Written by Aliyah Kennedy, Marketing Assistant
Driving across the States or just visiting family and friends? There are plenty of destinations along the Canadian-US border that can be fun for family, friends, and solo travelers!
Depending on the province you are coming from, some states are closer to you than others. Check which province you are traveling from and easily navigate this article for what states are closest for you to travel to.
Before You Go
When you are traveling to the States, keeping connected is important so that you can document your travels on social media and text and call away to your friends and family that are staying back in Canada.
You are going to be taking an immense amount of photos of your travels and want to share them - so you need to start thinking before you go how your phone is going to be able to do so in the States.
Considering how much time you will spend on your travels, no investment is needed with Jethro Mobile’s affordable travel plans. You can get plenty of high speed data and unlimited talk and text messaging, just choose from one of our plans to find the best travel plan for your needs!
Now, let's see what destinations will fill your soul the most with happiness.
If you are traveling from British Columbia, you can easily access Washington State and Idaho, depending on where you are coming from in the province. Here are some travel destinations for each state, assuring an exciting trip!
North Cascades National Park
Though not right on the border, just a 2 hour drive and you can explore the beauty of Washington in the North Cascades National Park. From hiking trails to camping to just scenic drives, you’ll find tons to admire!
Just an hour south from the border is a beautiful winding road full of views of Bellingham Bay and Samish Bay. With tons of hikes and some campgrounds along the way, you won’t run out of things to explore
Peace Arch Historical State Park
Just entering the States and want a picture? Head to the Blaine customs through Surrey and you can find an arch to pose with next to gorgeous views of the harbor on Semiahmoo Bay.
Birch Bay Waterslides
Open all summer long, don’t miss out on the fun of Birch Bay’s waterslides; kiddie pool, activity pool, and a hot tub big enough to fit 30 people.
Towns to Visit:
Heading south an hour or less from the border, check out Bellingham, Washington and there many attractions. Whether you want to shop at their Bellis Fair Mall or in their local shops of two Downtown areas, Downtown Bellingham and Fairhaven, or if you want to head to bars and restaurants and family friendly gaming areas, you can find lots to browse.
Point Roberts, WA
Stop through the small town of Washington that can only be accessed via Canada. From the Lighthouse Marine Park, Lily Point Marine Reserve, and Enchanted Forest Trail, you’ll find many sites that can be crossed into from Boundary Bay.
If you want to check out the river for boating, wildlife, fishing, or just general sightseeing, get river access from the Twin Rivers Resort and along other accesses around Bonners Ferry.
Natural Rock Water Slides
Up in Coolin, Idaho you can find natural rock water slides in the farthest corner of Priest Lake. Enjoy on a hot day the cool water and have tons of fun with family and friends!
Towns to Visit:
Bonners Ferry, ID
Head 40 minutes south of the border and you’ll find tons to do in Bonners Ferry! Both being a picturesque town full of mountains and wildlife, you can find tons of adorable local shops to check out.
Alberta and Saskatchewan
Glacier National Park
From lakes to meadows to melting glaciers, you’ll find immense beauty encapsulated in the 700 miles of trails of this national park. Whether you love to hike, site see, camp, or look for wildlife, there is plenty to explore in Montana's Rocky Mountains.
A maze of rocks - some pillars and other hoodoos, you’ll find the wonder of how these rocks have eroded overtime and be encapsulated in awe. You’ll find this maze if you head just a few miles north of Valier, Montana and go to the Two Medicine River.
Kootenai National Forest
If you want to travel out of town, you can also head to Kootenai National Forest and take a look at the Ten Lakes Scenic Area, amongst other stops along the way. If you are into backpacking, the Ten Lakes Scenic Area is perfect for you!
Towns to Visit:
Just 12 minutes from the Canadian border you will find the quaint town of Eureka. It holds lots of fun activities like the Tobacco Valley Historical Village that holds a ton of history.
North American Game Warden Museum
Want to see a piece of history? Check out in Dunseith, ND just inside the borders of the US sites of both American and Canadian Conservation efforts. With a memorial on site that features all the fallen officers by Province and State, your mind gets to explore many wonders.
As an astronomical-themed attraction, you’ll find many intriguing sites such as a sundial and a 21st Century Stonehenge.
