Canada has more than 950 historical sites. Parks Canada says about them…
National historic sites are places of profound importance to Canada. They bear witness to this nation’s defining moments and illustrate its human creativity and cultural traditions. Each national historic site tells its own unique story, part of the greater story of Canada, contributing a sense of time, identity, and place to our understanding of Canada as a whole.
Visiting one of these sites is as financially smart as it is patriotically inspiring. But with nearly 1,000 of them, how do you choose? We did the work for you and found six fascinating historical sites and parks you can visit on a budget. And according to Parks Canada, you’ll experience life-changing adventures. You can…
- Walk on battlefields that changed the course of history
- View original writings of well-loved Canadian authors
- Venture to the edge of a “bison jump,” where Aboriginal people hunted for thousands of years
- Dress in a period costume, join a class in a historic schoolhouse, sample heritage recipes, ride in a horse-drawn hay wagon, and stroll through the moonlight in search of ghosts from the past
Below are some ideas for Canadian Vacations on a budget:
- Grasslands National Park of CanadaFeatures dinosaur fossils, black-tailed prairie dogs, black-footed ferrets, bison, and more than 12,000 ancient teepee rings.
Activities: Backpacking, birding, camping, horseback riding, astronomy events, tours and more.
Fees: FREE. One night camping with pit is $15.70. Tours range from $2.90 to 3.90 per person.
- Fort Walsh National Historic Site of CanadaOffers guided tours of the fort’s buildings, picnic sites at the banks of Battle Creek, and plenty of wildlife including deer, moose, and elk.
Activities: Numerous children activities including marching drills, playing a Mountie (and kids, arrest your parents!). Swimming, fishing, and golfing are nearby at Cypress Hills Provincial Park.
Fees: Daily entry is $9.80 per adult, $4.90 per youth or $22 for a family. Special events are $2.90 per person. Other programs vary.
- Cave and Basin National Historic SiteOffers Lantern Tours, Banff Upper Hot Springs, caves, and educational events for kids and adults.
Activities: The Discovery Tour lets visitors dip their hands in steamy thermal waters, take an easy boardwalk stroll over pristine marshlands, and view a giant four-screen HD journey through Canada’s protected area. There are also an abundant amount of trails and a calendar of events.
Fees: $3.90 per adult, $4.90 per youth, or $24.50 for family. Events range in the $8 range.
- Halifax Citadel National Historic SiteGuided programs and tours, including the Xplorers program, a noon gun-firing demonstration, films, and numerous buildings to explore.
Activities: Ghost tours, soldier for a day, army museum, tailor shop, guard room tours.
Fees: Peak season costs $11.70 per adult, $5.80 per youth, $29.40 per family. Shoulder season costs $7.80 adult, $6.55 youth, and $19.60 per family.
- La Mauricie National ParkLocated in the Laurentian mountain range, this 536-kilometer natural conservation area is a representative sample of the southern part of the Canadian Shield.
Activities: Features lakes and forests, plus outdoor activities including swimming, fishing, canoeing, hiking, picnicking, camping, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing plus more.
Fees: $7.80 per adults, $3.90 per youth, or $19.60 for a family. Camping with showers $5.80 per person. Other fees may apply.
- Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic SiteFrom Canada Day to Labour Day, this site bustles with activity. Visit with the residents and military of Louisbourg, watch daily demonstrations, or take a guided tour.
Activities: Geocaching (modern day treasure hunt), walking trails, hidden beaches, Explora tours, and special events calendar.
Fees: $17.60 per adult, $8.80 per youth, $44.10 family. Special programs range from $24.90 to $50.
Want even more ways to save? Listen to Robert Loken, manager of visitor service, safety and facilities for Parks Canada …
The Parks Canada Discovery Pass is your doorway to exploring. This annual pass gives you unlimited opportunities to enjoy more than 100 national parks, national marine conservation areas and national historic sites across Canada for only $136.40 for a family – and you have more than a year to use the pass.
Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada believes family time and budgeting should go hand in hand.
“Family vacations are extremely important,” Schwartz says. “But they should not blow your budget because that only causes more stress during and after the vacation. Canada is a beautiful place and offers so much even for those on a strict budget.”
If you are having problems budgeting for a vacation or need financial services such as debt management programs or an individual who needs the help of a trained credit counsellor don’t wait to call us at 888-287-8506.