Canada really does have it all figured out. Present yourself to the world as a country with just a bunch of nice people who really like hockey and french fries covered in gravy. Nothing else to see here, please move on. Well, we won’t be fooled anymore. Canada offers some of the most stunning natural beauty in the world, an endless amount of outdoor activities, world class resorts, and a vibrant food and wine scene all accessible by different modes of transportation. You know what that means? Road Trip! Here are some of our favorites.
1. A Foodie Tour Through Kelowna, B.C.
A foodie tour isn't a foodie tour without fine wine and fine food. And a top off on the wine. Kelowna British Columbia has plenty of both. Among the largest cities in the Okanagan Valley, which is one of Canada's best wine-producing regions, the south of the city provides the perfect climate to support a plethora of vineyards producing wines that have received international recognition.
Afterwards make your way to downtown Kelowna located alongside Okanagan Lake. Nearby are several parks and beaches and the Delta Grand hotel and casino for those looking to pay for their trip the lucky way.
But what about the food? Don’t fret. It’s not just about the poutine. Many consider Kelowna one of Canada's top culinary cities and downtown is set up perfectly far a foodie walking tour. Whether it's grab and go from a food truck or a farm to table venue featuring a hearth oven the food scene doesn't disappoint.
With artisan farms, family-run orchards, numerous waterways and prolific gardens it's up to you to choose between tangy goat cheese, bison sausage or candied salmon. Or enjoy all of them in summertime on one of the many patios dotting the city.
2. Vancouver to Tofino, British Columbia
This road trip begins by boarding a ferry in Horseshoe Bay before setting off on your drive from Nanaimo to Tofino. Stock up on provisions at Coombs Country Market which specializes in baked goods and European fare. Not long after you’ll hit Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park. Cathedral usually brings to mind a holy experience and this isn’t for off. You will encounter some of the tallest Douglas fir trees on earth, some up to 800 years old. Take some time to wander the short trails and take in these moss-covered beauties.
Take a break at the harbour town of Port Alberni where you’ll be surrounded by mountains, lakes, streams, and the ocean. Once on the one-lane twisting and sometimes hair-raising Pacific Rim Highway you’ll find Wally Creek, Kennedy Lake and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, all worth a road side stop.
It’s usually about the journey but in this case it might be about the final destination. Tofino is the surfing capital of Canada with visitors and locals alike catching waves at Cox Bay. Others take in stunning sunsets at Chesterman beach while Long Beach offers miles of sandy sprawl with unobstructed views.
3. Sea to Sky Highway- Vancouver to Whistler
Are there hard and fast rules when it comes to road trips? Besides being wary of gas station food not really. That’s what makes them so great. A two-hour road trip can be as memorable as a 20 hour road trip. That’s the case when it comes to the above jaunt from Vancouver to Whistler.
Officially called BC Highway 99 the Sea to Sky Highway deserves its moniker. Taking you through coastal rainforests, pine covered mountains and breathtaking waterfalls the route also offers an abundance of outdoor adventures.
Highlights include the deep blue waters of Howe Sound, Shannon Falls and Porteau Cove Provincal Park, with its numerous campsites. Don’t miss Squamish harbor where you can do everything from mountain biking to rock climbing and windsurfing. Or simply take in the view and do nothing at all.
So you’ve made it to Whistler? No rest for the weary with bungee jumping, rafting or ziplining in the summer or world-class skiing or snowboarding in the winter. For the less adventerous enjoy a day at the spa or a leisurely round of golf.
4. The Cabot Trail - Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
The Cabot trail has been called one of the most scenic drives on the planet and who are we to argue? Running roughly 185 miles (298 km) in length, the scenic roadway on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia puts a different spin on the phrase “get your head out of the clouds”. With rugged mountain and sweeping ocean views it will be a challenge to keep your eyes on the road.
While the drive itself is worth the trip alone it’s the several days you can spend exploring your surroundings that makes this one road trip you won’t soon forget. This could include hiking through Cape Breton Highlands National Park, hopping aboard a whale watching tour, strolling through quaint fishing villages or tackling the terrain on a cycling tour. And when hunger strikes you won’t be foraging for nuts and berries with some of the tastiest seafood around on the Nova Scotia seafood trail.
5. Toronto - The Muskokas and Algonquin Park
Muskoka, Ontario lies a mere two hours north of vibrant Toronto and couldn’t be more different. Coined “Canada’s cottage country” the quaint and charming region has been heralded as one of the best places to visit in Canada. Landlubbers be warned, in the summer it’s all about crystal clear waters offering up boating, fishing, swimming and water skiing. Visiting in the winter? Why not try a sleigh ride, dog sledding or snowmobiling? Perfect for road tripping fall brings fabulous fall foliage to the region.
Huntsville, Gravenhurst, Bracebridge and Port Carling are just some of the towns you can visit, all offering a variety of accommodations with craft breweries likely to make you set down that Labatt Blue.
Algonquin Provincial Park is a camper’s golden goose with forests, rivers and numerous lakes home to moose, bears and loons. The park’s many trails include the Whiskey Rapids Trail, along the Oxtongue River, and the Barron Canyon Trail. The vast interior consists of maple hills, rocky ridges, and thousands of lakes. The only way to explore the interior is by canoe or on foot.
Think of Canada à la Carte for a Canada road trip, which can be customized to include the destinations and activities you enjoy most.