Niagara Falls, Ontario, in Autumn
Niagara Falls in Autumn was the real pinnacle of our Fall trip to Canada though. It was amazing!
I’m so glad we decided to stay overnight, and to stay in the incredible hotel that we did, as it meant we had more time to admire the Falls. We also got to see how they changed as the day went on.
If you’re planning a trip to Canada in Autumn, definitely go to Niagara Falls – it’s one of the things Canada is most well known for!
Niagara Falls is also one of the best places to visit in Canada in Winter – in fact, any time is a good time to go!
7. Banff National Park, Alberta, in Autumn
Banff National Park is one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations, and it’s easy to see why. If you’re visiting Canada in Autumn it’s a must-see. The park is located in the stunning Rocky Mountains and is full of beautiful lakes, forests, and mountains.
Imagine waking up in your vacation rental condo or cabin and opening the curtains to a view of snow-capped mountains during Autumn in Canada.
Then spend the day hiking, canoeing, or biking through the park. Banff is also home to some great restaurants and bars, so you can treat yourself to a nice meal after a day of exploring. As the crowds start to thin out and the leaves start to change colour, fall becomes a great time to visit Banff. Keep your eyes peeled for elk and bighorn sheep as you explore the park!
8. Jasper National Park, Alberta, in Autumn
Jasper National Park is another fantastic spot for viewing the colours of Autumn in Canada, thanks largely to its large population of sugar maples which turn bright red during fall before shedding their Aspen-like leaves.
The colours in Jasper can be seen from several amazing locations across the park such as Medicine Lake and Miette Hotsprings. On average, peak season for seeing fall foliage is mid-September to early October.
Aside from soaking up all those spectacular views make sure you don’t miss out on taking advantage of all this nature by doing some short hikes such as Lady Face Falls or Bald Hills Summit both easily accessible from Jasper townsite. You can also take a drive along the Jasper SkyTram for panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and turquoise lakes.
9. Vancouver, British Columbia, in Autumn
Vancouver is a great city to visit at any time of year, but it’s especially lovely in autumn. This west coast city has some spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and ocean, and the leaves of the trees start to change colour in October.
What makes Vancouver special in the autumn is its proximity to some of the best hiking trails in North America. Just a short drive from the city, you can find yourself in stunning scenery like Stanley Park, Capilano Suspension Bridge and Lynn Canyon Park. These hiking trails will let you enjoy the landscapes of Vancouver in all their fall glory.
During autumn, you can also enjoy some of Vancouver’s many festivals and events, like the Vancouver International Film Festival and Oktoberfest. All in all, if you’re looking for a city with great hiking and beautiful fall scenery, Vancouver is the perfect place to be. There are so many great things to do in Vancouver whatever the time of year.
The drive from Vancouver to Banff at this time of year is really special.
10. The Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, in Autumn
The Okanagan Valley is one of British Columbia’s most beautiful regions. Situated between mountain ranges, this valley is known for its rolling hills, lakes (including Canada’s largest lake), and vineyards. With its dry climate, the Okanagan Valley is a prime destination for wine lovers.
Late September through early October is an ideal time to visit as you’ll be able to witness the changing leaves and partake in grape harvesting season.
The Okanagan Valley in autumn is even more stunning. The leaves on the trees change to shades of yellow, orange, and red and the vineyards are full of grapes waiting to be harvested.
You can visit a few small towns such as Summerland, Kelowna, and Penticton or go for a drive through one of the many vineyards. If you love wine, this is the perfect place for you to visit. With its dry climate, the Okanagan Valley is a prime destination for wine lovers. Late September through early October is an ideal time to visit as you’ll be able to witness the changing leaves and partake in grape harvesting season.
The Okanagan Valley is also a great place for hiking, with trails that offer stunning views of the valley and lakes. You’ll find the Okanagan Valley a great destination for a fall getaway, whether you want to explore the outdoors or indulge in the wine.
READ MORE: The Best Places to Visit in Canada in Summer
11. Parc Omega, Ontario
We did Parc Omega as a day trip from Montreal. Gawd the drive there was nerve wracking!
It was totally worth it though as as soon as we got off the main highways the A roads were a delight to drive. The colourful trees lining the way were just amazing.
And then when we got there it was even better. Being able to spot the animals in among such beautiful countryside was amazing, and just so memorable too.
It’s a great place to pick up a Canadian souvenir too.
Autumn in Canada
These are just ten of the best places to visit in Canada during autumn. Each destination offers its own unique sights and activities, making it the perfect time to explore all that Canada has to offer.
To recap, the best places to visit in Canada during autumn are: Bobcaygeon, Thousand Islands, St. John’s, Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, Vancouver, and The Okanagan Valley.
So get out there and enjoy the changing leaves and beautiful scenery that Canada in Autumn has to offer!
READ MORE: Best Places to Visit in Canada in Spring