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Long weekends in Canada: arts and culture getaways

Manitoba Museum

Long weekends in Canada: arts and culture getaways

Check the most up-to-date travel restrictions, including border closures, before planning your trip and be sure to contact businesses prior to travel to book reservations and confirm availability.


Whether you are a culture lover, an art connoisseur, a history buff or a traveller looking for a new perspective, every Canadian province and territory offers a long weekend getaway that will please you. Let your next vacation be inspired by the cultural and artistic itineraries that follow.


Past and Present

Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, Cape Breton Island
Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, Cape Breton Island. Credit: Tourism Nova Scotia / Photographer: Wally Hayes

Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia: Experience the past

Nova ScotiaExternal Link Title's Cape Breton IslandExternal Link Title is steeped in French, Mi'kmaq and Celtic culture--which you'll discover at the old Fortress of Louisburg National Historic SiteExternal Link Title where you'll don period costumes and learn to fire a musket. On day two of your long weekend,  immerse yourself in the world of the inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell at the national historic siteExternal Link Title that bears his name. There, you'll see replicas of the first telephones as well as a full-scale model of the HD-4 Hydrofoil craft. On your last day take the fiddling, step-dancing and singing Celtic culture of Cape Breton at the interactive Celtic Music Interpretive CentreExternal Link Title.


New Brunswick: Acadian roots 

Start your Acadian immersion in MonctonExternal Link Title, New BrunswickExternal Link Title, with a visit to one of the world's largest collections of Acadian artifacts at the Mus?e acadien de l'Universit? de MonctonExternal Link Title. Later, drive to the Boish?bert and Beaubears Island Shipbuilding National Historic SitesExternal Link Title. In summertime, tour Beaubears by boatExternal Link Title to hear the stories of Acadian mothers, Commander Boish?bert and venerable soldiers told by historical recreators in full costume. Plan a day in Grande-DigueExternal Link Title, exploring the pioneer village with its school, family home, lighthouse and Mus?e des PionniersExternal Link Title, then make a stop at the Smokehouse Museum in Cap-Pel?External Link Title to learn about the smokehouses of the area which supplies 95% of Canada's smoked herring production. Treat yourself to a night in CaraquetExternal Link Title, at the Hotel PaulinExternal Link Title, a beautiful Acadian-style hotel still owned by the family that built it in 1891.


Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan: Meet the colourful characters 

Moose JawExternal Link Title, SaskatchewanExternal Link Title, a charming prairie town, was once Al Capone's bootlegging hideout. Go underground in the Tunnels of Moose JawExternal Link Title and enjoy a theatrical recreation of the prohibition era and the life of Chinese railroad workers. Spend a day relaxing in warm mineral baths and enjoying treatments at the Temple Gardens SpaExternal Link Title before touring the Murals of MoosejawExternal Link Title, taking a photo at the Mac the Moose monumentExternal Link Title and tucking into a prairie-sized meal at Rosie's on River StreetExternal Link Title, a caf? named for Moosejaw's most notorious Madame.


The people tell the story

Aurora Village, Northwest Territories
Aurora Village, Northwest Territories. Credit: Aurora Village

Northwest Territories: Indigenous impressions

Spend three wonder-filled days exploring the Northwest Territories'External Link Title Great Slave LakeExternal Link Title on a Northern Lights GetawayExternal Link Title. Experience evening gatherings at Aurora VillageExternal Link Title and experience the gathering of 21 teepees in a traditional circle where local guides introduce you to M?tis and Dene culture. Each night, head out either on the Aurora Village traditional sleds or on viewing platforms to watch the Northern Lights. Before leaving YellowknifeExternal Link Title, treat yourself to a dinner of arctic char at the popular Traders GrillExternal Link Title


Whitehorse,Yukon: Stories and wonders 

WhitehorseExternal Link Title is a town made for those who appreciate culture. Start your three-day weekend at the MacBride MuseumExternal Link Title to understand the people and events that have shaped the YukonExternal Link Title, from First Nations stories to the Klondike Gold Rush and the natural world. After satisfying your desire for learning, satiate another kind of appetite with delicious homemade pastries at the local Burnt Toast Caf?External Link Title. On your next day, dive into the area's proud mining history at the MacBride Copperbelt Mining MuseumExternal Link Title and meet a life-sized woolly mammoth at the Yukon Beringia Interpretive CentreExternal Link Title. On your last day, embark on a self-guided Whitehorse Art WalkExternal Link Title. Grab a map from the Visitor Information CentreExternal Link Title and let the accompanying audio teach you about the First Nations legends, gold rush characters, nature and Northern ways of life behind the city's artwork. Finish your artistic quest by taking in an exhibition at Arts UndergroundExternal Link Title, where you can purchase wonderful Yukon-made art.


