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The Best Road Trips In Canada


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Anestassia Fontaine



Welcome to the land of vast landscapes, breathtaking views, and endless adventures – Canada. One of the best ways to truly experience the beauty and diversity of this country is by embarking on a road trip. With its well-maintained highways and scenic routes, Canada offers road trippers a plethora of options to explore its stunning natural wonders, charming towns, and cultural hotspots.


Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking an unforgettable adventure, Canada has road trips that cater to every interest and preference. From the rugged coastlines of Atlantic Canada to the majestic Canadian Rockies, there is a road trip route that will leave you in awe at every turn.


As you embark on your road trip adventure, you’ll be treated to breathtaking coastal vistas, winding mountain roads, charming small towns, and encounters with wildlife. Each road trip offers its own unique blend of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and historical landmarks, making it a journey of discovery and exploration.


So pack your bags, fuel up your car, and get ready to hit the road. In this article, we’ll take you on a virtual tour of the best road trips in Canada, giving you a taste of what each route has to offer. From the iconic Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia to the legendary Alaska Highway, get ready for an unforgettable adventure through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.


Atlantic Canada Road Trip

The Atlantic Canada Road Trip is a journey that takes you through the picturesque provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. This road trip offers a perfect blend of breathtaking coastal scenery, charming fishing villages, and rich maritime history.


Start your adventure in Nova Scotia, where you can explore the stunning Cabot Trail. This 298-kilometer loop takes you along the rugged coastline of Cape Breton Island, offering panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Make sure to stop by the charming town of Baddeck and visit the historic Fortress of Louisbourg.


Continue your journey to New Brunswick, where you can visit the iconic Hopewell Rocks. These impressive rock formations, carved by the tides of the Bay of Fundy, offer a truly unique sight. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the highest tides in the world at Fundy National Park.


Next, cross the Confederation Bridge to reach Prince Edward Island. Known for its stunning red sandy beaches and rolling farmland, this island province is a haven for nature lovers and food enthusiasts. Explore the picturesque fishing villages, indulge in fresh seafood, and visit the famous Green Gables Heritage Place.


Your final destination on this road trip is Newfoundland and Labrador. Here, you can witness towering icebergs, rugged fjords, and abundant wildlife. Drive along the Viking Trail, where you can visit L’Anse aux Meadows, the only known Viking settlement in North America, and marvel at the beauty of Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The Atlantic Canada Road Trip offers a diverse range of experiences, from coastal drives to historical sites and natural wonders. Immerse yourself in the rich maritime culture, sample delicious seafood, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Pacific Coast Highway

The Pacific Coast Highway, also known as Highway 1, is one of the most iconic road trips in Canada. This scenic route stretches from British Columbia to California, offering breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the rugged coastline.


Starting in Vancouver, British Columbia, the Pacific Coast Highway takes you along the stunning coastline of the Pacific Northwest. Drive through picturesque towns like Victoria and Tofino, where you can spot wildlife, explore pristine beaches, and go surfing in the chilly waters of the Pacific.


As you continue south, you’ll enter the United States and drive through the coastal regions of Washington, Oregon, and California. Admire the towering redwood forests in Northern California, visit the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, and enjoy the vibrant coastal cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles.


One of the highlights of the Pacific Coast Highway is driving along the Big Sur coastline in California. The winding roads offer panoramic views of the rugged cliffs, crashing waves, and pristine beaches. Stop at iconic landmarks like Bixby Creek Bridge and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park to fully appreciate the beauty of this coastal paradise.


Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to indulge in fresh seafood, explore charming coastal towns, and enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, and whale watching. The Pacific Coast Highway is not just a road trip, but a journey that allows you to experience the laid-back coastal lifestyle and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Pacific.


Whether you choose to drive a small portion of the Pacific Coast Highway or embark on the entire route, this road trip promises stunning scenery, memorable experiences, and a deep appreciation for the majestic Pacific coastline.


