Road Trip: Calgary to Edmonton

Alberta has two great booming cities and between them runs the Queen Elizabeth II highway (QEII) with many opportunities for exploring. There are a few must see stops along the way.

Drumheller
Take in the badlands, ghost towns, abandoned coal mines, and The Royal Turrell Museum of Paleontology. The Tyrannosaurus Rex in the museum is worth the trip in itself.

Innisfail
Continue the tour with a stop in Innisfail to check out Alberta’s Icelandic heritage. The Discovery Wildlife Park which serves as a sanctuary for orphaned animals is also a great stop.

The Rockies
When you’re heading North from Red Deer and want to take the scenic route, turn west towards the Canadian Rockies, joining Banff to Jasper by the Ice Fields Parkway.

road trip alberta
Alberta’s History
Head to the Reynolds-Alberta Museum is Wetaskiwin for the history of Alberta’s cars, trucks, airplanes and farm equipment. Maskwacis is the centre of four First Nations bands Ermineskin Cree, Louis Bull Tribe, Montana Samson Cree nation.

Outside the Oil Industry
Leduc is an intricate 35km walkway and beautiful city centre lake  just outside the industrial centre of Alberta’s oil industry.

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Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede is an event not to be missed. The annual rodeo, exhibition and festival are held every July in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Wondering how to conquer the massive grounds? Here are some must see and do tips and tricks. Before you go explore the Stampede with this interactive map from Canadian Geographic.

Watch the Stampede Parade
The parade boasts over 150 entries with 30 marching bands, 40 floats and 750 horses and kicks off the Greatest Outdoor Show.

Give axe-throwing a try
Give your inner lumberjack a chance to break through. The Stampede’s Adventure Park is a fun place to get down and dirty. Between paintball, climbing walls and axe throwing, what’s not to love?

Who’s top dog?
The Dog Bowl is a blast to watch. The stunts are out of this world!

Sample to fun food
The food… oh the food. The unique concoction’s that people come up with are worth it if you have a daring enough stomach. Check out these insane midway foods.

Find the free fun
If you’re up for pancakes there are free breakfast’s to be had everywhere! Websites and apps have been created so that you can make the most of your pancake indulgences.

A bannock picnic anyone
The Stampede’s Indian Village is a treat. Picnic bags include two drinks, two bannock meals and a blanket. Watching the tipi-raising contest tops off the cake.

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Photo courtesy of: Calgary Stampede

One way road trip: Toronto to Calgary

Driving across Canada is on many people’s bucket list. This shortened version hits all the best stops between East Coast’s Toronto and West Coast’s Calgary. I like to travel in style and rent an RV. Have you checked out some of the luxury RV’s out there? Talk about style! Having to stop and figure out where to stay and check in and out times, the flexibility that an RV offers is the way to go, if you ask me.

Starting Point: Toronto
Toronto is an easy place to pick up an RV making for a great starting point. It also boasts an endless supply of fun and adventure for everyone. From the St. Lawrence Market to Chinatown, the Fashion District to the Entertainment District, and endless music and show choices, how can you go wrong. If you’re lost, downtown is the place to start. The CN Tower, Rogers Centre (The Skydome), all of the Restaurants on King Street West and the shopping on Queen West, you’ll have plenty to do.

Toronto Road Trip: CN Tower
Photo courtesy of: cntower.ca

Next Stop: Lake Superior Provincial Park
The views of the Great Lakes are almost endless and definitely breathtaking. My favourite on route to Sault Ste. Marie is Lake Superior. The lake is cold but photogenic as ever. A great place to stop is the Lake Superior Provincial Park.

One way road trip: Lake Superior
Photo courtesy of: Ontario Parks

Stretch your legs at: Kakabeka Falls
Ontario is a big province, plan on stopping a few times during your drive. As you reach the northern route of Ontario, the roads get twisty with rolling hills. After hitting up Thunder Bay, be sure to check out Kakabeka Falls. There are some great trails that lead to the falls and the Kaministiquia River. It’s a great chance to stretch your legs for the day, have a picnic and even camp.

One way road trip: Kakabeka Falls
Photo courtesy of: Ontario Parks

Finally outside of Ontario: Winnipeg
As the landscape changes from Ontario hills to the flats of Manitoba, this is where the countdown of provinces begins. Winnipeg is a great stopping point. With the Red River and Assiniboine river connecting. There are trails that run along both rivers and at The Forks National Historic Site of Canada you can see the confluence. If you enjoy touring museums, Winnipeg houses the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. The building architecture has an impact, however, as you walk through you can’t help but be pulled in many directions of emotion.

One way road trip: Winnipeg
Photo courtesy of: humanrights.ca

Crossing the Prairies: Saskatchewan
I’ve never seen beauty like the fields in Saskatchewan. They are endless and peaceful. Saskatchewan and Alberta house the only interprovincial park in Canada: Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. There is a great mix of lakes, forests, wildlife and, as the name suggests, hills. The park is a great camp stop for canoeing and kayaking and is not too far off the Trans Canada Highway.

