Canada is spectacular, but you have to get out of the cities. The best way to see every beautiful thing the land has to offer is to take the wheel of an automobile, with a whole load of tarmac ahead. Road tripping in Canada takes you to small towns and stunning landscapes, and along the way are independent motels to thread into your great Canadian adventure. Some of the best motels in Canada are truly out of the way. And that’s one of the great things about your vacation. Book yourself one – or more – of the finest here, with Culture Trip.
This family-friendly motel has all the elements required to make the perfect Prince Edward Island getaway – we’re talking a pool, air conditioning and kitchenettes, although it’s the location that makes this one truly special. Exactly a mile down the road is Green Gables, the real home where everyone’s favorite red-headed orphan came to life. It’s also walking distance from the Lake of Shining Waters, made infamous by Anne Shirley’s antics. Walk a little further and you’ll find Cavendish Beach, a 5mi (8km) sandy stretch with red sandstone cliffs at the east end.
Which holidaymaker in Canada doesn’t want to explore Nova Scotia’s famed Cape Breton? We certainly do – and the Harbourview Motel & Café is a favoured travel base. It places you perfectly for day-tripping across Eastern Nova Scotia. Rooms are compact and simple – dashes of white bedlinen and pine headboards – but the motel is known for its exceptionally welcoming service, not to mention the great fare and all-day breakfast in the seaside cafe. It’s in Port Hawkesbury, in a residential area by a working port, so you’ll get a real feel for fishing towns in Nova Scotia.
If Cape Breton isn’t rugged enough, a trip to the northern coast of Newfoundland and Labrador will fix it. Raleigh Rooms is a small motel with five rooms, recently updated, ergo comfortable, and popular. This isolated stretch of coast is home to the Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve, with species of flora and fauna that live nowhere else. See the unique terrain along a 40-minute drive to L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site, where Vikings landed 1,000 years ago, nearly five centuries ahead of Columbus. Their settlement remains for today’s explorers to admire.
The Timberland is halfway between Moncton and Saint John, New Brunswick. A variety of room sizes suit any traveler’s needs, including cabins and family rooms, with decent rates that include a “country breakfast”. People stay here for ease of visiting the Fundy National Park of Canada – here you’ll find the highest-rising tide in the world: 52ft (16m), twice daily. The park’s unforgettable landscape of rugged rocky coasts and dramatic sea will thrill any nature-lover, and it’s just 30 scenic minutes from the Timberland.
Gatineau, Quebec, is a short bridge away from Canada’s capital, Toronto, across the Ottawa River. It’s so close that people walk to work between the two cities – this is a great base for urban exploration. With 125 rooms, Adam Motel means business, with an array of executive suites and – if you’re feeling romantic – jacuzzi-tub accommodations. Even though Ottawa has family-friendly activities year-round, Gatineau is where Ottawans head to play outdoors. The Gatineau Hills are magnificent for fall foliage and for snowshoeing in winter, as well as hiking and biking year-round. And when you’re peckish, fantastic French food abounds.
Just across Rainy River from International Falls, Minnesota, you find quaint Fort Frances, Ontario, home to the Bayview Motel. These comfortable, recently updated rooms are right beside Rainy Lake, where the fishing’s mighty good. You’ll need an angling license here, but get one – not to mention a room with a kitchenette. That way you’ll be all set up to fry yourself that lake perch, bass or walleye you managed to hook earlier. And if you need to fire up the laptop to contact the office for any reason, it won’t be a headache – this is the rare motel with gigabyte fiber-optic wifi in every room.
Sault Ste. Marie is that rare place in Canada, across from a city of the same name in the United States. The Pine Grove Motel sits just beyond town, right off the Trans-Canada Highway. It’s a pet-friendly, family-run motel that attracts steady business among through-travelers. Lake country is all around here – the Pine Grove is right between Lake Huron and Lake Superior. After a long day behind the wheel, you’ll need your shut-eye, so every room is soundproof, and has been fitted with blackout blinds.
Just west of Grand Forks on the Crowsnest Highway, the Evening Star is an affordable option an hour from Osoyoos and Okanagan Wine Country. It’s the perfect place to lay your hat if you’re not the sort for more touristy regions. Staying here, you’re 45 minutes’ drive from Baldy Mountain Ski Resort, BC’s third-highest ski hill. You’re also just a few minutes’ ride from the Kettle Valley Railway Trail, a 404mi (650km) former train track through Kootenay and Okanagan country, subsequently repurposed for cycling and hiking adventures. For overnight digs on a grand tour, you’ll be pushed to beat The Evening Star.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.