Add these great summer getaways to your plans for the highly anticipated long weekends marked throughout the year. They’re wonderful places where you can recharge and refresh over several days. Consider an early summer escape in late May for the Victoria Day weekend or head to Ottawa for the Canada Day celebrations and incredible fireworks.

    Why not make good use of the August long weekend with a trip across the border? Labour Day weekend in September offers yet another good time for that well-deserved long weekend getaway with the last warm rays of the summer sun. Find some cool ideas on where to go below.


    Ottawa, Ontario

    Fun and festivities in the Canadian capital

    Ottawa, with its semi-continental climate, begins to enjoy the warmth of the summer sun in June. It’s also worth visiting earlier in May, around the Victoria Day weekend, to witness some of the Canadian capital’s best attractions in all their glory. Head to Parliament Hill for the traditional Trooping of the Colour ceremony for a memorable sight.

    A long weekend summer getaway to the Canadian capital in July is even more epic with the Canada Day celebrations. Join proud Ottawans as they gather and cheer with live entertainment and breathtaking fireworks. Witness this highly anticipated spectacle from Ottawa’s vantage points, namely Parliament Hill and Jacques-Cartier Park. Read more…


    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Megacasinos, glamourous shows, and rare thrills

    Head to Las Vegas this summer to take in the glitz and glamour of this desert city for a few days. There are world-famous casinos along the Vegas Strip alongside incredible theatres showing live performances with high production values that no visit to the city would be complete without witnessing.

    But when you’ve seen the Fountains of Bellagio and had your fill of thrills on your first date with Lady Luck, the rest of your long weekend may include some other cool – if not unusual – pursuits. These include zooming over Fremont Street by zipline. You can go even higher on a helicopter ride to admire the modern marvels of the Strip or Mother Earth’s artistry at the Grand Canyon nearby. Read more…


    Toronto, Ontario

    Escape for a few days to Canada’s largest city

    Toronto offers a well-balanced mix of historical sightseeing and modern attractions. From the 18th-century Fort York and the cobblestoned streets of the Distillery District to one of the world’s largest film festivals, this bustling and diverse city has plenty to keep those on a long weekend getaway engaged and entertained.

    Toronto is also widely considered Canada’s sporting events mecca. Summer games to catch range from lacrosse at Scotiabank Arena, Major League Baseball at Rogers Centre or high-octane street racing at Honda Indy Toronto. The prestigious Toronto International Film Festival, usually held in September, is a must-do for cinephiles. Read more…


    New York City, USA

    Sightseeing galore in the Empire State

    New York City is home to so many bucket-list spots that it’s seemingly impossible to fit all in 1 long weekend’s visit. Even so, you can often narrow them down and spread some of the city’s topmost attractions over several days.

    The likes of the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Empire State Building, Broadway, Times Square, and Rockefeller Center and its Top of the Rock Observation Deck are among New York City’s definite must-sees. If you want to take it easy and simply sightsee, there are cruises from Ellis Island and various guided tours to make the most of your time. Read more…


    Quebec City, Quebec

    A wealth of French heritage and summer festivities

    Quebec City is known for its grand winter carnival, but its summer calendar offers another good reason to pack your bags for the next long weekend getaway. A UNESCO World Heritage site with 17th-century architecture and a fortified Old City, Quebec City is where you can experience France without ever leaving the continent.

    In summer, board a ferry to Lévis to take in the beautiful views of Chateau Frontenac and the Lower Old Town (Basse-Ville). In the peak of summer, join the thousands of Quebecois in the Saint-Jean Baptiste Celebration on the Plains of Abraham. Or, check out Festival d'été de Québec, an outdoor music festival that takes place annually in July. Read more…


    Orlando, Florida

    A Floridian mecca for a fun-filled weekend escape

    Orlando is a top option for families looking for a fun-filled long weekend, with a focus on its collection of world-famous theme parks. The Floridian city sees a regular influx of visitors between May and early September, so you’ll want to visit earlier in May to avoid the crowds.

    You can spend the first couple of days braving hair-raising rides like The Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal's Islands of Adventure or Mako (one of Orlando's biggest and fastest rollercoasters). There are also plenty of options to keep you and your family or friends busy for several more days. You can cool off at Orlando’s numerous water parks or take a day trip to the Everglades National Park. At the end of each day, check out the nightlife scene in Downtown's Wall Street Plaza. Read more…


    Oahu, Hawaii

    A tropical island weekend escape

    Oahu has it all for an enjoyable long weekend summer getaway: beautiful beaches, lush tropical landscapes, colourful culture, and modern amenities. The popular Hawaiian island has great weather year-round, but you’ll want to time your long weekend around May to avoid Honolulu and Waikiki Beach’s summer crowds.

    Even if you visit during the height of summer, there’s plenty to experience beyond bustling Honolulu. For quieter escapes, head to Lanikai and Kailua Beach on the east coast, with Waimea Falls close by. Spare a day in your long weekend itinerary for a scenic drive along the Windward Coast or the Pali Highway. Book another full day at Kualoa Ranch, just north of Kaneohe Bay, for fun ATV rides and Instagrammable Jurassic Park location tours. Read more…


    Vancouver, British Columbia

    Escape to the laidback west coast

    Vancouver has something special in every season,  but it’s never more beautiful than in summer. You can experience the best of the city on its annual BC Day, which takes place in late July or early August.

    Among the many summer festivities in Vancouver, Abbotsford Agrifair is a family-fun highlight with amusement rides, live music, and a core agricultural fair held at Exhibition Park. Also highly anticipated in summer is the Celebration of Light, with a musical fireworks competition at Second Beach in Stanley Park, and another round at English Bay Beach. Read more…


    Calgary, Alberta

    Experience Canada’s Wild West

    Calgary summers are pleasant and you can enjoy plenty of outdoor fun in the sun over a long weekend between June and September. Known as Canada’s Wild West, the city is nicknamed ‘Cowtown’ – the place to be in August to experience the legendary Calgary Stampede.

    The 10-day grand festival is traditionally held on the 1st Friday of July and features a parade, chuckwagon derbies, various agricultural exhibitions, feasts, midway rides, live concerts, and a stampede market. Don’t miss out on the Indian Village on the bank of Elbow River to learn about the fascinating life and culture of 5 First Nations. Read more…


    Los Angeles, California

    Summer fun under the Californian sun

    Los Angeles summers bring out the best of the city under clear skies and with comfy dry weather for outdoor exploration. Hit Santa Monica in downtown Los Angeles and dine and shop along 3rd Street Promenade and remember to spare ample time for an exciting day out at Santa Monica Pier and the Venice Beach Boardwalk.

    Extend your long weekend to include the 4th of July spectacles or witness one of the world’s greatest celebrations of cinema at the LA Film Festival – it’s home to Hollywood after all! If you time your Los Angeles getaway around September, check out the Abbot Kinney Festival for a celebration of Californian culture through food, drinks, and entertainment on Venice Beach. Read more…

    Ari Gunadi | Compulsive Traveler

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