Make the most of your holiday time and perfect summer weather with one of these family-friendly road trip destinations
There’s nothing quite like packing up the car on a summer long weekend and hitting the open road. The sun is shining, the tunes are blasting and the pit-stop burgers are plentiful. With the sunny months here, and the promise of action-packed adventure on the horizon, here’s our roundup of fun family road trips.
1. Cape Breton
Rated by Travel + Leisure magazine the #1 island to visit in continental North America, Cape Breton is four-plus hours away from Halifax, Nova Scotia – and well worth the trip. Here, travellers can spend a few days driving the stunning Cabot Trail, soaking up the sweeping ocean views, quiet fishing villages and, during rest stops, tranquil hiking trails. And you’re definitely not going to want to leave without sampling the local lobster!
Whale enthusiasts will love this charming town, located about three hours from Quebec City by car. From May to October, the old-world hamlet offers world-class whale watching tours. After your animal encounters, stroll over to check out North America’s oldest wooden church, built in 1747, enjoy a bistro meal, and rest your head at a quaint B&B.
3. Blue Mountain Resort
Situated on the picturesque Niagara Escarpment, the Blue Mountain Resort is an ideal retreat for families looking for some serious R&R. The resort is busy during ski season, but summer is in many ways a better time to visit. When the sun comes out, Blue Mountain offers something for everyone in the family, from golf and tennis to mountain biking, hiking, jet skiing, caving, climbing, mountain-top tours, wine tastings and kids summer camps. Plus, for mom: the luxurious Scandinave Spa.
4. Algonquin Provincial Park
Located three hours north of Toronto, this majestic park will knock your socks off. Boasting more than 1,500 lakes, the outdoor activities on offer here are legendary. Whether bunking in at the rustic Wolf Den Hostel and Nature Retreat or camping in the forest, the whole family can pass idyllic, sun-drenched days hiking, biking, birding, boating, fishing, canoeing and swimming.
Take in a play and dive into the delicious cuisine of this charming town just two hours west of Toronto. The sleepy hamlet is famous for two things: a world-class theatre scene and pop icon (and former resident) Justin Bieber. But in recent years, it’s also become known for its thriving local food culture. Check out its many mouth-watering bistros, stroll its fabulous Farmers Market and be sure to pay a visit to its stunning Shakespearean Gardens.
This resort town in Alberta, roughly an hour and a half’s drive from Calgary, is famous for its spectacular Rocky Mountain scenery. Banff National Park draws outdoorsy types of all stripes, with its plentiful hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, rock climbing and fishing opportunities. To unwind after a day of play, book at the luxe, castle-like Fairmont Banff Springs or pay a visit to the world-famous hot springs.
7. Galiano Island
Vancouverites looking for an easy family vacay often head to the scenic Galiano Island, in the Gulf Islands archipelago just off the coast of the Lower Mainland. Just over an hour away from the city by breath-taking ferry ride, the island offers the best of West Coast wilderness adventures, including kayaking, hiking and camping. And if you’re looking for a less-rugged weekend, you can book in at the luxe waterfront Galiano Inn, browse Galiano Island Books and dine at the New York Times-praised eatery pilgrimme.
Ready to begin your adventure? Stay ahead of the crowd with a must-have traffic app that can help you avoid accidents and delays in real-time. And keep the kids entertained with smart, fun games and apps, created just for them.
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