One Way Road Trip: Cypress Hills
Photo courtesy of: Alberta Parks

The Final Stop: Calgary
Before you make your way to Calgary, a great stop is the Dinosaur Provincial Park. The park boasts the world’s richest deposit of dinosaur bones and is a great place to go explore. From there, Calgary is only a hop, skip and jump away where city adventures await.

One way road trip: Calgary
Photo courtesy of: Alberta Parks

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Rocky Mountain RV Destinations

The Rocky Mountains are a sight unlike many. From the towering mountains themselves, to the trees, wildlife and quickly changing weather there’s so much to explore. A few favourite spots in the Rockies that bring and immense sense to those who choose to take the journey include:

Moraine Lake
Exploring the national parks are an adventure of their own, but Moraine Lake has a special quality. The water is incredibly blue and the Rockies that surround are towering. Be sure not to be fooled by the locals’ stories about draining the lake and painting the bottom, it may seem like the lake is impossibly blue but paint isn’t involved.

Moraine Lake

Photo Credit: morainelake.com

Icefields Parkway
The drive is one of the most scenic drives that there is. Be sure to enjoy the Athabasca Glacier in the Columbia Icefields on the way. There aren’t many experiences like the ice fields out there.

Columbia Icefields

Photo Credit: ourglobaltrek.com

Canmore Cave Tours
For the more adventurous, head into Canmore and go on a cave tour. The caves are in their natural state, so there is no walkways, handrails or built in lighting, making the experience wild and unaltered.

Canmore Caves
Photo Credit: outpostmagazine.com

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Travel the Powder Highway

The powder highway, the place where winter dreams come true. From the sky high slopes, back
country turns, and powdery glaciers, there’s nothing that the powder highway doesn’t offer. If
you’re wondering where our favourite stops along the powder highway are, here’s our top 5:

Kicking Horse
The expert skiers paradise with approximately 60% of runs hitting the black diamond or higher
mark. Lifts were only installed in 2000 and was previously a top heli-skiing location. Kicking
Horse is often compared to Jackson Hole and offers some serious steeps with its 4133 vertical
drop.

kicking horse

Photo credit: luxuryskitrips.com

Lake Louise
Lake Louise is one of those few places where you can stand in awe of the view around you;
from the stunning lake itself to riding true in the Rockies. Lake Louise hosts the World Cup
races each autumn. The varied terrain at the lake is stunning with something for everyone –
being one of the biggest areas in North America to ski.

lake louise

Photo credit: myvisaluxuryhotels.com

Red Mountain
Located in the Kootenay Rockies, Red offers the world’s biggest cat-skiing operation with a
tenure of 19,300 acres and prides itself on being the only cat-skiing operator in British Columbia
to run trips for intermediate, advanced and expert skiers or snowboarders.

red mountain

Photo credit: Red Mountain Resort Lodging

Revelstoke
When you’re stuck between the Monashee and Selkirk Mountain ranges, expect 480 to 720
inches of white fluffy snow to fall annually. Couple that with the hill boasting North America’s
longest vertical descent at 5,620 feet, you’ll spend far more time riding pow then on a lift.
Revelstoke has also been dubbed the heli-ski capital as well. The endless pow days not to be
missed.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Sunshine
With one of the longest ski seasons, Sunshine offers natural snow as the base elevation starts at over 5,400 feet, not to mention the 3,300 acres of ski runs and a 3,000 foot vertical drop. What’s not to love about natural pow from November to late May.

sunshine photo credit adam locke

Photo Credit: Adam Locke

With so many other mountains to explore, these are just a few highlights and it’s always difficult
to pick just five. Every mountain is unique and every mountain offers an experience in the snow.

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Getting To Know Halifax

Halifax is a coastal city rich in Canadian history. We recommend your first excursion be walking the Halifax waterfront boardwalk where you can really get a feel for the place. The boardwalk is 4 km winding around historic buildings, local eateries and shops, and may have street performers and other entertainment. You can beat the crowds by arriving in the morning. Start at the north end by Casino Nova Scotia or the South end by the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.

What is on the boardwalk?

Privateer’s Wharf formally known as Historic Properties
The Privateer’s Wharf played a huge role in Halifax’s early success. The oldest building here was built around mid-late 1700’s by a privateer and initially used as a tool to transport goods against Napoleon’s blockade. In the 1970’s the buildings were going to be demolished but a public outcry and petition stopped that, thankfully! The most popular buildings here are the Pontac House, Privateer Warehouse, The Red Store, Kings Warehouse (now the Carpenter Shop), and the Wooden Storehouse/Loft. Most of the buildings are now repurposed with shops and restaurants. The Harbourside market is also located here.

Maritime museum of the Atlantic
Permanent exhibits include the Titanic, The Halifax Explosion (during world war 1), Shipwreck, Age of Steam and Days of Sail. The HMCS Sackville is docked close to the museum in the summer time, even though it isn’t owned by the museum. HMCS is a world war 2 artifact ship with tours offered.

