Canada Highway Journey: A One Month Prompt Itinerary

People canoeing on the bright, clear waters of Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
Posted: 11/19/20 | November 19th, 2020

Spanning 9,306km (5,780 miles) and 6 time zones, Canada is the second-largest nation on the earth. It’s residence to rugged coastlines, huge prairies, dense boreal forests, towering mountain ranges, and upwards of two million lakes.

However what makes Canada particular is its individuals. It’s a spot that embraces its variety and that encourages individuals to be pleasant, caring, and well mannered.

On account of its giant measurement, although, touring throughout Canada could be a little difficult. Home flights are prohibitively costly resulting from low competitors and, exterior of the jap half, trains don’t go many locations.

Which means for those who actually wish to see Canada, you could drive.

That can assist you discover this superb nation, Chris Oldfield, our Canadian staff member, helped create this instructed itinerary for a one-month street journey. It’s packed, because you’ve obtained plenty of floor to cowl. Nevertheless, it’s additionally not too rushed (although you may simply prolong this out to 6 or eight weeks as effectively).

(Be aware: Canada is big, and there are various routes and itineraries you may take. This one is under no circumstances complete however as a substitute meant to present you overview and introduction to the primary cities and sights.)

Days 1-3: Vancouver, BC

The towering skyline of Vancouver, Canada overlooking the ocean
Kick off your journey in Vancouver, one in all my favourite Canadian cities. It’s tucked between the ocean and the mountains, making it a paradise for anybody who loves the outside.

It’s additionally the third-largest metropolis in Canada, so there’s a lot to see and do when you’re right here. There’s a tremendous foodie scene right here too.

Listed below are a couple of solutions that will help you begin your journey off proper:

  • Go to Granville Island – Granville Island is a purchasing district in the course of town. It’s additionally a hub for foodies. Discover the general public market, seize a beer at Granville Island Brewing Firm, and wander the cool retailers. There are additionally galleries, some performing arts venues, and every kind of occasions and festivals held right here too!
  • Benefit from the view from Grouse Mountain – Trip the gondola to the highest, the place you may benefit from the view over the metropolis and mountains. There are many trails for mountain climbing in the summertime and sections for snowboarding and snowboarding within the winter. It’s also possible to hike to the highest (which takes 1.5–2 hours) after which take the gondola down for simply $15 CAD.
  • Loosen up in Stanley Park – Situated within the coronary heart of town, this huge park (a 400-hectare pure rain forest) is an ideal place to flee the hustle and bustle of downtown. Its waterfront path proper on the Pacific is a pleasant place to go for a stroll, swim, or bike experience. There are additionally sports activities fields right here and over 20km of trails.
  • Stroll the Capilano Suspension Bridge – This 450-foot lengthy suspension bridge stands 230 toes excessive and provides views of the encompassing forests and trails. I don’t love heights, nevertheless it’s price it for the view! Tickets are $54 CAD.

For extra solutions, right here’s an in depth record of matters to see and do in Vancouver.

The place to Keep

  • Cambie Hostel Gastown – Situated within the historic Gastown district, this hostel has comfy beds, a small frequent room for hanging out, and entry to The Cambie, the hostel’s bar.
  • HI Vancouver Downtown – Tucked right into a quieter a part of city, HI Vancouver Downtown is in location for exploring the favored Granville and Davie Streets, which supply loads of cafés, bars, golf equipment, eating places, and purchasing.
  • Samesun Vancouver – With cozy pod beds, clear loos, a totally geared up kitchen, and free breakfast (together with eggs and scorching cereal), that is my favourite hostel within the metropolis.

Right here is my full hostel record with much more solutions!

Day 4-5: Whistler, BC

A calm lake with a small floating dock near Whistler, BC, Canada
Situated 90 minutes from Vancouver, Whistler is residence to one of many largest ski resorts in North America. When you’re visiting throughout the winter, make sure to hit the slopes.

In the summertime, there are tons of out of doors actions to get pleasure from corresponding to mountain climbing, swimming, biking, zip-lining, and bear watching. There’s additionally a 4.4km peak-to-peak gondola the place you may benefit from the gorgeous mountain vistas that envelop the area.

