9 Stunning Places In Canada That Will Whisk You Away To The Tropics This Summer

No passport needed!

Person on a beach at sunset. Right: Hirtle's Beach in Nova Scotia.
Associate Editor

Person on a beach at sunset. Right: Hirtle's Beach in Nova Scotia.

White sandy beaches, turquoise waters and exotic gardens may sound like something you'd find on a Caribbean vacay, but you can actually enjoy it all here in Canada.

The country boasts several places that will have you feeling like you're in the tropics and you can enjoy it all without even crossing the border. From islands with crystal-clear waves to saltwater beaches, you can unwind in these tranquil spots.

Here are nine destinations to visit in Canada if you're craving a tropical escape this summer.

Devonian Gardens

Price: Free

Address: CORE Shopping Centre, 333 7 Ave. SW 4th floor, Calgary, AB

Why You Need To Go: You may not expect to find a taste of the tropics inside a shopping mall, but you can do just that at Devonian Gardens in Calgary, according to Travel Alberta.

Located in the CORE Shopping Centre, this "urban oasis" features over 500 trees, a 900 square-foot living wall, fountains, fish ponds, and more in its lush botanical garden.

You can wander through the 2.5 acres of tropical foliage at any point during the year to soak up some vacay vibes.

There are bistro tables and garden seating available so you can enjoy your lunch or read a book while surrounded by the lush greenery and colourful blooms.

Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible

Devonian Gardens website

Goose Spit

Price: Free

Address: 60 Hawkins Rd., Comox, BC

Why You Need To Go: If you're dreaming of a taste of the tropics then look no further than this beach in British Columbia. Goose Spit Park is known as "Little Mexico" and boasts sandy beaches and crystal water.

"With expansive stretches of sandy beach at low tide, this little oasis is a sanctuary for locals and visitors alike to fit in a quick escape," Destination BC told Narcity.

To experience "Little Mexico," you'll want to head to the very tip of Goose Spit near the the Comox Marina. While it is accessible by foot, it can make for a long walk, so the best way to get there is by kayak or paddle board.

Once there, you can enjoy a picnic and take a dip in the blue waters of this "sandy beach hero."

Goose Spit website

Pancake Bay

Price: Prices vary

Address: 12729 Hwy 17 N, Batchawana Bay, ON

Why You Need To Go: While Pancake Bay Provincial Park is actually located in Ontario, it will easily make you feel like you're on a southern vacation.

The area is known for its soft, white sand shores and Caribbean blue water. The beach boasts 3.2 kilometres of powdery sand and is dubbed "one of the finest beaches in North America."

The park is also home to several scenic trails, including The Pancake Bay Nature Trail which takes you along forested ancient beach ridges.

Pancake Bay Provincial Park website

Crystal Crescent Beach

Price: Free

Address: 220 Sambro Creek Rd., Sambro Creek, NS

Why You Need To Go: This Nova Scotia gem is an idyllic place to visit for anyone dreaming of a tropical escape, according to Nova Scotia Tourism. The area boasts three white sand crescent beaches as well as winding boardwalk trails.

The beach is located near Halifax, meaning that city-dwellers can easily enjoy a this little slice of paradise.

Crystal Crescent Beach Provincial Park website

Basin Head Provincial Park

Price: Free

Address: Basin Head Provincial Park, 318 Basin Head Rd., Souris, PE

Why You Need To Go: Prince Edward Island's Basin Head Beach is recommended by Tourism PEI and was named one of the top beaches in Canada by Vacay.ca and you'll feel like you're in another world when visiting this spot.

Boasting kilometres of the "whitest sand on the Island," the beach isn't just surreal to look at, it's also surreal to listen to.

The high silica content in the sand means that the beach will actually "sing" as you wander along its shores, earning the beach has been nickname "the Singing Sands."

Aside from the beach, the park offers a fisheries museum and on-site concession where you can grab some ice cream and enjoy your day in the sun.

Basin Head Provincial Park website

The Leaf

Price: $15 + per adult

Address: 145 Locomotive Dr., Winnipeg, MB

Why You Need To Go: If you're looking for some tropical feels in Manitoba then Travel Manitoba suggests you head to The Leaf at Assiniboine Park. This indoor horticultural attraction features four biomes which will transport you to another world.

The Hartley and Heather Richardson Tropical Biome is a "rainforest-like paradise is brimming with tropical plants" that serves as a dreamy oasis even during the winter months.

Not only can you explore endless exotic plants, but you can also see Canada's tallest indoor waterfall as well as a koi pond and plant types from tropical places around the world.

The Leaf website

Dingwall Beach

Price: Free

Address: Quarry Rd., Dingwall, NS

Why You Need To Go: Located along the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island, this hidden gem will whisk you away to a tropical dreamland. The beach features soft sandy shores and you can take in the views of the surrounding highlands.

The beach extends into the water, creating a small bay with salty waves on one side and ocean access on the other. You can relax on this mile-long shoreline and imagine you're in the tropics as you listen to the waves.

The beach also makes for a picturesque spot for a walk and has been named one of the 10 "most Instagrammable" places on Cape Breton Island.

Cape Breton Island website

Texada Island

Price: Transportation fee

Address: Texada Island, BC

Why You Need To Go: "The Sunshine Coast's Texada Island is surrounded by the pristine waters of the Strait of Georgia and is the largest Gulf Island," Destination BC told Narcity.

"It is known as the 'Jewel of the Georgia Strait' due to its coastline of beautiful secluded sandy beaches, rocky shores, and clear turquoise waters."

Compared to the rest of the country, this island "experiences a relatively mild Mediterranean climate" that is "reminiscent of tropical regions."

You can enjoy crystal-clear waters filled with marine life, explore lush forests with tropical feels, and stay in some unique B&Bs while visiting this spot, which is only accessible by ferry, boat, or plane.

Sunshine Coast website

Hirtle's Beach

Price: Free

Address: Kingsburg, NS

Why You Need To Go: Boasting 3 kilometres of white sand shores, this dreamy beach is a "nature enthusiast's paradise." It's known as a "living beach" because of the way the beach moves in response to the ocean's influence.

You can breathe in the fresh sea air as you stroll along the pristine beach and image you're in the tropics.

Hirtle's Beach website

Whether you want to discover a tropical-like place in your own province or head to another dreamy destination across Canada, these stunning spots are sure to fuel your wanderlust.

Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

Madeline Forsyth
Associate Editor
Madeline Forsyth is an Associate Travel Editor for Narcity Media focused on Canadian and global travel and is based in Toronto, Ontario.