The East Coast of Canada is packed with amazing places to visit, from Prince Edward Island to Peggy’s Cove to Newfoundland. One of the best ways to see all of the coolest spots is by taking a fantastic East Coast Canada road trip.
Once upon a time, we actually lived on the East Coast of Canada – more specifically, in Halifax – so we know this part of the country inside and out! We can confidently say that there is so much to see on an East Coast Canada road trip.
It’s important to note that this guide is just a structured suggestion of a 10-day East Coast Canada road trip itinerary. It is by no means the only acceptable option out there. So feel free to adjust this guide to fit your preferences, whether that means taking stops out, putting some in, or switching up the order.
Days 1-2: Gaspé Peninsula
This fantastic East Coast Canada road trip itinerary begins on the gorgeous Gaspé Peninsula. Most people completely overlook Gaspé Peninsula and instead head to Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland. And that’s a shame, because Gaspé Peninsula is such a gem!
Between the incredible mountains, stunning seaside views, little Quebecois towns, and four national parks, there’s so much to see on the Gaspé Peninsula. In other words, you’ll have to narrow down your list of things to do to fit it all into two days! If we had to pick a few favorite things to do, we would recommend checking out Percé Rock, popping by Forillon National Park, and saying hello to the birds at Parc National de l’Ile-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé.
Day 3: Kouchibouguac National Park
There are quite a few stunning national parks in this part of Canada, so we’d be remiss to leave them out of this East Coast Canada road trip itinerary. This first national park we’ve decided to dedicate an entire day to is Kouchibouguac National Park.
Kouchibouguac National Park is a 238 square kilometre area known for its various ecosystems, including salt marshes, sand dunes, forests, barrier islands, and more. And since there are so many different types of ecosystems, there is a lot to explore.
If you’d like to head to the water, you can canoe your way towards a wonderful grey seal colony. Just remember to respect their space! If you’d prefer to stay on land, you can picnic on the picture-perfect sand dunes. And if you happen to visit during the winter, you can even put your skiing skills to the test.
Days 4-5: Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island is the smallest Canadian province – and this little area is one of the best stops on an East Coast Canada road trip. Despite the fact that Prince Edward Island is an island, you can easily drive your way into this Canadian province.
Many visitors spend a week or more exploring everything that Prince Edward Island has to offer. But since you’ll only have a couple of days before continuing on your road trip, you can pick your favorite spots.
Literature lovers will enjoy a trip to Green Gables Heritage Place, which is a recreation of the home in Anne of Green Gables. If you’re more of a history buff than a fiction reader, you’ll want to visit Charlottetown. In 1864, this small city hosted the Charlottetown Conference, which eventually led to the official formation of Canada.
And last but certainly not least, if you’d prefer to head out into nature, Prince Edward Island doesn’t disappoint on that front either! One of the most beautiful sights on the island is the red sandstone cliffs. You can find these all around the island, including at Prince Edward Island National Park, Cape Tryon, and Port-la-Joye-Fort Amherst National Historic Site. And don’t forget to visit Cavendish Beach, which boasts gorgeous red sand!
Days 6-7: The Bay of Fundy, Fundy National Park, and Saint John
Located on the Bay of Fundy, Fundy National Park has so much to offer. The Bay of Fundy is most well-known for having the highest tides on earth. At low tide, you can walk along the ocean floor, but at high tide, it soars up to 16 metres! This makes for some incredible white water rafting opportunities, which we highly recommend.
But there’s more to Fundy National Park than just the Bay of Fundy. You can take a weird food tour by foraging for ocean edibles, try your hand at geocaching, and hike to Third Vault Falls.
Once you’re done at Fundy National Park, you can spend some time in Saint John. While you can certainly opt to rest and recover from the first few days of this amazing East Coast Canada road trip, you can also head out on the town. After all, there’s no shortage of things to do in Saint John either! Zipline across the Reversing Falls Rapids, explore Irving Nature Park, and pop by Saint John City Market.
Day 8: Lunenburg, Peggy’s Cove, and Halifax
Day 8 of this East Coast Canada Road Trip is packed with a few different stops that are close together. First up, Lunenburg.
Lunenburg is such an underrated little town in Nova Scotia. With its friendly people, historic buildings, and adorable shops, it’s the epitome of small town charm. And that’s certainly something that you’ll want to experience if you get the chance! As a matter of fact, one of the best things to do is simply walk around the adorable town center, pop into cute shops, and dine at local eateries. And if you have a little bit of extra time, you can also visit the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, hop aboard Bluenose II, and stop by Blue Rocks.
Then, there’s Peggy’s Cove. This lovely small town and natural landscape are unlike any other place in Canada. With colorful boats, smooth boulders, foggy skies, and a towering lighthouse, it looks like it was plucked straight out of a painting!
And last but certainly not least, there’s the city of Halifax. When we lived in Halifax, we were always finding new things to do. But some of our favorites were the calm, easy activities, like walking along the waterfront and listening to live music at one of the city’s exciting pubs.
Days 9-10: Cape Breton Island
Your second-to-last stop on this East Coast Canada road trip itinerary is the lovely Cape Breton Island. Like Prince Edward Island, you can easily drive your way onto Cape Breton Island.
Once you arrive on Cape Breton Island, you’ll be astounded by its beauty. With the sparkling waters, stunning ocean cliffs, and sleepy fishing villages, it looks like it belongs in a storybook! But luckily for you, this picture-perfect island is real and ready for you to explore!
The best way to explore Cape Breton Island is by following the Cabot Trail. This trail loops around the majority of Cape Breton Island, and, along the way, there are loads of wonderful things to see and do. As a matter of fact, most of these wonderful stops are perfect for nature lovers. You can walk to Uisge Ban Falls, go kayaking in the North River, and hike the famous 7.5-kilometre Skyline Trail.
If nature isn’t your top priority, don’t worry! There’s so much more to see on Cape Breton Island. Foodies can take a captivating tour of The Glenora Distillery and stop for a scoop at the adorable Lighthouse Ice Cream Parlour. And animal fans can take a whale watching tour from Neil’s Harbour.
Days 11-13: Newfoundland
Newfoundland is a large island off the coast of Eastern Canada. But this island actually isn’t connected by roads, like the other two islands on this itinerary. So you may be wondering, how can I get to it on my East Coast Canada road trip? There are ferries!
There are two ferries to Newfoundland, both of which depart from North Sydney on Cape Breton Island. One ferry takes you to Argentia, Newfoundland, and the other takes you to Port aux Basque, Newfoundland. Both of these ferries allow you to take your car along for the ride.
When you reach Newfoundland, there is so much to do. If you like the outdoors, you’ll definitely enjoy hiking through Gros Morne National Park. If you’re a sommelier in the making, take a tour of the Auk Island Winery. And if you’re an animal lover, keep an eye out for awesome wildlife, including whales and seabirds.
To round out your road trip, you have a couple of options. First, you can head back to the mainland via the same ferry you took to get to Newfoundland. This is the best option if you’re using your own car. But if you’ve rented a car, you can return it in Newfoundland and take a flight out of Gander International Airport instead.
If you’d like to stick around in Newfoundland a bit longer, check out this longer Newfoundland road trip itinerary!
So what are you waiting for? Are you ready to hit the road and take this amazing East Coast Canada road trip? Let us know how your adventure goes in the comments!