The place to Keep
Airbnb and shall be your greatest decisions right here. E-book prematurely, as they get booked quick!

Days 6-8: Banff Nationwide Park, AB

The vivid waters of Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta
Subsequent, head east to Banff Nationwide Park. It’s an 8.5-hour drive, so you may break it up with a keep in Kamloops or simply muscle by means of in a single go.

Banff is residence to 2 of Canada’s most picturesque (and most Instagrammed) places: Moraine Lake and Lake Louise. They’re extremely fashionable sights, so get there early to beat the crowds.

Past snapping some Insta-worthy photographs, there may be loads of mountain climbing to get pleasure from within the surrounding mountains. It’s a phenomenal place to calm down in a country lodge or cabin or go tenting (you may lease tenting gear for those who don’t have any).

You should definitely spend a while within the city of Banff as effectively. It’s a touristy resort city nevertheless it’s additionally tremendous quaint and charming.

The place to Keep
Airbnb shall be your best choice for those who’re on a finances. When you really feel like splurging on a luxurious resort or lodge, use

For tenting, you need to use this authorities web site to e book a web site within the park.

Be aware: When you’ve got greater than a month on your journey, take into account a cease in Jasper Nationwide Park earlier than heading to Banff. It’s an additional nine-hour drive from Whistler however the pure magnificence right here is jaw-dropping (critically, google “Jasper Nationwide Park” — it’s gorgeous!).

Days 9-10: Calgary, AB

The towering skyline of Calgary, Alberta during sunset
Calgary, an often-overlooked vacation spot, is simply 90 minutes from Banff and price spending a pair days in. It’s a cosmopolitan metropolis with a tough and wild cowboy allure to it. There’s plentiful mountain climbing, kayaking, snowboarding, rafting, and tenting all close by. And town itself is without doubt one of the liveliest in Canada, particularly throughout the Calgary Stampede in July, which attracts tens of 1000’s of individuals from world wide.

Listed below are a couple of matters to see and do throughout your go to:

  • Attend the Calgary Stampede – The Calgary Stampede is an annual rodeo. Anticipate chuckwagon races, bull driving, concert events, carnival rides, and infinite truthful meals (deep-fried butter, anybody?). Tickets begin at $18 CAD.
  • Go to Fish Creek Provincial Park – Fish Creek sits alongside the Bow River and is ideal for strolling, biking, and rollerblading. In the summertime, individuals come right here to fish, swim, and barbecue. It’s a enjoyable, enjoyable place to get some train and benefit from the climate.
  • Go brewery-hopping – Calgary has an enormous variety of brewpubs and small craft breweries. Citizen Brewing Firm, Chilly Backyard Beverage Firm, and Massive Rock are a few of my favorites. You may take brewery excursions for round $25 CAD or do a brewery tour for round $90 CAD.
  • Take within the view from Calgary Tower – Inbuilt 1967, the Calgary Tower commemorates Canada’s Centennial. From the highest, it provides an uninterrupted view of the Rocky Mountains. The remark deck has a glass ground that provides an additional thrill to your go to (for those who like heights, that’s). Tickets are $18 CAD.

For extra solutions, try my complete free information to Calgary!

The place to Keep

  • HI Calgary Metropolis Centre – That is the perfect hostel within the metropolis. It’s newly renovated, has a full-equipped kitchen, contains towels, and the beds are comfortable.

If the hostel is booked, use Airbnb. You should definitely e book prematurely for those who’ll be right here for the Stampede.

Days 11-12: Regina, SK

The small city of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada in the summer
Situated seven hours east of Calgary, Regina, the capital of Saskatchewan, is called after Queen Victoria (regina is Latin for “queen”). The province is extremely flat and dominated by farmland — which is why it’s usually missed.

