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Favourite Fall Road Trips

Autumn Foliage
Photo: iStockphoto

It’s official - fall is here! Oh, how I love the fall. Crunchy leaves, cozy sweaters, apple cider and pumpkin scones – what’s not to like? Fall is a glorious time of year for road trips - cool enough to avoid the air conditioning, warm enough to leave the heater off. Plus, autumn travel offers endless possibilities for spectacular fall foliage and family fun!

Fall Foliage Appreciation
I never really thought about going on a road trip just to drink in the vibrant oranges, reds and yellows of the leaves until I was on a week-long course one October in St-Sauveur, Que.  It was difficult to get any work done with the beautiful fall colours lighting up the mountain.  Ever since, I’ve been a passionate advocate of leaf peeping.

While Western Canada, particularly the Rocky Mountains, boast some gorgeous fall colours, Eastern Canada is the favourite destination of leaf peepers the world over. From the stunning Acadian Coastal Drive in New Brunswick to Ontario’s Algonquin Park area, you’ll find breath-taking colours and idyllic drives. 

Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI each offer dazzling foliage displays in the fall – check out their tourism sites for maps and more information on great fall drives.

Fall Tours
Some of my favourite fall memories involve visiting my grandparents in Barrie, Ont. for Thanksgiving. Every year, my grandmother and I would do a studio tour, enjoying the amazing fall colours and visiting local artisans – and my grandfather and I would usually visit a pick-your-own farm, so that I could see where our food comes from. Food and art – a winning combination for young and old alike!

Artisan and farm tours like the Warkworth Gallery Hop in Warkworth, Ont.,  or the Circle Farm Tour in B.C.'s Lower Mainland are a great way to connect with your community – or explore a new one. These tours tend to happen on weekends throughout the fall - a perfect excuse for a little family getaway.

Fall Festivals & Pumpkin Picking
Beautiful fall colours – and harvest time – give rise to hundreds of fall festivals across the country, many of which involve that most autumnal gourd – the pumpkin.

Thanks to adverse weather conditions, there is a shortage of pumpkins in the East – so if pumpkin picking is your family tradition, best get out there early this year! Places like the Southbrook Pumpkin Patch in Richmond Hill, Ont. and Pumpkin Hollow in Lumsden, Sask. offer lots of different activities – and delicious fall fare – throughout the fall.

Plus, check out these pumpkin picking tips before you let your family loose in a pumpkin field near you.

There are so many festivals and events happening this fall – check out your local tourism sites for more info on what’s happening in your area. And tell us about your favourite fall road trips in the comments!

- Erin F.

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