The summer season is here, and there is simply no better time to journey across our beautiful nation to see all it offers. With over 5,000 KMs of scenic, open road between its two furthest edges (amounting to about 80 hours of solid driving), there is an endless number of ways to spend a day or two—or three.
Depending on where you’re starting from and where you’re headed, there are plenty of must-see stops to add to your Canadian road trip bucket list. Below we’ve compiled five that international tourists and province-bound locals alike will enjoy.
A small town along Hudson Bay in the far north of Manitoba—with a population of roughly 900—Churchill boasts one of the most epic wildlife encounters you will find nationwide. Of course, it largely depends on when you’re visiting. During the summer, you’ll likely spot one of the thousands of Beluga whales who (after breeding in the spring) make their way to Churchill and give birth throughout the summer.
Not just that, but when the whales leave for the season, Polar Bears (who spend their summer on the tundra) make their way to the area to wait for the bay to freeze so they can hunt for seals during the winter months.
Banff National Park, Alberta
Mind-blowing glaciers, emerald water so brilliant it looks fake, breathtaking waterfalls and snow-capped mountain peaks; Banff, the oldest National Park in Canada, looks like a stock photo in the search results for the word paradise.
Whether you’re looking to bask in the beauty of Lake Louise, take selfies among the flowers in Sunshine Meadows or cruise Icefields Parkway, named “One of the World’s Most Spectacular Drives” by National Geographic, the 150 KM detour from Calgary is more than worth the trip.
The Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia/New Brunswick
The highest tide you’ll find across the globe, rare aquatic life, semi-precious minerals, and fossils that remind us that the area was a popular congregation for dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Revered as a natural wonder, The Bay of Fundy is one of a kind.
Located between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, this east coast gem is a little bit of everything for those who love to be outdoors, from guided sailing tours and incredible hiking trails to soul-altering whale-watching experiences. Highly recommend that you pack your bike if you have space in or on your vehicle.
Old Québec City, Québec
Old Québec City is an absolute marvel of French architecture. Still surrounded by its massive bastions, gates, and 17th-century defensive outer shell, the city exudes an unmistakable ambiance as you wander its cobblestone streets, photographing the mesmerizing cathedrals, shopping the chic boutiques, and enjoying beautifully aged wine at the local restaurants.
Be aware that in July, the city hosts Festival d'été de Québec, an 11-day music festival, so you’ll want to ensure that you plan your trip accordingly
Niagara Falls, Ontario
The majestic and mighty Niagara Falls are a must-see if you’re on a road trip throughout Ontario. Pictures, frankly, do not do the Falls justice. Whether you’re braving them up close and personal on a guided hike, enjoying a Maid of The Mist tour or taking in the lit-up evening view from one of the local restaurants, the falls and surrounding area offer more than enough entertainment for an afternoon.
How will you discover Canada this Summer?
Whether via boat, RV, camper, motorcycle or car, there is no wrong way to take in the beauty from coast to coast. But, before hitting the road, it’s important to ensure your mode of transportation is in proper condition. Nothing is worse than finding out your vehicle has an issue while you’re already en route, especially in a remote area between cities.
Pre-trip maintenance is never a bad idea.