House to below 240,000 individuals, Regina is a small metropolis that’s price a fast go to. Listed below are some instructed matters to see and do when you’re right here:

  • Go to the Royal Saskatchewan Museum – This pure historical past museum was opened in 1906 and is residence to the world’s largest T. rex forged in addition to an insightful exhibition on Canada’s First Nations. It’s an academic place to go to for those who’re touring with youngsters.
  • Watch the Roughriders – The CFL (Canada’s reply to the NFL) is fashionable right here as Regina is residence to one of many league’s greatest groups, the Roughriders. When you’re visiting between June and November, catch a recreation at Mosaic Stadium and get rowdy with the locals! Tickets begin at $32 CAD.
  • Tour the Legislative Constructing – The Saskatchewan Legislative Constructing was inbuilt 1912. It’s a Nationwide Historic Web site and Heritage Property and is residence to one of many tables utilized by the Fathers of Confederation after they drew up their plans to create a united Canada. Take a guided tour (they final round 30 minutes) and be taught concerning the province’s historical past.

The place to Keep
Airbnb and shall be your greatest decisions right here, relying in your finances and how much lodging you’re searching for.

Days 13-14: Winnipeg, MB

The city of Winnipeg, Canada during the warm summer months
Winnipeg is one in all Canada’s up-and-coming locations. The capital of Manitoba, it’s situated six hours from Regina and is residence to a burgeoning meals scene. There’s additionally a rising arts and tradition neighborhood right here too.

Whereas it’s identified for its harsh winters, Winnipeg has been working arduous to evolve right into a world-class metropolis. Slowly however absolutely, it’s succeeding. Cease by for a day or two and take a look at a few of the metropolis’s greatest sights:

  • See the Canadian Museum for Human Rights – This museum highlights the crises and evolution of human rights in Canada and across the globe. Opened in 2008, it’s the one nationwide museum exterior of Ottawa.
  • Watch the Blue Bombers – For extra CFL motion, catch a Blue Bombers recreation. The staff was based in 1930 and is without doubt one of the greatest within the league.
  • Discover the Forks Nationwide Historic Web site – This city park is a calming place to learn or have a picnic. On the intersection of two rivers, it was traditionally important for commerce between indigenous individuals and Europeans, with human settlement going again so far as 6,000 years.
  • Go to the Royal Canadian Mint – When you’re a collector or are simply curious how cash are made, cease by the mint. It’s remodeled 55 billion cash for 75 completely different nations. Over 1,000 cash are made each second right here! Excursions are $Eight CAD.

The place to Keep
When you’re on a finances, strive Airbnb first. When you’re searching for a resort, has the perfect charges.

Days 15-16: Thunder Bay, ON

A statue of Canadian hero Terry Fox in Thunder Bay, Ontario
Time to go to Ontario! It’s an eight-hour drive, so you may cease alongside the best way to interrupt up the journey (there are tons of parks, campgrounds, and small cities you may keep in alongside the best way).

Tucked away on the sting of Lake Superior, Thunder Bay is without doubt one of the greatest cities in Northern Ontario. It’s simply an hour from the US border and is without doubt one of the sunniest cities in Jap Canada.

Listed below are some matters to see and do when you’re right here:

  • See the Terry Fox Monument – In 1980, cancer-survivor Terry Fox got down to run throughout Canada to lift cash for most cancers analysis. He did so on only one leg (he misplaced the opposite to most cancers). He managed to run for 143 days straight (5,373km, or 3,339 miles) earlier than his most cancers returned and he needed to name off his quest.
  • Go mountain climbing in Sleeping Big – Sleeping Big Provincial Park is situated on Lake Superior and provides 80km of mountain climbing trails, together with each brief day hikes and multi-day routes.
  • Go to Fort William Historic Park – This park is the place the reconstructed Fort William is situated, a fur buying and selling publish from 1816. There’s a standard blacksmith, cooper, and canoe builder, and you’ll work together with actors taking part in the varied individuals you’d have met right here within the 19th century.

The place to Keep
Airbnb doesn’t have many choices right here, but when you will discover one, they begin at $45 CAD per night time. For resorts and motels, use

Days 17-19: Algonquin Provincial Park, ON

A sweeping vista of forests in Algonquin Park in Ontario, Canada
It’s time to get away from all of it and spend a while in nature. Algonquin Provincial Park spans a whopping 7,653 sq. kilometers (2,955 sq. miles) and is residence to black bears, moose, foxes, beavers, wolves, and every kind of birds and vegetation.