Visitor Information Centre
I personally love making a visitor centre my first stop as soon as I get to a new place. Usually the information people are kind, helpful and enthusiastic about their local area. You can learn about current entertainment events, receive deals, ask about local secrets and get quality tips for your stay.

Alexander Keith’s brewery
Immersive, engaging and pumped with beer! And due to the history this is a brewery tour you can feel good about. Who can pass up visiting one of the oldest breweries in North America? The Nova Scotia brewery was founded in 1820, about 47 years before Canada was founded.

Canadian Museum Immigration at Pier 21
The Canadian Museum Immigration at Pier 21acts as the national immigration museum of Canada, housed in former immigration quarters.

Halifax Seaport Famers Market
Recommended to visit on the weekend for the full experience.

History and Museums in Halifax

Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
Visit the scenic, historical fort. Interact with the dressed-up guides, listen to the bagpipes, and dive into history with a trench tour. There are artifacts, historical reconstructions and an interior courtyard.

Fairview Lawn Cemetery
A sobering experience. This is where many victims of the Titanic rest.

Old burying ground
The old burial grounds contain headstones that date back to 200 years before Canada was founded. There is an on-site tour guide and late night tours to add to the ambiance. The tours are informative, visit this if you are a history junkie.

St. Paul’s Church
Visit the oldest building in Halifax and the oldest sustained protestant church in Canada. This church was founded in 1749 (same year as Halifax’s’ founding) and first opened its doors in 1750. St. Paul’s is made from mostly wood, and is relatively small. A bit of the church is marked from The Halifax Explosion and purposely hasn’t been repaired.

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, founded in 1908, is currently located in the Dominion Building which was built in 1865 and the Provincial Building. The two buildings are connected by a courtyard used for temporary exhibits and by an underground exhibition room. The museum teaches history through art with a focus on Nova Scotian art. This includes traditional folk art, classical portraits, and Inuit stone carvings..

St. Mary’s Basilica
Besides being historical and having the tallest granite spire in North America, the church is commonly described as majestic, beautiful and photogenic. The architecture is gothic and the ceiling was built by shipbuilders which is evident because the ceiling resembles an upside-down ship frame.

Old Town Clock
The old town clock is a classic symbol of Halifax. The backdrop is the citade,l and the hill which the clock tower rests upon offers great views of the city on a clear day. The bells still chime hourly and can be heard throughout downtown Halifax to this day. It was originally constructed in 1803 by Prince Edward, Duke of Kent who wished to reduce the garrison’s tardiness.

 

Outside in the city:

Halifax public gardens – First developed in 1867, the beautiful 16 acres of Victorian era gardens will wow you with extensive flower beds, statues, fountains, ponds and stone bridges! This haven is picture perfect.

Point Pleasant Park – lots of pathways including some that take you to the ocean front. Along the paths you can find statues and monuments. This park was used during the French Revolutionary War of 1792.

Emera Oval – A local favorited skate rink (ice skating in the winter.)

Clam Harbour Beach Provincial Park – A nice, sandy, family-friendly beach on the Atlantic Ocean

Fisherman’s Cove – An authentic fishing village located 15 minutes from Halifax. Explore the quaint little village and make sure to eat fish and chips! Recently, there has been more commercial businesses here due to the amount of tourists that visit.

 

Attractions and Entertainment:

Dalhousie Arts Centre is the biggest performing arts center in Halifax. They have a unique outdoor rooftop theatre, an art gallery, a sculpture garden, and much more!

Halifax central library A great local activity for families! Visit the library, have your kids participate in children sessions, gawk at the architecture, and spend an afternoon drinking coffee on the rooftop.

Neptune Theatre – Besides being the go-to place for live theatrical performances in Halifax, Neptune Theatre is currently the largest professional theatre of its type in Atlantic Canada.

Discovery Centre
The Discovery Centre in Halifax is currently waiting to be moved into a bigger facility as the current one is dated. The move is supposed to happen late 2016 or early 2017 and will be located on the waterfront. Still, the Discovery Centre is a great family activity because it is an interactive science museum and the staff are friendly, knowledgeable and fun. Their exhibits include: Tension on Suspension, The Bubble Room, Build Your Own Coaster, and the Lindsay Building Centre with Lego!

Shakespeare by the Sea
– an outdoor live theatre set up in the summer months. If you are visiting Halifax during the season and have the slightest interest in live theatre, this is a must!

RV Campgrounds near here:

Halifax West KOA
Woodhaven Park Campground
Laurie Provincial Park
Shubie Park Campground

To reserve your Halifax campervan hire, use the search tool at the top of this page. If you have any questions or would like some help finding the cheapest RV motorhome rental rate, please feel free to call 1-877-778-9569.

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Happy Travels!

Photo credit: destinationhalifax.com