Canada’s summer-only hostels: check ‘em out while you can

May 28, 2018

Summer days are here again! Tis the season to dust off the front desks at a few of our favourite summer-only hostels across the country. Looking to get the most out of your summer? Try one of these hot spots in some of the country’s best destinations for long, lazy days under the sun—and get there before they close up again for winter.

HI Vancouver Jericho Beach, British Columbia

Jericho Beach is one of the many sandy beaches that line Vancouver’s shores, and it might just be the best one. HI Vancouver Jericho Beach is inside a park, a short walk from the water, where you can play beach volleyball, park yourself next to a driftwood log for the afternoon or gaze out at the sunset over English Bay and the North Shore Mountains. There’s even an on-site restaurant so you don’t need to venture too far from the beach (but downtown is a 20-minute bus ride away if you need it). More details >>

Open: now ‘til the end of September

HI Shuswap Lake, British Columbia

Shuswap Lake winds through the hilly terrain of south-central British Columbia and HI Shuswap Lake sits right on the shore. You can sleep in a caboose at night and spend your days lounging on the dock, or borrow a canoe or a self-guided hiking kit (including binoculars) and go out and explore. The Squilax General Store is right on site with basic supplies, and you can take part in a daily all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast or afternoon high tea on the weekends (and HI members get a discount on both)! More details >>

Open: now ‘til mid-November

Hi Shuswap

HI Yoho National Park, British Columbia

This hostel may have our shortest opening season of the year. Tucked way up a mountain road in Yoho National Park, the Whiskey Jack Wilderness Hostel has to wait until the snow melts on the access road before it can open up for the summer, and that usually doesn’t happen ‘round here ‘til late June. But when it does, it gets you direct drive-up access to the hostel as well as the thundering Takakkaw Falls, which you can see and hear from the hostel deck. Venture farther beyond to multiple day-long and multi-day hikes in the areas, and kick back in the hostel’s rustic, cozy atmosphere at night. More details >>

Open: June 29 - September 23, 2018

HI Ste-Anne-des-Monts, Sea Shack, Quebec

Sea Shack is basically a Gaspé institution. Known for their wide variety of sleeping options—yurts, cabins, tents, dorms—and their epic nights at the beachside tiki bar, HI Sea Shack pretty much guarantees a good time all summer long. And staff (and some guests) probably need the entire winter to recover afterwards. During the day, explore the St. Lawrence River at your toetips with a kayak, a snorkel, a fishing rod, a standup paddleboard or just a hammock and your eyes. At night, head to the tiki bar and try to catch one of the many live shows scheduled all summer long, featuring local and bigger-name acts. More details >>

Open: now ‘til October

Sea Shack

HI Davidson, Esprit Rafting, Quebec

Right on the Ottawa River on the Quebec/Ontario border, HI Davidson is part of a whitewater rafting company, where you can easily combine your hostel stay with some adventures on the rapids. Choose from a range of rafting trips, and cap your day off riverside with a free après-rafting beverage and a night at the hostel on site. More details >>

Open: May to September

HI Anse-au-Griffon, Griffon Aventure, Quebec

HI Griffon Aventure sits at the very tip of the Gaspé Peninsula, right next to Forillion National Park. You’ll have a hard time deciding which sleeping option to choose from—one of about five unique cabins, a prospector tent or an old beached fishing boat? But once that’s sorted, go hiking, canyoning, snorkelling or kayaking, or head out on the hostel’s own Balbuzard boat for a guided all-day deep-sea fishing trip and catch yourself some dinner. More details >>

Open: May to October

Anse Au Griffon

HI Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia

There’s a reason the Cabot Trail is consistently ranked one of THE best road trips on the planet. The meandering road winds around and over the Cape Breton Highlands with stunning views at every bend, plus a ton of cute towns and amazing hiking routes all along the way. HI Cabot Trail is in one of those towns, Pleasant Bay, on the northwest side of the cape, just outside of Cape Breton Highlands National Park. From the hostel, you can walk to the beach or head out whale watching. More details >>

Open: now ‘til October 21, 2018

HI Cape Breton Island, Bear on the Lake Guesthouse, Nova Scotia

Over on the other side of Cape Breton, HI Cape Breton Island, Bear on the Lake Guesthouse is a great lakeside spot to stop before starting your Cabot Trail adventure or before catching the ferry from North Sydney to Newfoundland. Overlooking Bras d’Or Lakes, the hostel is a great place to kick back and relax in a hammock before carrying on. The hostel also rents out bikes and kayaks so you can enjoy the area at your own pace. More details >>

Open: now until October 26, 2018

Cape Breton

HI Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Our only hostel on Prince Edward Island, HI Charlottetown, is a cute spot in the island’s capital city (population 36,000). From your home base in Charlottetown, explore the city’s charms, from food and drink to theatre and the arts. Then venture further afield and hit up the Anne of Green Gables house, wander the red-sand beaches, bike or hike along the Confederation Trail and then return to the hostel to fire up the BBQ on the back deck, and browse through the hostel’s extensive vinyl collection. More details >>

Open: now ‘til mid-October

HI Trinity, Skerwink Hostel, Newfoundland

Get a taste of rural Newfoundland life in the small village of Trinity East. You can cram a ton into a visit at HI Trinity—whale watching (and puffin spotting), hiking, guided walking tours, culinary delights (including a brewery within walking distance), arts and music and tons of good times back at the hostel with your hosts, Martha and Gavin. More details >>

Open: now ‘til October

Whale Watching in Newfoundland

HI Bonavista, Newfoundland

Indulge in the life of lobster and lighthouses at HI Bonavista, about 3.5 hours north of St. John’s. Check out the iconic red-and-white-striped lighthouse out at the cape, or explore nearby Dungeon Provincial Park for views of a collapsed sea cave and Newfoundland’s rugged coast (and maybe spot some whales and/or icebergs). Rent a bike from the hostel and go find some amazing seafood eats at the local pubs and restaurants in town. More details >>

Open: now ‘til October

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