There are a number of completely different campgrounds within the park, dozens of mountain climbing trails, and over 1,500 lakes (it’s huge!). It’s also possible to lease canoes and kayaks to discover and go deeper into the park. Multi-day portages are doable too.

Even for those who’re a beginner camper and don’t have gear, you’ll have the ability to lease what you could have an fulfilling, enjoyable getaway for below $50 CAD per day.

Days 20-23: Toronto, ON

The iconic skyline of Toronto, Canada as seen from the island
Perched on the coast of Lake Ontario only a couple hours south of the park, Toronto is commonly thought-about the New York of Canada. Whereas it doesn’t have the allure of cities like Vancouver or Montreal, it’s the nation’s greatest, most various metropolis. Actually, since 50% of the inhabitants is foreign-born, it’s thought-about probably the most various cities on the earth.

There’s a ton to see and do right here. Listed below are a couple of solutions that will help you get began:

  • Go to the CN Tower – The long-lasting CN Tower stands 550m tall and is a fixture of Toronto’s skyline. It provides panoramic views, purchasing, and 360-degree eating in its (costly) restaurant. If the climate is sweet (and you’ve got some extra cash to spend), you can too stroll alongside the outer fringe of the tower. It’s touristy and costly however enjoyable!
  • Loosen up on Toronto Island – Spend an affordable day at Toronto Island Park and benefit from the seashore, play volleyball, have a picnic, and take within the view of town from the water.
  • Go to the ROM – The Royal Ontario Museum has 1000’s of artifacts and specimens unfold over 20 reveals. There are shows on dinosaurs, historic China, indigenous Canadians, medieval Europe, historic Egypt, and extra. It’s the perfect museum on the town and a enjoyable place for teenagers and adults alike!
  • Hit the seashore – The seashores close to Lake Ontario are a calming solution to spend the day throughout the humid summer time. You may stroll alongside the boardwalk, eat at one of many many eating places, or lease a ship and head out on the lake. Among the greatest seashores are Cherry, Woodbine, and Centre Island.
  • Wander Kensington Market – This bohemian neighborhood provides an eclectic combine of other eating places and retailers. It will get fairly bustling in the summertime, and there are sometimes free concert events too. It’s one in all my favourite locations to wander round!

For extra solutions in addition to money-saving ideas, try my free information to Toronto!

The place to Keep
Inns in Toronto are costly, so use Airbnb for those who’re on a finances. When you do wish to keep in a hostel, Planet Traveler Hostel is the perfect within the metropolis.

Days 24-26: Ottawa, ON

The Canadian parliament building in Ottawa, Ontario
Subsequent, head east to Canada’s capital. Whereas Ottawa doesn’t get the love that cities like Toronto and Montreal do, it’s undoubtedly nonetheless a metropolis price visiting — particularly for those who’re a historical past buff like me!

Situated 4 hours from Toronto, it’s is stuffed with historic buildings and museums, and is only a brief stroll from Québec (Canada’s French-speaking province).

Right here’s what I’d give attention to in Ottawa throughout your keep:

  • Wander the Byward Market – This huge market is stuffed with eating places, retailers, and open-air stalls. There’s a lot occurring all 12 months spherical, although in the summertime it’s bustling with contemporary produce and plenty of native artisans. When you’re searching for a memento or simply wish to people-watch, that is the place!
  • Go to the Canadian Museum of Civilization – Whereas technically not in Ottawa (it’s throughout the river in Québec), this world-class museum is without doubt one of the greatest in all of Canada. It does a tremendous job of showcasing Canada’s complete historical past, together with some insightful exhibitions on First Nations. There are many kid-friendly reveals too. This museum shouldn’t be missed!
  • Strive a beaver tail – These should not precise beaver tails, don’t fear! They’re delectable desserts resembling a flat donut, manufactured from fried dough and coated in all types of candy toppings. They’re a should!
  • Go to the Canadian Struggle Museum – Canada is called a peaceable nation, nevertheless it’s been concerned in its justifiable share of conflicts too. This museum does a wonderful job of highlighting Canada’s navy historical past. It has reveals on each world wars in addition to trendy conflicts Canada has been engaged in.
  • Skate on the Rideau Canal – Each winter, the Rideau Canal is frozen over and become a large skating rink that stretches for miles (it’s the longest skating rink on the earth). When you’re visiting throughout the winter, you may lease skates for round $20 CAD for those who don’t have your individual.

