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Hands down, the best summer vacation spots in Canada

We're more than ready to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday with a little adventure and travel, and luckily for all of us, Jody Robbins has outlined her top five picks for summer destinations. So, go ahead and pack up the kids and get ready to explore!

Dinosaur Provincial Park

Alberta was once a stomping ground for over 40 species of dinosaurs dating back 85 million years, and this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the world’s most significant fossil beds. You can roam the grounds, just as these jurassic giants once did on self-guided tours, but die hard dino fans who want to dig deeper into the prehistoric past do well with interpretive tours such as the Centrosaurus Quarry hike or Explorer’s Bus. No visit to the Canadian Badlands is complete until you’ve moseyed into the saloon at the Patricia Hotel. Bikers, hunters and families (welcome on Sundays), mingle amidst the taxidermy to grill their own hunk of beef at the steak pit.

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Fundy Coast, New Brunswick

The highest tides in the world flow in and out of the Bay of Fundy, with over 100 billion tonnes of seawater gushing through the Bay with each tide cycle. Experience it first hand as you glide past seals and loons when sluicing through the chocolate coloured water on a sea kayak along the shores of Fundy National Park. Hopewell Rocks is the most famous spot to appreciate the vast range of these tides, and these flower pot shaped outcrops are every budding photographer’s dream. Fundy lobster is said to be the tastiest in all the Maritimes, so keep your eyes peeled for community lobster suppers.

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Churchill, Manitoba

The polar bear capital of the world is one of the few human settlements where visitors can observe these bears in the wild. Autumn is the most popular time to view these confident mammals meander their way through town on their way to the ice floes, but they’re also possible to spot in summer.  Head out on the sub-Arctic in a rugged Tundra Buggy, where guides know their favourite resting spots. Summer also provides the opportunity to snorkel and kayak alongside beluga whales. Approximately 3,000 beluga whales make their way from the bay into the warmer waters of the Churchill River to give birth and feed. Whenever you decide to visit, expect to experience one Nat Geo moment over the next.


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Outaouais, Quebec

This region nestled up to eastern Ontario is much more than Gatineau. Montebello is a charming village chock full of gourmet shops and glamping options. Dangle from the tops of trees to venturing deep underground at Arbraska Lafl├Ęche Park. Here, you can explore the largest cave in the Canadian Shield or sample an aerial obstacle course. Nearby Parc Omega is a vast wildlife refuge where many Canadian species roam freely, and the big draw is feeding carrots to the deer. Surrender to steam floating off the outdoor pools and saunas at Nordik Spa-Nature, the largest spa in North America. Culture vultures can’t miss a visit to the Canadian Museum of History. Documenting over 20,000 years of human history it’s most visited museum in the country.

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Viking Trail

Visiting Western Newfoundland is like stepping into a storybook. Fascinating rock formations shoot out of the earth's core and colourful fishing villages anchor the craggy coastline, where 10,000 year-old icebergs float by. Half a millennium before John Cabot sailed into Canada, the Vikings established a base on the very tip of the Great Northern Peninsula. Their remains are yours to discover at L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site - the only known Viking settlement in the new world. The Viking Trail begins just outside Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site riddled with geological marvels, historic sites and hiking trails. Take your time in getting from here up to L’Anse aux Meadows. It’s one jaw dropping natural wonder after the next.

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