The most beautiful weekend road trips in Canada



Slide 1 of 51: When it comes to road-tripping, there’s a lot of ground to cover in Canada. It’s best to discover the world’s second-largest country bit by bit, with short road trips that reveal what makes each of the country’s provinces and territories unique. All 25 of these Canadian adventures can easily be taken over the course of a weekend – perfect if you’re planning ahead for when the US/Canada border reopens and it’s safe to travel again.
Slide 2 of 51: The 331-mile (533km) route from the capital of Yukon to the heart of Gold Rush country is appropriately known as the Klondike Highway. At about six hours each way it’s admittedly a bit of a long haul for a weekend trip, but the biggest part of the draw is the journey itself, leading drivers through quiet stretches of rugged wilderness and past old mining towns.
Slide 3 of 51: Dawson City is worth visiting as the center of the historic Klondike gold rush. Full of museums, historic cemeteries, hiking trails, outdoor adventure, and opportunities to pan for gold, it’s one of Yukon’s key destinations. Located about halfway between the southern edge of Yukon and the Arctic Ocean, just east of the Yukon/Alaska border, Dawson is also an excellent place to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
Slide 4 of 51: While it’s only 129 miles (207km), this east-to-west drive along the Pacific Rim Highway that cuts across the center of Vancouver Island, takes about three hours to complete due to the windy nature of the road. Even then, travelers may want to give themselves even more time to visit the sandy beaches of Parksville, the fishing town of Port Alberni, and the lush forests and waterfalls found along the way.

Slide 5 of 51: Even though it’s on the same island, the rainforest-laden west coast of Vancouver Island feels like a different world, with the ferocious Pacific Ocean attracting surfers and “storm-watchers” who travel out specifically to watch the waves crash in. Both Tofino and Ucluelet to its south are laid-back communities, full of cool restaurants, shops, breweries and relaxing places to stay.
Slide 6 of 51: Fraser Valley communities like Abbotsford and Langley are often seen as little more than bedroom communities that serve the big city, but it’s worth making the relatively short drive to spend some quality time in these laid-back towns. Abbotsford is about 44 miles (71km) from Vancouver, but its charming downtown area and locally-owned restaurants, breweries and shops feel like a real escape.
Slide 7 of 51: The river valley makes for some of the most fertile farmland in Canada and many local food producers welcome visitors for either formal or self-guided tours. History lovers can also stop at the Fort Langley National Historic Site, an interpretive center that served as a working Hudson’s Bay Company fur trading post 150 years ago.
Slide 8 of 51: Just the name of the road from Vancouver to Whistler – the Sea to Sky Highway – is enticing. The route, which actually terminates just north of Whistler in Pemberton is only 101 miles (163km) long, but it’s worth slowing down and taking the time to drink in the coastal views and stop to learn about British Columbia’s rich Indigenous history from the Cultural Journey interpretive kiosks posted along the way. 
Slide 9 of 51: Whistler itself is a world-famous tourist destination beloved by winter sports enthusiasts, but there are other points of interest in between Vancouver and the mountain resort town. The area around Squamish is full of opportunities for mountain biking and other outdoor adventures and the Sea-to-Sky gondola is a great way to get a bird's-eye-view of Howe Sound.