Icefields Parkway

The Icefields Parkway, often referred to as one of the world’s most scenic drives, is a 232-kilometer route that winds through the heart of the Canadian Rockies, connecting Banff National Park and Jasper National Park in Alberta. This road trip offers jaw-dropping views of towering peaks, turquoise glacial lakes, and cascading waterfalls.


Starting in the charming town of Banff, the Icefields Parkway takes you on a journey through a pristine wilderness of rugged mountains and pristine forests. The road itself is a marvel, cutting through valleys and clinging to towering cliffs, providing breathtaking panoramic views at every turn.


Along the way, you’ll encounter numerous attractions and hiking trails that allow you to explore the natural beauty of the Canadian Rockies. Make sure to stop at the stunning Lake Louise, with its sparkling blue waters nestled between towering mountains. Take a walk on the Glacier Skywalk, a glass-floored observation platform that offers a unique perspective of the surrounding glaciers.


Continue northward and you’ll come across the spectacular Columbia Icefield, one of the largest ice fields in the Rocky Mountains. Here, you can take a guided tour onto the Athabasca Glacier and witness the awe-inspiring power of nature up close.


As you drive further, be prepared to be amazed by stunning waterfalls such as Sunwapta Falls and Athabasca Falls. These powerful cascades are a testament to the raw beauty and force of the Rocky Mountain landscape.


Throughout the Icefields Parkway, you’ll also have the chance to spot wildlife in their natural habitat, including elk, bighorn sheep, and even bears. Keep your camera ready for these incredible encounters.


Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or simply an admirer of nature’s beauty, the Icefields Parkway offers an unforgettable road trip experience. From the towering peaks to the sparkling glacial lakes, this journey through the heart of the Canadian Rockies will leave you in awe of the beauty and grandeur of nature.


Cabot Trail

The Cabot Trail is a scenic road trip nestled along the rugged coastline of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. Spanning approximately 298 kilometers, this drive offers stunning vistas of the Atlantic Ocean, charming fishing villages, and breathtaking highland scenery.


Starting in Baddeck, the Cabot Trail winds its way through Cape Breton Highlands National Park, offering panoramic views of steep cliffs, dense forests, and picturesque coastal towns. The route is famous for its dramatic landscapes, including the iconic Cape Smokey and the winding roads that hug the coastline.


As you navigate the trail, take your time to soak in the natural beauty that surrounds you. Stop at lookout points such as Skyline Trail and French Mountain to marvel at the sweeping vistas of the ocean and rolling hills. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife sightings, as moose and bald eagles are often spotted along the route.


The Cabot Trail is not just about the stunning scenery; it’s also a cultural journey. Along the trail, you’ll encounter vibrant Acadian and Gaelic communities, where you can immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the region. Visit the Gaelic College in St. Anns, where you can learn about traditional Celtic music and dance, or enjoy fresh seafood at one of the many local restaurants.


Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities for adventure along the Cabot Trail. Hiking trails such as the Skyline Trail and the Franey Trail offer the chance to explore the highlands and discover hidden gems. Take a detour to Cape Breton Highlands National Park for camping, fishing, and wildlife spotting.


For those seeking a taste of history, make a stop at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site in Baddeck, where you can learn about the life and inventions of the famous inventor.


With its breathtaking landscapes, rich culture, and outdoor activities, the Cabot Trail is a must-do road trip for anyone visiting Nova Scotia. You’ll never forget the beauty and magic of this captivating coastal drive.


Trans-Canada Highway

The Trans-Canada Highway is the ultimate road trip for those seeking to explore the vastness and diversity of Canada. Stretching over 7,821 kilometers from the Atlantic coast of Newfoundland to the Pacific coast of British Columbia, this iconic highway showcases the stunning landscapes, cultural landmarks, and natural wonders that Canada has to offer.


The journey begins in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where you can dip your toes in the Atlantic Ocean and begin your cross-country adventure. As you make your way west, you’ll traverse provinces and territories, each with its own distinct beauty and charm.


