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Top 10 Road Trips in Central and Eastern Canada

by Mattie Bamman

Road Trips Series

This list of road trips range from day trips to extended drives of two weeks or longer.

1. Prince Edward Island

PEI can be driven in one day, but the flavours of its delicious lobster and potatoes can linger forever. Reach the island using the Confederation Bridge or take the ferry from Caribou, Nova Scotia. The North Shore coastline is some of the most dramatic in the country, and the interior of the island is comprised of expansive green fields made famous by the novel Anne of Green Gables. Northumberland Strait has the warmest waters in Canada.

2. The Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island

Making a 298-kilometre loop, this road trip navigates the sheer cliffs and mountainous terrain of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Beginning in Port Hawkesbury, highlights include excellent seafood and small villages proud with Gaelic and Acadian heritage. Whale cruises leave regularly in summer and fall from the town of Chéticamp. In 2011, Cape Breton Island was named the third-best island to visit by Travel + Leisure magazine.

3. New Brunswick’s southern coast

Wrapping around the Bay of Fundy, the southern coast of New Brunswick has lighthouses, picturesque fishing villages and rock beaches. Ferries run from the town of Saint George to Grand Manan Island, where whales and puffins are common sights. Saint John is famous for its Reversing Falls, where the Saint John River actually changes direction during high tide. Numerous covered bridges can be found around Sussex, and the Fundy National Park lies south on Route 114. The famous Magnetic Hill, which gives motorists the illusion of rolling uphill, is found in Moncton, and Shediac provides a glimpse of New Brunswick’s eastern shore—and serves up excellent lobster.

Manitoulin Island is the largest fresh water island in the world, and the Little Current Swing Bridge connects it to the mainland. Continue along the shore of Lake Superior on Route 17 to really get into the middle of nowhere. This is a fantastic fall drive.

10. Ottawa to Algonquin Provincial Park

From Ottawa, Algonquin Provincial Park is a five-and-a-half-hour drive along the scenic Highway 17—part of the Trans-Canada Highway. With a logging museum, lots of campgrounds and hundreds of lakes and hiking trails, it is the most visited park in Canada.