Slide 10 of 51: The city of Kelowna is generally considered to be the Okanagan Valley’s main hub, but there is so much more to see in British Columbia’s wine country. The Okanagan Highway runs alongside the long and narrow Lake Okanagan, continuing on past Skaha Lake towards Osoyoos Lake, passing through communities like Oliver, Penticton, and Summerland. Osoyoos, famously one of the warmest towns in Canada climate-wise, is popular resort destination itself.
Slide 11 of 51: While the lakes and surrounding desert-like landscapes are beautiful, the geography of the area is also prime for grape growing. The highway is dotted with wineries, many of which offer tours and tastings to the public. The famed Golden Mile Bench, BC’s first official wine sub-region sits on the southern part of the journey between Oliver and Osoyoos, featuring wineries like Culmina Family Estate, Tinhorn Creek and Road 13.  Discover what else to see in the Okanagan with our guide 
Slide 12 of 51: Banff is already a nice weekend road trip from the much larger city of Calgary, but one of the most dramatic drives in all of Canada is the 145-mile (233km) journey along the Icefields Parkway between Lake Louise (which is a short drive west of Banff) to the town of Jasper in Jasper National Park. Drivers can stop at viewpoints to see the turquoise waters of Bow Lake and Peyto Lake and are likely to also spot bighorn sheep and other wildlife near the road.
Slide 13 of 51: The Icefields Parkway gets its name from the Columbia Icefield, the largest ice field in the Rocky Mountains. One of the Icefield’s “toes,” the Athabasca Glacier, can be accessed at about the halfway point of the journey, with its edge within walking distance of the main road. The glacier can be further explored via an on-site discovery center, snow coach tours, and the Glacier Skywalk, a glass-floored platform that juts out 918 feet (280m) over the Sunwapta Valley. Find out more about Canada's beautiful national parks with our guide. 
Slide 14 of 51: Alberta’s Bar U Ranch National Historic Site offers a rare hands-on picture of Canada’s Wild West. The ranch dates back to the late 1800s and now offers interactive learning experiences to help visitors understand what life would have been like for Western Canada’s pioneering cowboys and cattle ranchers. The ranch is near the village of Longview, in the heart of Alberta’s still very active cattle ranching country.

