Getting ready to plan your summer vacation? For many, traditional vacation spots affected by the Zika virus may be off the table. Looking at alternatives can be enlightening, though. By exploring places that otherwise might not have been on your radar, you can find travel experiences that enrich in the most unexpected of ways.
Today we’ll be looking at travel experiences you can have if you look to our neighbors to the North: Canada. The country has a lot to offer, and while it can be an intimidating place to visit during winter months, summers in many Canadian locales are absolutely beautiful.
Toronto can be an expensive city, but if you know where to look, there are a ton of frugal attractions. Number one is High Park, which is a massive park including playgrounds, hiking trails, gardens, a trackless train, and even a zoo. Admission is free, and the trackless train that tours the park is only $4.50 per person, running in April, September and October.
The Art Gallery of Ontario is one of North America’s largest art museums. Children under 5 always get to visit this attraction for free, and on Wednesday evenings from 6 until 9 PM, everyone gets in without paying a cent for admission.
If you enjoy historical villages, Riverdale Farm will be a treat. The farm is purposefully stuck in the late 1800’s, and does not charge visitors.
Toronto also boasts Ripley’s Aquarium, which is a very hands-on experience for kids. While it’s not free, you can see a significant discount when you purchase tickets using promo codes.
Want to practice your high school French, but can’t quite afford a hop across the pond at the moment? Quebec City offers a convenient alternative. The city’s predominant language is French, and the architecture is reminiscent of the old country.
The city itself is over 400 years old, and one of the oldest neighborhoods is appropriately named Old Quebec. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this portion of the city is actually fortified, and you’ll be able to take in all of the history on a self-guided walking tour. There are churches to visit, museums to peruse, and a military Citadel to take in.
Another option while in Quebec City is visiting the free Musee National des Beaux-Arts du Quebec, a museum hosting art and history of the region from throughout its existence. Admission is free.
Love the outdoors? Banff will provide you a haven. A ski town in the winter, in the summer it turns into a nature wonderland with hiking, biking, and crunchy granola galore. The great thing about Banff is that you can make it fit your budget. If you have a big vacation budget, you can live it up at luxe hotels. But if you’re looking to make a budget trip, you can easily get away with camping for next to nothing. If you go between May and August, you’ll also have an opportunity to hit up their Summer Arts Festival!
Have you ever vacationed in Canada? Show us your pics on social media!