Looking for an easy family-friendly vacation without breaking the bank? Pile the whole fam into your station wagon and get ready for a road trip across Canada. This northern country has magnificent sites, both natural and man-made, and the country’s best roads take you in and out of these unreal, breathtaking parks. From small coastal towns, to mountains, to lakes, take a look at the best road trips in Canada and plan your trip.
1. The Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia
Loop around the quaint seaside villages, charming towns, and all the wildlife on this 184 mile stretch of road through Nova Scotia. The Cabot Trail goes through the north of Cape Breton Island and heads through Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Stop along the road and follow the hiking trails for a quick break from the car ride or to stop and take in the views of the sea. Pleasant Bay is a good spot for whale and seal spotting. When it comes time to eat, stop in any of the towns for fresh, locally caught seafood.
2. The Icefields Parkway, Alberta
If its unique landscapes you’re looking for, you’ll find it along the Icefields Parkway in Alberta. Pine tree forests, glaciers, mountains, ice-covered lakes, and more line this 144-mile Canadian road. See Banff National Park and Jasper National Park up close as well as the Athabasca and Saskatchewan Glaciers. The scenery along this route is so breathtaking that most drivers end up stopping every few minutes to snap some quick pics or just to sit and take it all in.
3. Sea to Sky Highway, British Columbia
Start in downtown Vancouver and head out to Whistler on the Sea to Sky Highway. The journey is about 2.5 hours full of sights so beautiful they seem unreal. Stop to check out the Porteau Cove for a view of the Howe Sound with the mountains looming in the distance or stop to see the stunning Shannon Falls or Brandywine Falls. For the best views, however, take a break to take a ride on the Sea to Sky Gondola, taking you up above the Howe Sound. The Sea to Sky Highway is said to be one of the most beautiful stretches of road in all of Canada.
4. Vancouver to Tofino, British Columbia
Yes, another BC spot, but that’s just because the region is so beautiful and full of gorgeous roads, we couldn’t resist. Head through forests, pass magnificent mountain ranges and stop to marvel at the wildlife (but don’t get too close to the bears or moose!). The road takes you all the way to Tofino, the surfing capital of Canada. Head to Chesterman Beach to catch some waves or whip out your pair of binoculars and head out on a whale spotting tour.
5. Chatham-Kent Corridor, Ontario
Drive through Ontario past waterside towns on Lake Erie, Lake St. Claire, and the Thames River. Visit historic spots to learn about the War of 1812 or see the former stops on the underground railroad. If you’re not a history buff, the Chatham-Kent Corridor is also home to various parks for you to stop for a mid-drive picnic, or to stretch your legs on a quick hike, or just stop your vehicle at any point on the ride to capture a quick picture of the waterfront towns.