Passing through the Maritimes, you’ll have the opportunity to explore historic cities like Halifax, experience the beauty of Prince Edward Island, and witness the natural wonders of the Bay of Fundy.


Continuing through Quebec and Ontario, the Trans-Canada Highway takes you past vibrant cities like Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto. Don’t miss the chance to visit awe-inspiring landmarks such as Niagara Falls or immerse yourself in the history and culture of Quebec City.


Entering the prairies, you’ll be greeted by endless fields of golden wheat, the vastness of the Canadian Shield, and the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Take in the stunning scenery as you drive through Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia.


As you approach the Rockies, stop in Banff and Jasper National Parks, where you can hike breathtaking trails, spot wildlife, and marvel at the majestic peaks. Take a side trip to the stunning Lake Louise or venture further to the beautiful city of Vancouver on the Pacific coast.


The Trans-Canada Highway is more than just a road trip; it’s a journey through the heart of Canada. Along the way, you’ll experience the country’s rich history, vibrant culture, and diverse landscapes. From coast to coast, this epic drive will leave you with unforgettable memories and a deep appreciation for the beauty of Canada.


Sea-to-Sky Highway

The Sea-to-Sky Highway is a breathtaking road trip that takes you from the vibrant city of Vancouver to the rugged beauty of the coastal mountains. This scenic drive offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, towering mountains, and cascading waterfalls.


Starting in Vancouver, the Sea-to-Sky Highway (Highway 99) winds its way north through the picturesque town of Squamish and ends in the charming resort town of Whistler. As you leave the city behind, you’ll be treated to panoramic vistas of Howe Sound, with its sparkling blue waters and rugged fjords.


Along the way, make sure to stop at the iconic Shannon Falls, the third highest waterfall in British Columbia. Take a short hike to experience the power and beauty of these cascading waters.


Continue your journey to Squamish, known as the “Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada.” This town is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a range of activities such as hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and kiteboarding. Take a gondola ride to the summit of the Stawamus Chief, one of North America’s largest granite monoliths, for breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and fjords.


As you approach Whistler, known for its world-class ski slopes and outdoor adventures, the Sea-to-Sky Highway showcases stunning mountain vistas and pristine alpine lakes. In the winter, enjoy skiing or snowboarding on the slopes of Whistler Blackcomb, while in the summer, embark on mountain biking trails or take a scenic hike to experience the beauty of Garibaldi Provincial Park.


The Sea-to-Sky Highway is not just about the natural beauty; it also offers a taste of the local culture. Stop at the Britannia Mine Museum to learn about the region’s mining history or visit the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Whistler to delve into the rich indigenous heritage of the area.


Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventure, stunning scenery, or a peaceful mountain retreat, the Sea-to-Sky Highway promises to exceed your expectations. This road trip showcases the best that the coastal mountains of British Columbia have to offer, leaving you with incredible memories and a desire to return again and again.


Dempster Highway

The Dempster Highway is an epic road trip adventure that takes you through the rugged wilderness of the Canadian North. This 735-kilometer highway stretches from Dawson City in Yukon to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories, traversing some of the most remote and untamed landscapes in Canada.


Embarking on the Dempster Highway is like stepping into the heart of the Arctic. The journey begins in Dawson City, a historic gold rush town, where you can immerse yourself in the vibrant history of the Klondike Gold Rush.


As you leave Dawson City, you’ll be greeted by vast tundra, pristine lakes, and breathtaking mountain vistas. The highway cuts through the rugged terrain of the Yukon, crossing the Ogilvie and Richardson mountain ranges and offering panoramic views of the surrounding wilderness.


One of the highlights of the Dempster Highway is crossing the Arctic Circle, a significant milestone for any adventurer. Witness the dramatic change in landscape as you venture further north, with the treeless tundra stretching far and wide.


Along the way, keep an eye out for the unique wildlife that calls this region home. Spot caribou grazing along the highway, watch for foxes darting across the tundra, and be on the lookout for bird species such as the peregrine falcon and the gyrfalcon.


