Activities

10 great Canadian road trips

Slowing down and shifting gears is what summer’s all about. Rev up your regular routine and hit the open road, exploring the best of each province with these divine drives.

By Jody Robbins

10 great Canadian road trips

10 great Canadian road trips

British Columbia: Vernon to Naramata

Snaking south along Highway 97 is a veritable feast for the eyes (and tummies, if you allow for pitstops). Sandy beaches beckon along Lake Okanagan, so pack your suits for a dip in Canada’s warmest lake. There’s no shortage of artisan producers along this route, from fruit farms to apiaries to vineyards, you won’t go hungry. Motor over to Elephant Island Orchard Wines, a family-friendly winery, where the tots can enjoy a teddy bear picnic under the canopy of magnificent oaks and elms.

Click here for more information>

10 great Canadian road tripsPhoto: Chris Mason Stearns, Penticton & Wine Country Tourism

Alberta: The Dinosaur Route

Petite paleontologists putter through the Canadian Badlands, along the dinosaur trail. Starting in Drumheller, stand inside the jaws of the world’s largest Tyrannosaurus Rex, before investigating other jurassic creatures at the Royal Tyrrell Museum. The bones of these fierce predators are found a two-hour drive southeast, in Dinosaur Provincial Park, where families can discover fossils on a safari tour. Don’t worry about roughing it. The park boasts comfort camping suites complete with beds, heat and electricity.

Click here for more information>

10 great Canadian road tripsPhoto: The Government of Alberta

Saskatchewan: Saskatoon to Prince Albert National Park

Buffalo really do roam wild on the prairie — if you know where to find them. Jaunt north of Saskatoon, to the Waskesiu Wilderness Region, barreling past fields of rippling wheat and up to the edge of the boreal forest. To get up close and personal with these impressive beasts, you’ll have to hop out of the car. The choice is yours, either saddle up on a horse, or hitch a ride in a wagon, à la Little House on the Prairie, with Sturgeon River Ranch, the stewards of Canada’s only free range herd.

Click here for more information>

10 great Canadian road tripsPhoto: waskesiuwildernessregion.com

Manitoba: Winnipeg to Grand Beach

An hour and a half north of Winnipeg, is no place for Ophidiophobes. The rugged interlake region is littered with limestone dens, home to the snakes of Narcisse — the biggest population of red-sided garters in the world. Don’t worry, these harmless reptiles are most active in spring and fall, so if you don’t feel like a visit, cruise along to the southern edge of Lake Winnipeg. It’s easy to down shift in Grand Beach, where the prairie sea beckons with gentle waves and miles of creamy sand.

Click here for more information>

10 great Canadian road tripsPhoto: Shel Zolkewich

Ontario: Toronto to Tobermory

For a breath of fresh air, and stunning views of limestone-enhanced teal water, follow the Niagara escarpment as it runs along the Georgian Bay peninsula. For the most scenic route, take the 400 out of Toronto to Highway 26, cutting across at Barrie. You’ll come across quaint, historic towns, ripe with famers markets and plenty of beaches to picnic at along the way.

Click here for more information>

10 great Canadian road tripsPhoto: Tobermory.com

Quebec: Montreal to Gatineau

Take a Sunday drive along Route 148, meandering through charming villages that flank the Outaouais River, in la belle province. Be sure to brake for Parc Oméga, just outside of Montebello, where you can view bison and bears roaming in their natural habitat, and even feed deer from your vehicle. Before continuing on to Gatineau, stock up on snacks from ChocoMotive, an artisanal chocolatier, housed in a historic train station.

Click here for more information>

10 great Canadian road tripsPhoto: Parc Omega

Newfoundland: The Viking Trail

Step back in time and steer through 1,000 year-old Viking settlements along the windswept northwestern seaboard. Over mountains, through dense valleys and along the rugged coastline you’ll go, on a route that can take anywhere from two to ten days. It’s easy to get the wiggles out, with gentle hikes and strolls along the secluded shore. You probably wouldn’t expect to see sand dunes in this province, but you’ll find them at Cow Head, the most northerly settlement at Gros Morne National Park.

Click here for more information>

10 great Canadian road tripsPhoto: Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism

New Brunswick: Fundy Coastal Drive

See the world’s highest tides as you watch whales breach off the coast, while cruising along the Fundy Trail, all the way from Moncton to Maine. Pull over and explore the bay during low tide at The Hopewell Rocks. Just be sure to bring an extra set of clothes in the car, as playing in the ocean mud is a obligatory here as noshing on a lobster roll in Alma. For warmer water, take to the tides when they’re going out, or hit up New River Beach.

Click here for more information>

10 great Canadian road tripsPhoto: thehopewellrocks.ca

Nova Scotia: The Lighthouse Route

Over 20 lighthouses stand proud on the southern shore, including the infamous Peggy’s Cove, where wee ones can explore the rocks or watch the catch of the day being reeled into this genuine fishing village. Following the craggy coastline from Halifax to St. Mary’s Bay, you’ll come across secluded inlets, miles of pristine beach and biking opportunities along the spectacular Aspotogan Peninsula.

Click here for more information>

10 great Canadian road tripsPhoto: peggyscoveregion.com

Prince Edward Island: Touring the Central Coast

With the island's irregular shape, you’re guaranteed an awe-inspiring coastal drive in pretty much any direction. Head for the north shore on Route 20, to where action awaits in Cavendish, known as the Cuncun of PEI. Here, you’ll want to make time to explore both Green Gables Heritage Place and Shining Waters Family Fun Park. Complete the central circuit, by heading south along Green Gables Drive towards Central Bedeque, to sink your toes into the famous red sand beaches or make the kids dig for dinner clamming.

Click here for more information>

10 great Canadian road tripsPhoto: Tourism PEI

This article was originally published on Jun 21, 2012
FILED UNDER:
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement