Plan a Canada 150 road trip along these seven incredible routes
Published Wednesday, May 31, 2017 6:15AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 26, 2017 2:27PM EDT
Pack up and hit the road to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary, with a journey along one (or more) of these routes that showcase some of the best scenery the country has to offer, from coast-to-coast-to-coast.
These six routes offer some of the most breathtaking visuals in all of Canada, according to Jennifer Weatherhead Harrington, editor-in-chief of Travel & Style Magazine. They also boast incredible cuisine and fantastic places to stay.
Cabot Trail – Cape Breton, N.S.
Cabot Trail is one of the most well-known routes on the East Coast for a reason. Starting at Baddeck, N.S., and weaving up along the peninsula to Ingonish, this route takes motorists along the rugged coastline and through Cape Breton National Park.
"It's probably one of the most beautiful roads that you can take in the Atlantic provinces," Weatherhead Harrington told CTV's Your Morning.
The Cabot Trail is particularly popular in the fall, when the leaves have changed colour, but there's also plenty to see in the summer. The route is lined with B&Bs, making it well worth setting aside a few days for the trip.
King's Road – Quebec
Follow one of the most well-worn routes in Quebec's history with a journey along the King's Road between Montreal and Quebec City, with a stop in scenic Trois-Rivieres along the way. Weatherhead Harrington calls it a "trip back through time," along a trail once travelled by carriages.
The region boasts gorgeous views and fantastic Quebecois food, no matter where one stops. "It's beautiful scenery," she said. "You can't go wrong (with) the food and the breweries."
Weatherhead Harrington recommends taking one or two days on this route.
Georgian Bay Loop – Ontario
Pack your swimsuit for this getaway just a few hours north of Toronto. The route starts in the popular waterside getaway of Wasaga Beach, before heading to Parry Sound and Tobermory.
Weatherhead Harrington recommends staying at one of the colourful cottages along the water in Parry Sound, because the area "looks like it's straight from the Mediterranean."
Tobermory is perhaps best-known for its beautiful Flowerpot Island, as well as Fathom Five National Marine Park, where visitors can dive or take glass-bottom boats to examine several large, well-preserved shipwrecks.
Weatherhead Harrington says the area is a great place for a group or family trip.
Trans Canada Highway – Saskatchewan/Manitoba
Celebrate Canada 150 with a road trip through the Canadian Prairies along the Trans-Canada Highway.
The iconic highway runs from coast to coast, but if you're just looking to enjoy Saskatchewan and Manitoba, consider taking a few days to go from the Saskatchewan border with Alberta to Manitoba's border with Ontario.
This route is perfect for a family with young kids, as several cities along the way include large novelty statues that are ideal for a cheesy photo op. They include:
- Mac the Moose in Moose Jaw;
- Mega Munch, the robotic dinosaur at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Regina;
- a giant Coca-Cola "can" in Portage la Prairie, and
- a giant chief's head in (wait for it) Indian Head
The Trans-Canada Highway runs through the iconic wheat fields of the Prairies, with stopovers in major cities such as Regina and Winnipeg, as well as visits to smaller cities like Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Brandon and Portage La Prairie.
Consider capping the whole trip with a visit to Whiteshell Provincial Park along the eastern border of Manitoba. The park is home to hiking trails, waterfalls and several beautiful lakes.
Icefield Parkway – Alberta
This road trip takes motorists through two of the most breathtaking national parks in the country. The route starts in Banff and heads through the Rocky Mountains, past scenic Lake Louise and the Crowfoot and Athabasca glaciers, before heading north to Jasper.
"It's one of the most beautiful drives in the country, if not the world," Weatherhead Harrington said. "You get to see the gorgeous Rockies, glaciers, (and) you're going to see all those beautiful aquamarine lakes."
She added that the route is a photographer's dream. "You're going to be stopping all the time," she said.
Okanagan Route – B.C.
Forget the West Coast. This route takes motorists through B.C.'s Okanagan region, home to some of the best wineries in the country. The route starts in Vernon and weaves its way south past Kalamalka Lake to Kelowna, then on to Penticton.
"This is an easy route because you can do it in one or two days, but it's also amazing if you're a wine lover," Weatherhead Harrington said. "There's so much food and beautiful scenery, but also those amazing B.C. wines."
Weatherhead Harrington also recommends the Kettle Valley Trail for hiking enthusiasts.
Dempster Highway – Yukon
The Yukon trek is the most adventurous route on the list, with major hotels few and far between. Instead, motorists can expect more small-scale, cabin-like lodgings along the way, if they don't opt to pack a tent and spend the nights camping.
Weatherhead Harrington recommends taking 10 days or so for the trip from Whitehorse to Dawson and Tombstone Territorial Park.
"This is definitely for the adventure-seeker," she said, adding that the route will take motorists up past the Arctic Circle. "That's really amazing for bragging rights," she said.