Slide 15 of 51: While Bar U Ranch is a worthy destination, the real treat is the drive along the southern leg of the Alberta Provincial Highway 22, otherwise known as The Cowboy Trail. The picturesque road rolls through the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, past towns like Millarville, Bragg Creek and Turner Valley. Each stop is filled with authentic cowboy culture, as well as unique places to eat, shop and visit.
Slide 16 of 51: Drumheller is actually closer to Calgary than it is to Edmonton, but the three-hour drive from Alberta’s capital city gives visitors a better excuse to stay the night and spend a couple of days exploring the province’s otherworldly badlands. The striated hills around the Red Deer River valley and unbelievable hoodoo rock formations make for some truly unique hiking experiences throughout the area.
Slide 17 of 51: Those seemingly extraterrestrial hills also conceal a treasure trove of prehistoric fossils, making Drumheller the dinosaur capital of Canada. The Royal Tyrrell Museum is a world-class paleontology center, full of awe-inspiring dinosaur exhibits. For something a little less serious, the World’s Largest Dinosaur sits at the visitor center in downtown Drumheller. Guests can climb a stairway inside of the dinosaur and stand in its open mouth to get a better view of the town. You can find more brilliant destinations for dinosaur fans here too. 
Slide 18 of 51: It’s easy to get just about anywhere by road in the southern part of Canada, but building roads in the Arctic is tricky business. Getting from Inuvik to the Arctic Ocean previously was only possible by plane or a winter-only ice road, but in 2017 the 86-mile (138 km) Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway opened, allowing visitors to drive directly to the Inuvialuit hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk. The road is rugged and somewhat difficult to drive, but it is the first Canadian all-weather road to the Arctic Ocean.
Slide 19 of 51: Once in Tuktoyaktuk (or “Tuk” as locals call it), visitors will find a small but friendly community of people who still routinely conduct whale and caribou hunts. The land is cold, but also beautiful, with large ice-cored hills called pingos cropping up in the frigid ocean near the shore. There aren’t many hotels or restaurants in Tuktoyaktuk, so visitors tend to head back to Inuvik after exploring the town and dipping their toes in the Arctic Ocean.
Slide 20 of 51: Moose Jaw is one of Canada’s more well-known cities, not because it’s particularly big and bustling, but because of its uniquely Canadian name. The municipality leans into its reputation – it actually has dubbed itself “Canada’s Most Notorious City.” The drive from Saskatchewan’s capital city Regina is a fairly quick one at just 44 miles (71km), but it does lead drivers through some spectacular Saskatchewan farmland. 
Slide 21 of 51: Even as Saskatchewan’s fourth-largest city Moose Jaw itself is fairly small, but it’s full of friendly Moose Javians, classic prairie architecture, parks and trails, and a series of signature murals. The city also has a series of underground tunnels that were used by Chinese railway workers fleeing persecution and bootleggers running rum during Prohibition. Finally, no visit to Moose Jaw is complete without a glimpse of Mac, who remains the world’s largest moose sculpture.
Slide 22 of 51: While Saskatchewan roads have a reputation for being flat and boring, the province is actually a pleasure to drive through, thanks to the serenity of the endless acres of farmland and bright yellow canola fields. Road trippers will get a pretty drive no matter which direction they head out in from Saskatoon, but the 191-mile (308 km) drive to the Great Sand Hills is particularly worthwhile.
Slide 23 of 51: Situated in the middle of the prairie near the Alberta/Saskatchewan border, the Great Sand Hills are a series of golden sand dunes that look like they should be in the middle of a great desert. The dunes are constantly moving and the area is also a popular spot for bird watching. Those looking to make a weekend trip out of it can stay in nearby Leader, a small and charming prairie town.
Slide 24 of 51: Manitoba is known for its beautiful lake country and the beach community of Gimli is one of the province’s most popular summertime recreation destinations. Gimli sits on the southern tip of Lake Manitoba and is an easy 56-mile (90km) drive from Winnipeg, the province’s capital and largest city.
Slide 25 of 51: Gimli Harbour is home to a busy marina that serves recreational boats as well as fishing vessels, which both make up an important part of the area’s economy. Gimli is also known for its robust Icelandic heritage, culminating each year in an Icelandic Festival. That Icelandic culture is also represented by the Giant Viking, a 15-foot (4.6M) fiberglass statue that has stood in Gimli since 1967.
Slide 26 of 51: The Niagara region is almost directly across Lake Ontario from Canada’s largest city, but it takes about an hour and a half to make the 80-mile (130km) drive along the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW). Niagara Falls is the most obvious highlight of the destination, but after taking a look at the majesty of Horseshoe Falls, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy a weekend in the Niagara area.
