10 off-beat destinations for great Canadian road trips
As travel restrictions start to ease, if you’re feeling the urge to get away but aren’t ready to get on a plane yet, there are many amazing destinations in Canada for you to explore by car. Each province still has its own rules and restrictions in place due to COVID-19, so be sure to consult the provincial government website of your intended destination to ensure your planned adventure is within the recommended guidelines.
There is still a lot of summer weather left in 2021, and fall is a gorgeous time to travel, so leave the passport at home and plan your ultimate Canadian road trip!
Vancouver and Victoria are obvious choices, but have you considered Pemberton, BC as a road trip destination? Around a two-hour drive from Vancouver, Pemberton boasts a host of summer activities from Agri-tourism to water activities. There is even a chance to catch a rare glimpse of a mountain goat or a rubber boa, one of the world’s most cold-tolerant species of snake, in the area’s provincial parks.
If snakes and other rugged outdoor adventures aren’t to your liking, BC’s interior region may be a little more your style. In the Okanagan Valley, about a four-hour drive from Vancouver, you will find lakes, beaches and an impressive assortment of wineries that are open for visits this year.
Before travelling, be sure to check local weather conditions.
While Jurassic Park was only a movie, dinosaurs once roamed free in what is now Alberta, and you have a chance to go on a Centrosaurus quarry hike to test your hand at fossil finding. Dinosaur Provincial Park has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s only about 90 minutes by car from Calgary.
Those who prefer to seek out the weird and wonderful in their summer travels should be pleased to learn the adventure they crave is only a few hours away from Calgary in Mundare, Alberta. Home to the world’s largest Ukrainian sausage, the town also features golfing and skateboarding attractions.
Well off the beaten path, but also well worth the trip, is Bon Echo Provincial Park. About a three-hour drive from Toronto, Bon Echo is home to Mazinaw Rock, which features over 260 Indigenous pictographs. It is the largest rock art site in the southern Canadian Shield and was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1982 because of its historical significance to the Algonquin people.
Sudbury’s Big Nickel is a popular tourist attraction, but did you know there’s more giant money on display in Southern Ontario? $1.95 more, to be precise. In addition to the famous Raney Gorge suspension bridge and cheese and chocolate factories, Trent Hills, Ontario, is home to a giant Toonie sculpture for your amusement. It’s less than a two-hour drive away from Toronto.
If your vehicle is equipped with bike racks, or you have enough trunk space to bring some two-wheeled vehicles along for the ride, you may hear the sound of Quebec’s Route Verte calling to you. It is a network of bike paths that is the longest in North America at more than 5,000 km long. You can hit 18 different tourist regions along the trails to get the most out of your road and bike adventure.
Mostly heralded as a famous destination for winter sports, Mont-Sainte-Anne also has a wealth of outdoor activities for visitors in the summer and fall. When it’s not in use for skiing, the resort at Mont-Sainte-Anne is a bustling hub of activity for those who prefer to avoid the cold. Golfing, hiking, canyoning and ropes courses are all available, and the three-hour drive from Montreal as the leaves change colours is sure to be breathtaking.
The waterfront of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, is a destination that is not to be missed, and it’s only a little over an hour away from Halifax by car. It’s another famous Canadian location that has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Restaurants in the area were able to expand patio spaces to allow for outdoor dining this year, allowing diners the opportunity to visit the area while maintaining a safe physical distance.
At just over an hour from either Moncton or Fredericton in New Brunswick, the Bay of Fundy offers scenery that must be seen to be believed. The area has the highest tides on earth and is acclaimed as one of the “Seven Wonders of North America” and is so beautiful you may never want to leave. But don’t stop there! New Brunswick has compiled a list of scenic road trips to take you to every area of the province.
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The last 17 months have been challenging so it’s important to remember to take a break. Loading up the car and hitting the road for an adventure in your own backyard is a great way to reconnect with both nature and your family. One of the most important things you can pack for travelling is a credit card that offers excellent travel benefits with no annual fee. The Home Trust Preferred Visa offers a host of travel-friendly benefits that can help you have the best road trip ever, including 1% cash back on all eligible purchases and guaranteed hotel reservations if you get delayed on the way.
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