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Everyone knows reading weeks were never really intended for reading. But the much-needed fall break isn’t only good for Thanksgiving dinners and binge-watching television—it’s also the perfect time for a road trip.
This time of year is one of the best to set out on the open road—you can enjoy the last moments of the fading summer, the leaves changing makes for a scenic drive and it’s early enough in the semester that you aren’t too swamped with work yet.
Hit the road and enjoy these reading week trips, all just a few hours away from campus.
University of British Colombia, Simon Fraser
Destination: Chilliwack, B.C.
Travel time: 1 hour
Chilliwack is a great destination for hikers in search of their next adventure. Whether you’re an expert looking for a challenge (try Mount Cheam) or a beginner who just wants to admire the nature on the way (try Bridal Veil Falls), there are numerous trails for you to explore, all within the lush, dense forest of the Fraser Valley.
McGill, Concordia, Université de Montréal
Destination: Vankleek Hill, ON
Travel time: 1.5 hours
Escape the hustle and bustle of city life by visiting this small town that has quaint Victorian houses feature decorative gingerbread elements (the woodworking kind of gingerbread, not the delicious holiday cookie). You’ll also find craft breweries and wineries for those who travel thirsty. Head to Beau’s Brewery for all-natural, award-winning beers, ales and lagers.
University of Calgary
Destination: Lake Louise in Banff, Alberta
Travel time: 2 hours
If you’ve already gone half the semester without making the drive out to Lake Louise, now is definitely the time to set out on this bucket list-worthy trip. Known for its breathtaking landscapes and crystal blue waters, get the best views you can by taking a gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain. Alternatively, you can hike to one of the town’s two alpine tea houses where you can sip tea while admiring the surrounding nature.
University of Ottawa, Carleton
Destination: Charlevoix, Quebec
Travel time: 6 hours, 45 minutes
This destination is a bit of a trek, but trust us, it’s worth it. The steep slopes and mountains of Parc national Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie will make you feel like you’re out west. In fact, you’ll find some of the highest rock faces east of the Rockies here. But in between all outdoor activities you’ll partake in (canoeing, kayaking, biking, fishing and more), tour Charlevoix’s food scene. Eat your way through the agricultural region and sample beers, cheeses and organic meats, especially duck and foie gras, two specialties of the area.
Dalhousie, Saint Mary’s, Mount Saint Vincent, NSCAD
Destination: Cape Breton, N.S.
Travel time: 4 hours
The Cabot Trail in Cape Breton is what road trips were made for. Take a ride on one of planet’s most scenic routes and get a spectacular view of the bright fall foliage. History buffs can peruse Cape Breton’s museums and historic sites, including the Fortress of Louisbourg, a French settlement founded in 1713. And of course, don’t forget dinner. Be sure to get some of the best and freshest seafood the country has to offer while you’re visiting.
Like this post? Check out Explore The Best Of Alberta This Winter In One Amazing Road Trip and The Nunavummiut Diet: “The Edible Road Trip” On Food And Culture In Canada’s North, too!