Great Canadian Road Trips: Calgary to Lake Louise, Alberta
Book off four days to do the trek from Calgary to Lake Louise, suggests Debbie Monahan, Montreal-based regional director with Carlson Wagonlit Travel.
Day one: “Begin with a city tour of Calgary that includes a visit to the famous Calgary Stampede and also a visit to the site of the 1988 Olympic games,” says Monahan. (Before you go, brush up on this fascinating Calgary Stampede trivia.)
Day two: “Rent a vehicle, pack a lunch, and depart early the next morning for Lake Louise, stopping at the Columbia Icefield for a quick snowmobile tour on the way. You should arrive at Lake Louise in the mid-to late afternoon, which is a perfect time to take a stroll around the beautiful lake filled with crystal-blue water. I recommend staying at a hotel with a lake view so you can enjoy the breathtaking sunsets and sunrises,” says Monahan.
Day Three: “Plan for an early rise to allow for time to roam around Lake Louise before heading off to Sulphur Mountain, Banff Springs. You must take the gondola all the way up the mountain and bring your bathing suit, as you’ll want to spend some time in the hot springs! The Fairmont Banff Springs offers an evening treat, complete with interesting ghost stories if you opt for tour,” says Monahan. (Check out more of the best things to do in Banff.)
Day Four: “Do some additional touring around Banff Springs, before returning to Calgary,” says Monahan. Once you make it back, this list of the best things to do in Calgary can serve as your guide!
Great Canadian Road Trips: The Cabot Trail, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
If your idea of a dream road trip is one where your golf clubs are stowed in your car trunk and always at the ready, try the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton island—recently ranked #1 among US and Canadian island destinations by Travel + Leisure magazine.
Picture “wow” curves and coastal views, spectacular cliffs and stunning beaches—plus the region’s renowned Maritime hospitality. Stop and swim, hike, horseback ride, fish, kayak, scuba dive, or simply compare lighthouses. (Don’t miss this roundup of the best beaches in Canada.)
Then head for the greens at one of the island’s six top-notch golf courses, making sure to book reservations at the Cabot Links, Canada’s first true “links” golf course.
Check out 10 more essential east coast experiences.
Great Canadian Road Trips: Eastern Townships, Quebec
Take a scenic drive to North Hatley, 75-minutes east of Montreal, for the Relais & Chateaux-listed Manoir Hovey, suggests Montreal-based Patricia Gajo, author of guidebook Frommer’s Montreal & Quebec City, 22nd Edition, who made the pilgrimage with her boyfriend.
“Manoir Hovey is hands-down the most luxurious getaway for couples in the Eastern Townships: jacuzzi, water view, Champagne, gourmet resto—you name it,” says Gajo. (Check out 10 more great Canadian hotels.) “Along the way, we saw all these little stands where you could buy local produce direct from farmers, like corn, raspberries, apples, and so on. I also bought some maple syrup,” says Gajo, who notes that many find the region’s rolling fields and orchards reminiscent of Tuscany.
One must-visit is Abbey of St-Benoît-du-Lac, a Benedictine monastery. “I’d like to go back in fall because I heard you can apple pick in their orchard. They also make cheese; I bought a brick of their famous bleu. You can also go at certain times to hear their daily Gregorian chants,” says Gajo.
Get to know the best apple picking spots across Canada.