When you hear the word “village”, you probably imagine a warm atmosphere, a tightly knit community and businesses clustered together on the same street. If these images bring back fond memories, it’s probably time to pack up the car and head out to one of the most beautiful villages in Canada.
Enjoy a nice road trip of one or more days through the country’s winding roads and stop in warm places.
Buckle up, we’re hitting the road!
The beautiful village of Merrickville Wolford is located in Eastern Ontario, less than an hour outside of Ottawa. This town extends along both sides of the Rideau Canal and is filled with architectural beauty. Over 100 historic properties, most of which date back to the 19th century, line the streets. There’s a reason why the village of Merrickville has been named the most beautiful village in Canada by Communities in Bloom.
Make the most of your stay by visiting the enchanting village of Elora to admire Elora Gorge and Grand River. You can also visit limestone cliffs, a centenarian mill and charming waterfalls.
Located in Wellington County, this village has four beautiful parks: Drimmie, Foote, Hoffer and Station Square.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the many restaurants in Elora, as there’s no shortage of culinary variety:
Not to mention, the 19th-century limestone architecture is sure to amaze you.
No matter your favourite summer activities, this small village in Charlevoix is worth the trip. Located in the municipality of Saint-Siméon, Port-au-Persil is bordered by the majestic St. Lawrence River.
Enjoy breathtaking views of the river or go for a dip in the nearby waterfall. The rocks along the cove are also a must-see to add to your itinerary. Port-au-Persil is part of the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages of Québec, so you’re guaranteed amazing sights.
This municipality deserves a visit, even if it’s only to watch the fabulous sunset. Kamouraska is located along the St. Lawrence River and has a strong architectural heritage.
The Bas-Saint-Laurent municipality offers several activities, including a regional museum, an art centre and a beach, and various art galleries and restaurants. It’s no surprise that Kamouraska is part of the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages in Québec.
Saint Martins, New Brunswick
New Brunswick villages are magnificent, and Saint Martins is no exception. Here, almost everything has a connection to the water. This is particularly fitting since the village is located directly on the Bay of Fundy. In fact, the Fundy Trail starts in Saint Martins.
The town’s line-up of activities includes:
- Quaco Head Lighthouse
- Sea caves
- Bicycle routes and hiking trails
- Numerous accommodations ranging from campsites to hotels
About 45 minutes from New Brunswick’s capital, Saint Martins is close enough to the conveniences of the city and far enough away to enjoy untamed nature.
Baddeck, Nova Scotia
Cape Breton is a vast island with many lively cities, towns and villages. This is the case with Baddeck, a village that overlooks a portion of the Bras d’Or Lakes, right in the middle of this vast territory.
The village has a national historic site and park named after scientist Alexander Graham Bell where you can learn about the invention of the telephone.
It’s also a perfect place to have a good meal. There are plenty of restaurants for seafood lovers, including:
The village is close to many famous trails such as the Cabot Trail and is bordered on the southeast by Bras d’Or Lake. You can also book a walking or boating tour to see the nature and culture that reside in Baddeck.
Chester, Nova Scotia
Enjoy everything the Maritimes have to offer in Chester, a small village located on a peninsula of the same name. There’s a golf course by the sea, three art galleries scattered throughout the village and a few lodging complexes to rest your head.
There’s also the Chester Playhouse, which until recently was an auditorium, which now offers outdoor plays, performances and film screenings.
On the dining front, you can enjoy great food at the Rope Loft, Fo’c’sle Tavern and the Sunroom Restaurant & Inn, which also has three beautiful guest rooms.
Borden-Carleton, Prince Edward Island
Borden-Carleton on Prince Edward Island is the epitome of a small town. It’s located near the famous Confederation Bridge on the PEI side. With the population concentrated on the edge of Port Borden shore, this small town appeals to those looking for a city and country experience.
You can visit Port Borden Front Range and Port Borden Wharf lighthouses. You can also venture to Marine Rail Park to take in the scale of the Confederation Bridge and have a picnic lunch on the lush green grass.
You’re spoiled for choice with Borden-Carleton’s selection of breweries and restaurants:
This is a great little town to visit to kick off your stay on Prince Edward Island.
North Rustico, Prince Edward Island
Just 30 kilometres from the capital of Prince Edward Island lies the beautiful village of North Rustico. With breathtaking views of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and direct access to the water, you can enjoy activities such as deep-sea fishing for mackerel and cod.
For food lovers, North Rustico is once again the place to be. There are many restaurants on Rustico Road and Harbourview Drive, including:
After a hearty meal, take a leisurely walk through Centennial Park and the North Rustico Harbor Trail.
You can also stay at one of the many bed and breakfasts or rent a cabin at Grand-Pré Cottages. You can enjoy spending with other visitors or lounging in privacy in your own little oasis.
Saint Lunaire-Griquet, Newfoundland and Labrador
On the northern tip of Newfoundland sits the village of St. Lunaire-Griquet, separated from Labrador by the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Highway 436 cuts right through this small village.
Visit the Daily Catch restaurant, which, as the name suggests, to enjoy freshly caught delicacies.
During your stay, take the opportunity to cross a small corridor of water via Dark Tickle Road and set foot on Camel Island, home to the hiking trail of the same name. Enjoy walking around and taking pictures on the mountainside.
Take home a memory of your stay by stopping at the Dark Tickle Company for a gift and a coffee. At the same location, you can also book a boat trip to see icebergs and marine animals.
Saint Anthony, Newfoundland and Labrador
About 25 minutes south of Saint Lunaire-Griquet, you’ll find the small town of Saint Anthony. There are several tourist attractions, such as the Grenfell Historical Society and Jordi Bonet murals.
This is a great place to hike. The Lampage Point and Dare Devil trails, which are across the water from each other, allow you to breathe the fresh sea air.
You can end your days of exploration at RagnaRöck Northern Brewing Co or with a good meal at Lightkeepers or Great Viking Feast.
With so many beautiful villages and small towns in Canada, you’re sure to have fun discovering them on your next vacation. Which one will you add to your itinerary?