Canada's best scenic drive? Readers say the Cabot Trail!

St. Lawrence Route, Gaspesie Tour, Icefields Parkway and The Irish Loop in top five

Canada's National Highway System encompasses more than 23,000 miles of highways (not counting countless more miles of quaint country roads), and includes some of the most scenic stretches of pavement in the world. From breathtaking ocean views where whales can be spotted breaching to majestic snow-capped peaks, Canada's the perfect place to hop in the car, roll down the windows and hit the road.

  • Dempster Highway
    Dawson City, Yukon to Inuvik, N.T.

    The Dempster Highway, one of Canada's most unique scenic drives, takes visitors on a 460-mile adventure along the only all-weather road across the Arctic Circle. Those who brave this unpaved, two-lane road are rewarded with spectacular views of Yukon and the Northwest Territories, wildlife viewing opportunities and access to the tundra.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Fundy Coastal Drive
    St. Stephen to Aulac, New Brunswick

    The natural beauty of the Bay of Fundy is on full display to drivers along the Fundy Coastal Drive. While driving this 286-mile stretch from St. Stephen to Aulac, travelers might see whales breaching off the coast or stop to explore some of the many coastal islands or mudflats along the New Brunswick coast.
    Photo courtesy of Canadian Tourism Commission

  • The Viking Trail
    Gros Morne to St. Anthony, N.L.

    To drive the 304-mile Viking Trail is to step back in time to the days when vikings made their home in Newfoundland. Travelers along the trail can visit the thousand-year-old viking settlement of L'Anse aux Meadows, see ancient aboriginal burial grounds and hike through UNESCO-listed Gros Morne National Park.
    Photo courtesy of Copyright Barrett & MacKay Photo / Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism

  • Acadian Coastal Drive
    Moncton to Bathurst, New Brunswick

    New Brunswick's stunning Acadian Coastal Drive hugs the shores for 466 miles, passing sandy beaches, scenic bays, rolling dunes and tiny towns brimming with Acadian history. Stellar seafood shacks and restaurants dot this stretch of coastline – each an excellent opportunity for a delicious pit stop along the drive.
    Photo courtesy of New Brunswick Department of Tourism and Parks

  • Appalachian Range Route
    Perth-Andover to Dalhousie, New Brunswick

    The Appalachian Range Route extends for 172 miles through New Brunswick's 400-million-year-old mountains brimming with opportunity for outdoor adventure. Highlights along the way include Sugarloaf Provincial Park and Saint-Quentin, the Maple Capital of Canada.
    Photo courtesy of New Brunswick Department of Tourism and Parks

  • The Irish Loop
    Cape Shore, Newfoundland and Labrador

    The 194-mile Irish Loop takes drivers on a journey through the heart of Irish Newfoundland, starting in the colorful town of St. John's. Along the way, it's possible to spot whales, seabirds and caribou, check out an archaeological dig at Ferryland or gape at the Norwegian-like fjords of Aquaforte. 
    Photo courtesy of Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism

  • Icefields Parkway
    Banff to Jasper, Alberta

    Alberta's Icefields Parkway (Highway 93) winds for 144 miles through the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Connecting Banff and Jasper, this scenic stretch of asphalt offers travelers the opportunity to enjoy some of the province's best scenery, including cascading waterfalls, turquoise alpine lakes, jagged peaks and ancient glaciers. 
    Photo courtesy of Icefields Parkway Profile Steering Committee

  • Gaspesie Tour
    Sainte-Flavie Loop, Quebec

    The Gaspesie Tour, a 550-mile loop around the Gaspé Peninsula, offers access to dozens of activities and attractions, with loads of picturesque sea and mountain views along the way. 
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • St. Lawrence Route
    Baie-Saint-Paul to La Malbaie, Quebec

    The St. Lawrence Route takes drivers on a short but breathtaking 36-mile journey between Baie-Saint-Paul and La Malbaie along the shores of the St. Lawrence River. The views from Les Éboulements rank among the most picturesque in Quebec.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • The Cabot Trail
    Cape Breton Island Loop

    Looping the northern tip of Cape Breton Island for 185 miles, The Cabot Trail attracts visitors from around the globe to take in the splendor of the Cape Breton Highlands, complete with coastal views and a mix of Celtic and Acadian culture.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

We partnered with a panel of Canadian travel writers to nominate their top 20 scenic drives in the country, and for the past four weeks, our readers have been voting for their favorites.

The top 10 winners in the category Best Scenic Drive in Canada are as follows:

  1. The Cabot Trail - Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
  2. St. Lawrence Route - Baie-Saint-Paul to La Malbaie, Quebec
  3. Gaspesie Tour - Sainte-Flavie, Quebec
  4. Icefields Parkway - Banff to Jasper, Alberta
  5. The Irish Loop - Cape Shore, Newfoundland and Labrador
  6. Appalachian Range Route - Perth-Andover to Dalhousie, New Brunswick
  7. Acadian Coastal Drive - Moncton to Bathurst, New Brunswick
  8. The Viking Trail - Gros Morne to St. Anthony, Newfoundland and Labrador
  9. Fundy Coastal Drive - St. Stephen to Aulac, New Brunswick
  10. Dempster Highway - Dawson City, Yukon to Inuvik, Northwest Territories

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Gregory B. Gallagher (Michelin Green Guide Canada 2017), Janet Gyenes, Maureen Littlejohn, Jody Robbins (25 Places in Canada Every Family Should Visit), Jenn Smith Nelson (travelandhappiness.com) and Nadine Sykora (Hey Nadine) were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of travel in Canada.

Congratulations to all these winning scenic drives!

 

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Gregory B. Gallagher

Gregory B. Gallagher

Janet Gyenes

Janet Gyenes

Maureen Littlejohn

Maureen Littlejohn

Jody Robbins

Jenn Smith Nelson

Jenn Smith Nelson

Nadine Sykora

Nadine Sykora