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Hidden Gems for Avoiding the Summer Crowds

With its pristine nature, dynamic cities and cultural vibrancy , it's not surprising Canada is a much sought-after destination — especially during summer, a peak-travel season. There are ways to enjoy even the most popular areas during your Canadian train vacation, while still feeling like you’re away from the crowds. 

There are tried and true tricks, such as taking advantage of the longer daylight hours and hitting those hot spots earlier (or later) in the day. Try enjoying your meals outside of peak times, and asking your travel advisor to make your meal reservations. Our top tip? By joining a private group tour, you often get to bypass the long lines into attractions. 

Sometimes it’s knowing hidden gems to avoid summer crowds in Canada — like these excursion picks from our Canadian Insiders.

Get Above it All with Float Plane Tour in Vancouver

See the sights of Vancouver on a float plane tour

Many of our Canadian train vacations, both on VIA Rail and the Rocky Mountaineer, start or end in the city of Vancouver. Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the Coastal Mountains, this stunning city makes it worth extending your trip to spend some time exploring. There's fantastic food, art galleries and museums, luxury hotels, easy access to nature, and lots of hidden gems.

Our Canadian Insiders highly recommend a float plane tour. Not only does it get you away from the crowds, it gives you a unique perspective on many of the city’s top sights, including Coal Harbour, Stanley Park, and the Lions Gate Bridge.

Download our Canada By Train Brochure

Keep reading or discover more travel inspiration in our brochure. This guide showcases our world-famous train journeys, with ideas for personalizing your Canadian vacation.

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Paddle on a Glacier Lake in the Canadian Rockies

Person paddles a canoe across a lake in the Canadian Rockies in summer.

The Canadian Rocky Mountains are a popular summer tourist destination, especially Banff National Park, which you will visit on several of our Canadian train vacations. While one of the most iconic destinations is Lake Louise, many consider Moraine Lake to be even more spectacular. Its waters are a vivid shade of turquoise, which changes throughout the summer as the glaciers melt.

It’s not as crowded as the world renowned Lake Louise, but it is very popular during July and August. By staying at Moraine Lake Lodge, you’ll experience this spot without the daytime crowds. Enjoy a guided hike along the shoreline trail, far from the crowds.

For an even more immersive experience, rent a canoe and find some solitude at the far end of the lake.

Visit a Hidden Waterfall in Cape Breton

A nature hike is always a great way to explore a destination and there are many hidden gems to avoid the summer crowds in Canada. If you’re on a train vacation to Nova Scotia, in the Canadian Maritimes, consider a hike to take in one of Cape Breton’s many waterfalls. The area is known for its rolling mountains, river canyons, and scenic coastlines.

Hike along a valley brook and through an old-growth hardwood forest, deep within the Margaree mountainside. Reward yourself with a dip in the pool at the base of the falls.

Take a Private Walking Tour in Ottawa

Monument to the Algonquin Chief Tessouat at the Canadian Museum of Culture

With its rich history, numerous galleries and museums, year-round outdoor activities and vibrant neighbourhoods, Canada’s capital city of Ottawa is a must-see destination on your Canadian train vacation in Eastern Canada.

Ottawa is known for its extensive art scene, including fascinating street art, which you can learn about on a private guided tour. Take a leisurely stroll, get away from the summer crowds, and be captivated by the stories of the art and artists who add to the vibrancy of downtown Ottawa.

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