Ultimate Roadtrips: Canada for First-Timers

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Guest Post by Susanne Maier

Part 1 – Vancouver to Tofino

So you love to go on roadtrips? Is traveling to Canada still on your bucket list? Good! Same here! So when I finally got the chance to travel to Canada this summer, I tried to figure out how to experience some of the best of Canada’s magnificent landscapes, wild animals and outdoor activities all in one ultimate roadtrip. So here is part one of my route for a three-week adventure on the road you will never forget:

Roadtrip Canada – Ultimate Tips for First-Timers

Day 1: Arrival in Vancouver

Ride the skytrain into Downtown and take a stroll along historic Gastown and Chinatown. Rent a bike in Stanley Park and cycle along the promenade for great views of Downtown and North Vancouver. Don’t forget to check out the park’s array of totem poles and their stories, and bring a picnic!

roadtrip canada

Day 2: Vancouver

Explore neighborhoods. SoMa (south of Broadway and Main Street) has become a trendy district where you’ll find cool indie shops and eateries. Kitsilano, former home of hippie culture and Greenpeace founders, boasts one of the city’s most popular beaches with great views of the bay and Downtown, and little shops and restaurants in West 4th Avenue. Try the burgers at Romer’s burger bar. If you’re there on summer weekends: check out the Asian night market in Vancouver’s ‘new Chinatown’ Richmond (especially the food stands)!

Day 3: Off to Vancouver Island

Rent a car and take the ferry to Victoria on the south end of Vancouver Island. The capital of British Columbia is a lovely British-style town with a lot of heritage architecture, cool little shops and pubs. Loved the Victorian-style Munro’s bookshop and the totem poles and native art in the Royal BC Museum.

Day 4: Victoria – Tofino

After some yummy breakfast at Willie’s Bakery, continue on your trip across the island to the West Coast to find huge and empty wild beaches, little islands and – no kidding – rainforest.

roadtrip canadaroadtrip canada

Days 5-7: Surfing and Whale Watching in Tofino

You’ll arrive in a small town in the middle of the wilderness of the Pacific west, a former hippie hangout and now a popular tourist destination, best known for being a surfer’s hotspot and whale watcher’s mekka. And that’s exactly why you’re here! Take surfing lessons (ladies, check out Surf Sister) and go whale watching (best in a zodiac!). Sightings are for sure as whales live there throughout the year.

roadtrip canada

Day 8: Pacific Rim National Park, Sea Kayaking

Tofino is located in the Pacific Rim National Park, where you can follow short trails to wild beaches and through the coastal, temperate rainforest with ancient trees covered in moss and lichens. One of my favorite experiences of the trip, though, was sea kayaking in Clayoquot sound, peacefully exploring inlets and islands of ancient forest, surrounded by sea lions, bald eagles, wild salmon, and starfish. I will be back…

roadtrip canada

Day 9: Tofino – Nanaimo – Vancouver

Cross the island and drive back to the east coast. There, take the ferry back to Vancouver from Nanaimo.

Day 10: Off to the Rockies!

This is the beginning of your Rocky Mountain tour!

Read also part 2 of my route – “Vancouver to the Rockies” and back.

Susi is a media evaluation consultant and a university and travel buddy of Yvonne. She is inspired by big cities, rough landscapes and medieval stuff, and loves travel that involves cars. Follow her on twitter @blackdotsws.


 

Hi, I'm Yvonne. Travel addict. Guilty as charged. Right now I'm probably falling off a camel somewhere in a desert, getting a new tattoo from a monk in Thailand or am carrying my luggage through a river in the jungle. But just as well I could be sitting on my sofa in Berlin, in my pyjamas. Good girls to to heaven, bad girls go everywhere. Everywhere sounds much more promising. So be travelous and follow me!

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