Canada covers 9,306 km (5,780 mi) and has six time zones. It is the second-largest nation in the world. It is home to vast coastlines, rugged mountains, dense boreal forests and towering mountain ranges. There are also more than two million lakes.
Canada’s people are what make it special. It is a country that celebrates its diversity, encourages caring and is polite.
It cannot be easy to travel across Canada due to Canada’s large size. Low competition means expensive domestic flights and trains rarely go to many destinations.
This means that if you want to see Canada, then you must drive.
This suggested itinerary was created by Chris Oldfield, a Canadian team member. It is intended to help you see this incredible country. Because there is so much to see, it’s quite packed. It’s not too slow, though you could easily extend it to six to eight weeks.
Note: Canada is vast, and you have many options for itineraries and routes. This guide is not meant to be comprehensive but rather to provide a general overview of the major cities and highlights.
Rent a car or an RV and start your adventure in Vancouver. This is one of my favorite Canadian cities. It is nestled between the oceans and mountains, making it a perfect spot for outdoor lovers.
It is also Canada’s third-largest urban area. There are plenty of things to do and see while you’re there. It has a great food scene.
These are some suggestions to help you get started on your trip.
- Granville Island Granville Island is a shopping area in the central city. It is also a popular destination for foodies. You can explore the market and grab a drink at Granville Island Brewing Company. Then, you can wander through the cool shops. You will also find galleries, performing arts venues, and all sorts of festivals and events.
- Take in the view from Grouse Mountains. Ride the gondola up to the top and enjoy the views over the city and the mountains. Many trails can be used for hiking during the summer, and there are sections for snowboarding and skiing in winter. For $15CAD, you can hike up to the top and take the gondola down. This takes between 1.5-2 hours.
- Enjoy a relaxing time in Stanley Park. This park, a 400-hectare rain forest, is located in the city’s heart. It’s a great place to escape the hustle and bustle downtown. The park’s waterfront path, which runs right along the Pacific, is a great place to take a walk, swim, or bike. You will find over 20 km of trails and sports fields.
- Take a walk on the Capilano Suspension Bridge. This suspension bridge is 450 feet long and 230 feet tall. It offers stunning views of the trails and forests around it. Although I don’t like heights, it’s worth it because of the views! Tickets cost $54CAD.
Where to Stay
- Cambie Hostel Gastown– This hostel is located in the historic Gastown area. It offers comfortable beds and a small common space for hanging out. You also have access to The Cambie, the hostel’s bar.
- Downtown – HI Vancouver Downtown is a quieter area of the city. It’s a great location to explore Granville and Davie Streets, which have many cafes, bars and restaurants.
- Samesun Vancouver– This is my favorite hostel in Vancouver. It has comfortable pod beds, clean bathrooms and a fully-equipped kitchen.
- Whistler, located 90 minutes from Vancouver, is the home of one of North America’s largest ski resorts. It would help if you visited Whistler during winter to take advantage of the slopes.
- There are many outdoor activities that you can enjoy in the summer, like hiking, biking, zip-lining and bear watching. You can also enjoy breathtaking mountain views from the 4.4km peak to the peak gondola.