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Home » North America » Canada » 15 AMAZING Day Trips to Take from Ontario | 2024 Guide

15 AMAZING Day Trips to Take from Ontario | 2024 Guide

Ontario is the most populous province in Canada, home to both the country’s capital city of Ottawa and the dynamic city of Toronto. There is so much to do in this beautiful province, that you could easily spend months exploring the area.

It’s also conveniently situated on the Northern border of the USA, bordering a bunch of the Great Lakes and America’s Minnesota, Michigan, and the New York States. Depending on where you’re based, you might just be able to take a day trip across the border too!

Day trips are a great option for all types of travelers because they can give one a broader feel of the place you’re visiting. Not only will guided tours be super educational, but they’re also a great opportunity to reconnect with your family on a fun adventure. If you live in the area, full or half-day trips in Ontario are a cheaper alternative to a full-blown vacation.

We’re going to take a look at some of the local trips you can take in Ontario!

fun trips in ontario

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Getting Around Ontario, and Beyond

Half-day trips in ontario, full-day trips in ontario, final thoughts on day trips from ontario.

No visit to Canada is complete without exploring Ontario and all it has to offer. Before we dive into some of the best Ontario day trips, let’s take a closer look at how to get around the area.

Like any large province or state, the biggest cities in Ontario (Toronto and Ottawa) have reliable, affordable, and safe public transportation. A lot of the inner cities also have buses, subways, streetcars, and ferries. 

In Toronto and Ottawa, these modes of transport connect metropolitan and suburban districts with extensive routes. A one-way ticket can cost around CAD$3.25, while a day pass will set you back CAD$13.50.

If you’re looking to move between cities, or explore Ontario’s roads-less-taken, you’ll have to consider other options. When you’re familiar with the area and venturing out on day trips without a tour guide, renting a car is the most convenient option. As with all car rentals, make sure you get insurance before you leave the lot!

The big Ontario cities are also all connected by railway, which is a great way to get from A to B when traveling across the province. VIA Rail Canada services the whole of Ontario, Ontario Northland services the north of the province, and GO Train connects Hamilton to Oshawa.

Not everyone has the time to explore far afield, sometimes a half day trip is all you can fit in. These half-day trips in Ontario will get you out of the city and seeing some of the best bits of the province.

For example, there’s plenty of things to do in Hamilton and it’s super close to visit!

Cobourg Beach 

Day Trip to Cobourg Beach, Ontario

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Cobourg is a quaint lakeside town just west of Victoria Park on Lake Ontario, only an hour outside the city of Toronto by rail. Cherished by locals as a weekend haven, Cobourg Beach offers a blend of sand, grassland, and a picturesque boardwalk. 

Cobourg Beach is in fact two beaches. Most tours will take you straight to the main beach, also known as Victoria Park Beach, but there is so much more to explore along these sandy shores. 

The beach is designed for family fun, offering lots of amenities including bathrooms, restaurants, and splash pads for all types of visitors. They even host volleyball and sandcastle-building events throughout the year!

If you’re after a more secluded beach experience, the lesser-known West Beach is a local favorite. This beach has a more natural appeal and is less busy. An afternoon here can include relaxing on the beach, reading a good book, and swimming in the clean lake water. Bring along a picnic, because, unlike the main beach, West Beach has no food or beverage amenities.

When a single day trip in Ontario’s lake district isn’t enough, why not extend your visit and spend a few nights in this tiny house on the beach in Brighton near Cobourg Beach? It’s only a short drive from the lakeside town and has exquisite lake views.

Rattlesnake Point 

Rattlesnake Point Ontario Shutterstock

Located just an hour’s drive out of Toronto, Rattlesnake Point is a beautiful location for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a respite from the city. The mountainous woodlands are a top location for rock climbing, hiking, and trail running. 

Conveniently, there are no rattlesnakes in the area – yes, we were surprised by this too. In fact, the park gets its name from the snake-like path that cuts through the Niagara Escarpment.

Take note that reservations are required before you visit, so be sure to reserve your visit with Conservation Halton Parks.

Whether you go to the top of the Buffalo Crag lookout point or watch the eagles soaring overhead from beneath the thousand-year-old cedar trees, the landscape here is nothing short of extraordinary.

For something different, and if you have some extra time on your way back home, try out an oil painting class in nearby Erin Mills.

Packing in a day trip from Ontario is a lot more rewarding than taking half-day trips. By heading out before the sun rises, and leaving at the end of the day, you can easily pack in a full day of adventure and fun with your loved ones. These aren’t narrowed down for tourists alone, Ontario locals also love to explore their home!

Niagara-on-the-Lake

Day Trip to Niagara on the Lake Wine Tour, Ontario

If you’re a first-time visitor to Ontario, Niagara falls will be at the top of your day trip list but there’s more to see in this lush region than just the waterfall. Only a two-hour drive from Toronto, Niagara-on-the-Lake is a small town near Niagara Falls which is packed with historic sites, galleries, parks, and restaurants.

The town has a heritage square which is well worth a visit, but it’s the surrounding Winelands that we are most excited about. Niagara Wine County is a quick 20-minute drive from the waterfall.

It’s the Napa Valley of Canada, and for good reason. The area is as lush and beautiful, and is home to over 20 top wineries that follow tons of different wine-making techniques. Some of our favorite wineries for a day trip in Ontario include the Jackson Triggs Winery, Pillitteri Estate, Stratus Wineries, and the Peller Estates Winery.

Niagara Wine County offers year-round wine tasting activities, but the most beautiful time to visit is definitely during summer and fall. Can you think of anything better than some bucket-list sightseeing combined with a wine tasting? 

