So you want to go on a road trip through Canada? Well get ready for the adventurer of a lifetime. Get your car ready, blare your music and get on that open road. You are in for a trip that’s not only adventurous but scenic and exciting as well. We have put together the best places to go whether you have a few days or a few hours to spare.
1. Vancouver to Tofino, BC
Start off by heading to Horseshoe Bay to grab the ferry to Nanaimo and then hit the Pacific Rim Highway where you will get a gorgeous view of mountains, coast, and a bit of rainforest. You will want to make stops at Coombs Country Market to see their famous Goats on the Roof as well as grab some souvenirs. Cathedral Grove is a mystical forest with trees that are over 800 years old. Before arriving in Tofino you will reach Ucluelet where you can enjoy some big waves in this laid back town.
2. Toronto to Vancouver
If you have never taken a train before you are going to want to take this trip on the Canadian Rail. The great part about it is you get to relax while travelling, without worrying about other drivers, accommodations or gps. You can travel through the prairies in three days while enjoying spectacular views on the way.
3. The Cabot Trail, Cape Breton, NS
Coastal views, cliffs and wonderful beaches, this is what you will find on this beautiful road trip. The Maritime hospitality will allow you to stop and do virtually anything you want such as shop, hike, swim, fish, horseback ride, scuba dive or check out some lighthouses. If you enjoy golfing, they also have 6 top notch golf courses for you to golf at your leisure.
4. Sea to Sky Country, British Columbia
If it’s diversity you’re after, Highway 99 – aptly named the Sea to Sky Highway – will make you glad you loaded up on memory cards for your digital camera. Starting just outside Vancouver in Horseshoe Bay, the route offers a little of everything from the coastal rain forest along Howe Sounds to the fierce mountain peaks on route to Whistler.
While the highway is a convenient way to travel from city to city, this 125 km route has plenty of reasons to explore along the way. Small communities dot the route, including the former mining community of Britannia Beach and the just-right-sized town of Squamish, where you can learn more about Aboriginal culture and art. Designated lookouts offer some fantastic photo ops, but you can get up close and personal with the terrain at one of the many provincial parks along the way – including waterfalls spilling over towering cliffs.
5. Irish Loop Drive, NL
If you enjoy fishing why not hit up one of the fishing villages to have that one of a kind fishing experience. Take Route 90 out of St. John;s and it will bring you through a region marked with seascapes, rolling hills and fishing villages. They also have whale and bird watching tours in Bay Bulls. The local accent actually sounds pretty close to an Irish accent, so listen for it.
6. Eastern Townships, Quebec
Drive towards North Hatley towards the Manoir Hovey. If you want a luxurious getaway this is the place to head to. You get a jacuzzi, water view, gourmet food and Champagne. Luxury living at it’s best and on the way there you can find stands for produce and maple syrup as well as pick apples in the orchards or make your own cheese.
7. Stratford, ON
This is a short drive for anyone that lives in the Toronto area. This is a great getaway for a weekend or even a day trip. It features historic inns, a scenic riverfront and many places for strolling and sightseeing. They also have a the Stratford Festival for people who love theatre. They host many free concerts and have many amazing places to go shopping.
8. Icefields Parkway, Alberta
How often do you get a good look at a glacier – or experience ice in the summer? Though the Icefields Parkway runs a modest 232 km between Jasper and Banff, you’ll want to allow plenty of time for stops. Winding along the edge of the Great Divide, the route promises pretty views of lush meadows, waterfalls and the snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains. While a short route, there are places you’ll want to stop for the night – like alongside the pristine turquoise waters of glacier-fed Lake Louise.
Of course, the massive swath of ice that is the Columbia Icefields isn’t for admiring from afar. In the summer, visitors can board an ice explorer and venture out onto the surface the Athabasca Glacier. This “finger” of the Columbia Icefield is about 6 km long, 1 km wide and up to 300 m deep. If you prefer to go on foot, book a guided hike from the Columbia Icefield Centre instead.
Naturally, there’s much more to explore in Alberta, including the Drumheller, the “dinosaur capital of the world” and home to the Canadian Badlands.