With one of the most diverse landscapes in the world, the recent ‘Canada is cool’ movement, and state of the loonie, 2016 is the year of the staycation.
Lucky for Canadians, our amazing country has a ton to offer – from mountains and prairies to oceans and lakes, you don’t have to venture beyond the border of the true north to do it all. Online exclusive travel brand, Travelcuts, is encouraging Canadians to see the world their way and explore their own backyard this long weekend.
Whether you embark on an epic cross-country road trip or pick one place on the map, discover some of the best things Canada has to offer.
If you have your heart set on the waves and sun this weekend, BC is the place to be. Discover one of the country’s best surf spots in Tofino, enjoy whale watching from Pacific Rim National Park, or head out on a fishing charter or kayaking expedition from Vancouver Island. And if you’re unable to get to any of those spots there are over 1,000 provincial parks in BC – just pick the one, and hit the road!
For an Alberta newcomer, there is nothing that can compare to the incredibly breathtaking views from Jasper and Banff. However, if you’re looking for something different in the province, the extensive hiking trails can make for an amazing venture. Both the West Wind Pass around the Spray Lakes area and the Bow River Loop in Canmore proper offer superb hiking options for those looking to explore the outdoors.
From horseback-ridden trails, to fish-filled lakes and the oldest bird sanctuary in North America, this prairie province promises an abundance of activities to fill up your weekend. Don’t consider yourself the outdoorsy type? No problem! Saskatoon has its own cultural festivals (like the Jazz Festival or even Saskatoon Fringe) to bring you that big city feel.
If you’re a fish out of water and can’t get to an ocean, one of the 10,000 lakes in Manitoba is sure to satisfy your needs. A must-visit area for the lover of the outdoors is The Narrows – a strip of land surrounded by marsh and water, pinching Lake Manitoba like an hourglass in its middle. Abundant wildlife and a lot of history to be found here.
You’ll find four of the five Great Lakes in Ontario, making it the ideal place for any beach lover looking to get a tan, cool off or try some water sports. Home to Wasaga – the longest freshwater beach in the world, Muskoka aka cottage country, and even cliché attractions like Niagara Falls, you’re sure to find something to occupy your long weekend getaway.
With the St Lawrence River visible from many locations, and the prominent Laurentian Mountains providing a movie-like backdrop, Quebec is beautiful no matter which city you visit. The lifestyle and culture embody a European feel and the joy of just sitting in a cafe, people-watching, is not lost here.
New Brunswick might be best described as the road trip province. Travelling along the coast towards Maine, viewing the Bay of Fundy from every angle, and discovering all of the amazing small towns along the way is an experience that should grace every Canadian’s bucket list.
Prince Edward Island
Although in size PEI is the smallest Canadian province, it’s bursting with character and its photogenic beauty makes it larger than life. Filled with gentle terrain, pleasant waters, and plentiful beaches, the tiny province is a great place for hiking and cycling, or even curling up with a good book and spending your afternoon along the coastal waters.
To many people’s surprise and delight, Nova Scotia is home to Canada’s first winery, craft brewery and distillery trail – the Good Cheer Trail! What better way to spend the long weekend than among breathtaking landscapes and heritage sites, while sampling local wine, beer and spirits from the people who create them, and learning how to pair them perfectly with the meals you eat.
Newfoundland & Labrador
Last but certainly not least, and home to some of the nicest people you’ll ever come across, is Newfoundland & Labrador. Road trip to L’Anse aux Meadows, one of just 17 World Heritage Sites in Canada and North America’s oldest Viking Colony. If that’s not quite your cup of tea, spend the day travelling around Avalon Peninsula with shore-clasping hikes, spouting whales, and boisterous pubs.
Heading out on a cross-country road trip this weekend? Make sure to document your adventures and enter the Travelcuts Travel Docs Film Fest for your chance to win $5,000 in travel!