Suggested trips: Winery Tour with Tastings & Lunch

Niagara Falls 

Day Trip to Niagara Falls, Ontario

I have no doubt you’ve already planned your trip to Niagara Falls. Hell, I wouldn’t even be surprised if your entire Ontario trip is based around this visit. It’s one of the top places to visit in Toronto .

Over eight million visitors visit Niagara Falls State Park each year. While it’s not the biggest waterfall in the world, it certainly is one of the most impressive, with the world’s highest flow rate of about 700,000 gallons of water moving every second.

The waterfall lies on the border between Canada and the USA, and offers awe-inspiring scenery in every direction. If it’s the waterfall you’re most interested in (naturally), we recommend taking a boat cruise or a scenic helicopter ride over the waterfall (if you have the budget for it). 

If you’re feeling very adventurous, why not zipline to the falls ? Alternatively, a visit to the Skylon Tower observation deck offers equally breathtaking views, without having to get soaking wet.

However, there is so much more to see than first meets the eye. The adventure-packed area is a top location for hiking and also offers a bunch of family-friendly activities, entertainment, and dining. 

Suggested trips: Niagara Falls Day Trip and Day and Night Tour

Canada’s Wonderland Amusement Park

Day Trip to Canadas Wonderland Amusement Park, Ontario

Visiting Ontario with young children? Perfect for family day trips from Ontario, Wonderland Amusement Park has been making visitors smile since 1981. The park features more than 200 attractions, including 17 roller coasters, two children’s areas, and a 20-acre water park.

It’s open year-round through all four seasons, and hosts daily live shows and special events throughout the year. When you visit around Christmas or Halloween, you’ll be treated to themed adventures.

That being said, Canada’s Wonderland isn’t just for youngsters, and the park is a top location for corporate adventures, vacations with friends, or a romantic trip. Like any world-class amusement park, it is home to fantastic dining and shopping arcades, which will be sure to keep you busy between rides.

Feel like turning this into an overnight stay? This comfortable townhouse is an ideal home overlooking the amusement park.

Blue Mountain and Collingwood

Day Trip to Blue Mountain and Collingwood, Ontario

There’s nothing better than a good old trip into the mountains. The Blue Mountains are a two-hour drive from Toronto and offer adventures from summer through to winter. 

As a snowboarder myself, I’d highly recommend checking this mountain out if you’re visiting during the colder months. You’ll find a charming base village that leads up to over 15 ski lifts and an abundance of easy to expert terrain.

If skiing, snowboarding, and tubing aren’t for you, there is lots to keep you busy in the village, which is packed with cozy eateries and trendy shops. The town of Collingwood on the Georgian Bay is only a 10-minute drive away from the ski resort.

Blue Mountain and Collingwood are also great destinations for a summer Ontario day trip. When you’re visiting with kids, be sure to purchase the Play All Day Pass, which will give you access to over 10 different attractions including a mountain roller coaster, a canopy climbing net, ziplines, and more.

Suggested trips: Between Collingwood & Toronto: Smartphone Audio Driving Tour

Algonquin Provincial Park

Day Trip to Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

Located between the Georgian Bay and the Ottawa River, Algonquin Provincial Park is a natural wonder worth a visit in Ontario. The park is huge, to say the least, with over 2400 lakes and miles worth of streams.

Driving from Toronto to the entrance of the park will take just under three hours, but once you’re there, you could spend a lot more time driving between the different attractions. While it’s a great park for a day trip, Algonquin has been praised for having some of the most beautiful campsites in Ontario . Take what you want from that!

You have to pay for a permit to enter the park, so make sure the tour you pick includes entrance fees in the day rate. An outdoor lovers’ playground, Algonquin Park is a hotspot for recreational activities. From backcountry camping to boating, canoeing, dog sledding, fishing and hunting, picnicking, skiing, snowmobiling, and swimming, there is something to do all year round in this exquisite area.

Suggested trips: Algonquin Provincial Park Day Tour , 6 Hour Algonquin Park Canoe Trip , and Algonquin Park Winter Adventure

St Jacobs 

Day Trip to St Jacobs, Ontario

Located just outside of Waterloo along the Conestoga River, only an hour and a half drive from Toronto, The Village of St. Jacobs is a charming spot to visit for a cultural day trip in Ontario.

If you’re up for some local history, St. Jacobs has a unique Mennonite heritage . The town was first settled in the early 1830s by Pennslyvania Dutch populations. The heritage of the village has been well preserved – you can even still visit the first mills built in the area! St. Jacobs had a small population with a strong Germanic culture, which is still evident today. 

Walking through the streets feels like you’ve taken a step back in time. But today, the streets are lined with trendy boutiques, specialty stores, and antique spots. Don’t forget to check out the Farmers’ Market, which is a big drawing point in the village. It sells everything from artisanal to home-baked goods.

If you want to extend your day trip to an overnight one, spend a night in this classic 1842 B&B with village views. 

Port Dover 

Day Trip to Port Dover, Ontario

Known for its bustling fishing industry, Port Dover is a small town located in Norfolk County on the northern shores of Lake Erie in Ontario. Today, this lakeside village is well-loved for its beaches, piers, and local community, making it a great stop for an Ontario day trip.

If you’ve never been to Norfolk County, Port Dover is the place to start exploring. Named after the town of the same name in England, it was established in the early 1800s. The village was burned down and rebuilt, and has since developed a name for itself as one of the largest freshwater fishing areas in the Americas.

Boaters will love the Port Dover Harbor Marina, while foodies will be kept busy by the restaurants along the lake shores. If you happen to visit on a Friday the 13th, you’ll be greeted by lines of motorcycles that parade through the streets. 

The village is about a two-hour drive from the city of Toronto. If you feel like exploring more of the area, rent out this charming waterfront cottage outside the city.

