Toyota Suggests Hidden Gems for Local Summer Road Tripping
That'll get you out and exploring while staying away from crowds in what the automaker is calling the Ultimate Day Trip Guide.
Summer’s finally here and, even better, most of us can now get out and about. Even if we can’t get out that far or about with that many people. So where should you go with this newly earned freedom? How about a road trip?
Toyota found that three times the number of Canadians feel safer driving than flying, but most aren’t ready to stray too far from home. So it has a list of some hidden Canadian gems that’ll get you out and exploring while staying away from crowds in what the automaker is calling the Ultimate Day Trip Guide.
If you’re in Vancouver, Cypress Falls Park is just 20 minutes from town but offers hiking through forests of 300-year-old trees. The Backyard Farm, near Oliver, gives you a spot to tour a hobby orchard and Chef’s Table food experience near wine country. Toyota says it offers “an unforgettable experience.” The list also suggests Harrison Hot Springs, some of the most mineral-rich in the world and located near Sasquatch Provincial Park, where you might spot the world’s social distancing champion.
Near Calgary, try Big Horn Falls, where you can go white water rafting, hike, and explore waterfalls. Or see what life was like in the early 1900s. The list calls Kananaskis “the best of Banff without the crowds.” Lakes, hiking, and wildlife. Millarville offers a farmer’s market with items that are at least 80-percent from Alberta, with other family-friendly activities.
Edmonton offers Elk Island National Park, a lower-profile park than Jasper where you can learn about Bison or see the stars without city lights. Devon has cafes, shops, and trails, without being as touristy as some towns, or take a float in a tube down the Pembina River and relax in the sun.
Gimli, not far from Winnipeg, offers a connection to Iceland that started in 1975. They even have a festival in August. Head up Highway 6 to the Parkland area for roadside attractions like the World’s Largest Curling Rock, and more. Or head to Birds Hill Provincial Park for horseback riding, local food sampling, and more.
Forget the horde at Niagara Falls, GTA residents can try the Balls Falls Conservation Area with plenty of natural beauty and educational exhibits about the Niagara escarpment. Grieg’s Caves on the Bruce Peninsula offers rugged hiking without the crowds of the Flower Pots. Big Tub Harbour has some of the best-preserved shipwrecks in the country, ready to be explored by snorkel or scuba.
The historic rest area for Indigenous peoples and early explorers, Remic Rapids Park on the Ottawa river is host to countless birds during migration season and has unique rock sculptures. The Bonnechere Caves let you explore fossils, waterfalls, and, of course, caves, to help cool off. Toyota suggests the town of Merrickville for loads of independent shops and restaurants.
In Montreal, la Sucrerie de la Montagne is a year-round heritage site that lets you explore a sugar shack operation. Au Diable Vert lets you cycle through the sky, hike, or fish. And while they admit the Laurentians isn’t exactly hidden, there’s lots to do along the Chemin du Terroir, a posted route letting you try local beverages and explore the woods.
On the East Coast, Halifax offers McNab’s Island, with unspoiled nature and tours of the history of the island that once protected the port of Halifax. Hubbards and Chester are a quiet alternative to the more popular Peggy’s Cove and Lunenburg tourist areas. With beaches, dining, and ocean kayaking available. Or, head west of the city to Lawrencetown Beach, where surf and parasurfing gear are available along with lots of trails and beach to explore.