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Canada in the fall: An epic guide to fall destinations

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Canada in the fall is magical. It is the best time to visit, and this was the very season when we moved to the country about 11+ years ago. So here’s our guide with the best places to visit Canada in autumn.

Canada in the Fall: Best places to visit Canada in autumn

Canada in the fall perfect destinations to visit in Canada

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Fall in Canada is characterized by warm vibes, of orange-y leaves and trees, of pumpkin spice latte (PSL), Halloween, Canadian Thanksgiving, and the list can just go on and on.

When we moved to Toronto, it was in the month of September, and we fell in LOVE with the country and the wonderful colors. So much so we stayed back 🙂 If you are visiting Canada in the fall, here is some statistical information to keep in mind.

What are the fall months in canada?

Early fall colors in Edmonton Alberta
Early fall colors in Edmonton Alberta

The fall months in Canada are from September to November

  • Students go back to school in September, usually right after the Labour Day long weekend
  • In many popular destinations, fall is off-season, and attractions, including national parks, are not overly crowded
  • In late autumn months, expect rain and light snow in various places, including Banff and parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Northwest Territories 
  • Our recommendation: September is the BEST time to visit, followed by the first week of October. Late October to November, depending on the city visited, expect the weather to be gloomy, snowy (as we gear up for winter arrival)!

Temperature in Canada in Fall

Now, remember Canada is the second largest country in the world, and there are variations in temperatures across the country. We have included individual temperatures for the top Canadian autumn destinations list below. 

  • September: 9.44 C (49 F) to 21 C (70 F)
  • October: 8 C (46 F) to 14 C (57 F)
  • November: 3 C (37 F) to 9 C (48 F)

Side-Tip: Fall is the perfect time to get engagement photos taken, amidst the stunning backdrop. 

Musako Toronto Road Trips
Musako Ontario

Things to pack for Canada in the Fall

Here is an essential packing list for Canada in the fall. Temperatures in the fall months in Canada, and generally in North America lowers from month to month, and it results in shorter days and chilly/crisp weather. 

  • Travel backpack – Get a travel backpack or a weekender bag to carry your clothing, day hikes, or sightseeing needs. This is our favorite backpack for travel.
  • Clothing – Pack essential clothing for the trip. If it is a 2-day road trip, pack 2 sets of shirts/tops, one pant, underwear, nightwear.
  • Hiking shoes or boots – Wear comfortable hiking (or walking) shoes. It is helpful while you are out and about exploring, or embarking on trails.
  • Warm Jacket – Carry/wear a lightweight warm jacket for morning or evening hikes, as the temperature drops down to single digits. Click to view this warm, lightweight jacket for her
  • Exploring in the late fall months calls for warm socks, gloves, a scarf, and a beanie. 
  • Sunscreen – During the day, the sun can be harsh. Carry your sunscreen lotion. 
  • Hand cream – Super essential. Hands get dry fairly quickly in the fall months.
  • Camera – We always carry our camera on our trips, and it is a must for capturing fall foliage. Our Sony mirrorless camera is usually the one that comes with us. It is small, compact, and lightweight to carry it around. Click to view our camera.
  • Blanket – Pack an outdoor blanket to stay warm and toasty on road trips, and picnics outside. Here is our favorite durable outdoor blanket.
  • Travel insurance – Travel insurance is essential if you are traveling from overseas. 

15 Places to visit in Canada in Fall

Edmonton, Alberta 

Edmonton Canada in the fall
Edmonton Canada in the fall

Average Temp. High/Low: 10 C (50 F)/ – 8 C (17 F)

Edmonton is the capital city of Alberta. It is a perfect place to enjoy the autumn season in the country. There are so many things that you can do for free, and soak in the warm orangey colors.

Start at the Legislature Grounds, or the Ledge as we lovingly call it. Take a stroll or enjoy a guided tour of the building. In September you can still enjoy the trails and walks in and around the downtown area in Edmonton and the river valley.