Ferris Provincial Park 

Rail Town Off Road Quad Adventure, Ontario

Ferris Provincial Park is another outstanding nature-lovers paradise on the doorstep of Ontario’s big cities. Just like Algonquin Park, Ferris is a top destination for overnight camping, but being only two hours from Toronto, it’s also a great spot for a day trip.

There are a ton of adventurous things to do in the park. If you visit during the fall months, you’ll be blown away by the colorful trees from the lookout over Ranney Falls. Spring is just as gorgeous, when the park shows off brightly colored wildflowers along the Drumlin Trail. In winter, you could backcountry ski and enjoy the snowshoe trails which are well maintained by park rangers.

Summer is the best time for enjoying time on the Trent River. Whether you enjoy kayaking or prefer admiring the bird and wildlife from the shore, there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss the pedestrian suspension bridge over the Trent River Gorge, which overlooks exquisite panoramic views of the park.

Fancy spending some more time in the park? This quaint cottage Airbnb in Campbellford has everything you might need for a short stay.

Suggested Trips : Rail Town Off-Road Quad Adventure

The Stratford Festival 

Eat Dinner From the Farm, Ontario

A short two-hour drive from Toronto, Stratford is a small city on the Avon River in Ontario’s Perth County. Just like the Stratford Upon Avon in England (which was home to the Great playwright Shakespeare), Ontario’s Stratford was also settled by English, Irish, Scottish and German immigrants in the early 1800s.

The city is best known for its selection of top-rated restaurants, its art scene, and its festival season which runs from May through to October. When you visit during these months, you can plan your trip around the Stratford Shakespeare Festival or the Stratford Summer Music Festival. Trust me when I say, these festivals are worth a visit, and they are the city’s claims to fame.

That being said, it’s a spectacular place to visit on a day trip from Ontario year-round, with a charming small-town atmosphere, outstanding dining options, and a fascinating history rooted in English literature, theatre, and western culture.

Suggested trips: Stratford Countryside Dining Experience

Prince Edward Wine County

Tesla Wine Tour, Ontario

More wine tours? We like the sound of that! Thanks to its limestone-rich soil and moderate climate, Prince Edward Wine County is home to some of the most famous Canadian wine producers.

Just over two hours from the city of Toronto, the county plays host to over 35 independent winemakers, each using different wine-making techniques to create uniquely tasty craft beverages. Unlike many other wine tasting trips, winetasting in Prince Edward is refreshingly unpretentious and offers a more down-to-earth experience than most.

Most of the wineries in the region specialize in Pino Noir and Chardonnay, but the local winemakers are always learning new tricks and testing new techniques. It’s not all about wine here, though, and you could also make a stop at the local brewery for a cold one, or wander through the local farmers’ market and museums until your feet give in.

Suggested trips: Tesla Wine Tour and Horseback Adventure at Fina Vista Farm

The Muskoka Lakes and Gravenhurst

Barefoot Earthing Experience, Ontario

Muskoka is a collection of eclectic towns and villages about two and a half hours drive from Toronto. Together with over 1600 lakes, a vast forest, and a bunch of great restaurants and bars, it’s no wonder Muskoka is such a desirable destination for an Ontario day trip.

In fact, when you’re visiting this area, you might bump into Tom Hanks, Justin Bieber, Kate Hudson, or Steven Spielberg, who all allegedly have cabins on the lake shores! While the best time to visit is definitely during the warmer summer months, the lakes and their surrounding trees put on a spectacular show of oranges and yellows during fall too. 

Suggested trips: Barefoot Earthing Experience and Canoe Fishing Guide

Wasaga Beach 

Day Trip to Wasaga Beach, Ontario

Wasaga Beach is a great spot for a day trip if you want your own adventure, without the hassle of organizing a tour. The beach is only an hour and forty-five minutes from Toronto, and is the world’s longest freshwater beach. With pristine white sand and panoramic views of the Niagara Escarpment across the Georgian Bay, it’s also one of the most beautiful!

If fishing is your thing, the Nottawasaga River nearby is excellent for game fishing. You can rent a boat or canoe and explore the area. Go golfing, skydiving, hiking, biking, or even snowshoeing and cross country skiing during the winter months. The activities are endless no matter what time of year you choose to visit!

Mount St. Louis Moonstone Ski Resort 

Day Trip to Mount St Louis Moonstone Ski Resort, Ontario

Ski and snowboard trips are so nice, we had to add them twice! Mount St. Louis Moonstone Ski Resort is only an hour and a half from the city, making it perfect for a winter day trip. 

About half the terrain is groomed for intermediate skiers and riders, while 35% is appropriate for beginners. If you’re after the hard stuff, 15% of the terrain is categorized as difficult.

There is a well-equipped snow school and rental shops which will keep young kids busy all day. If you’re a confident skier or snowboarder, you could try a run down the park and pipe (locally known as the Skool Yard, Junkyard, and Outback) for a kick of adrenaline. 

A day out in the snow can get exhausting, but there is a spacious cafeteria at the base of the mountain where you can grab a hot chocolate or bite to eat for a quick refuel at any time. You can make this an overnight trip with a stay in this cozy villa with a jacuzzi and private parking.

fun trips in ontario

Wanna know how to pack like a pro? Well for a start you need the right gear….

These are packing cubes for the globetrotters and compression sacks for the  real adventurers – these babies are a traveller’s best kept secret. They organise yo’ packing and minimise volume too so you can pack MORE.

Or, y’know… you can stick to just chucking it all in your backpack…

Don’t Forget Your Ontario Travel Insurance

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing .

