With all the craziness going on this year, road trips are seriously the best way to get out of the house and safely travel this summer. With borders closed around the world, staying in Canada is looking like the best option, but don’t worry there’s plenty to see here! We used to live in Halifax and spent tons of time exploring the whole East Coast of Canada – all by car – and loved every moment of it. Here’s our list of the most epic places to road trip out East this summer!
Cape Breton Island
Cape Breton Island is a breath of fresh air. An eclectic mix of historical sites, breathtaking vistas, and quaint fishing villages new and old, you’ll find that life moves a little slower here. Enjoy the spectacular sights of the Cabot Trail that twists and turns its way up and down along ocean cliffs. But be sure to make lots of stops! There’s plenty of great camping, cycling, hiking, and world-class golfing to be had along the way. If you can swing it, spend a night camping at Meat Cove, the northernmost point of the Island where you can often spot whales, or at the very least watch the busy lobstermen collect their bounty.
The rugged beauty of “The Rock” is like nowhere else in Canada. Take a cruise or hike through Gros Morne’s spectacular Western Brook Pond. Watch for whales, birds, and icebergs in Twillingate or Bonavista. Enjoy an Iceberg Beer in Quidi Vidi. Or get screeched in at one of St John’s iconic downtown bars. Newfoundland has endless fun and adventure to offer. You might be asking “wait, I can drive to Newfoundland?” Yep, there are daily car ferries leaving from Sydney, NS. Just make sure to reserve your spot well in advance. Check out this guide for everything you need to know about planning a Newfoundland road trip.
Bay of Fundy
Famous for having the highest tides on earth, the Bay of Fundy is one of the 7 Wonders of North America. Walk along the ocean floor at low tide, then high along the coast and watch the tide rise up a towering 16 metres. But don’t just watch the tide, you can actually ride it! When the tide comes back in, it rapidly fills the rivers that drain at low tide. This “tidal bore” creates temporary rapids that you can white water raft! It’s quite the scene of tidal bore cowboys ripping up and down the chocolate milk coloured river in motorized zodiacs. Book a tour, it’s super fun!
If you’ve never been, you’ve got to go. Halifax absolutely comes alive in the summer. Enjoy delicious food from the city’s many outstanding cafes and restaurants. Walk the waterfront to see beautiful sailboats come and go. Dance along to live music at one of the city’s iconic pubs. Looking for adventure? Head to Lawrencetown just a 25-minute drive up the coast and take a surf lesson from a local pro. All of this and more makes Halifax a can’t-miss destination of any East Coast road trip.
Prince Edward Island
Canada’s smallest province might also be its most charming, and summer is the best time to experience its charm. Walk the streets of Charlottetown and indulge in its fantastic cafes, restaurants, microbreweries, and markets. Drive along the coastline and stop to view the ocean crashing along spectacular red cliffs. Head to Cavendish Beach to enjoy the summer music festival, amusement parks, mini-golf, and tons of family fun. PEI has something for everyone!
A beautiful and inviting fishing village located about 45 minutes down the coast from Halifax, Peggy’s Cove is magical if you can see it without the crowds. Unfortunately, during the busy times of the summer, hoards of tour buses take away some of the magic. But by going early in the morning, on weekdays, or in the shoulder season you can experience it at its best. Make sure to try some lobster rolls while you’re there. Yummm.
Looking for some off-the-beaten-path adventure? Consider road tripping up to the spectacular Gaspé Peninsula. Named by National Geographic as one of Canada’s Places of a Lifetime, the Gaspésie offers endless mountain and seaside views, intermingled with the charm of quaint Quebecois towns. Explore one of its four national parks, view Percé Rock, summit 1,000 metre peaks, or take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the world’s largest accessible northern gannet colony. Adventure awaits in Gaspé!
Well, have you packed your bags for your east coast road trip yet?? This is seriously the perfect thing to do this summer so get ready to hit the road and enjoy these uncrowded gems 🙂 Let us know where you go in the comments!