Slide 27 of 51: Niagara-on-the-Lake is just north of Niagara Falls and is considered to be the official headquarters of Ontario wine country. The historic town is a perfect picture of charm, with plenty of unique shops, quaint inns, renowned restaurants and well-kept gardens. There are also about 40 wineries in the area, many of which are open to visitors who tour by bike or guided bus tour.
Slide 28 of 51: One of Ontario’s many lakeside cottage getaways, Muskoka is just a little more than a two-hour drive north of Toronto. It sits between Georgian Bay, which is part of the Canadian side of Lake Huron, and Lake Couchiching with approximately 1,600 smaller lakes scattered in between. All of that lakeside property gives visitors plenty of opportunities to relax or play by the water.  Discover Canada's lesser-known lakes here
Slide 29 of 51: The town of Huntsville is the largest municipality in the Muskoka but most visitors just drive up to the region to experience the quiet of nature. While gazing at the peacefulness of the water from an Adirondack chair or going for a calming paddle in a canoe is enough for most city-dwellers, those who crave a little bit of human interaction can seek out some of the many places in the area to golf, hike, indulge in spa treatments, or go out for a gourmet meal.
Slide 30 of 51: The drive northward from the southern tip of Ontario between Lakes Huron and Erie takes drivers from the American border to one of Canada’s most culturally significant small cities. It’s technically a shorter drive to take the Ontario 401 highway through London (or to go across the US border and through Detroit when open), but it’s worth adding an extra 45 minutes to take the scenic route via Lambton Shores on Lake Huron.
Slide 31 of 51: Stratford, located on the Avon River (it’s all named after the Stratford in the UK), is best known for its Shakespearean theater festival. The city was first settled in 1828 and its rich history is apparent at every turn. While theater is Stratford’s calling card, visitors can also take in various parks and gardens or hit the self-guided Stratford Chocolate Trail to try some treats. Stratford is also the former home of Justin Bieber and fans can download a map of the singer’s childhood haunts.
Slide 32 of 51: While city dwellers in southern Ontario flock to the areas around the Great Lakes for weekend downtime, many people from Ottawa head to Lanark County for their weekend downtime. The County’s best-known municipal center is the town of Perth, located just an hour southwest of Ottawa. Originally settled in 1815, Perth is a small town, but one that’s chock full of history.
Slide 33 of 51: Today Perth is an enchanting town full of stone buildings, many of which sit on the pretty Tay River. The area is also beloved by outdoor enthusiasts, with the Rideau Trail, a 240-mile (387km) hiking trail network running right through the center of town. Visitors can also canoe, hike, bike or camp at the nearby Murphy’s Point Provincial Park.
Slide 34 of 51: The drive from Montreal to the tip of the Gaspé peninsula is considered one of the best road trips in Canada, but at nine and a half hours either way it’s a bit long for a weekend sojourn. For a shorter trip, it’s a good idea to head in the same direction to the Centre-du-Québec region, an agricultural area south of the St. Lawrence River that’s known as the breadbasket of Quebec.
Slide 35 of 51: Visitors will find centers like Drummondville and Victoriaville in the area, but it’s the smaller rural towns that make this trip truly special. It’s easy to find local cheese-makers (like the award-winning Fromagerie du Presbytère, located in a repurposed church) cideries, cranberry bogs, sugar shacks and breweries scattered throughout the countryside, for a literal taste of traditional Quebec culture.
Slide 36 of 51: The two-hour drive from Quebec City to La Mauricie National Park takes drivers down a scenic route along the northern bank of the magnificent St. Lawrence River. The park is one of Canada’s most beautiful, full of lakes and waterfalls and thick forests that are at their most stunning when the leaves change to brilliant colors of orange-red in the fall months.
Slide 37 of 51: The natural beauty of La Mauricie is enough of an experience on its own, but the park is also near the city of Shawinigan, which sits right on the Saint-Maurice River. It’s also not far from the luxurious Baluchon eco-tourism resort, a secluded property that features a fine dining restaurant, outdoor activities and a Nordic spa.
Slide 38 of 51: The city of St. John is actually right on the shores of the Bay of Fundy, so this weekend road trip is about exploring the Bay itself. The Bay is famous for having the highest tides on Earth, reaching to about 52 feet (16m), far beyond the global average. The Bay touches both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and can be accessed by either province.
