Ready to hit the road and travel across Canada? Here are 11 Great Canadian Road Trips to add to your summer bucket list. Do one or do them all, and take in some of the diverse landscapes and destinations in Canada.
July is the perfect time to take a family road trip – school’s out so the kids are up for an adventure!
There are endless possibilities when it comes to the type of road trips you can take from a local destination, to one across the country.
Not sure where you want to go? Here are some great adventures to get your mind wandering and maybe inspire your next trip. Read more below!
Vancouver to Tofino, British Columbia.
Looking for something truly picturesque? Head to Canada’s surf capital – Tofino.
Get your family on a ferry from Vancouver to Nanaimo and drive along the Pacific Rim Highway for a truly breathtaking view of mountains and lakes, along with rainforest.
The area is also known for its trees, which grow in spectacular sizes.
Some trees are believed to be 1000 years old.
The Sea to Sky Highway, British Columbia.
Take the 2 hours long drive from Vancouver to Whistler along the winding Sea to Sky highway with a breathtaking continuous view of the Coast Mountains and Howe Sound.
Starting just outside Vancouver in Horseshoe Bay, the route offers a little of everything from the coastal rain forest along Howe Sounds to the fierce mountain peaks on route to Whistler.
Prepare to stop along the way at various small communities to learn about local history and Aboriginal culture, and designated lookouts offering fantastic photo ops along the way.
Be sure to visit the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish, British Columbia for fantastic views of Howe sound.
Calgary to Icefields Parkway, Alberta.
How often do you get a good look at a glacier in the summer?
You will want to leave early in the morning and head for Lake Louise, arriving in time for a picnic lunch by the beautiful crystal-blue water of the glacier-fed lake.
Next, head along the Icefields Parkway – a winding route that takes you along the edge of the Great Divide with pretty views of lush meadows, snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains and plenty of waterfalls.
You can even board an ice explorer and travel out right onto the surface of the Athabasca Glacier. Alternatively, drive south down Moraine Lake Road and stop by the gorgeous Moraine Lake for breathtaking views.
The Dempster Highway, Yukon and Northwest Territories.
If you are looking for a totally unique road trip then head north to the Dempster Highway on a 734km route that takes you from Dawson City, Yukon across the Arctic Circle to Inuvik, Northwest Territories.
It is the only public highway in the Western Hemisphere that allows you to cross the Arctic Circle in a car.
The drive is definitely more rugged and challenging than your average highway. Plan your trip for late August when the tundra and mountain ranges offer some of their best views.
Don’t forget to stop when it gets dark and enjoy the opportunity to see the Northern Lights – another reason to wait for late August when darkness does fall for a few hours.
Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie, Ontario.
Make your way from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie along the gently winding Trans Canada highway as it cuts through boreal forest and the Canadian Shield along Lake Superior’s north shore.
As you make your way through check out sites like Kakabeka Falls, Sleeping Giant National Park (particularly the drive up to the Thunder Bay Lookout), the Oumert Canyon, Wawa’s Goose and Old Woman’s Bay.
Truly the quintessential summer escape from the big city, you’ll practically feel the stress lifting as you start driving into cottage country.
There are several scenic route options, dotted with great ice cream parlours along the way, which all lead to good times ahead. Whether you stay for the day or rent a cottage, you’ll want to make sure you stop at Webers in Orillia, a Canadian burger landmark since 1963.
Prince Edward County, Ontari0.
Take the scenic drive along the Loyalist Parkway along Lake Ontario through the county.
Driving into Prince Edward County you almost feel as if you have stepped into a completely different environment – the pastoral settings will almost melt away any stress in your life.
There are towns and villages that almost seem untouched by time with hidden treasures everywhere from an incredible number of wineries to artisanal cheeses, an emerging art scene and of course the best beaches at North Beach Provincial Park, and Sandbanks Provincial Park.
Quebec City, Quebec.
Whatever direction you’re coming in from, stop in a few francophone villages on your way into the old city to soak up the culture, food and French!