Towns to Visit:
Only 5 miles from the border, you’ll find Walhalla; a town full of history, containing the oldest building in North Dakota and Martyrs Graves that share long histories and stories.
Just along the border is the world’s largest freshwater lake. Keep your eyes peeled for boats along this rocky shoreline.
Grand Portage State Park
With stunning waterfalls at High Falls on the Pigeon River and breathtaking views of the many bodies of water around, this is a sure stop inside Minnesota to make.
Smokey Bear Park
Just inside the US in the town of International Falls is a park full of Smokey Bear and their museum. Many events in the community take place here which leaves this park feeling lively!
Towns to Visit:
Grand Marais, Minnesota
Take a 45 minute drive down the east coast of Minnesota and you will encounter the town of Grand Marais. Here you will find lots of arts of different forms, coming from multiple generations of diverse backgrounds. One site to check out is the Naniboujou Painted Lodge, amongst many other exciting attractions throughout this town.
Towns to Visit:
The city of Detroit is right on the border of Windsor. Full of markets, gorgeous parks, museums, and architectural buildings, Detroit is a worthwhile trip.
Sault St. Marie, Michigan
A waterfront community full of many attractions, this town is a hidden gem! From the Soo Locks, Tower of History, and Tahquamenon Falls State Park, you’ll find so much beauty to experience.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Just an hour from the border is a city with many attractions. Being a community of artists, Ann Arbor offers a world of culture with their museums and art galleries. There are always a plethora of events to attend here, being a lively town!
Drive an hour south of the Windsor border and you’ll reach Toledo, Ohio. There you will find Toledo Zoo and Aquarium and the National Museum of the Great Lakes.
Port Huron, Michigan
By the border of Point Edward is the town of Port Huron, home to the Blue Water Bridges and the Great Lakes Maritime Center. With lighthouses and museums, there is much to see and do in this town along the water.
The famous Niagara Falls is a must do for every person in their life! With thrilling scenery and many interactive exhibits and hiking, there is so much for everyone to enjoy in Niagara Falls.
You will find Alexandria Bay, New York just along the border. On a small island there is Boldt Castle, a legendary beauty of New York. With over 120 years of history, there is much to learn and see at the sight. Make sure to think ahead about transportation to this attraction.
Iron Island Museum
For those wanting a spooky experience, head down to Buffalo, New York for overnight ghost-hunting at the Iron Island Museum. Built in 1883, it is home to many spirits from its century old history.
Towns to Visit:
Founded in 1793, Newport, Vermont is an old city while always having new things to do. For those of you who love the outdoors and small towns, Newport is a wonderful place to explore. It has many attractions to fit whatever you love to do for fun, from hiking, biking, fishing, to skiing, it offers a wide variety of outdoor activities. From its Pomerleau Park to its marina, you can also just check out the beauty it has to offer.
Old Stone House Museum & Historic Village
Down in Brownington, Vermont, a 20 minute drive from the border, is a museum of history and gorgeous views of an old home. Explore to learn about town histories and histories of surrounding buildings.
Visit Vermont in the fall, the best time to visit, because of all the lush trees and their vibrancy in autumn.
You will find an immense treasure of nature spots in and around the area of Pittsburg, New Hampshire. From First Connecticut Lake, Lake Francis, to hiking areas around, you are guaranteed to have a good time!
Connecticut Lakes State Forest
Along US-3 you will find a multitude of hiking, camping and fishing areas. The main one is the Connecticut Lakes State Forest, but you can also find Deer Mountain Campground and Scott Bog Fishing Access.
Maine Solar System Model
In Houlton, Maine, you will be able to drive through the solar system. The model includes the sun, 9 planets, 7 moons, and 3 dwarf planets. With scaling one mile as an astronomical unit, you will learn so much about the solar system and get to see a realistic representation of what is out there.
With so many lakes around Maine, here are just a few you can go enjoy. Long Lake, Cross Lake, Square Lake, Eagle Lake - all worthy of your time and definitely worth a few pictures.
Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge
A wildlife refuge full of wildlife viewing, hiking trails and photography opportunities, this is worth a visit for the family to post on Instagram.