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

fun trips in ontario

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Ontario is one of those spread-out provinces that has so much to offer. The majority of tourists spend their time in the big cities. However, when visiting a city like Ottawa or Toronto, it’s always important to spend some time checking out the areas beyond the skyscrapers and highways.

Taking a day trip from Ontario and exploring the beautiful nature that the province has to offer will be the highlight of your trip. From pristine lakeside beaches to cozy winter ski resorts to exquisite national and provincial parks, there is so much more to do in Ontario than first meets the eye.

The Prince Edward Wine County is a personal favorite of mine, however, the convenience of seeing Niagara Falls and the Niagara Wine Region in one day is ideal for those without much time to spare.

fun trips in ontario

Sheridan Cahoon

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Ontario Away

Great Ideas for Weekend Getaways in Ontario (+ Mini Itineraries)

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There Are Plenty of Great Ideas for Weekend Getaways in Ontario!

If you’re looking for a weekend getaway in Ontario, you’re certainly in luck! Ontario is loaded with amazing places to visit , attractions to explore, and things to try so there is no shortage of weekend trip ideas.

No matter where you are travelling from – Ottawa, Toronto, etc – and whatever your style – romantic, fun, relaxing, adventure – there is a getaway for you.

We really like exploring Ontario on mini-vacations or weekend road trips since there are essentially endless options. While we usually travel as a couple, lots of the getaway ideas mentioned below can also work for families with kids or even groups of friends.

We’ve done our fair share of last-minute weekend getaways and still managed to find great ideas with nice accommodations for a good price!

So, whether you are looking for romantic getaways near Toronto or staycation getaway ideas that take you on an adventure, here are our detailed mini-weekend itineraries for you to enjoy.

From hiking and beaches to wineries or spas, here’s our detailed guide on some of the best weekend getaways in Ontario – in summer or winter!

Table of Contents

Relax at an Ontario Resort, Inn, or Spa

large historic inn sitting on the side of reflective river with autumn colours around.

If you’ve been working hard and just want to get away and indulge in total relaxation, there are plenty of resort or inn-style accommodations in Ontario to do that!

Ontario has a nice mix of inns with spas as well as quiet lodge resorts that can take you away from the city and exchange it for nature. This goes for the summer or the winter season!

Below are a number of resorts and inns that you can have a look at. Many of these also make for a great girls’ weekend getaway in Ontario. You can find these accommodations all around the province from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Collingwood, the Ottawa Valley, Muskoka, and more.

We even have a whole guide dedicated to where to stay in Muskoka (with great resorts) if that is where you are looking to go. If you want great inns all around Ontario, we have also a round-up on the best inns in Ontario .

snowy chalet building in winter sitting at the bottom of ski hill covered in snow.

Blue Mountain Resort

As the largest ski resort in Ontario, Blue Mountain certainly has a reputation to be a fantastic weekend getaway in any season. If you’re looking to relax, they offer spa packages and bundles that are sure to make you forget the stressful work week.

If you want to head up to Collingwood for the weekend, you can stay right in the main village at Blue – and don’t forget about booking a time at the famous Scandinave Spa .

cars parked in parking lot in front of red brick buildings with blue sky above.

Pillar and Post Inn & Spa

For a great getaway inn/hotel located in a top wine region, head for the Pillar and Post Inn and Spa .

Located just a short walk from the heart of downtown Niagara-on-the-Lake, Eric has stayed here before and loved it. They have pools, onsite dining, and spa facilities.

Heather Lodge Inn

For a more remote and tranquil escape, head for Heather Lodge Inn . Located in Minden, this more lodge-style getaway is adults-only and offers onsite dining as well as boat rentals and canoeing.

The Haliburton Highlands are a great place for a getaway to reconnect with nature and enjoy peace and quiet.

JW Marriott at Lake Rosseau

Last but not least, you can have a classic Muskoka resort experience at The JW Marriott at Lake Rosseau . Perched on a granite bluff, the Marriott is a secluded resort tucked away in Ontario’s wilderness overlooking Lake Rosseau.

They offer spa packages for couples that include the usage of their “couples-designated” spa areas – making the JW a good stop for a spa weekend getaway in Ontario. Also good to note: This kind of weekend trip can be done in summer or in the winter!

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Discover one of Ontario’s Wine Regions

woman standing beside fountain in front of winery.

Did you know that Ontario is one of Canada’s top wine-producing areas? You’d be surprised how many didn’t! When it comes to producing great wine, we can thank the geography of the province.

The lakes, the soil, the geographical feature that is the Niagara Escarpment – there are so many factors that allow Ontario to make wine. And that means that you get to enjoy it!

We really like wine (and beer, for that matter) so it’s fun for us to go to wineries, learn about them, and enjoy a few tastings. Winery hopping can also be a part of a romantic weekend getaway in Ontario or a classic girls’ weekend getaway.

So if you are looking to indulge in the province through its wine and the locals who make it, here are a number of suggestions for top wine regions in Ontario. These also make for great fall getaway ideas since you get to enjoy the autumn colours and the harvest season!

colourful small town buildings with main road with cars parked and large clocktower in the middle.

Niagara on the Lake

Yes, Niagara on the Lake is first. This fertile area is a mecca for wine-making – and the greater Niagara Peninsula has even more wineries to visit. You can drive around to the dozens of Niagara on the Lake wineries or you can hop on a guided winery tour (recommended). There are many to visit but we like Ravine if you are looking for a suggestion. To make the most of the weekend, you should stay in Niagara-on-the-Lake (the historic town). That way, you can enjoy the town as well as the wineries around.

We like the Pillar and Post Inn and Spa but we also have a guide on Niagara on the Lake accommodations if you want to learn more!

small colourful building in town centre with cars parked on street in front.

