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Canada: When to Go

Use the following information as a guide while planning your trip to the Great White North, but remember that Canada does see some unpredictable weather. Be prepared and travel with layered clothing and rain gear.

Most Canadian Rockies tours depart between late spring and early fall, when daytime temperatures hover between 65 and 70 degrees. This season also is perfect for vacations in the Maritime Provinces of the east. Prince Edward Island is beautiful in summer, when vast fields of lavender lupines join windswept beaches among the scenery.

High summer is an ideal time to explore Canada's interior. The Calgary Stampede brings 10 days of roping and riding events to southern Alberta each July. Some summer tours combine rodeo action with seaside sights by extending west to Vancouver and Victoria in British Columbia. Whale-watching is a favorite activity along the Pacific coast during this season. It's a peak time for cruises, too, so consider crowds in top locales when choosing your travel itinerary.

Looking for a winter break? Tour companies get pretty creative when temperatures start to dip. In October and November, a popular wildlife-watching vacation spends time in Churchill, a town perched on the shores of Hudson Bay; here, polar bears gather and wait for the water to freeze so they can begin their winter hunting. Some itineraries capitalize on the fairy-tale appearance that Canadian destinations take on in winter -- the walled Old Town of Quebec City and the mountainous scenery of Alberta are particularly enchanting when covered in a mantle of snow.