5 Canadian bucket list experiences you must try this summer

Jul 15 2022, 5:05 pm

Summer is here, bringing with it longer, sun-drenched days and more opportunities to get out and explore all that Canada has to offer.

Each province — and territory — has something for everyone, from the intrepid explorers to foodies, wildlife enthusiasts, and city breakers.

With the help of the new Visa RSVP Rewards™ Benefit program — dedicated to offering complimentary room upgrades, late check-out, and dining discounts for stays at over 60 participating Sandman, Sandman Signature, and Sutton Place Hotels in Canada and beyond — we’ve curated a list of unmistakably Canadian experiences from coast-to-coast to add to your summer bucket list.

Explore the Stanley Park seawall

Visa Rewards Stanley Park


By bike or by foot, the Stanley Park seawall is a must when visiting Vancouver. The lush peninsula of huge trees adjacent to downtown Vancouver boasts pathways, Indigenous totem poles, eateries, stunning golden beaches, and an 80-metre outdoor pool overlooking the ocean.

If you would like to surround yourself in luxury, elegance and an elevated state of style, we recommend a stay in The Sutton Place Hotel, Vancouver. Situated in the heart of downtown, the first-class amenities awaiting you include the Vida Spa, an on-site Wine Merchant featuring local and international labels and a private tasting room, and the signature restaurant Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar (which recently ranked in ninth place out of 100 for Best Restaurants in Canada).

Dine at Sky Bistro, Banff

Visa Rewards, Banff

Boris Kopaj/Shutterstock

Canada is synonymous with the Rocky Mountains and what better way to scan the incredible vistas offered by this famous mountain range than from a sky-high restaurant serving incredible dining options, along with the breathtaking views.

Take the exhilarating Banff Gondola to the summit of Sulphur Mountain and be seated in comfort for a truly unique dining experience. To explore this and other local gems — like the emerald lakes — we recommend setting up camp at one of the five Sandman and Sandman Signature hotels in Calgary.

See polar bears in Churchill

Visa RSVP Rewards Benefit program, Churchill

Isabel Kendzior/Shutterstock

These majestic creatures return from their annual hunt on the sea ice to the shore of Hudson Bay, Manitoba each summer. A Tundra Buggy tour from Churchill is a great way to explore the remote wilderness and see the polar bears up close. You also have the chance of seeing beluga whales, tundra flowers, and maybe even the Northern Lights.

Given the location’s remote nature, take advantage of a room or suite at the Sandman Hotel and Suites Winnipeg Airport — just 10 minutes from the downtown core — and join an organized tour to Churchill to spend a day with the polar bears.

Witness Montreal’s summer festival circuit

Visa Rewards Montreal

Daniel Ouellette

A trip to Montreal in the summer is incomplete without experiencing the bustling energy of summer festivals. The famous Just for Laughs, International Jazz festival, and Osheaga music festival attract visitors from far and wide to witness top comedians and musicians in action.

Stay in Sandman Hotel MontrĂ©al – Longueuil which is located close to the Longueuil metro station and bus terminal. This hotel’s convenient location along Highway 132 makes it a great base from which you can explore all that the vibrant city of MontrĂ©al has to offer.

Go whale watching in Halifax

Visa RSVP Rewards Benefit program, whale

William Drumm/Shutterstock

What better way to experience Halifax than from the water? Take an organized whale watching tour from one of the providers operating around the harbour area and get up-close-and-personal with incredible wildlife in these cold, North Atlantic waters, including minke, pilot, finback, and the endangered North Atlantic Right Whales. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a humpback whale, a blue whale, or a white-sided dolphin.

Stay at the conveniently located Sutton Place Hotel, Halifax and surround yourself in luxury after a day exploring the ocean. Featuring floor-to-ceiling windows with breathtaking views of downtown, Halifax Waterfront Harbour, and historic Citadel Hill, you’ll have access to the on-site Chop Steakhouse & Bar, plus an open-air outdoor patio oasis with a hot tub and cozy fire pits with panoramic views of Halifax, which is due to open this month.

As you check off your Canadian bucket list this summer, enroll for the new Visa RSVP Reward Benefit (if you’re an eligible Visa Cardholder). With this benefit, Visa Infinite cardholders will enjoy automatic elevated Platinum status and Visa Infinite Privilege cardholders will receive automatic elevated Diamond status at participating hotels. Perks include free room upgrades, onsite dining discounts, late checkout, hotel corporate lounge access, and accelerating your points collection to earn free nights faster.

To enroll or learn more about this exciting new benefit, and to browse room rates as you plan your summer trip, check out the Visa RSVP Rewards Benefit.

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