Prince Edward County

Another great wine region is Prince Edward County. There are a number of wineries to visit like Sandbanks Estate or Trail Estate . There are dozens so check out our article on wineries in Prince Edward County . You can join a guided tour to the wineries but you can also drive or bike to them yourself. If you head for The County, there are lots of other things to do while on a weekend trip. You can stay in the town of Picton for easy accessibility to restaurants and shops. Stay at the Merrill House for a great location in Picton or the Newsroom Suites for a nice stay in the town of Wellington. We have a guide on where to stay in Prince Edward County if you are interested. Those interested in beer should read our PEC breweries and cideries guide !

Grey County

When people think about Ontario wine, many don’t know that the area just south of Georgian Bay – Grey County – is home to a number of wineries (as well as breweries and cideries). The vast amount of shoreline is also a nice draw to this region and makes for a lovely weekend getaway for couples in Ontario. With top stops like Coffin Ridge Vineyard & Winery and Mudtown Station Brewery and Restaurant in the heart of Owen Sound, it’s a great area to wander about.

The Inn at Cobble Beach makes for a wonderful getaway by the water.

Have an Outdoor Action Adventure

Considering Ontario is huge and full of different terrain – dense forests, tall cliffs, and raging rivers – there are lots of great locations in Ontario to get away and enjoy being a kid again in the outdoors.

Specifically, there are a number of adventure-based activities you can try out all over the province.

The nice thing about adventure getaways in Ontario is that there is a good offering of things to do in all seasons – so don’t think for a second you’re out of luck when it comes to weekend winter getaways in Ontario!

From treetop trekking in the summer to snow tubing and snowshoeing in the winter , check out these active weekend ideas.

Hardwood Hills Ski & Bike

If you’re keen on some physical activity, we suggest heading to Hardwood Hills . Just north of Toronto about two hours driving, this ski and bike facility offers over 80 kilometres of rolling trails through pine forests for mountain biking and cross-country skiing. They also offer disc golf, volleyball, hiking, and running. You can stay nearby in Oro-Medonte at Carriage Hills Resort which comes with its own amenities.

Horseshoe Valley

It may not be the largest ski hill in Ontario, but Horseshoe Valley Resort is a personal favourite. The grounds offer adventurers so many activities from treetop trekking and golf in the summer to skiing/snowboarding and having the longest snow tubing hill in Ontario in the winter. The nice thing about a weekend at Horseshoe is that you can book your stay close to where you get to play!

Rafting the Ottawa River

For an river rafting adventure, head north of Ottawa to either Wilderness Tours or Owl Rafting ! Eric went rafting with both of these companies before and both companies made for a super fun weekend getaway in Ontario. Both companies have a waterfront resorts with meals, bar, and accommodations (from camping to cabins and even select cottages) so you can stay overnight and make a whole weekend out of it after you enjoy the action-packed rafting tour.

Treetop Trekking in Huntsville

Back to the idea of adventure in the trees, Treetop Trekking (mentioned in Horseshoe Valley) also has a course up in Huntsville, too. The Huntsville location is just off of Highway 60 so it’s easy to get to. The area is beautiful if you are looking for a good dose of nature over the course of a weekend. There are other great things to do in Huntsville if you end up spending a weekend there. We’d recommend a stay at Morgan House B&B  which is not too far from the trekking.

Scuba the Ontario Wrecks

If you want to try something a little different, Ontario is actually a great place to go SCUBA diving. This is because some lakes contain a unique underwater environment – including a high concentration of shipwrecks. Tobermory is apparently the “SCUBA capital of Canada” with Fathom Five National Marine Park having over 20 protected wrecks to explore. If you are new to SCUBA, you can always try a SCUBA training course ! If you stay up in Tobermory, check out the Grandview Motel for a popular and cozy accommodation with Georgian Bay views just a short walk from “downtown” Tobermory.

Explore Ontario for Beautiful Waterfalls

small waterfall tricking down rocks through green trees in hamilton.

Oddly enough, Ontario’s unique geography also makes it a home to many gorgeous waterfalls. A big reason for this is the Niagara Escarpment – that large rocky ledge that runs from Georgian Bay all the way to the Niagara Region.

Of course, you can go and see the most famous of them all – Niagara Falls – but there are lots more to explore that are tucked away in nature.

Exploring waterfalls can make for a good cheap weekend getaway in Ontario because the costs are usually just things like the parking fee and/or the entrance fee for the conservation area (on top of some food and a place to stay).

That said, we’ll highlight two main areas for waterfalls in Ontario but know that there are a few others scattered all over the province. For example, you can go up to near Thunder Bay to experience Kakabeka Falls which is quite a wonder!

large waterfall cascading down rocks seen from distance through trees.

Hamilton Region

It’s been said that Hamilton – and the area surrounding it – is the Waterfall Capital of the World. This area has over 200 waterfalls to explore with some being more popular and accessible than others. We wrote up a whole post on our experience checking out Hamilton waterfalls but for those wondering, Tiffany Falls is quite popular, as is Albion Falls. We also liked Felker’s Falls!

Another great area that has a number of waterfalls and conservation areas is Grey County. There are a number of popular ones to head for like Eugenia Falls and Hogg’s Falls . While all of the waterfalls are accessible to hike to in the summer, most of them are also accessible in the winter. To stay nearby, check out the Traverston Retreat B&B !

Dive into Ontario’s Rich History

limestone museum building with green trees behind.

If you are looking to spend the weekend exploring something you didn’t know about, why not dive into Ontario’s past? From Indigenous peoples and European settlers to war with the Americans and modern-day advances in medicine – Ontario has quite the backstory. Around the province, there are a number of museums and attractions where you get the chance to dive into history. We don’t think history is boring and many of these ideas can be used to fill just one piece of a weekend itinerary whether you’re a couple or a family with kids!

