The Getaway
Canadian Road Trips Even Locals Will Love

Canada is big. That's not news to anyone, but seriously check it out on a map it's enormous. Planes are great if you just want to get to your destination, but a road trip offers a chance to slow down and enjoy the view.

Forget the long trips to visit family over the holidays, trapped in a car with your siblings listening to your dad sing along to the radio. Because road trips are cool again.

Grab the snacks, make a playlist, and get some buddies together. It's time for a road trip!


01 Cabot Trail

A 185 mile (298 kilometers) road that follows the curves of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, this road trip winds through dramatic landscapes. This trip has plenty of stopping points to get out and admire the views.

Keep an eye open for moose in the forests, and whales in the sea. The area has a wealth of pubs with excellent food and live music too, making it a great option for a 5-day road trip.

Red Fishing Boats on in a little fishing village on the shores of Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada bjmc / Getty Images

02 Nanaimo To Tofino

After sailing on the ferry across the Strait of Georgia and landing on Vancouver Island, you'll be at the start of a 129-mile (207-kilometer) section of the Pacific Rim Highway.

This trip will take about two hours, including stops. MacMillian Park is one of the locations on the road, and worth a mini-break to stand beneath the giant 800-year-old fir trees.

Floating Houses in Cowichan Bay Vancouver Island. Canada. ferrantraite / Getty Images

03 Saskatchewan Road Trip To Saskatoon

This road trip is perfect for those who love culture and history. The road begins in Regina, where in summer, you can watch the bright red mounties on parade. Then drive on to learn about how the town of Moose Jaw played an important role in booze during prohibition.

Spend some time in the outdoors sailing on Lake Diefenbaker or even working on a cattle ranch at La Reata Ranch. Finally, let your hair down and party the night away in Saskatoon.

Storm clouds building up on a lonely prairie road. mysticenergy / Getty Images


04 Niagara To Quebec

For a longer trip of about six days with stops, try this journey from Niagara Falls up to Tadoussac, then back down to Montreal.

This road trip has a nice mixture of natural wonders and rural and city sites. From the roaring waters of Niagara Falls, continue to the capital city of Ottawa. Get back to nature by driving on to La Mauricie National Park. Then continue to Quebec to sample the French culture.

Mother and daughter playing soccer by the lake at their summer cottage in Quebec.View from the car. The camping tent is setup ready for the night Warchi / Getty Images

05 Icefields Route

For a shorter trip, the Icefields Route joins Banff to Jasper through the Rocky Mountains. Waterfalls, massive rock cliffs, glaciers, and big blue skies are a photographer's dream.

Although the 144 miles (232 kilometers) can easily be finished in a day, the views are so incredible you'll be stopping every five minutes to gaze around in wonder. So, take your time and give this road trip about two days.

Banff National Park Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

06 Prairies To Lakes

The Canadian Prairies are a land of big blue skies, acres of wildflowers, and long straight roads. Sat between Ontario and the Rocky Mountains, the Trans-Canada Highway is more than 5,000 miles long. You can do the whole stretch or a part of it, depending on the time you have.

This is a good trip for those who want to get away from it all. For miles of asphalt, you may be the only person around, except for your friends, of course. There are the occasional town and city to stop in, but the magic of this route is the open road itself.

Endless Open Highway along the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Trans Canada Highway from Calgary to Jasper, Alberta, Canada Mlenny / Getty Images

07 Sunshine Coast

Highway 101 runs along Canada's Sunshine Coast, although there's no guarantee it'll be sunny since it's located in a temperate rainforest. No matter the weather, the views are always spectacular.

Try a side trip off the highway, like a guided tour around Townsite Brewery. There are even non-alcoholic beers and wines for the designated driver. Or spend an afternoon at the farmers market beside River Powell, nibbling homemade cakes and looking at souvenirs.

A lonely dock on a calm lake. Jump in! feelingphotosuz / Getty Images

08 Bay Of Fundy Road Trip

The Bay of Fundy has the world's highest tides, and if that isn't enough to impress you, there's also camping sea caves and urban dining on this road trip.

One end of this road trip is in the city of Moncton. Explore the fine dining and bustling attractions before continuing south to Hopewell Rocks. At these rocks, you can see the staggering 48-foot (14.6 meters) tide and hire a kayak to look for seals. Keep going south to Cape Enrage, the quaint town, then on to the Fundy National Park. Finish up in the old shipbuilding town of St. Martins.

The Bay of Fundy tides are the highest tides in the world, with 160 billion tonnes of seawater gushing in and out of the bay twice a day. Photo by Peter Lloyd on Unsplash

09 Whale Spotting Route

Also, along the Bay of Fundy, this route of about 186 miles (300 kilometers) should take about five days if you include stops. Starting in the charming City of Saint John, the route goes around the southern coast to St. Stephen with a day trip out to the Fundy Isles.

From Saint John, go south to the Fundy Isles, where locals will take you on whale-watching trips. Campobello Island's Herring Cove Park is a great option for camping and RVs. Finish off in St. Stephen, a town with a serious sweet tooth. St. Stephen has the world's oldest candy company and a museum all about chocolate.

The beautiful Caledonia Highlands of Fundy National Park, New Brunswick, Canada. The park is situated in the transition zone where, to the North, lies a strictly boreal coniferous forest and, to the South, a forest dominated by deciduous trees. Instants / Getty Images

10 Sea To Sky Highway

A short road trip between the cities of Vancouver and Whistler; you can drive this route in about two hours. But even though it's a short journey, there is plenty to see and to do.

Shannon Falls a 1,106 foot (335 meters) waterfall is impressive, as is Whytecliff Park. However, the sea-to-sky gondola is the main attraction which travels up to scenic views across British Columbia.

An inukshuk in Whistler, BC, Canada. This beautiful inukshuk - a rock statue that was symbolic for First Nations people - stands at the top of Whistler Mountain in the Whistler Blackcomb Resort in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. The image was taken in summer. ImagineGolf / Getty Images

11 Okanagan Valley

Perfect for foodies, this is not your typical road trip. However, the award-winning vineyards and restaurants here make it an excellent journey.

Rather than planning a start and endpoint, find the restaurants and wineries that suit your likes and join them up to make your own tasty itinerary. Some of the locations are only open in the summer, so do a little research before you travel.

vineyard on skaha lake located in the okanagan near penticton laughingmango / Getty Images

12 Isolated Dempster Highway

Joining Dawson to Inuvik, the Dempster Highway is the only road across the Arctic Circle. The landscape is like nowhere else on earth and is one of the most unique driving experiences you can have.

Go in summer, as these roads are strictly for ice truckers outside this season. Either travel in an RV or bring supplies with you, as there are few accommodation options.

"RV on Dempster Highway above Arctic Circle, Canada" oksanaphoto / Getty Images

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