In October, enjoy seasonal activities like the Deadmonton Haunted House, and the Corn Maze Treasure Hunt! It is also a great time to enjoy some scenic drives from Edmonton to Pembina Provincial Park, Alberta Beach to name a few.

Banff National Park, Alberta 

Larch Valley hiking trail
Larch Valley hiking trail

Average Temp. High/Low: 17 C (62 F)/ – 8 C (17 F)

Don’t miss the gem of Alberta in the fall. Banff National Park is still open for summer-like activities in September and October. What is even better is that the summer crowds have left, leaving the town for you to enjoy.

Hotels and restaurants are no longer super crowded, and you can enjoy national park trails and hikes with a multitude of wonderful fall colors – orange, green, yellow, brown, and warmth. Head to the Larch Valley to capture some of these amazing colors!

If you are not into hikes, enjoy a lovely scenic road trip through the Rocky Mountains. The Icefields Parkway will not disappoint you!

Elk Island National Park, Alberta 

Elk Island National Park canoe tour in the fall
Elk Island National Park canoe tour in the fall

Average Temp. High/Low: 10 C (50 F)/ – 8 C (17 F)

September and October are the perfect months to visit Elk Island National Park to chase northern lights. Yup, that early. Every year from mid-September to mid-October you can participate in the Dark Sky Preserve Festival at the Astotin Lake Beach, inside the National Park.

It is an amazing place to lie down and be covered with a starry skies blanket. You can count stars, make note of meteor showers, and witness the prettiest dancing green lights. If you are cold, stay warm beside a cozy campfire. 

Make note of this event in the calendar here.

Vancouver, British Columbia 

Fall in north Vancouver
Fall in North Vancouver, Capilano Suspension Bridge

Average Temp. High/Low: 19 C (66 F)/ 5 C (42 F) [6 to 16 days of rain through fall months]

Vancouver is an awesome fall destination in Canada for the urban dweller. Use the uncrowded season to explore the city highlights from Canada Place, harbourfront, Granville Island to Robson Street. 

Don’t miss Stanley Park and the Vancouver Seawall during this time. This is a great place to capture the fall foliage. Stay active, and hop on a bike and enjoy the views on the go. 

Another spot to experience fall colors at its fullest is in North Vancouver – at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park (CapBridge). You can enjoy a full day here from strolls, short hikes, to the Treetops Adventure at the park. And when you are hungry you can enjoy a meal (and coffee) at the cafe located inside.

Cross the Suspension Bridge and capture those beautiful colors, and don’t forget to spend some time learning about the history of this park at the visitor center. Click to book tickets and round trip transportation to Capilano Bridge Park.

Campbell Valley Regional Park, British Columbia 

Campbell Valley Regional Park is a paradise and a perfect visit in the fall in Canada. This park is located in south Langley and is filled with greenery (now orange-ey vibes). It is home to many historic farms, trails, ponds, bridges, marshes, and meadows. 

If you want to be surrounded by fall trees, this is the place to visit. 

Prairies Road Trip through 3 provinces

Northern Saskatchewan Fall
Northern Saskatchewan Fall

Average Temp. High/Low: 19 C (66 F)/ – 12 C (10.4 F). Manitoba is the coldest of the three.

Prairies consist of the grasslands and lowlands through the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Having traveled to all three, we can safely say its highways showcase some of the stunning fall foliage in the country.

Especially if you are driving from Alberta (start in Calgary or Edmonton) to Saskatchewan and then to Winnipeg’s rugged beauty in Manitoba. Without mountains, but with open fields, farms, and rivers, this makes for one of the scenic drives in the country.

Our favorite spots for drive-through from Alberta to the other Prairie towns and places include – Vegreville (AB), Lloydminster (AB/SK), Saskatoon (SK), Cypress Hills (SK), Grasslands Provincial Park (SK), Portage la Prairie (SK) to Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park (MB).  