Slide 39 of 51: The New Brunswick side of the Bay can be easily accessed from St. Martins, a 40-minute drive from St. John. From there, visitors can explore sea caves (at low tide) or go for a kayak. St. Andrews is also a good stop, with opportunities for whale-watching and seaside golfing. The famous Hopewell Rocks are also only a two-hour drive north from St. John.
Slide 40 of 51: As Canada’s smallest province it’s relatively easy to drive from one end of Prince Edward Island to the other, but taking a loop around the central part of the island will arguably give drivers the most bang for their buck. The 157-mile (253km) Central Coastal Drive route takes travelers through the northern Green Gables Shore and the southern Red Sands Shore, hitting many of PEI’s most popular attractions.
Slide 41 of 51: The Green Gables Shore features PEI’s most famed sites, particularly those connected to L.M. Montgomery’s beloved Anne of Green Gables novels. The route goes through the Cavendish area, which is home to the Green Gables house as well as some key museums. The Red Sands Shore is a bit quieter and more relaxed, full of small coastal villages and cozy coves.  Explore PEI with our full guide to the region
Slide 42 of 51: Cape Breton Island, a large island off the north coast of Nova Scotia, has a special place in Canadian culture, largely because of the traditional fiddle music that’s so tied to the island’s way of life. There’s no better way to see the island’s culture and stunning natural beauty than to take a drive along the Cabot Trail, a 185-mile (298km) loop that circles the northwestern part of the island.
Slide 43 of 51: The Cabot Trail is a spectacularly scenic drive that takes visitors through Cape Breton Highlands National Park and along the island’s dramatic coastline. The park offers plenty of opportunities to hike, but it’s just as nice to stay in the car and spot the lighthouses, coves and cliffs along the way. The Cabot Trail also attracts art lovers, with a number of small galleries and artist studios on the route.
Slide 44 of 51: The east coast of Nova Scotia is home to some of the most postcard-perfect towns in all of Canada, including the famously charming fishing village of Lunenburg. Founded in 1753, the town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its planned layout and traditional wooden architecture. Today Lunenburg is popular with tourists because of its history and delicious seaside seafood restaurants. 
Slide 45 of 51: The drive from Nova Scotia’s capital city of Halifax is about 62 miles (99km) and can be completed in about an hour and 15 minutes, but it’s worth making a detour to Peggy’s Cove in St. Margarets Bay. Peggy’s Point Lighthouse is probably the most photographed lighthouse in all of Canada, while the rest of the site offers a glimpse of life in a traditional Maritime fishing village. Find out more about what to see in Nova Scotia. 
Slide 46 of 51: Newfoundland’s Viking Trail is a 327-mile (526km) route that starts at Deer Lake and stretches northwards up the west coast of the island into Gros Morne National Park. One of Canada’s most spectacularly rugged national parks, Gros Morne is renowned for its fjords, fossil-rich hills and unique geological formations like the Tablelands, which are favored by hikers looking to explore the forces of continental drift.
Slide 47 of 51: If Gros Morne isn’t enough, the Viking Trail continues northwards to L’anse aux Meadows National Historic Site, located at the tip of Great Northern Peninsula. The archeological site is the only confirmed Norse encampment in all of North America, and its artifacts are estimated to be over 1,000 years old. Today the site features a recreated base camp and costumed interpreters as well as original artifacts.
Slide 48 of 51: Newfoundland is an island of finger-like peninsulas, which provides lots of opportunity for fun seaside road trips. The 143-mile (230km) Baccalieu Trail takes drivers up one of the long fingers of the Avalon Peninsula, through some of Newfoundland’s most historic small towns and communities, while offering some breathtaking ocean views.
Slide 49 of 51: Dildo is a popular attraction with people who take photos next to its town sign, but the community was also once a historic whaling port. Explorers on the Baccalieu Trail can also make stops to learn firsthand about the first transatlantic cable that was received in Heart’s Content, the pirate stories of Carbonear, and about Amelia Earhart’s takeoff from the Harbour Grace.
Slide 50 of 51: Heading south from St. John’s, drivers can take a circular loop around the bottom part of the Avalon Peninsula. The 194-mile (312km) Irish Loop leads drivers through prime seabird and whale watching territory, where tours take off from the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve in search of humpback and minke whales. There are also ample hiking trails in the area, for those who would prefer to stop and explore the craggy shoreline by foot.
Slide 51 of 51: As they travel towards the bottom of the peninsula, visitors will find Ferryland, one of the oldest European settlements in North America, where archeologists have found remnants of homes built in the 17th century. Fans of more recent history will also want to stop at the Cape Race lighthouse, which received the distress call from the doomed Titanic in 1912.  Discover Canada's most beautiful small towns and villages

