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road trips

12 Quintessential Canadian Road Trips

By SHANNON KELLY

Trans Canada Highway, Alberta (Photo: Gord McKenna)

It’s time to think about planning your summer vacation, and if the open road is what you’re craving, Canada—with its stunning scenery and wide open natural beauty—has plenty of options. In fact, one of our best drives, the Banff-to-Jasper route (see Icefields Parkway) in the Rockies, was included in National Geographic’s Drives of a Lifetime book.

Start the slideshow of quintessential Canadian road trips »

Muskoka Road Trip! How to Spend a Weekend in Ontario’s Cottage Country When You Don’t Own a Cottage

By TIM JOHNSON

JW Marriott The Rosseau Resort near Minett (Photo: courtesy of JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa)

Located just 200km north of Toronto, the Muskoka region has long been the favourite chill weekend getaway spot for hot, tired city dwellers. They arrive by the carload to experience its lakes, rivers and beaches. Until recent years, that commute was the only kind of Muskoka road trip there way—this beautiful area was considered “cottage country” and a visit here was dependent on having a place on the lake—or a friend who has one.

That was then. These days, there’s a new kind of Muskoka road trip emerging. With the addition of a number of great luxury properties—including a lovely JW Marriott set on the shores of Lake Rosseau—a new kind of Muskoka holiday is becoming possible. More and more “cottage-less” folks can now explore the area, checking out its quirky shops, interesting museums and great restaurants, then bed down for the night in style at a five-star resort. To celebrate this new kind of traveller, we offer our Muskoka road trip guide, loaded with tips on where to go, what to see and where to stay.

Read the Muskoka road trip guide »
See the Muskoka road trip map »
Start the Muskoka road trip slideshow » 

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Travel Tip of the Day

When planning your road trip budget, use a fuel-cost calculator like the one at GasBuddy.com. It estimates how much you’ll spend on gas, based on your start and end points and your car make and model. It will also tell you how many fuel stops you’ll have to make.

Give us your tips! Add a comment below or let us know on Twitter @wherecanada: #wherecanadatips.

Travel Tip of the Day

On road trips, no matter how many GPS-enabled electronic devices and snazzy navigation apps you have, bring a real, old-school paper map. You never know when you’ll lose a cell signal, run out of battery life or get terrible advice from an app or online map source. It’s just good insurance!

Day-Tripping on the Island

While Victoria’s attractions and amenities are sure to keep you busy, extend your visit with a little “Island time.” Need a few ideas? Here are a few of our favourite day-trip destinations.

Milner Garden

Salt Spring & the Gulf Islands

35-minute ferry trip from Sidney/Swartz Bay

Visitors to this tranquil island paradise renowned for its relaxed lifestyle enjoy Salt Spring’s natural beauty, art galleries, studios, wineries and gift shops. Visit on Saturdays and take in the huge outdoor market where the island’s accomplished artisans and farmers display their fine products. Hiking trails at Ruckle Provincial Park, country roads ideal for cycling and wonderful kayaking are among the many possibilities here. (more…)

Driving Ontario’s Big Chute Marine Railway

By ALINA SEAGAL

Big Chute dam (Photo: Yulia Rabinovich)

It is one of the most picturesque drives in southern Ontario, yet very few know about the winding road to Big Chute Marine Railway north of Port Severn, two hours from Toronto. On this route, you’ll see Ontario at its best while passing stunning views of marshes, rocky formations, lakes, islands and thick forests, ending up at the railway boat lift at Lock 44 on the Trent-Severn Waterway, the only inclined-plane boat lift left in North America.

See the map »

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Avoid Gridlock on Your Next Getaway with 4 Free Traffic Apps

By SHANNON KELLY

Want to get around the traffic jams and beat the speed traps without shelling out $59.99 for a TomTom navigation system? The traffic apps we’ve rounded up here are some of the best on the market now and our top favourites. (more…)

A Food Lover’s Tour of the Eastern Townships, Quebec

By WAHEEDA HARRIS

Bleu Lavande (Photo: Waheeda Harris)

In Quebec’s bucolic Eastern Townships region near Montreal, you can find plenty of gourmet souvenirs as you wind your way from Sherbrooke down to Lac Brome on Route 112. (more…)

A Food-Lover’s Guide to British Columbia’s Sea to Sky Highway

By WAHEEDA HARRIS

Christine's, on Blackcomb Mountain

Taking the Sea to Sky Highway, travellers are attracted to the vistas of Bowen Island, the Pacific Ocean and the Coastal Mountains, and for a food-obsessed tourist, there’s plenty of local tastes to be found along the way. (more…)

The Not-So-Average Day Trip: Ontario Food Factory Tours

By LIZ BRUCKNER

Mapleton's Organic Farm

Just because many large-scale manufacturers prefer to keep their doors closed to public eyes doesn’t mean every food producer follows suit. These homegrown Ontario producers welcome visitors to see their manufacturing process and—best of all—do some unofficial taste-testing. (more…)

5 Must-Have Items for Your Next Family Road Trip

By SHANNON KELLY

There are only so many times a parent can listen to the Kidz Bop version of “A Pocketful of Sunshine” without driving off the road in protest. To avoid multimedia overload, prevent meltdowns of the I-dropped-my-favourite-stuffed-animals (and my juice box, too!) variety and other en-route calamities, CanadianFamily.ca has compiled a list of five essentials for a kid-friendly road trip. (more…)

Will Gas Prices Affect Your Summer Vacation?

By SHANNON KELLY

Photo: Images_of_Money

Soon enough, school will be out and road trippers will be, well, road tripping. But at a higher cost in fuel than last year, it seems.

We’re looking at record-breaking gas prices for spring across Canada—in some cases 12- to 15-per-cent increases—and cost per litre could reach $1.50 in the heat of summer. Ouch.

Currently, average prices at the pump are 7 cents higher than the average a year ago.

In the US, which is feeling the burn of oil prices even more acutely at the moment, surveyed travellers said higher prices would curb their travel plans: 44 per cent claimed it would cause them to take fewer trips.