Not to talk about Niagara on the Lake again but the area is popular for Ontario history given the proximity to the US border and waterways.

This region has numerous attractions like Fort George Historic Site and other places like the Laura Secord Homestead , the Mackenzie Printery Museum , and the Queenston Heights Park , among others. We mention most of these museums and historic things to discover in our guide on things to do in Niagara on the Lake !

Sainte-Marie among the Hurons

If you want to step back into the 17th century, head for Sainte-Marie among the Hurons . Located in Midland, this re-created settlement and museum represents the spot of the oldest European community in Ontario. To stay nearby in Midland, you might like 1875 A Charters Inn Bed & Breakfast which is a historic home located right in the heart of the town centre.

metal chain link fence with stop sign and entrance sign to museum with building behind.

Diefenbunker Museum

Did you know that Ontario has a secret underground Cold war-era bunker that was for the Prime Minister and is now a museum you can tour?

If you didn’t, visit the Diefenbunker Museum outside of Ottawa in the small town of Carp. We went and it was honestly awesome! You can read more about our experience when visiting the Diefenbunker . If you want to stay nearby, aim for the Brookstreet Hotel which is in Kanata between the bunker and downtown Ottawa (can make a weekend out of a visit to this area)!

large islands with trees on them surrounded by blue water with blue sky above.

1000 Islands History Museum

If the history of the waterways calls to you, head for Gananoque to explore the 1000 Islands History Museum . It’s located right at the waterfront and you can also use this weekend trip to hop on a beautiful 1000 Islands Boat Cruise !

We cruised the 1000 Islands from Kingston but have heard the cruises from Gananoque offer more island time. To stay just a short walk from downtown Gananoque/the waterfront to catch a cruise, we suggest the Sleepy Hollow B&B in an old historic house!

Check out Top Ontario Attractions

niagara falls waterfall with blue boat in water in front.

Then there are the Ontario weekend getaways that are centred around going to see or do something specific. We call these top Ontario attractions – and Ontario has a number of things to visit that are worth building a weekend around!

For this guide, we tried to stick to things that are unique experiences to Ontario so you won’t find any chain companies or brands below!

large waterfalls with mist rising and small red boat sailing towards it.

Niagara Falls

We couldn’t leave a weekend getaway in Niagara Falls, Ontario out of this post. This city – with three magnificent waterfalls to check out – is loaded with things to do and see besides the falls themselves.

From the famous Hornblower Cruise to the White Water Walk and attractions on Clifton Hill, there’s something for everyone here. We have written extensively on the subject including a post on top things to do in Niagara Falls and a guide on where to stay .

We stayed at  A Moment in Time B&B and good hotels with views of the falls are  Marriott Fallsview  or  The Oakes Hotel Fallsview .

Bonnechere Caves

To explore another natural wonder that Ontario has been hiding, plan a visit to the Bonnechere Caves . This incredible cave system is a unique way to learn about nature while also going on a bit of an adventure! They are located close to Eganville (not far from Highway 60). To stay nearby, you can check out the Bide-A-While Bed & Breakfast which is in Renfrew (a short drive from the Caves).

Dynamic Earth & Big Nickel

Lastly, if you are keen to learn more about what goes on underground in Ontario, head up to Sudbury to Dynamic Earth and to see the Big Nickel! Part of the Science North group, these science museums are world-renowned. Plus, nearby you get to visit the largest coin in the world so that’s pretty cool. Don’t count out Sudbury for a great weekend getaway. There are other outdoor-based attractions to draw you up there. We’d suggest a stay at the Northbury Hotel close to the city centre.

Catch Some Sun at an Ontario Beach

pebble beach with stone breakers and blue sky above.

It’s no secret that with enough lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water dotting the Ontario landscape, there are bound to be some great beaches in Ontario. Millions of years of erosion for you mean many places to lay on the comfortable sand and let the summer sun do its thing!

Of course, there are very popular beaches in Ontario like Wasaga Beach and Sauble Beach – but there are lots of other great beaches to head for as well. So, if you’re looking for a relaxing weekend getaway in Ontario in summer, a beachside retreat might be for you.

We’ve listed just a handful of other beaches you might want to make a point of heading to on a weekend.

They are generally located in nice little towns with restaurants and a laid-back atmosphere. Beaches also make for a sure-fire idea for weekend family getaways in Ontario because the beach has something for everyone!

Grand Bend Beach

Located close to Pinery Provincial Park , Grand Bend Beach is a very popular stop for weekend getaways in southwestern Ontario. There are lots to do in the area activity-wise in both the summer and the winter season. You can stay close by to the beach at a resort or campground like the Oakwood Resort .

Long Point is actually also a Provincial Park – but the sandy beaches are well-known to those familiar with Lake Erie. As the fourth oldest park in Ontario, there’s 1.5 km of sand-covered beach. Lake Erie is also typically warmer than Lake Ontario. To stay close by, you can book the Normandale Century Inn in Normandale which is a quick drive from the beach at Long Point. There are also other beaches all over that area of Lake Erie!

sandy dune with trees behind and blue lake water

Sandbanks Provincial Park

Looping back to cover Prince Edward County, a trip to Sandbanks Provincial Park is a great way to hit the beach. There are actually three different beaches here – we cover them in our mega guide to exploring Sandbanks . With the option to camp overnight or make use of the day-use dune areas and stay nearby, there are options for most weekend trippers. We’ve covered where to stay in Prince Edward County before in this post but to stay close to the actual beaches check out Our Space the Perfect Place B&B  which is not far.

There are other beaches in this region like Wellington Beach or North Beach if you want to skip Sandbanks!

