Despite its chilly (okay, freezing) winters, Canada's summers are a sunny delight with gorgeous scenery, lively cities and festivals inviting you to make the most of the warmth.
This July in Canada kicks off with something that certainly doesn't happen every year: a visit from the newly-wed royals William and Kate. Their nine-day, east-to-west tour of Canada (starting June 30 in Ottawa) will be jam-packed so you'll have to be on your feet to catch them. According to their itinerary, they will visit 7 cities over their trip, ending on 8 July in Calgary.
Royalty aside, here are a few suggestions for making the most of Canada this summer:
Hire a bike or take a walk along the seawall in Stanley Park and have lunch at the the Fish House in Stanley Park . If you're there in mid to late July, you can catch a musical with Theatre under the Stars at the Malkin Bowl.
The end of July (and seeping into August) brings you the Celebration of Light, a 3-night festival from the beaches of Vancouver, with a firework show competition between China, Spain and Canada.
From 8-17 July, you can catch what is claimed to be the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth at the Calgary Stampede. Yep, cowboys, a rodeo, country music, pancakes, a parade (featuring the royal couple) and much more. Don't miss it...and bring your cowboy hat.
Kayak or canoe on the Churchill River and its thousands of lakes with the backdrop of rocky terrain covered in trees. You'll feel like just entered your own wilderness adventure movie.
It may seem silly to stay inside when the weather is so warm, but the Toronto Film Festival doesn't happen every day! Catch some glitz and glam (and a good film) at the festival which runs throughout July and into August. Buy tickets in advance to guarantee a seat.
Take a hike on the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, go horseback riding through the pastures, test your fly-fishing skills or take a scenic flight over the island. This place is known for really coming alive during the summer.
You want to have a few laughs on your holiday, right? Well then head to Montreal for the Just For Laughs Festival. Over three weeks, you can see great comic acts like Eddie Izzard and Craig Ferguson's International House of Comedy.
For a little more fresh air, take a tip from Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree community and hire a bike near the Atwater Market and cycle along the Lachine Canal to the Old Port of Montreal or bike west from the market and have a beer at the Terasse St-Ambroise.