Driving across Canada has been on my bucket list for years. There is just so much open space and each province seems to offer a different view. Taking the Trans Canada Highway is one of those must-do adventures.
The East Coast
The east coast offers gorgeous views and boasts some of the best fish and chips that can be found. Don’t forget to pop into a few local restaurants to try the catch of the day.
Montreal is one of those cities that is unique to Canada. They speak a different language, have the best poutine (a must-try when visiting Canada), and has a culture that is so open to community, music and the arts. Be sure to check the events calendar to see what is going on in the city as you’re passing through.
Toronto, it’s one of my favorite cities. The food, the sights, the different cultural districts, The CN Tower, the Skydome (yes, I’m still calling it the Skydome), the museums, the nightlife, the life, the city of love.
Niagara Falls is also one of those places that is worth the detour off of the Trans Canada to see. The small town is quaint and the falls are boastful.
If you’re looking for a place to camp or do some canoeing on your trip, Algonquin Park is the place to stop.
Continuing on the drive, northern Ontario is an experience with the twisty, rolling hills and colorful rocks. Just beware of the type of year as the bugs can be out of this world! Stopping in Sudbury to check out the Big Nickel and grab some lunch is also a great treat.
Manitoba & Saskatchewan
Manitoba and Saskatchewan offer golden fields that stretch for miles. Cities pop up out of nowhere and you really start to feel how much land Canada has to offer.
Alberta offers your first glimpse of the Rocky Mountains. They are an eye-opener. Towering in the background as you come upon them. Stopping in Lake Louise and Banff are a must. The ski towns offer year-round adventures and standing in the mountains is an experience that must be done!
Calgary, Alberta (AB), home of the world-renowned annual Calgary Stampede, is located in the foothills of Canada’s Rocky Mountains. Calgary, known as the “Heart of the New West”, it’s a favorite travel destination for people coming from international locations as well as visitors from the rest of Canada. Whether you are coming for the Stampede or for the natural beauty of this cosmopolitan city, this location is a world-class destination. Explore the heritage of the Canadian West and visit the historic Lougheed House, a sandstone prairie mansion, built in 1891.
Home to two major natural parks, Fish Creek Provincial Park and Nose Hill Park, Calgary offers thousands of acres of natural woodlands with excellent hiking trails. In Fish Creek Provincial Park there is also a lake with a beach and numerous biking trails. In the city, Calgary boasts of “550 km of continuous bike paths – the most extensive urban pathway system in North America”. Whether you are an experienced RV’er or new to the RV lifestyle, an RV rental is a great way to discover the surrounding pristine wilderness.
The drive between Calgary, Alberta and Revelstoke, British Columbia through Glacier National Park, and Rogers Pass is my favorite stretch of the Trans Canada Highway. There’s just something about driving through the mountains that speaks to me. There’s nothing else like it.
If you’re looking to have a meal on the top of a mountain, stopping in Revelstoke and visiting Mount Revelstoke National Park is a must. You can drive almost to the top and walk the last 1 km to summit the mountain. At the top, there is a short half-hour hike through Meadows in the Sky that provides views of the mountain ranges that are a must-see.
Completing the coast to coast journey, taking the ferry to Victoria, BC is a must. The island is gorgeous and if you keep a lookout you can see the whales playing in the water beside the ferry. It’s a perfect way to finish off an unforgettable trip!
What’s your favorite stretch of the Trans Canada? We’d love to hear all about your adventures! If you’re heading north along the west coast, be sure to check out our article on Renting an RV in Washington.