WATCH ABOVE: When was the last time you discovered a hidden gem in Canada? Trish Kozicka gives you some locations to check out as you hit the road this summer and explore.
TORONTO — We want to help you explore your own backyard this summer. Not sure where to go? We’ve got you covered.
Whether you’re a nature lover or a foodie, into art or adventure — the hidden gems we’ve rounded up in the interactive map below are sure to have something for everyone. And yes, we know we didn’t get them all, so we’d love for you to share your favourite spots in the comments section below!
Roadtrip travel by RV seems to be going up in popularity across Canada. According to Chris Mahoney, executive director of the not-for-profit Go RV’ing Canada, it can be cheaper than travelling to the U.S. or Europe with your family. Lower gas prices also help.
If you’re on a tighter budget and don’t have a vehicle, don’t let that stop you from discovering the country. Aside from renting a car, you can get creative with your roadtripping. For instance, you can sign up to drive a car being relocated across the country. Of if you’re in Ontario, Autoshare looks for people to take out their cars around the province (for free) and document their adventures.
Here are some of the most unique lodging options we were able to dig up:
This is what a treehouse sphere looks like; Credit: Free Spirit Spheres
Free Spirit Spheres
- BC: A hand-crafted treehouse sphere at Qualicum Beach.
- Saskatchewan: A yurt in Flora Bora. A Tourism Saskatchewan representative says making love in a yurt “might be the second most spiritual experience you’ve ever had.”
- Quebec: Sleep with the wolves at Saguenay Lac-St-Jean, the gateway to the boreal forest. Or wake with the caribou at the zoo in Saint-Félicien.
- New Brunswick: Treehouses at Camping Miramichi; “Glamping” at Ridgeback Lodge’s Dream Domes; a houseboat; or cliffside camping, where the sound of whales lulls you to sleep.
- Nova Scotia: An old train station (the Train Station Inn). Cabooses have been renovated with railway memorabilia.
- Newfoundland: Restored heritage homes. Stay in a former lighthouse keeper’s house, or the RCMP Detachment Annex, or fisher family home from circa 1830s, or cottage used by Grenfell Mission, or the hostel style Cookhouse Bunkhouse used by the fish flake work crew. Each location offers a unique glimpse into times gone by.
- PEI: A lighthouse, where you’ll drift off to the sound of gently rolling waves. Each of the 13 rooms of the West Point Lighthouse Inn features a breathtaking view of the Northumberland Strait.
Lighthouse Lodging at West Point Lighthouse Inn
A few suggestions to help satisfy your hunger on the open road:
- BC: Nomad Food Co. in Revelstoke
- Alberta: Starlite Diner Car in Bowden.
- Saskatchewan: Whistle Stop, located in an old railway station in Norquay near Yorkton.
- Ontario: Webers on Highway 11 north near Orillia.
- New Brunswick: Ossie’s Lunch in Letang, NB. People reportedly drive there from all over the province to enjoy their fish and chips and milkshakes; and the Homard Mobile in Caraquet, a food truck that serves lobster poutine and freshly cooked lobster.
- Quebec: Ti-Oui Snack Bar, in Saint-Raymond north of Quebec City. Also keep an eye out for the fromageries (they tend to have great poutine)!
- PEI: Frosty Treat, a roadside dairy bar located in Kensington known for its popular tagline: “Don’t drive by, drive in!”
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SOUND OFF: If you know of any hidden gems of your own (or maybe a great roadside diner or unique lodging option), tell us about it in the comments section below.