Off-season travel can be an economical way to explore new areas, and it is one of my favorite non-traditional getaway periods. Why write about this today? Most of the country experiences off-season in autumn, so now is the perfect time to take advantage of lower hotel prices before the holidays hit, and check out some fantastic destinations.
To help showcase these deals, I scoured our database of hotels to identify the top cities that offer a mixture of steep price drops and phenomenal, late-fall weather that is worth travelling for.
With some of the steepest price drops on hotels this fall, Winnipeg offers an affordable experience (hotel room from $77/night) for those who appreciate the arts. Travellers can take a brisk walk and enjoy the scenery along the Red River Corridor before visiting the Salvador Dali exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Those who head there in early December can also check out First Fridays in the Exchange; it's the ideal place to engage with the local community and surround yourself in amazing exhibitions.
Saskatoon is a unique town that's tucked alongside the Saskatchewan River, which offers the perfect combination of beautiful sites and city life for less than normal big city prices--in fact, hotels average about $102/night for fall, making it a great option for travellers who desire a mixture of outdoor beauty and activity. For starters, there are an array of parks around the city with tree-lined bike paths and waterways, such as Waneskewin Heritage Park where visitors can explore the culture and history of the grounds. Other popular parks to immerse yourself in the outdoors before it's too cold include Charlottetown Park or the Forestry Farm Park & Zoo.
Halifax not only has a great culture and delicious food options, but there are an unlimited amount activities to keep you busy during your stay. To kick off the holiday season, the Chronicle Herald Holiday Parade of Lights is not only a sight to see, but also gives you the opportunity to give back by donating to FEED Nova Scotia. Travellers feeling spendy can head to the "Shopping Under the Stars" experience. It gives everyone the chance to score great shopping deals while enjoying treats, contests, live music and holiday carolers. Hotel prices aren't bad either--they're hovering right around $79/night for a hotel room between now and January.
Surrounded by a rich culture and heritage, Hamilton is an active city that is spot on for young travellers and families. If you're looking to capture Hamilton's must-see outdoor beauty, visit the waterfront Bayfront Park or stop by the Confederation Park, settled alongside Lake Ontario. Other outdoor "must-see" activities during fall include a hike to Cootes Paradise (a scenic tree-filled trail with three different access points), Devil's Punchbowl (offering a 37 mile long ribbon waterfall) and Webster's Falls (a rich nature trail that leads to two long-flowing waterfalls). Hotel prices are affordable, too--visitors can score a nightly average of $72 during the fall season.
As a town that offers an array of festivities--ranging from outdoor sports, food/drink and entertainment-- and a location near Montreal, Ottawa is an accessible place for those value-minded travellers. In fact, hotel deals are coming in right around $83/night. Bundle up and grab hiking boots because Canada's Capital region is home to Gatineau Park. Here, there's a trail for hikers of all experience levels, and unbelievable scenery. After some outdoor time, warm up by heading over to the ByWard Market neighborhood and indulge in a BeaverTail--a deep fried, sugar-coated pastry that can be purchased from the original stand by the market building.
*Average prices mentioned above are based on hotel bookings made on Hotwire.com for travel during the fall travel season (11/1-1/31/15).