The days are cooler, the nights are crisp, and all around the leaves on trees are changing colour, flaming red and orange as if to farewell summer in a burst of brightness. Here are seven of the best places to cottage in the Fall.
1. The Laurentian Mountains, Quebec
The Laurentian Mountains in Quebec dazzle with fall colours. The sugar maples, yellow birch and beech trees come alive with orange, yellow, red and gold, creating views to take your breath away. Come winter, tourists and cottagers flock to nearby Mont-Tremblant to ski, so why not avoid the crowds by taking a Fall trip instead? Mont-Tremblant offers the Symphony of Colors festival in October as well as horseback riding, hiking, free concerts, and great dining.
2. Prince Edward Island
In Fall, Prince Edward Island turns the colour of its favourite plucky orphan’s hair. Yet while the red-haired Anne of Green Gables may be fictional, the beauty of PEI is not. Due to its more moderate climate, PEI has a fall foliage period longer than most in the northeast, but that’s not all the island has to offer. September’s Fall Flavours Culinary Festival is a month-long celebration of local produce, dining, celebrity guest chefs and, for a few days in the middle, the famous PEI International Shellfish Festival. Mmm…
3. Niagara Falls, Ontario
The Falls in Fall! Autumn is a spectacular time to visit Niagara Falls, as the changing colours of the surrounding trees heighten the already-breathtaking beauty of the three waterfalls between Ontario and New York. Add in pumpkin and apple picking, hiking, ghost tours, the Niagara Wine Festival in late September, and driving along the historic Niagara Parkway in early October, and it’s clear that the Niagara Region is a lovely place to cottage in Fall.
4. Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario
After the intense heat of Canadian summer but before snow blankets the ground in white, Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario offer nearby cottagers a world of wonders in Fall. Near enough to Toronto that a cottage getaway is easily doable even for the busiest cityfolk, Algonquin Park offers great hiking and canoeing opportunities. Maple trees, aspens, tamaracks, spruces, and red oaks all change colour in September and October, so you can be sure your trip will be beautiful.
5. Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
Whether you’d rather hike in Cape Breton Highlands National Park or take a long and winding drive along the Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia is sure to delight all who seek fall foliage. October is usually peak time for crimson and orange colours, but do check in with Nova Scotia’s fall foliage reports before booking your trip. Or simply time your cottage trip to coincide with the fabulous Celtic Colours International Festival, taking place October 11-19, 2013.
6. Vancouver, British Columbia
Calling all film buffs! Fall brings not only hot cider and pumpkins to Vancouver, but the Vancouver International Film Festival as well. If a Fall holiday doesn’t feel complete without a trip to see fall colours, make sure you pop into Queen Elizabeth Park, where the reds and oranges of deciduous trees mix with evergreens, or check out the red Japanese Maples in VanDusen Botanical Gardens.
7. Fundy Coastal Drive, New Brunswick
Book any cottage on or near New Brunswick’s Fundy Coastal Drive during Fall and you’ll be surrounded by stunning fall colours and more fall festivals than you’ll know what to do with. There’s the Campbellton Harvest Festival, the Hunter Brothers Fall Festival, the Fall Colours Festival, and the World Wine & Food Expo, just to name a few. You’ll be all fall-ed out and ready for winter before you know it.