Best Time to Visit USA & Canada
The answer to this often-posed question largely depends on what you’re planning to do. Both the USA and Canada generally follow the same seasonal patterns, where spring falls roughly from March to May, summer from June to August, autumn from September to November and winter from December to February.
In Canada, the best time to travel is usually considered to be the summer months, when the weather is warmest. July and August are particularly popular, but it’s well worth considering June, September or October when it can be a touch quieter. The salmon run lasts from late August to November and is the best time for grizzly bear sightings.
In the USA, the summer months do tend to be most popular too, although certain areas can become stiflingly hot. If you are planning to travel to cities such as New York or Seattle, we would recommend spring or autumn to avoid the heat. The further south you go, the hotter it gets, so you can expect sunny weather in Southern California or Florida almost all year round. If you’ve got New England’s famous fall colours on your bucket list, the best time to travel is October and early November. If you’re looking to ski, whether in the USA or Canada, you’ll want to travel from December to April.
Winter (December - February)
Winter in North America usually brings snowfall in abundance which attracts skiers in their masses in search of powder which can deliver an off the scale epic experience. The ski resorts in Colorado offer are popular with their lively resorts and immaculately groomed slopes, whilst in Utah, the sublime powder and trees skiing always delivers. In Canada, there is world class skiing to be had in Whistler, where Christmas and New Year are always lively. And for those in search of the ultimate ski experience, the heliskiing in British Columbia is out of this world. If you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights which often light up the night skies at this time of year.
The Festive period is a magical experience wherever you are in North America. In New York the city is bustling with shoppers; don't miss the Christmas Tree at the Rockefeller Center, one of the cities most iconic features. and the New Year celebrations vy for top spot in the world - Times Square is the place to be. Be prepared to wrap up warm at this time of year as temperatures can be well below zero.
Spring (March - May)
Spring heralds warmer temperatures and this a great time to squeeze in a ski trip over Easter before the season finishes. Bluebird days and fabulous snow conditions make skiing at this time of year unmissable. St Patrick's Day celebrations in March are legendary, particularly in New York and Chicago where even the river turns green. With the warmer temperatures, the snow starts to melt in the northern half of the country, whilst down south, warm days give plenty of opportunity for exploring. As nature emerges after winter, so the National Parks and forests burst into life. California is the place to be spring - pick up your convertible and hit the road!
Summer (June - August)
For those not tied to school holidays, June is a wonderful time to head to the States or Canada. Long, warm sunny days make for great hiking conditions, the snow has melted yielding fast flowing rivers and the wildlife abundant. With the advent of July and August comes the peak season, one of the most popular times to visit. The Calgary Stampede is one to tick off in Canada with the pinnacle of celebrations in the States culminating on July 4th and no matter where you are, there'll be fireworks lighting up the summer skies. Long sunny days are perfect for getting into the great outdoors; whether that's exploring National Parks, catching some waves on the coast or taking in the city sights.
Autumn (September - November)
As the summer days transition to autumn, nature puts on a spectacular exhibition of colour, which brings visitors flocking from across the globe. Vibrant displays of gold, orange and scarlet foliage produce stunning vistas, with New England the place to head to witness nature's display of fiery colour. Bright sunny days, pleasant temperatures make it an appealing time to visit, with less crowds.
November is all about Thanksgiving, which falls on the fourth Thursday this month, with celebratory parades in many cities, with New York in particular putting on a resplendent spectacle. Families and friends gather together to celebrate this national holiday with traditional thanksgiving dinner usually involving turkey, followed by pumpkin pie.
- Winter (December - February)
- Spring (March - May)
- Summer (June - August)
- Autumn (September - November)