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Off The Beaten Path: Fun day trips worth the time

07/28/2015 04:10 EDT | Updated 07/28/2015 04:59 EDT
Shinsuke Ikegame/Flickr

Though you may not have time for an extended road trip this summer, don’t fret. Just plan a day trip for good times close to home. These terrific breaks relax and refresh you, almost as well as a regular vacay. It’s time to break free from the everyday and treat yourself to a day trip.

Here’s where to point your vehicle for short-distance getaways across Canada:

  • From Halifax to Hall’s Harbour
    larryontheprairie (Flickr)
    This cute-as-a-button fishing village on the Bay of Fundy is well worth the 90-minute drive. Fishing boats and brightly coloured houses are dotted around the harbor, inspiring many a painter. Pick out your freshly caught lunch from the giant tank at Hall’s Harbour Lobster Pound. The restaurant will boil it up and serve it with traditional trimmings like melted butter, coleslaw and potato salad.
  • From Montreal to Eastern Townships
    nissanman2009 (Flickr)
    Within an hour’s drive of Montreal, this rustic region is a welcome break from the big city. Book a spa appointment at Spa Eastman and stay for a healthy lunch. (You can even dine in your spa robes!) Before heading home, pick up cheese made from organic cow’s milk from Fromagerie La Station. Or go say hello to the alpacas at Alpagas Sutton and buy goods made from their luscious wool.
  • From Toronto to Hamilton
    Ken Mist (Flickr)
    While in The Hammer, swing by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, if you love history and aircraft. Then head downtown to James Street North, the neighhourhood has become an incredible arts hub, bustling with galleries, events and boutiques that belie the town’s industrial rep. Fill up on barbecued deliciousness (brisket, ribs, etc.) at Salt Lick Smokehouse. Finally, catch the sunset harbourside at Sarcoa with a frosty drink in hand.
  • From Winnipeg to Gimli
    Robert Linsdell (Flickr)
    Pretty Gimli is known for its vibrant Icelandic community and lakeside vistas. Try Icelandic pastries at Amma’s Tearoom & Gift shop or sample the local pickerel, battered and fried to golden perfection at Kris’ Fish & Chips. In summer, the town shows blockbuster movies outdoors on a screen set up in the lake — and they’re free!
  • From Calgary to Drumheller
    Willem van Valkenburg (Flickr)
    If you’re travelling with kids (or are a big one yourself), the Royal Tyrell Museum is a must as it’s home to the world’s best dinosaur fossils. Sign up for The Dig Experience to find one of your own. About a 10-minute drive away is the quirky Last Chance Saloon in the ghost town of Wayne, famous for their grill-it-yourself steaks and burgers.
  • From Vancouver to Richmond
    Blake Handley (Flickr)
    Just a short hop away, Richmond is like another world. It showcases Korean, Chinese and Vietnamese cultures in a scenic setting. Start at Parker Place where you can enjoy a variety of hawker-style street food. From May to mid-October, the legendary night market is in full swing – — a perfect place to shop and keep sampling authentic Asian fare.


If you're looking to get off the beaten path this summer, make sure to tell the tale of your adventures! A good story is only as good as the audience it's told to, so share your story!