Why Travel to Eastern Canada
O Canada! There are innumerable reasons to visit this amazing country. Also known as the True North, Canada, like America or Australia, is massive. In a two week vacation, we covered nearly 4000 miles of the US and Canada and it feels like we just scratched the surface of what Canada has to offer. In this post, it's all about eastern Canada. One day, we'll make it to Banff, Vancouver, and other amazing Canadian destinations.
The Touristy Spot
Niagara Falls is an incredibly touristy destination. But guess what? It's totally worth it. To be clear, there is a Niagara Falls, New York, USA and a Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. We stayed on the Canadian side and if you have a passport, you should too. The American side is quite sleepy and low-key. The Canadian side is full of life, activities, amazing food, and better views of the falls themselves. In addition to the long walking path and beautiful views of the American and Horseshoe Falls, you can play 18 holes of mini-golf, race go-karts, explore a haunted house, and eat more funnel cakes than humanly possible. After a couple of days at Niagara, you'll be ready for a change, but those days are wonderful. Keep your schedule open and just go with the flow.
The Remote Villages
The ultimate destination for our trip was the teeny tiny town of Gaspe, Quebec. The town borders Forillion National Park and save for a small airstrip, it's about a nine-hour drive from any major airport. Driving from Niagara to Gaspe took two full days and led us through the remote towns, villages, and hamlets of Quebec. This drive is spectacular as it takes you along the St. Lawrence Gulf coastline. The road is more of a causeway over the water in some parts with the gulf on one side and the northeastern-most Appalachian mountains on the other. Gaspe is a remote area where you can experience the best of nature, relax, and get away from the digital world. It's perfect for fly-fishing and hiking. There aren't any resorts in the area, so it's a fantastic three-star getaway.
Pro Tip: If you're driving, the roads are some of the bumpiest, pothole-riddled roads we've ever driven on... including the unpaved roads of Australia's Outback. Not recommended for those with motion sickness.
The Middle Ground
If you want to visit eastern Canada, but don't want something as touristy as Niagara or remote as Gaspe, Nova Scotia is the place for you. The roads in Nova Scotia are smooth and easily navigable. What makes Nova Scotia amazing is the diversity of things to do and the ease you can do them. You can experience historic and cultural sites of the First Nation Peoples, connect with wildlife in a sanctuary or a tour of the wilderness, or explore Halifax Harbor. Nova Scotia surprised us. We spent three days in Truro, NS to check the Bay of Fundy off our bucket list. Truro is the best "home base" to see the tidal bore and to drive a bit and explore the Hopewell Rocks area. Hopewell Rocks is the famous site of the Flower Pot Islands carved away from the massive tidal changes over years and years. Another place which was significantly less touristy was Burntcoat Head Park. Run not by the state, but the local town, Burntcoat Head provides a wonderful experience with the land, sea life, and features a quaint gift shop with products by locals. You can also kayak and raft the Bay of Fundy for a different perspective on this natural wonder.
Eastern Canada is a natural marvel. It holds some of the most unspoiled lands on North America's east coast and it's relatively easy to get around. You can road trip to your destination or create a fly-drive combination. Happy travels!