With plenty of time left to sightsee this summer, many of us are looking forward to getting behind the wheel, hitting the open road and exploring Canada’s secret treasures.

Although vacations may look a little different this year as we prefer to stay closer to home, the day trip has emerged as the preferred getaway, according to a national survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Toyota Canada.

Only a quarter of Canadians feel comfortable taking a plane at the moment, but 70 per cent do feel comfortable travelling by car outside of their city or town, and almost half are planning at least one day trip over the next two months. In Manitoba, almost three-quarters of residents feel very comfortable travelling out of their city of town. But with so many people aching to get out of the house, popular destinations are bound to be overrun by tourists. Fortunately, there are still plenty of places to visit if avoiding crowds is a priority for you.

So, what are you waiting for? Pack up your vehicle and check out these lesser known but still exciting day-trip destinations!


  • Gimli. This community established by Icelandic settlers back in 1875 still maintains a strong connection to Iceland and its culture. Unleash your inner Viking at Islendingadagurinn, the annual Icelandic Festival that’s going virtual this year, or enjoy Gimli Beach all summer. Finish your day enjoying art galleries and sampling local seafood.
  • Roadside attractions. Too much traffic heading west out of Winnipeg? Take the route up Highway 6 and through the Lake Manitoba Narrows to the Parkland region for a collection of beautiful scenery and a wide range of quirky and historical Insta-worthy roadside attractions, such as the World’s Largest Curling Rock, Leggy the Lovebug, Amisk the Beaver, the Grandview Train and more sites kids (and kids at heart) will love.
  • Birds Hill Provincial Park. A farm-filled day of fun awaits with several farms all within 15 minutes of each other. From horseback riding, to getting up close with the animals, to sampling local food, you can easily spend the day enjoying all the area has to offer.