Home Trust Blog

Five road trip ideas across the border for the Labour Day weekend

Summer’s last hurrah is fast approaching, and Canadians across the country are getting ready for the Labour Day weekend. With numerous destinations in the United States just a few hours from the border, the long weekend is the perfect opportunity for a memorable road trip down south.

Depending on where you are in Canada, consider these destinations across the Canada-US border if you’re thinking about hitting the road over the Labour Day long weekend.

1. Seattle, WA

A little under two hours away from the Peace Arch Border Crossing in British Columbia, Seattle is just a stone’s throw away from Vancouver. The largest city in the US Pacific Northwest, Seattle is a bustling and lively destination nestled between the striking landscapes of the Puget Sound along the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains.

While Seattle offers a myriad of year-round attractions that appeal to both outdoor enthusiasts and urban explorers – including Discovery Park and the famous Pike Place Market – it’s the Bumbershoot Arts & Music Festival that makes the city a great destination for the Labour Day long weekend. The event features a compelling lineup of musicians, visual artists and culinary samplings from local restaurants.

2. Portland, OR

If you want to extend your road trip from Seattle, just head south on Interstate 5 to get to the laid-back city of Portland. Known for its natural beauty, farm-to-table culinary scene and vibrant arts community, Portland offers an interesting blend of cultural and outdoor activities.

And if you’re looking for things to do in Portland over the Labour Day weekend, seek out city’s annual Art in the Pearl Fine Arts & Crafts Festival where “over one hundred artists show and sell work ranging from fine wooden furniture to beautiful paintings to photography, glass, clay, metal and jewelry.”

3. Burlington, VT

Under an hour away from the Highgate Springs–St. Armand/Philipsburg Border Crossing near Montreal is the charming city of Burlington in Vermont. Situated along Lake Champlain against the backdrop of the Green Mountains, Burlington is a small and picturesque New England city that also serves as a fantastic jump-off point for the rest of the small State of Vermont. For the quintessential Vermont experience, you can visit the pedestrianized Church Street Marketplace for a scoop or two of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

And on Labour Day weekend, nearby Essex Junction has been hosting the annual Champlain Valley Fair since 1922. The event features rides, food and concerts and is fun for the whole family!

4. Ann Arbor, MI

The home of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor is around 50 minutes away from the Ambassador Bridge border crossing in Windsor, Ontario. Visitors can take in a range of cultural attractions attached to the university, including the University of Michigan’s Museum of ArtMuseum of Natural History and Kelsey Museum of Archeology. The university’s Michigan Stadium – affectionately known as “The Big House” –  is also located in the city and is the largest stadium in the US and the third largest in the world.

As a college town, Ann Arbor gets busy over Labour Day weekend with students moving in before the start of classes in the fall which creates a lively atmosphere.

5. The Finger Lakes, NY

The Finger Lakes is a region centred around a group of 11 narrow lakes located in western and central New York State, roughly two hours away from the Peace Bridge border crossing in Niagara Falls, Ontario. With vineyards, waterfalls, walking trails and farmers’ markets, the region offers plenty of activities for all kinds of traveller.

Labour Day weekend in the Finger Lakes also sees the annual New York State Fair in the city of Syracuse.  Hosting a wide showcase of “numerous animals, hundreds of commercial attractions scores of exciting midway rides, and dozens of big-name entertainers,” the fair bills itself as a “great time, every time!”

How much can I bring back to Canada?

If you’re looking to get some shopping done on your road trip in the US, the Canada Border Services Agency has the following guidelines regarding how much you can bring back with you to Canada.

Plan your trip with a travel-friendly credit card

If you’re planning to go on a road trip to the US over the Labour Day weekend, be sure to book your trip with a travel-friendly credit card like the Home Trust Preferred Visa. Not only can you save up to 2.5% with no foreign exchange purchases made in US dollars with no foreign exchange fee, but you will also earn 1% cash back on all eligible purchases and benefit from no caps on the cash back you earn. Additionally, you can also request a guaranteed hotel reservation and your room will be held for you even if you arrive late. Learn more by visiting hometrust.ca/credit-cards/preferred-visa-card.

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