9 scenic road trips in Canada within 2 hours of the US border
Sea to Sky Highway: Washington State to Whistler, BC
You can drive from the edge of Washington State to the Whistler Mountains in just over two hours, driving through bustling Vancouver en route. The Sea-to-Sky Highway, also known as BC-99, connects North Vancouver to Whistler on a scenic coastal drive where mountain and water meet.
Where to stop: To interrupt your journey, stop in Squamish at the Sea to Sky Gondola for an aerial view of the area. If time permits, complement your visit with a free guided tour to learn about the country’s history on the Spirit Trail.
Where to eat: Head to the Nicklaus North Golf Course to try and find a spot on the Table Nineteen patio for panoramic views of Green Lake and the seaplanes descending from Vancouver.
Where to stay: Book a few nights in Whistler to explore this vibrant mountain town. Budget travelers flock to the Pangea Pod Hotel boutique capsule, located in the center of Main Street. For a lakefront respite, the Nita Lake Lodge is a stone’s throw from Creekside Village.
Highway 73: Maine to Quebec, Quebec
While several New England states border Quebec, the capital, Quebec, is in the eastern part of the province, closest to Maine. This French-speaking city looks more like Europe than other parts of Canada, with narrow lanes and cobbled streets. Continue your road trip along the St. Lawrence River to picturesque Baie-Saint-Paul in Charlevoix for country walks, cheese factories and the Iris Art Gallery.
Where to stop: Mark Montmorency Falls on your map for a quick stop just outside Quebec City, en route to Charlevoix. The magnificent falls rise 99 feet taller than Niagara Falls and adventurous travelers can explore them by cable car, suspension bridge, or zipline.
Where to eat: Stop by the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac for an afternoon tea at the castle, or dine on site at the Champlain restaurant or Sam Bistro.
Where to stay: Auberge Saint-Antoine in the Old Port of Quebec is a Relais & Châteaux which has preserved remains of archaeological excavations inside the property. In Baie-Saint Paul, the Hotel & Spa Le Germain Charlevoix combines a peaceful getaway in a charming town with sophisticated equipment and an on-site Le Germain Nordic Spa.
The Southwestern Nova Scotia Highway: Bar Harbor, Maine to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
When the CAT ferry between Bar Harbor, Maine, and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia resumes in the spring of 2022, you’ll be able to get from coast to coast on this high-speed catamaran in just over three time. Recreational vehicles, vans, SUVs, cars, coaches, motorcycles and bicycles are welcome on board, making it the best way for travelers to cross the Atlantic Ocean to Canada. Once in Nova Scotia, follow the breathtaking coastline along the 101 to Halifax, then back down the 103 to the ferry in Yarmouth.