As you reach Inuvik, you’ll be rewarded with a glimpse into the vibrant culture and traditions of the Indigenous communities of the Northwest Territories. Explore the town, visit the Inuvialuit Heritage Centre, and take part in cultural events and festivals that celebrate the Inuvialuit way of life.


The Dempster Highway is not for the faint of heart, as it can be challenging and remote. Plan your journey carefully, ensuring you have ample fuel, supplies, and a reliable vehicle.


This road trip is a unique opportunity to experience the untouched beauty of the Canadian North. The vast wilderness, rich cultural heritage, and incredible wildlife encounters make the Dempster Highway an unforgettable adventure of a lifetime.


The Viking Trail

The Viking Trail is a road trip that takes you on a journey through time, exploring the ancient Norse heritage and stunning landscapes of Newfoundland and Labrador. This 489-kilometer route follows the western coast of Newfoundland, allowing you to discover charming coastal communities, breathtaking fjords, and archaeological wonders.


Begin your adventure in Deer Lake, where you’ll drive north along the Viking Trail. The first highlight of this road trip is Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its stunning fjords, towering cliffs, and unique geological formations. Explore the park’s hiking trails, including the iconic Western Brook Pond Trail, which takes you through dramatic fjords carved by ancient glaciers.


Continuing along the Viking Trail, you’ll encounter the unique cultural heritage of the region. Visit L’Anse aux Meadows, a National Historic Site and the only known Viking settlement in North America. Explore the reconstructed Norse village and learn about the Viking history and way of life.


As you drive further north, be captivated by the rugged beauty of Newfoundland’s coastal landscapes. Marvel at the towering cliffs of the Great Northern Peninsula and soak in the breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Keep your eyes peeled for icebergs and whales, as this region is known for its incredible wildlife sightings.


Make a stop in St. Anthony, where you can take a boat tour to witness the majesty of icebergs up close. Explore the Grenfell Historic Properties, which tells the story of Sir Wilfred Grenfell and his efforts to improve the lives of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.


The Viking Trail is not just about the natural beauty and history; it’s also an opportunity to experience the warmth and hospitality of the local communities. Stay in a cozy inn, enjoy fresh seafood, and immerse yourself in the traditions and culture of Newfoundland and Labrador.


As you reach the northern tip of Newfoundland, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views from the town of St. Anthony. Take a moment to reflect on your journey and appreciate the beauty of this remote and off-the-beaten-path road trip.


The Viking Trail is a unique road trip that combines history, natural beauty, and cultural experiences. Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of Newfoundland and Labrador as you explore this captivating route.


The Gaspé Peninsula

The Gaspé Peninsula, located in eastern Quebec, offers a scenic road trip that showcases the stunning beauty of the Saint Lawrence River and the rugged charm of the Atlantic coast. This 885-kilometer journey takes you through picturesque fishing villages, towering cliffs, and pristine beaches.


Beginning in Rivière-du-Loup, the route follows Highway 132 as it loops around the peninsula, hugging the coastline and providing breathtaking views at every turn. As you drive along, you’ll be treated to panoramic vistas of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, with its deep blue waters and dramatic cliffs.


One of the highlights along the Gaspé Peninsula is Forillon National Park. This park is home to stunning coastal landscapes, diverse wildlife, and hiking trails that lead to awe-inspiring viewpoints. Explore the Cap Bon-Ami cliffs, visit the iconic Cap-des-Rosiers Lighthouse, and keep an eye out for seals and whales that can often be spotted from the shore.


Continue your journey to Percé, a charming village known for its iconic natural attraction, Percé Rock. This massive rock formation juts out of the sea and is home to hundreds of seabirds. Take a boat tour to experience the rock up close and explore the nearby Bonaventure Island, a nesting site for thousands of gannets.