Hike/Camp at a National/Provincial Park

orange road sign on ride of highway with trees behind in algonquin park.

Speaking of Provincial Parks – you can absolutely make a weekend getaway out of exploring the great outdoors.

Luckily, you’ve got 340 regulated Provincial Parks to choose from – and that doesn’t include National Parks or conservation areas! While this may seem like a difficult task, there are definitely some that are more popular than others.

Everyone is likely familiar with Algonquin Provincial Park , Forks of the Credit , Arrowhead , or even Killarney , but there are so many other parks in Ontario to explore. Many of these green areas make for dog-friendly weekend getaways because they have “bark parks” attached.

If you stay for a weekend (and depending on which one you choose) you might decide to camp overnight (if you can). Alternatively, you can also just do day hikes but stay close by outside the park. You can even visit more than one in a weekend. It’s really up to you!

Petroglyphs Provincial Park

For a unique park experience in Ontario, head for Petroglyphs Provincial Park . Located just to the northeast of Peterborough, the park is special since you’ll find a large collection of Indigenous rock carvings as well as get the chance to enjoy nature and learn about the traditions of the Ojibway people.

This is a place for learning and connecting and we are so looking forward to visiting. To make a weekend out of it, you could stay at the Burleigh Falls Inn which is in our post on best Ontario inns!

Bruce Peninsula National Park

Often referred to as “heading to Tobermory”, Bruce Peninsula National Park is a popular but unique stop in Ontario. The Bruce Peninsula is a gorgeous area on Georgian Bay with a variety of unique aspects like the Grotto – a famous geological attraction. You can camp in the park but you can also stay close by in the heart of Tobermory if you just want to day hike. The Grandview Motel is a great option for that.

Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park

Lastly, Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park is another great park in Ontario located up near Bancroft. We tried to feature more of “The Kawarthas” since the Muskokas always get the credit when it comes to amazing outdoor areas in Ontario. The park is fantastic to visit for camping, hiking, canoeing, and much more. It is actually the second largest park in Southern Ontario next to Algonquin. It’s actually pretty close to Petroglyphs Park (mentioned above) so a stay at the Burleigh Falls Inn would make sense if you didn’t want to camp overnight.

Explore a Small Ontario Town

small town road with shops and cars driving in gravenhurst ontario.

You don’t have to head to a city to have an amazing weekend. In fact, those of you in the city are likely looking to leave it for the weekend.

So, exploring a small Ontario town might be perfect for you. In fact, we’d argue that the right small town can offer you more to do on a long weekend getaway in Ontario than just heading for an Ontario beach!

Ontario is loaded with small towns that actually have lots of offer visitors like local history and hikes, artisan shops, restaurants, and breweries. Local accommodations that make for a nice overnight getaway can be the piece that brings it all together to create a nice weekend getaway.

Having both of us come from small towns, we definitely have an affinity for discovering smaller places. Below are a number of great small towns to check out – some have rivers running through while others have hiking trails or lakes to enjoy!

historic limestone inn situated by the river with autumn colours around and blue sky above.

Last, but certainly not least, we have the small town of Elora. Located close to Guelph, Elora is known for the Grand River running through it. It’s the home of the luxurious Elora Mill Hotel and the town is a great stop for a quiet weekend full of relaxing, getting out on the river, or hiking/tubing in Elora Gorge Conservation Area . We’ve written a whole detailed guide on what to do in Elora if you want to read about our experience. Aside from the Elora Mill Hotel and Spa , another place to stay close to the town centre would be Etherington Suites – very close to the Grand River!

If you are searching for a cute little town with historic stone buildings, a number of places to eat, a museum or two, local shops, and some green space by the water, you might want to have a look at Perth. This little town is located a short drive north of Kingston and makes for a nice quiet Ontario getaway – especially in spring with the flowers blooming.

If you want to stay right in the heart of Perth, we’d suggest the Perth Manor Boutique Hotel !

cares driving on road in small town with canadian flag flying in foreground.

Gravenhurst

For those wanting to hit up a smaller town but up in the Muskokas, Gravenhurst would be our go-to suggestion. Featuring a great little town centre with a nice brewery and the famous Muskoka steamships cruise down at the Muskoka Wharf, there’s lots to see and do in Gravenhurst . For a nice place to stay, that is close to downtown but also close to the lake, you can check out  The Inn on Bay .

Get Lost in an Ontario City

blue water with historic kingston ontario in background.

It goes without saying that Ontario is huge and there are a number of cities that can definitely make for a nice weekend getaway.

Depending on your interests (and your starting location), some cities might appeal to you over others. Cities also make for a great solo weekend in Ontario because you can kind of blend in among city life and enjoy it at your own pace!

There are a number of cities we really like visiting around Ontario – and all for basically different reasons.

We left Toronto out since (you have to admit) many people are usually looking to leave Toronto for the weekend, not enter it! Below are some of our favourite cities to visit, things to do in each, and accommodations to check out.

large historic city hall with clock and flag pole in kingston ontario.

For a historic city right on Lake Ontario, Kingston makes for an excellent weekend trip since it’s a doable drive from both Ottawa and Toronto. Kingston is fantastic in the summer: You can get ice cream and walk the downtown core to check out the small shops. There are historic trolley tours and even an island boat cruise you can do. In the winter, it’s a bit chilly but still great. You can go ice skating at Springer Market Square. There are also so many bars, breweries, and restaurants in Kingston to satisfy any cuisine in any season. We’d suggest the Hochelaga Inn for a historic bed and breakfast walkable to downtown and The Delta for a downtown hotel on the Kingston waterfront. Having lived in Kingston for a combined decade, that’s why we know and love it. You can read up on things to do , best restaurants , best bars and pubs , coffee shops , and even where to stay in Kingston .

green trees with large parliament buildings behind with summer sky above.