Vancouver, British Columbia: Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations

VancouverExternal Link Title, British ColumbiaExternal Link Title, has a rich Indigenous history. Learn about the spiritual significance and traditional healing nature of Stanley ParkExternal Link Title on a Talking Trees Tour with Talaysay ToursExternal Link Title then explore the Bill Reid GalleryExternal Link Title, Canada's only public gallery collection featuring solely contemporary Indigenous art of the Northwest Coast. After a night's sleep at Canada's first Indigenous arts hotel, Skwach?ys LodgeExternal Link Title, head into the North Shore's Indian Arm with Takaya ToursExternal Link Title to paddle an ocean-going First Nations canoe replica, sing Coast Salish songs and try traditional drumming. On your final day, see the extraordinary collection of artifacts from originating communities at the University of British Columbia's Museum of AnthropologyExternal Link Title. Before heading home, seek out Mr. BannockExternal Link Title on the streets of Vancouver, the city's only Indigenous food truck--try the wild game bannock burger!  


Museums, Galleries, Tours and Explorations

Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta
Dinosaur exhibit at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta. Credit: Travel Alberta / Davey Lieske

Calgary and Drumheller, Alberta: Music, dinosaurs and hoodoos 

In CalgaryExternal Link Title you'll find some of Canada's most renowned music icons such as Oscar Peterson, Jonni Mitchell, Luc Plamondon, Jann Arden, and Leonard Cohen at the Canadian Music Halls of Fame and Studio BellExternal Link Title. On your second day, drive one-and-a-half hours to DrumhellerExternal Link Title where you'll discover hoodoos, the Canadian BadlandsExternal Link Title and the Royal Tyrrell Museum'sExternal Link Title dinosaurs. On day three, discover Calgary's St. Patrick'sExternal Link Title neighbourhood and learn about the culture of the Blackfoot Peoples on a Many Chiefs walking tourExternal Link Title  guided by a member of the Blood Tribe in the Blackfoot Confederacy. Later, make time for one last hidden gem stop: the Bridgette BarExternal Link Title on 10th Avenue for an artsy and delicious take on small plate dining


Ottawa, Ontario: The capital of museums 

With seven national museums, OttawaExternal Link Title is the ideal place for a three-day deep dive into Canadian culture and art. Start your OntarioExternal Link Title long weekend at the National GalleryExternal Link Title to view a comprehensive collection of Indigenous, Canadian and International artwork. On day two explore the Canadian War MuseumExternal Link Title to reflect Canada's military history and Canadian Museum of NatureExternal Link Title and one of the three establishments of the IngeniumExternal Link Title network to learn about science and nature. On your final day, tour downtown Ottawa with a visit to ByWard Market External Link Titleto find handcrafted jewelry and designer clothing as well as local specialities such as artisanal cheese and charcuterie. After finding a few souvenirs at the market, treat yourself to a cold one at a local favourite, the Heart and CrownExternal Link Title.


Winnipeg, Manitoba: Learning never stops

WinnipegExternal Link Title has a wealth of museums to entertain and educate. Start your ManitobaExternal Link Title long weekend by exploring everything from cephalopods to fur trading ships at the Manitoba Museum and PlanetariumExternal Link Title. On your second day, wind your way through the architectural, cultural and emotional wonders of the compelling Canadian Museum for Human RightsExternal Link Title. Look for the Spirit Panel Project of Indigenous art, and take time to experience the many stories of oppression and liberation. At night, reflect on your visit while enjoying unique dishes and flavours at deer+almondExternal Link Title (reservation recommended). On your final day, light it up with a tour of The Manitoba Electrical MuseumExternal Link Title which features everything from vintage 1940s farm kitchen appliances to a recycled electronics robot, then view Canada's largest collection of Louis Riel artifacts at the Saint Boniface MuseumExternal Link Title.