Make a stop at the picturesque town of Gaspé, known as the birthplace of Canada. Visit the historic site of the Jacques-Cartier Cross, where Jacques Cartier landed on his first voyage to Canada, and explore the beautiful sandy beaches of Haldimand and Penouille.


The Gaspé Peninsula is also famous for its delicious seafood. Indulge in fresh lobster, crab, and scallops at the local restaurants or visit the lively fish markets to get a taste of the local catch of the day.


With its stunning coastal scenery, rich history, and vibrant culture, the Gaspé Peninsula is a road trip that will leave you with lasting memories. Immerse yourself in the beauty and charm of eastern Quebec as you explore this captivating region.


The Alaska Highway

The Alaska Highway, also known as the Alcan Highway, is an epic road trip that stretches over 2,232 kilometers from Dawson Creek, British Columbia, to Delta Junction, Alaska. This historic route winds through vast wilderness, towering mountains, and remote landscapes, offering a truly unforgettable adventure.


Starting in Dawson Creek, the Alaska Highway takes you through the pristine wilderness of northern British Columbia. The drive showcases breathtaking mountain ranges, sparkling lakes, and dense forests, providing plenty of opportunities to connect with nature and enjoy outdoor activities along the way.


As you continue north, crossing into Yukon, you’ll be immersed in the untouched beauty of the Canadian North. Follow the path of the historic Alaska Highway construction and discover the history and heritage of the region at various roadside museums and interpretive centers.


The journey presents a unique opportunity to spot wildlife in their natural habitat. Keep your eyes peeled for moose, caribou, bison, and even bears as you drive through the vast wilderness. Birdwatchers will also be delighted with the chance to see various bird species soaring above.


One of the highlights along the Alaska Highway is Liard River Hot Springs, a natural oasis nestled in the boreal forest. Take a break from driving and relax in the rejuvenating hot springs, surrounded by picturesque scenery.


As you approach the Alaska-Canada border, you’ll enter the stunning landscapes of the Last Frontier. Marvel at the towering peaks of the Alaska Range, witness the beauty of cascading waterfalls, and experience the grandeur of glaciers.


The journey doesn’t end at the border – continue on to Fairbanks or even further to explore the wonders of Alaska. Visit Denali National Park, home to North America’s tallest peak, Denali, and take a scenic bus tour to witness the park’s diverse wildlife.


Driving the Alaska Highway is not just a road trip, it’s a journey of discovery. It’s an opportunity to connect with nature, explore rugged landscapes, and experience the freedom of the open road. Get ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime as you drive through the heart of the Canadian and Alaskan wilderness.



Embarking on a road trip is not just a means of transportation; it’s a journey of exploration, discovery, and adventure. Canada offers a wide array of road trip routes that cater to every interest and preference, showcasing the country’s diverse landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture.


From the stunning beauty of the Atlantic Canada Road Trip and the rugged Pacific Coast Highway to the majestic landscapes of the Icefields Parkway and the remote wilderness of the Dempster Highway, each road trip offers its own unique experiences and breathtaking vistas.


Whether it’s driving along the breathtaking coastal cliffs, immersing in the untouched wilderness of the mountains, or delving into the vibrant culture of charming towns, road trips in Canada provide an opportunity to connect with nature, indulge in local traditions, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


As you embark on your own road trip adventure, remember to plan your route, ensure your vehicle is well-maintained, and pack essentials for a comfortable journey. Prepare for the unexpected, as the joys of the road often lie in the unexpected encounters and hidden gems you may come across along the way.


So, fuel up your car, roll down the windows, and let the open road guide you to unforgettable destinations. Whether you’re exploring the coastal wonders of Atlantic Canada, traversing the majestic Canadian Rockies, or driving through the vastness of the North, Canada’s road trips offer a sensory feast of natural wonders, cultural discoveries, and lifelong memories.


Embark on a road trip in Canada and let the stunning landscapes, friendly communities, and incredible experiences leave an indelible mark on your heart. The road awaits, so get ready to create unforgettable memories on your next Canadian road trip adventure!