Hit the road

When it comes to road-tripping, there’s a lot of ground to cover in Canada. It’s best to discover the world’s second-largest country bit by bit, with short road trips that reveal what makes each of the country’s provinces and territories unique. All 25 of these Canadian adventures can easily be taken over the course of a weekend – perfect if you’re planning ahead for when the US/Canada border reopens and it’s safe to travel again.

Yukon: Whitehorse to Dawson City

Yukon: Whitehorse to Dawson City

British Columbia: Nanaimo to Tofino

British Columbia: Nanaimo to Tofino

British Columbia: Vancouver to the Fraser Valley

British Columbia: Vancouver to the Fraser Valley

The river valley makes for some of the most fertile farmland in Canada and many local food producers welcome visitors for either formal or self-guided tours. History lovers can also stop at the Fort Langley National Historic Site, an interpretive center that served as a working Hudson’s Bay Company fur trading post 150 years ago.

British Columbia: Vancouver to Whistler

Just the name of the road from Vancouver to Whistler – the Sea to Sky Highway – is enticing. The route, which actually terminates just north of Whistler in Pemberton is only 101 miles (163km) long, but it’s worth slowing down and taking the time to drink in the coastal views and stop to learn about British Columbia’s rich Indigenous history from the Cultural Journey interpretive kiosks posted along the way. 

British Columbia: Vancouver to Whistler

British Columbia: Kelowna to Osoyoos

British Columbia: Kelowna to Osoyoos

While the lakes and surrounding desert-like landscapes are beautiful, the geography of the area is also prime for grape growing. The highway is dotted with wineries, many of which offer tours and tastings to the public. The famed Golden Mile Bench, BC’s first official wine sub-region sits on the southern part of the journey between Oliver and Osoyoos, featuring wineries like Culmina Family Estate, Tinhorn Creek and Road 13. 

Discover what else to see in the Okanagan with our guide 

Alberta: Banff to Jasper

Alberta: Banff to Jasper

The Icefields Parkway gets its name from the Columbia Icefield, the largest ice field in the Rocky Mountains. One of the Icefield’s “toes,” the Athabasca Glacier, can be accessed at about the halfway point of the journey, with its edge within walking distance of the main road. The glacier can be further explored via an on-site discovery center, snow coach tours, and the Glacier Skywalk, a glass-floored platform that juts out 918 feet (280m) over the Sunwapta Valley. Find out more about Canada’s beautiful national parks with our guide. 

Alberta: Calgary to Bar U Ranch

Alberta’s Bar U Ranch National Historic Site offers a rare hands-on picture of Canada’s Wild West. The ranch dates back to the late 1800s and now offers interactive learning experiences to help visitors understand what life would have been like for Western Canada’s pioneering cowboys and cattle ranchers. The ranch is near the village of Longview, in the heart of Alberta’s still very active cattle ranching country.

Alberta: Calgary to Bar U Ranch

Alberta: Edmonton to Drumheller

Alberta: Edmonton to Drumheller

Those seemingly extraterrestrial hills also conceal a treasure trove of prehistoric fossils, making Drumheller the dinosaur capital of Canada. The Royal Tyrrell Museum is a world-class paleontology center, full of awe-inspiring dinosaur exhibits. For something a little less serious, the World’s Largest Dinosaur sits at the visitor center in downtown Drumheller. Guests can climb a stairway inside of the dinosaur and stand in its open mouth to get a better view of the town. You can find more brilliant destinations for dinosaur fans here too. 

Northwest Territories: Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk

Northwest Territories: Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk

Saskatchewan: Regina to Moose Jaw

Moose Jaw is one of Canada’s more well-known cities, not because it’s particularly big and bustling, but because of its uniquely Canadian name. The municipality leans into its reputation – it actually has dubbed itself “Canada’s Most Notorious City.” The drive from Saskatchewan’s capital city Regina is a fairly quick one at just 44 miles (71km), but it does lead drivers through some spectacular Saskatchewan farmland. 

Saskatchewan: Regina to Moose Jaw

Saskatchewan: Saskatoon to Great Sand Hills

Saskatchewan: Saskatoon to Great Sand Hills

Manitoba: Winnipeg to Gimli

Manitoba: Winnipeg to Gimli

Ontario: Toronto to Niagara

Ontario: Toronto to Niagara

Ontario: Toronto to Muskoka

One of Ontario’s many lakeside cottage getaways, Muskoka is just a little more than a two-hour drive north of Toronto. It sits between Georgian Bay, which is part of the Canadian side of Lake Huron, and Lake Couchiching with approximately 1,600 smaller lakes scattered in between. All of that lakeside property gives visitors plenty of opportunities to relax or play by the water. 

