Sheryl Crow must have known something about the drives in Canada when she wrote her famous tune–"Everyday is a Winding Road"–now a karaoke staple. Winding or not, one thing is for sure. These next five Canadian drives will take your breath away. Fill up with gas, pack a picnic, get some good tunes and forget the GPS. Getting lost is the best part.
The Dempster Highway: Inuvik, Northwest Territories to Dawson City, Yukon
Prepare yourself for 798 km of wacky adventure. Except for a few brave Arctic Prairie Dogs, the winding gravel roads are deserted and so gorgeous. You’ll cross a ferry, stop for gas at Fort McPherson, and eventually cross the Arctic Circle before resting at the Eagle Plains Motel. Endless daylight means 2 am bondfires are likely. From then on, it’s a smooth ride down (hopefully) to Dawson City.
The Lighthouse Trail: Peggy’s Cove to Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia
The indented shorelines of Nova Scotia’s coast offer a romantic drive for anyone needing to just get lost in it all. Take your time and don’t rush the in-and-out roads that sometimes take you to a dead end overlooking the ocean. That’s the point.
From the picturesque fishing village of Peggy’s Cove–with all its wooden boats, small stores and stoic lighthouse overlooking the grounds– all the way to the eclectic feel of Mahone Bay, these country roads will tug on your heartstrings.
Admittedly, when I first heard that we’d be driving across the longest bridge in the world that crossed over open water, I was a bit scared. But the 12.9 km curved road only took 10 minutes to drive and it was really exciting. The Confederation Bridge connects Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, making travel in the Maritimes convenient. Costing over a billion dollars and four-years to finish, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime journey that all Canadians need to make.
Being based in Vancouver– for me– day trips to Squamish and Whistler are not uncommon. I feel lucky to have this gorgeous scenery as my playground and I take full advantage of it. Truly one of the most amazing drives out there, you’ll experience nature in its most splendid state: The harshness of the rugged cliffs that seems to disappear into the ocean, the vistas of the snowcapped mountains, boats on the water and beautiful homes perched in the hillsides are worth it.
You can take the highway or the scenic route to get to Cowichan Bay from Victoria. I’d recommend the latter, since you’ll encounter magical ocean views and country roads. Once you get there, the small artisinal community of Cowichan Bay has some of the best foods around: Hilary’s cheeses, breads and the Udder Guy’s ice cream are all made there. If you’re a seafood lover, your senses will love the salty aromas of fish-and-chips frying up nearby. Ahoy!