Mourning the end of summer vacation? Take a mini-holiday and get out of town this weekend. Here are our favourite road-trip ideas for fall.
Welcome in the cooler temperatures with a glass or two of vino. Who needs Napa Valley? There are plenty of wineries and vineyards to tour much closer to home. (Just pack a sweater. Because this still isn’t California.) Ontario wine lovers might want to check out the Niagara Wine Festival, while West Coast connoisseurs can sample the best of B.C. wine at the Annual Okanagan Fall Wine Festival.
A Colourful Drive
Enjoy the season’s brilliant hues with a foliage drive. Nova Scotia’s Cabot Trail is considered by many to be one of the world’s most stunning drives — especially once the leaves begin to change. Other notable spots to leaf-watch: Mont Tremblant in Quebec, Ontario’s Algonquin Park, Qu’Appelle Drive in Lumsden, Saskatchewan and Alberta’s Banff National Park.
Meet the ‘Rents
If you haven’t introduced your significant other to your out-of-town parents, siblings or grandparents yet, why not make a visit part of a weekend road trip? Head in your family’s direction, stopping to explore notable trails, antique shops or festivals in the area. Or have your family join you at one of those sites: the introduction will be less stressful when it’s combined with an activity rather than just sitting on a couch in a living room.
Meet the Animals
Despite the crowds indicating otherwise, the summer is actually not the best time to visit the zoo. Most animals become more animated as temperatures drop — they’re not just lazing around in the summer heat — and the smaller crowds make a day at the zoo far more enjoyable.
Some wildlife parks, like Jungle Cat World in Orono, Ontario, offer the opportunity to get up close and personal with a animal or two, making for a pretty memorable date. (Jungle Cat World even has a B&B. So you can stay on the grounds overnight, listening to the roar of wildcats as you drift off.)
Turn a road trip into an episode of “This Is Your Life.” Take your date on a tour of your childhood or college days. Visit your old campus, your favourite diners and pubs, and drive around the neighbourhood you once called home. Take turns and let your significant other plan the tour of their life on another weekend.
A weekend south of the border doesn’t have to be solely about factory-outlet shopping and the Cheesecake Factory. Tour mansions and walk along beaches in picturesque Newport, Rhode Island, a six-hour drive from Montreal. Brush up on American history — and/or cheer on the Bruins, Red Sox or Celtics — in Boston. British Columbians can head south and explore the gorgeous Oregon Coast. (Or drive north along the scenic Alaskan Highway, recognized as the “16th Wonder of the Engineered World.”)
What’s your favourite fall road trip?
Niagara Wine Festival: http://www.niagarawinefestival.com/
Okanagan Fall Wine Festival: http://www.thewinefestivals.com/
This Is Your Life: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_Is_Your_Life
Jungle Cat World: http://www.junglecatworld.com/