Canada is a large, beautiful, diverse country with something for every age and taste to enjoy. As a result, it also offers many excellent road trips. Whether you’re looking to take in spectacular mountain ranges, picturesque wine country, vintage lighthouses, historic sites, or other vistas, you can find it here. Read on for some road trips in Canada you should add to your bucket list today.
Lighthouse Route in Nova Scotia
If you’re looking for charm aplenty, as well as to feel like you’ve stepped back in time, head to Nova Scotia. Drive the Lighthouse Route so you can take in some of the many pretty old lighthouses which are dotted around the province, as well as see well-preserved historical buildings, and quaint coastal fishing villages. This trip will keep you near the sea and all its corresponding appeal as you go.
The Lighthouse Route runs along the South Shore of Nova Scotia. It takes visitors past quiet bays which head out to small islands, plus there are rugged headlands as far as the eye can see. When driving this route, you have the chance to see 20-plus lighthouses. In particular, don’t miss the iconic Peggy’s Cove structure, which makes its way onto many tourism brochures and posters. The tall lighthouse at Cape Forchu in Yarmouth is also a must.
Niagara Parkway and Wine Region in Ontario
If tasting local wines is high up on your wish list, complete the Niagara Parkway drive at some point. Located in Ontario, this route stretches along the Niagara River for around 34 miles, and runs from the stunning Niagara-on-the-Lake suburb in the north (where you’ll find lots of excellent wineries), through to Fort Erie, an interesting and historic fort town, in the south. There is plenty of pretty countryside to admire as you drive, too.
If possible, organize this Ontario road trip for the fall months. During this time you’ll get to see all the burnt-orange colors of the leaves as they change hues and fall. As well, indulge your creative side at RiverBrink Art Museum in Queenston, or enjoy a splendid view at the town’s Heights Park. If you’re interested in plays, try to time your visit to coincide with the Shaw Festival. Held in Niagara-on-the-Lake each year, this event celebrates the everlasting works of playwright George Bernard Shaw.
Of course, no road trip to this part of Canada is complete without stopping in Niagara Falls. Book in to a hotel located in a prime position near the famous waterfalls, such as the famous Marriott on the Falls, so you can see the natural wonder from your room at any time of the day or night. You should also ride the Niagara SkyWheel for aerial views of the attraction and the surrounding region; and learn about history at the Old Niagara Fort while you’re in town.
Most visitors to Canada end up exploring British Columbia (home to Vancouver, one of the country’s biggest cities) during their trip. However, if you really want to see some of the best that this province has to offer, make sure you drive the Sea to Sky Highway. This route is one of the most famous in Canada, and begins in coastal Vancouver.
From Vancouver, drive onto Highway 99 and then make your way to the all-year-round tourist hotspot of Whistler. It was the location for the 2010 Winter Olympics, and is the place to go for brilliant hiking, cycling, and bear viewing in summer, or sledding, snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, and snowball fights in winter.
Along the Sea to Sky Highway you should also keep your eyes peeled for memorable sights such as majestic bald eagles; ocean vistas; picturesque snow-topped mountains; and streaming waterfalls. It pays to factor in stops at the seven interpretive kiosks situated along the route too, if you want to learn more about the region’s history, culture, and landscapes.
Viking Trail in Newfoundland
Lastly, it might not be the first thing that pops to mind when you think of Canada, but the country was once home to Viking communities. To learn more about this, head to Newfoundland, and drive the Viking Trail. This road trip will take you from the west coast of the province through to the southern side of neighboring Labrador.
During the drive you’ll get to see UNESCO World Heritage sites like L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site of Canada and Gros Morne National Park of Canada. The scenic route also boasts exhibits and interpretation centers to stop at along the way, plus plenty of places to stretch your legs with a good hike.