Prince Edward Island: Exploring the Arts & Heritage Trail

Start your long weekend in Prince Edward IslandExternal Link Title with world-famous Anne of Green Gables and a visit to the Lucy Maud Montgomery BirthplaceExternal Link Title before embarking on a tour of the PEI Arts & Heritage TrailExternal Link Title. Next, pay a visit to local craftspeople who have modified their studio toursExternal Link Title to welcome you safely. Feeling creative yourself? Take private lessons from a sandcastle building proExternal Link Title at Cabot Beach Provincial ParkExternal Link Title and visit the Malpeque Oyster BarnExternal Link Title for some fresh seafood. Finish your getaway weekend with a movie at the Island's retro drive-in theatreExternal Link Title.


Living Culture

Old Port of  Montréal
Wandering the historical Old Port of Montréal. Credit © Tourisme Montréal - Madore, Daphné Caron

Montr?al, Quebec: Celebrating LGBTQ2+ flair 

It's easy to fill three days in one of the world's most famous LGBTQ2+ neighbourhoods, MontrealExternal Link Title's vibrant Le VillageExternal Link Title. Start with Notre Dame des QuillesExternal Link Title, a funky bowling alley bar with retro half-size lanes, then enjoy a drag queen show at the iconic Cabaret MadoExternal Link Title. The next day, head to Little ItalyExternal Link Title to catch an exhibition or a special event at Never ApartExternal Link Title, a multi-faceted gallery designed to showcase LGBTQ2+ artists. On your last day, discover Montreal's high-end fashion designersExternal Link Title before ending your day by the water in the historical Old Port of Montr?alExternal Link Title. At night, dine in elegance at Restaurant PastelExternal Link Title, one of Canada's best restaurants.


Halifax, Nova Scotia: Discover seafaring life

Plan a long weekend fuelled by seafaring history and lively nights in HalifaxExternal Link Title, Nova ScotiaExternal Link Title. Wander the beautiful harbourfrontExternal Link Title and visit the Seaport Farmers' MarketExternal Link Title, tour the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21External Link Title, pop into the shops at Bishop's LandingExternal Link Title and check out The Split Crow PubExternal Link Title, Nova Scotia's oldest tavern. On your second day, head out on the water for fresh air and salt water on a deep sea fishing or whale watching tour with Blue Shark Fishing ChartersExternal Link Title. For your final day, explore the Maritime Museum of the AtlanticExternal Link Title to learn about historic ships and sailors of the area and experience a moving tribute to the Halifax ExplosionExternal Link Title. At night, savour delicious local seafood at Stories DiningExternal Link Title in the Historic Properties DistrictExternal Link Title, home to Canada's oldest surviving group of waterfront warehouses and some of North America's most beautiful Victorian-Italianate architecture.  


St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador: From jelly bean houses to Celtic tunes 

St. John'sExternal Link Title, Newfoundland and LabradorExternal Link Title, is a lively blend of brightly-painted jellybean housesExternal Link Title, rich coastal history and the hand-clapping, sing-along Celtic fun of the George Street music sceneExternal Link Title. Take a guided history walking tourExternal Link Title, then visit The RoomsExternal Link Title, an elegant museum of local and contemporary art from around the world. Then drive the scenic shoreline to FerrylandExternal Link Title, pick up a basket filled with homemade local treats like scones and cloudberry jam from Lighthouse PicnicsExternal Link Title and find a little piece of shore where you can enjoy it. On your final day, hike up Signal HillExternal Link Title to experience incredible views and gain an insight into the rich history of the military communications it once provided. Be sure to watch for icebergs in late May and early June and whales in July-August. 


Iqaluit, Nunavut: Discovering Culture

Visit welcoming IqaluitExternal Link Title, NunavutExternal Link Title and explore the history of this northern capital city. Start with the stunning drum dancer carving at the Unikkaarvik Visitor CentreExternal Link Title where you can inquire about demonstrations of traditional Inuit games often held in Sylvia Grinnell Territorial ParkExternal Link Title. The visitor centre personnel will be able to refer you to a local guide for the next day's tour of the Qaummaarviit Territorial Historic ParkExternal Link Title where you'll learn about the history of the Thule Peoples. While in Iqaluit, explore the fascinating collection of traditional Inuit tools, clothing and artifacts found at the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit MuseumExternal Link Title and check the gift shop for unique, locally-made artwork. Make your final day a hike on the Road To NowhereExternal Link Title (get a selfie under the sign) that winds past lakes, hill and tundra to...well, nowhere.