Making your way through the beautiful and lush countryside, you’ll be thrilled to arrive at your final destination: old Quebec City, a city full of history, architecture, cobble stone streets and endless charm.
Points East Coastal Drive, P.E.I.
Points East Coastal Drive covers the eastern end of the Island where you will find pristine beaches, parks, lighthouses and trails culminating with the East Point Lighthouse.
Along the drive you will want to make your first stop the Orwell Corner Historic Village which recreates a late nineteenth century village including a farm, shingle mill, church, store, and community hall.
If historical attractions are of interest you will also want to stop at the Macphail Homestead right next door and the Roma at Three Rivers National Historic site – a 1732 settlement.
Fundy Trail, New Brunswick.
The Bay of Fundy is home to the world’s highest tide which comes with some unique and pretty incredible sights.
The best way to take this all in is by driving along the Fundy Trail.
It is a multi-use trail but families should consider driving along and parking at various stops along the way.
There are plenty of look-outs along the way so you can take in all the sights including the amazing Fundy coastline, however the Hopewell Rocks are actually located in The Rocks Provincial Park.
Be sure to set aside some time to drive down to the Hopewell Rocks while you are in New Brunswick, it’s worth the drive!
The Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia.
The Cabot Trail, on Cape Breton island is ranked #1 among US and Canadian island destinations by Travel + Leisure magazine, and best road trip by Lonely Planet.
The area offers magnificent coastal views with spectacular cliffs and stunning beaches, as well as the opportunity for a game of golf and to enjoy world-renowned fresh lobster and crab dishes.
Before you head out on a great adventure, make sure you’re well prepared, especially when kids are involved – we’re hoping for less “are we there yet?” and more “wow, this is amazing!” You’ll want to make sure you pack all the road trip essentials like snacks and your GPS but don’t forget some very practical products that belong in your travel toolkit.
- GRAVOL™ Natural Source™ Ginger Lozenges – curb motion sickness for you and your kids (over the age of six) with these chewable lozenges – convenient, portable and no water required! GRAVOLTM Kids Quick Dissolve Chewables are a great option for your little ones two years and over! (GRAVOLTM Kids Quick Dissolve Chewables are not included in giveaway).
- OxiClean™ Foam Pretreat – spills and stains are bound to happen on road trips, treat them the day they happen and then throw the item in the wash a few days later when you make it to your destination!
- ORAJEL™ Anticavity Fluoride Toothpaste 119g, in either Super Mario™ or The Ultimate Spider-ManTM or My Little Pony™ – with road trips come snacks and fast food so ensuring your little ones are brushing is of the upmost importance.
- Vitafusion™ Women’s and Men’s Complete Multivitamins – are geared towards providing essential nutrients specifically needed by men and women to maintain their health, in a tasty gummy that you can take without water, perfect for on-the-go!
Disclosure- This post is brought to you in part by the Church & Dwight ambassadorship program.
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!
Sunday 1st of November 2020
I have done the Calgary to Icefields Parkway drive and it was beautiful. Would love to do the drives in BC.
Sunday 4th of October 2020
My dream is to take my husband to Canada. It's so beautiful . Last time i was in Canada, i was 12 years old at Niagara Falls so i don't remember much
Deepak Singh Visht
Tuesday 1st of May 2018
Having plan to visit in Canada in next month, your article help to explore to find new roads. Can you suggest me Indian Subcontinent road trips. thanks
Sunday 11th of March 2018
I've done a lot of road trips in my time but haven't got as far as East as I'd like to. I do remember driving along the shore of one of the great lakes as we were going to meet up with friends, we were fairly close when we were detoured since part of the road had fallen into the lake. The detour was a mere 450 km, along logging trails, and it was pitch black of course. We did get to see a few moose though. :-)
Friday 9th of March 2018
I would love to visit the 4 day itinerary you suggested and the. Go further on to Montreal. I’ll be in a motor home. Any other suggestions for that trip and that town. I’ll leave Montreal for Vermont USA after # days there. Routes to take and campgrounds available woukd be very helpful.