The place to Keep

  • Ottawa Backpackers Hostel – This laid-back hostel has a few of the least expensive lodging within the metropolis. The dorms are spacious, it’s social, and it’s proper close to the Byward Market.
  • HI Ottawa Jail Hostel – This hostel is situated in a former jail. The rooms are small (they’re former cells), nevertheless it’s an extremely distinctive house — and slightly spooky too!


Days 27-30: Montreal, QC

The skyline of Montreal, Canada in the summer
Montreal is without doubt one of the largest French-speaking cities on the earth. Simply two hours from Ottawa, it’s situated in Canada’s solely French-speaking province, Québec.

Personally, I believe it’s top-of-the-line cities in Canada. The Previous City appears to be like like one thing straight out of medieval France, and the French-inspired delicacies and eclectic nightlife (particularly the jazz golf equipment) depart little to dislike.

Listed below are my solutions for matters to see and do when you’re right here:

  • Wander Previous Montreal – That is essentially the most engaging a part of city. It has cobblestone streets, and its historic gray-stone buildings date again to the 1700s. Among the metropolis’s best museums and artwork galleries (such because the Montreal Museum of Archaeology and Historical past) are right here too.
  • Hike Mount Royal – For a view over Montreal, hike up Mount Royal (after which town is called). It’s also possible to jog, picnic, or simply people-watch across the park too. It’s a calming inexperienced house.
  • Go to the Notre-Dame Basilica – This 17th-century Gothic Revival basilica has twin towers which might be harking back to Notre-Dame in Paris. Its inside is gorgeous and full of non secular work, colourful stained glass home windows, and gold-leaf ornament. There’s additionally a 7,000-pipe organ. A 60-minute tour prices $15 CAD.
  • See the Museum of Fantastic Arts – This large museum has over 43,000 artistic endeavors. There are each everlasting galleries and rotating exhibitions, so there’s at all times one thing new to see. Admission is $24 CAD.

For extra solutions, in addition to money-saving ideas, try my information to Montreal!

The place to Keep

  • HI Montreal – HI Montreal is only a two-minute stroll from the metro, provides each dorms and personal rooms, and has a pool desk. There’s additionally free breakfast and every day actions, together with bike excursions, walks, a pub crawl, and even poutine tastings!
  • Various Hostel of Previous Montreal – Situated within the historic space of city and a brief jaunt to town heart, it has an eclectic and artsy vibe. Free breakfast is included, and there are many frequent areas for enjoyable and assembly different vacationers.

Listed below are another nice hostel solutions too!


With a month at your disposal, you’ll have the ability to expertise the vast majority of Canada’s sights and cities with out having to hurry. And, with a further 10-21 days, you may add extra of Québec and the Maritimes, Canada’s rugged and picturesque east coast.

Canada is such a large, various panorama. It really has one thing for everybody. Whereas this itinerary solely covers a portion of Canada, it does offer you a peek into simply how superior it’s.

E-book Your Journey to Canada: Logistical Ideas and Methods

E-book Your Flight
Discover a low-cost flight through the use of Skyscanner or Momondo. They’re my two favourite search engines like google as a result of they search web sites and airways across the globe so that you at all times know no stone is left unturned.

E-book Your Lodging
You may e book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you wish to keep elsewhere, use as they constantly return the most affordable charges for guesthouses and low-cost resorts.

Don’t Neglect Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will defend you towards sickness, harm, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes fallacious. I by no means go on a visit with out it as I’ve had to make use of it many instances prior to now. I’ve been utilizing World Nomads for ten years. My favourite corporations that supply the perfect service and worth are:

On the lookout for the perfect corporations to economize with?
Take a look at my useful resource web page for the perfect corporations to make use of once you journey! I record all those I take advantage of to economize once I journey – and I believe will enable you to too!

Need Extra Data on Canada?
You should definitely go to our sturdy vacation spot information on Canada for much more planning ideas!

Photograph credit score: 8 – Cameron MacMinn

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