Prince Albert National Park, Saskatchewan

Planning to visit Canada in the fall? This is the ultimate guide to places to visit in Canada in autumn. Experience fall foliage, warm lattes and festivals.

Average Temp. High/Low: 19 C (66 F)/ – 12 C (10.4 F)

Prince Albert National Park was our favorite place to spend the weekends when we lived in Saskatoon. Located only 2.50 hours away, this national park has everything – from beaches, lodges, wildlife and bird watching, camping to ziplining! 

And this national park lights up in the fall, with stunning colors. To enjoy the crisp fall weekends, embark on the Narrows Peninsula Trail. The trailhead is located on the Northside of Lake Waskesiu.

You can still soak in beautiful fall foliage without a hike, just wander around the national park, there are so many things that will impress you, from the log cabins to wooden displays by the visitor center, to the iconic giant red chairs! 

Ziplining is quite popular here, and you can pick up a course at the Elk Ridge Resort, located minutes away from the Prince Albert National Park. This is also a spot to chase northern lights in the late fall months.

Other activities at Prince Albert/Waskesiu National Park are canoeing, and bird-watching. 

Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

Canoeing in the fall
Canoeing in the fall

Average Temp. High/Low: 18 C (64.4 F)/ – 5 C (23 F)

Ontario’s Algonquin Park features in every fall lover’s bucket list in Canada. It is one of the oldest and largest provincial parks in Ontario. Filled with dense forests, all of which turn into a myriad of colors – of lovely orange, yellow, red, and brown, this park welcomes fall’s warm vibes in a true Canadian style.

You can admire our maple leaves in true fall colors here!

Head on a road trip from Toronto to Algonquin whilst enjoying the beautiful scenery. When you arrive at the provincial park, enjoy stunning walks or hikes. There are thousands of lakes and rivers located inside the park, so you can also opt for a canoe ride to capture the fall foliage. 

Prince Edward County, Ontario

Prince Edward County
Prince Edward County

Average Temp. High/Low: 22 C (71.6 F)/ 0 C (32 F)

Another popular spot to capture fall wonders is to embark on a trip to Prince Edward County. It is located less than two hours away from Toronto. Known for its wineries, and scenic drives, plus the quintessentially Canadian maple trees; you will want to stay here forever! 

If you do plan to stay, opt for lovely cabins, located in the municipality. To enjoy your weekend include a visit to the Sandbanks Provincial Park to soak in the views of sandy beaches and towering limestone cliffs. Also, explore the Macaulay Heritage Park and learn about the Edwardian history of the buildings situated here. 

Don’t forget to try out wines and indulge in fine dining, before returning back to Toronto. It will be the prettiest Sunday afternoon drive to remember!

Another favorite: Niagara Parkway for a wonderful fall getaway. This and more epic drives from Toronto here

Bruce Peninsula, Ontario

Bruce Peninsula in the fall
Cape Croker Cliff Autumn Fall Forest Trees Landscape

Average Temp. High/Low: 20 C (68 F)/ – 1 C (30.2 F)

Head to the Bruce Peninsula for a fall hiking weekend. Hike through the fall foliage, with the crackling sound of the leaves underneath, ensure you are wearing comfortable hiking boots for the season.

Enjoy the popular Bruce Hiking Trail, with stunning fall colors.   

Not a hiker, no problem. You can embark on a road trip through Bruce County, and hang out at the Bruce Peninsula National Park. This park is also every photographer’s paradise – capture fall colors, and admire the turquoise waters of Georgian Bay. 

Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

Cape Breton in Autumn in Canada
Cape Breton

Average Temp. High/Low: 16 C (60.8 F)/ – 3 C (26.3 F).

One of the reasons to visit Canada in the fall is enjoying scenic drives before the crack of winter. Driving Cape Breton’s Cabot Trail welcomes you with stunning views of fall foliage, and seasonal events to partake in September through October.

