A summer road trip to a favourite fishing spot? Yes please! (photo: Jeremy Koreski/Tourism Kamloops)

Plan a Western Road Trip

By AMA Staff

There’s nothing like hopping in your car and driving to new destination for a few days. There’s so much to explore within driving distance in Alberta—not to mention B.C. and Saskatchewan, too. If you’re planning a quick western road trip, remember that AMA Travel offers guaranteed best prices on hotel rooms in North America, so you can save big on your next getaway.

Road trip season is (finally) here! Whether you’re driving a vintage Cadillac or your trusty Toyota, always give your car a tune-up before heading out.

• Give your vehicle a good wash from top to bottom—including tires, wheel wells and undercarriage.

• If you’ve been straining to see above that crack on your windshield, it’s time to replace the glass. The same goes for worn wiper blades—invest in a new set.

• Make sure you’ve got all-season, all-weather or summer tires on the vehicle. Don’t forget to check tire pressure and treads.

• Oil is your engine’s lifeblood, but it wears out over time. Make sure you get an oil change before the trip. Top up brake, power steering, cooling-system and windshield washer fluids as well.

When to repair an older vehicle (and when not to)

• Dirty engine, cabin and fuel filters restrict airflow, which can cause your engine to overheat. Replace them as needed.

• A dying battery won’t get you very far. AMA members in some parts of Alberta can use CAA’s mobile battery service. We’ll come to you and test your battery. If you need a new one, buy it directly from the technician—installation is on us.

western road trip remai modern gallery saskatoon
Saskatoon’s Remai Modern art gallery (photo: Carey Shaw/Tourism Saskatoon)

Cross the provincial border to discover (or rediscover) these always-enjoyable road-trip destinations.

Saskatoon, Sask.: The “Paris of the Prairies” sits on the beautiful banks of the South Saskatchewan River. Visit the new Remai Modern to marvel at Picassos and other contemporary art. Tour ancient archeological sites at Wanuskewin Heritage Park and stroll through the park’s Indigenous art gallery. At the Ukrainian Museum of Canada, learn the origin of traditional embroidery patterns, then visit Baba’s, the only drive-through perogy window in Canada. Or score a table at acclaimed restaurants like Ayden Kitchen and Bar and Sticks and Stones. For a nightcap, drop by Stovin’s Lounge at the historic Delta Hotels Bessborough, which opened on the river in 1935.

Our top tips and advice for camping with a trailer or motorhome

Kamloops, B.C.: Take the Trans-Canada highway through gorgeous mountain scenery to Kamloops. Once there, grab your gear and head off to one of the area’s many lakes or rivers for some world-class fly fishing. Check out a dude ranch for horseback riding—or sign up to try local wines at the Thompson Valley’s new vineyards. If you prefer a cold beer, you’ll find plenty of local taps at pubs, including The Noble Pig Brewhouse and Red Beard Café. And don’t miss a ride on the Kamloops Heritage Railway. The old-fashioned steam engine chugs along while you enjoy snacks, drinks and First Nations storytellers.

western road trip restaurants diners
illustrations: Jason Schneider

We asked the kings and queens of Alberta highways—a.k.a. AMA Contracted Roadside Assistance Operators—to share their favourite road-trip eateries.

1 Antsy kids will love stopping for a hot dog at Beach Corner Restaurant, just west of Stony Plain. For a few bucks, get a dog or smokie grilled on the patio barbecue. —Kelly Cherewka, APL Towing

2 Pitmasters smoke the meat all day long at Skinny’s Smoke House in Medicine Hat. Taste the results in an enormous BBQ platter of beef brisket and pulled pork, coleslaw, cornbread and baked beans. —Alicia Buziak, Auto Spa Towing

3 General stores are a road-tripper’s best friend. But don’t underestimate them as foodie destinations. Stop at Crooked Creek General Store, east of Grande Prairie, for melt-in-your-mouth, home-baked doughnuts. —Don Getschel, Oil Country Towing

AMA’s Premier membership offers our highest level of protection on the road, plus other good stuff along the way.

Long-distance towing: Up to 320 km for one tow and 160 km for four tows; free two-day car rental with tow

Road-trip protection: Up to $2,000 due to a collision, fire or theft; up to $500 for vehicle return

Emergency fuel: Free fuel and delivery if you run out of gas

Home lockout: If you’re locked out or need rekeying, we’ll reimburse you up to $100 per year

Windshield repair: One free chip repair per year at GlassMasters; 50% off each additional repair

RV coverage: Get Premier RV to extend coverage to your trailer, camper or motorhome

When the munchies strike, show your AMA card to save at dine-in and quick-service restaurants including Freshii, Harvey’s, New York Fries, Smitty’s Restaurant, Wok Box and Montana’s.