Discover Canada’s lesser-known lakes here

Ontario: Toronto to Muskoka

Ontario: Windsor to Stratford

Ontario: Windsor to Stratford

Stratford, located on the Avon River (it’s all named after the Stratford in the UK), is best known for its Shakespearean theater festival. The city was first settled in 1828 and its rich history is apparent at every turn. While theater is Stratford’s calling card, visitors can also take in various parks and gardens or hit the self-guided Stratford Chocolate Trail to try some treats. Stratford is also the former home of Justin Bieber and fans can download a map of the singer’s childhood haunts.

Ontario: Ottawa to Perth

Ontario: Ottawa to Perth

Quebec: Montreal to Centre-du-Québec

Quebec: Montreal to Centre-du-Québec

Quebec: Quebec City to La Mauricie National Park

Quebec: Quebec City to La Mauricie National Park

The natural beauty of La Mauricie is enough of an experience on its own, but the park is also near the city of Shawinigan, which sits right on the Saint-Maurice River. It’s also not far from the luxurious Baluchon eco-tourism resort, a secluded property that features a fine dining restaurant, outdoor activities and a Nordic spa.

New Brunswick: St. John to the Bay of Fundy

New Brunswick: St. John to the Bay of Fundy

Prince Edward Island: Central Coastal Drive

Prince Edward Island: Central Coastal Drive

The Green Gables Shore features PEI’s most famed sites, particularly those connected to L.M. Montgomery’s beloved Anne of Green Gables novels. The route goes through the Cavendish area, which is home to the Green Gables house as well as some key museums. The Red Sands Shore is a bit quieter and more relaxed, full of small coastal villages and cozy coves. 

Explore PEI with our full guide to the region

Nova Scotia: Cabot Trail

Nova Scotia: Cabot Trail

Nova Scotia: Halifax to Lunenburg

The east coast of Nova Scotia is home to some of the most postcard-perfect towns in all of Canada, including the famously charming fishing village of Lunenburg. Founded in 1753, the town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its planned layout and traditional wooden architecture. Today Lunenburg is popular with tourists because of its history and delicious seaside seafood restaurants. 

Nova Scotia: Halifax to Lunenburg

The drive from Nova Scotia’s capital city of Halifax is about 62 miles (99km) and can be completed in about an hour and 15 minutes, but it’s worth making a detour to Peggy’s Cove in St. Margarets Bay. Peggy’s Point Lighthouse is probably the most photographed lighthouse in all of Canada, while the rest of the site offers a glimpse of life in a traditional Maritime fishing village. Find out more about what to see in Nova Scotia. 

Newfoundland and Labrador: Viking Trail

Newfoundland and Labrador: Viking Trail

If Gros Morne isn’t enough, the Viking Trail continues northwards to L’anse aux Meadows National Historic Site, located at the tip of Great Northern Peninsula. The archeological site is the only confirmed Norse encampment in all of North America, and its artifacts are estimated to be over 1,000 years old. Today the site features a recreated base camp and costumed interpreters as well as original artifacts.

Newfoundland and Labrador: St. John’s to Dildo via the Baccalieu Trail

Newfoundland and Labrador: St. John’s to Dildo via the Baccalieu Trail

Newfoundland: Irish Loop

Newfoundland: Irish Loop

As they travel towards the bottom of the peninsula, visitors will find Ferryland, one of the oldest European settlements in North America, where archeologists have found remnants of homes built in the 17th century. Fans of more recent history will also want to stop at the Cape Race lighthouse, which received the distress call from the doomed Titanic in 1912. 

Discover Canada’s most beautiful small towns and villages

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