Driving here is slightly challenging, as you climb along the Island’s edges, but there are pit stops located along the way which makes it worthwhile. From churches, Acadian history to food, this makes for one of the spectacular coastal drives in Canada. 

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Lunenburg Nova Scotia
Lunenburg Nova Scotia

Average Temp. High/Low: 19 C (66 F)/ 4 C (39 F)

Ever wondered where stunning postcard pictures were taken? Well, this designated UNESCO World Heritage Site will blow your mind away. Lunenburg is located in Nova Scotia, about an hour away from Halifax. 

With a charming old town vibe, colorful houses, and a historic site, this paints a mesmerizing sight, one to behold forever. Fall colors of – oranges, reds, yellows, and browns here makes for a captivating fall portrait. Book a history tour of Lunenburg here

Laurentian Mountains, Quebec

Fall in Quebec
Fall in Quebec

Average Temp. High/Low: 18 C (64 F)/ 0 C (32 F)

Located only an hour or so away from Quebec City are the Laurentian Mountains. A stunning view with the maple, yellow birch, and American beech trees, this Instagram-worthy fall spot is a must-visit. To make the views even more gorgeous are the two rivers – St. Lawrence River and Ottawa River. 

This time is also perfect to soak in the mountain views, whilst embarking on hiking trails. 

Not into hiking? Enjoy a romantic weekend at the resort town of Mont Tremblant. Or participate in the Symphony of Colors festival here. 

Oh, and foodie lovers, this is gastronomic heaven. Relish local delicacies, especially as it’s around harvest time, and grape harvest and markets are open to satisfy your taste buds.

For photography enthusiasts, head there from the end of September to late October to capture the fall colors in full swing. 

Bay of Fundy Coastal Drive, New Brunswick

Fundy National Park, New Brunswick, Canada
Fundy National Park, New Brunswick, Canada

Average Temp. High/Low: 19 C (66 F)/ 0 C (32 F)

Stunning coastlines, and fall foliage, the Bay of Fundy makes for a mesmerizing drive. Touching the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and all the way to the U.S. state of Maine, the Bay of Fundy is one amazing coastal drive to do in the fall in Canada.

If you solely wish to visit for the fall red-orange-brown colors, head there in late September or early October. Or plan a Thanksgiving day weekend there. 

Otherwise, for high tides, beaches, and gorgeous viewpoints, time spent at the Bay of Fundy will surely be memorable. Lace-up your hiking boots for enjoying the trails through the Acadian Forest.

Prince Edward Island/PEI

PEI National Park
PEI National Park

Average Temp. High/Low for Charlottetown: 18 C (64 F)/ 0 C (32 F)

Prince Edward Island is another fantastic spot to experience fall foliage in Canada. From hiking trails, scenic drives, to autumn festivals and markets it is 100% worth marking this season in PEI to your bucket list.

Indulge in seasonal local produce and delicacies in many farmer’s markets. Taste of Tyne Valley Festival is a perfect opportunity to try out shellfish, while enjoying the pleasant temperatures. This event occurs in mid September. 

Not into seafood? Enter Open Farm Day – to relish corn, BBQ, or roasted vegetables. 

In October, opt for a guided Haunted Tour. The Culture Summerside Historic Ghost Walk takes you to the darker side of the Island history. Experience true Halloween with scary stories! 

There you have it! These are some of the most amazing fall destinations to visit in Canada. Do you have a personal favorite?

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3 Comments

  1. I’ve never visited cities outside of Vancouver in the fall, I didn’t realize how beautiful it is in the Prairies and Quebec! I’m getting excited just thinking about pumpkin spiced latte and seeing the fall colours in the city again hahah

  2. Canada in the Fall looks right out of a nature story book! Nova Scotia looks like such a relaxing place to just enjoy the water. Thank you for also including the tempertures. Us West Coast Americans need the heads up for how to pack and to mentally prepare ourselves for the chill. The views and activities make it worth it!

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