Families don’t have to go halfway across the globe to experience culture, history and natural exquisiteness. The world’s second largest country, Canada has no shortage of breath-taking landscapes and spectacular sites for holidaymakers to explore. The country is home to vibrant and culturally-rich cities, along with a captivating array of scenic, urban and intellectual wonders. There is no better way to explore Canada than by car. If you are planning on hitting the road with your family this summer, here are 5 Canada family road trip ideas that will guarantee wonderful memories.
Some say you have not experienced Canada until you’ve driven on the Trans-Canada Highway. This highway is one of the longest highways in the world, stretching 7800 from to Victoria, British Columbia to St John’s, Newfoundland. Unless you’re starting from Manitoba, you should allow a minimum of 6 weeks for your round road trip. This national highway is without a doubt the ultimate Canadian road trip. Along the way, you will find incredibly historic villages that look like they were plucked out of the old Wild West.
Prepare yourself for the historic buildings you will come across in your trip, from the Martello Towers that are scattered across Eastern Canada, to fur forts dotted across Western Canada. And because you are on the west coast, you will see the Rocky Mountains. Take a glimpse of Mount Robson in British Columbia. If you are adventurous, you can try to climb it. Realise that Trans-Canada Highway is not a single route and every route has something unique to offer.
Sea to Sky Country
Sea to Sky Country is another excellent highway for a great road trip experience. Sea to Sky Country starts from Vancouver and follows Highway 99 all the way to Lillooet. The drive from downtown Vancouver to Pemberton offers spectacular mountain and ocean views and lots of outdoor adventures. The route feature rocks that nosedive to the sea and rivers that flow in bubbly plumes. The alpine meadows are speckled with yellow, purple and red wildflowers and surround lakes during summer months.
The highway crosses paths with two historic routes: the Gold Rush Heritage Trail and the Pemberton Trail. The two routes linked the interior with coast in ancient times. Today the communities of Whistler Squamish, Pemberton and Britannia Beach have become welcoming havens for Canadian families that are fond of outdoor recreation whether on land, in the air or the in water. Don’t miss the Britannia Mine Museum. This once a working mine is today an esteemed, National Historic Site. Explore the mine and discover what life was like for workers in the 18th century.
While the Icefields Parkway runs 232km between Jasper and Banff, you will want to allow ample time for stops. This route promises spectacular views of waterfalls, lush meadows, glaciers, lakes, trees and the snow-covered peaks of Rocky Mountains. There are also different types of wild animals including bear and goats. Realise that it is illegal to get out of your RV while viewing the animals. Although it is a short route, there are plenty of places you will want to stop your family for the night.
As you drive the winding, picturesque highway, stop and see the Peyto Lake & Bow Summit. This is the most visited lake in the Canadian Rockies and for good reasons. During summer, glacial rock flour flow into the lake, and the suspended rocks give the lake a brighter, turquoise colour. Bow Lake is also worth a visit. This lake is the headwaters of Bow River which runs south through Calgary and onto the Oldman River. The lake makes a perfect place to stop off and view the Crowfoot Glacier, and Bow Glacier.
Percé to Montreal
This 100km road trip begins at Quebec’s south-eastern tip and Percé Rock, one of the most unique and spectacular geological landmarks in the province. From here, the highway rolls in the north, all the way to the mouth of Saint-Laurence River. Catch the glimpse of breath-taking mountains, rivers, waterfalls, lake and trees along the way. If you choose to stop, make sure that you are prepared for the breath-taking magnificence of these natural wonders. You will be blown away by the sheer beauty of this region.
Along the highway is Bonaventure Island, a popular island which gives you an opportunity to glimpse more than 300,000 seabirds, including 150,000 northern gannets. Some islands are only active during the summer months, but this island stays vibrant all year round. A day or two in Quebec will give you ample time for a Canadian history lesson before you move on to Montreal for a dose of present Quebecois culture. For those seeking music festivals and a flavour of ancient charm, Quebec City is the place to be.
Driving on this island is a relaxing experience for most holidaymakers. From beaches to mountains, rainforests to marshes, oceans, waterfall and lakes, this island is one of the premier locations in the world. The Island’s up-to-date, fully paved highway system runs from Swartz Bay and Victoria to Port Hardy in the north along the coastline in the east. The highway also cuts across the Island’s mid-section out to Tofino, Port Alberni and Uclulet. Get out of your RV and explore the Island’s spectacular backcountry.
There is something quite special about Rving through hours of lavish rainforest before you break through to the coastline. Should you wander off and begin daydreaming, it won’t take long before you start feeling like you are exploring the famed Jurassic Park. Holidaymakers should note that safety belts and vehicle child restraints are mandatory in this area. When you get to Tofino, you’re in BC’s surf paradise. There are a number of and resorts that will take care of your family’s dining and accommodation needs.
A road trip can be a memorable escapade for you and your family. However, it can be a stressful and nasty experience if you do not take the time to plan. We hope the ideas above will help you have an unforgettable road trip this summer. Word to the wise: Don’t bring beer with you if you plan on covering the whole highway.