Your Guide To The Perfect Summer Road Trip
From sea to shining sea, Canada is home to 900,000 kilometres of asphalt. What are you waiting for?
Start In The East
Hit four provinces in two weeks for a trunkload of memories. Take in the Reversing Falls in Saint John, N.B., then head over to Nova Scotia’s Lighthouse Route, a 330-kilometre jaunt dotted by 20 beacons. Camp the famous beaches of Prince Edward Island and finish off with the help of CapeRace, a Newfoundland company that sets you up with a customized road-trip itinerary.
Where to eat: Anywhere. It’s lobster season!
Head West To Quebec
For three trips in one, head to the Eastern Townships. It’s home to the Townships Trail (blast to the past at the Ulverton Wool Mill and Brome County Historical Museum), the Wine Trail (sign up for a bus tour and taste your way through 17 wineries) and the Summit Drive (study the stars at the Dark Sky Reserve).
Where to eat: Embrace country chic at Le Relais in the picturesque village of Knowlton.
Keep Going West
Want to see a stunning (and scary) mountain view that doubles as one of Canada’s boldest feats of civil engineering? Drive the Rogers Pass in British Columbia, a section of the Trans-Canada that will take you more than 4,300 metres above sea level.
Where to eat: The Frontier Motel Revelstoke in the ski village of Revelstoke for rib-sticking diner fare. Finish off the night bowling at The Cabin or sipping a pint at The Village Idiot.
Take Your Time
Studies have shown that extended periods of night driving can be as dangerous as driving drunk. Canadian law stipulates that truckers can spend no more than 13 hours behind the wheel in a 24-hour period. They must take at least eight consecutive hours off, plus two that can be broken up into smaller breaks of no less than 30 minutes. So keep things leisurely and take your time getting there.
Plan Your Pit Stops
Sadly, there’s no gas station thrift shop, but websites such as gasbuddy.com will give you a report on the ups and downs of fuel prices in any province, territory or state in Canada and the United States.
If You Need A Little Help Getting There…
If you want to Save: Google Maps is a directionally challenged driver’s guardian angel. The free app can be used with street view and has turn-by-turn voice navigation.
If you want to Splurge: It costs $60, but the Magellan RoadMate North America comes highly recommended by the gear geeks at Gizmodo. Its customizable screen interface and ability to locate the nearest taco joint earned it a win.
If you’re rocking a Bentley, Audi, Porsche or BMW, an Ottawa company is keeping you on the right path. QNX-the business behind the operating system in the BlackBerry 10-creates software that keeps the touch-screen dashboards in luxury vehicles running smoothly. By 2020, more than 80 per cent of new cars will have built-in units, experts say. Looks like QNX is just getting revved up.
And don’t forget paper maps-that GPS isn’t perfect.