If you feel like you aren’t in touch with Canada’s roots, a trip to Ottawa can fix that! In the summer, you can do a river cruise of the Ottawa River , explore Parliament, or visit one of the many museums like the Canadian War Museum or National Gallery of Canada . Pints in ByWard Market are also a great way to enjoy the weather! In the winter, the city gets cold but there’s always Winterlude and skating on the famous Rideau Canal to enjoy! Whichever season you visit, we’d recommend the Andaz ByWard Market for a central hotel with a stunning rooftop bar. We love exploring Ottawa and have a number of posts to get you started: things to do in Ottawa , one day in Ottawa , best Ottawa bars and pubs , and where to stay in Ottawa !

large limestone church behind smaller historic house with blue sky above.

Last but not least – a trip to Guelph, Ontario is actually a great option! Located not too far from Toronto, Guelph can make for a nice weekend getaway in southern Ontario. The city has a lot of natural beauty with green spaces and the rivers that run through. The area is good for hiking and being outside, in general. There is a nice downtown with bars and pubs , shops, and great restaurants. Of course, there are other things to do in Guelph like renting a boat at The Boathouse and getting ice cream or high tea! If you head for Guelph, the  Norfolk Guest House Inn  makes for a lovely stay a short walk to downtown.

Indulge On A “Food or Drink Trail”

circle of craft beer sample glasses on wooden table.

If you want your weekend getaway to revolve around enjoying Ontario’s vibrant gastronomy scene, then you can definitely make that happen! Ontario prides itself on its local growers, bakers, brewers, and restaurant owners who have created more than one “foodie” hot spot across the province.

While a stop at St. Lawrence Market in Toronto is definitely a noteworthy adventure, there are a number of Ontario weekend trip food routes that are basically just asking you to join. From sweet treats to delicious craft beer, here are a bunch of Ontario food tours/trails that you can follow!

The Butter Tart Tour

Are you a fan of butter tarts? The Canadian classic dessert can be enjoyed in the Kawarthas Northumberland (around Peterborough) at over 50 different locations! You can eat your way across the region sampling butter tarts – find the full details for the Butter Tart Tour here . You can also complete a version by boat! If you do make the tour over the course of a weekend, you will need a place to sleep off those butter tarts. Stay in Bobcaygeon to be in the heart of the butter tart tasting region and check out Riverside Caygeon B&B for a great bed and breakfast!

Oxford County Cheese Trail

Is cheese your thing? Then the Oxford County Cheese Trail is for you! Consisting of 24 stops ranging from cheese shops, restaurants, and other vendors around Woodstock (close to London), the cheese trail is definitely something you’ll want to spend a weekend doing! You can learn all about The Cheese Trail here ! As you will be filled with cheese, stay in Woodstock for a central location to drive to other places on the trail. The Château la Motte Guest House is a super cool-looking historic bed and breakfast that might do the trick.

Brewery Tour

Since Ontario is a hot spot for craft breweries, there are many different ones situated in regions that you can explore. Prince Edward County breweries are great or you could even make a tour out of breweries around the Muskoka region (like Muskoka Brewery in Bracebridge!). Please enjoy responsibly if you do this. Once again, the heart of the region is arguably Gravenhurst so perhaps stay at The Inn on Bay to make your brewery crawl easier to accomplish! This would also work well for a one-night getaway in Ontario.

And there you have it – a pretty detailed list of ideas for weekend getaways in Ontario! Of course, there are so many more weekend ideas to add here.

Also, not all of these will work for you because we have no idea where you are starting from. That said, we hope this is a helpful guide to most. You know we’ll be adding to it as we explore more of Ontario!

As always, Keep Exploring, eh? – E&L

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Eric Wychopen

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Hi, we're Eric and Lisa - an Ontario-born Canadian and a German! After settling in Ontario together, we realized that there is lots more to explore in this beautiful Canadian province! On Ontario Away, we as well as local contributors cover everything from cities and hikes to wineries, attractions, accommodations, and more.

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The Planet D: Adventure Travel Blog

33 Best Weekend Getaways in Ontario, Canada

Written By: ThePlanetD Team

Updated On: February 19, 2024

Ontario has some of Canada’s best cities and towns in Canada from Toronto to Paris (named one of the prettiest little towns in Canada) and it is filled with awesome outdoor adventures. In a nutshell, Ontario has it all . So if traveling abroad isn’t in the cards, you can still take a break to enjoy these best weekend getaways in Ontario.

Ontario offers year-round options for a fun filled weekend trip, and there is plenty of beauty and culture to be found. If you are looking for the best weekend getaways in Ontario, rest assured you have many places to choose from. And we’ve rounded them up all in one place for you.

The Railway Museum in Toronto best weekend getaways in ontario

Table of Contents

Weekend Getaways in Ontario

We’ll cover all the best weekend getaways – splitting the guide into outdoor, urban, family, and resort getaways. So let’s start with the top weekend getaways in Ontario to enjoy one of these lovely city breaks in Ontario..

Cities and Towns

Ready to support local businesses, explore charming towns, and treat yourself to retail therapy? These are the best cities and towns for weekend getaways in Ontario. From small towns to major cities, we’ve got a fantastic range to suit everyone’s interests.

romantic weekend getaway in ontario paris

Tiny Paris was named the “Prettiest little town in Canada,” and it is certainly is one of the best small towns to visit for a fun Ontario weekend getaway. The town is famed for its stone buildings, cafes, and window shopping culture.

We may be slightly biased with this one because Paris is our home town but it is lovely here. Hiking and biking trails, great dining, spas, and scenery surround us.

Apart from shopping and enjoying cafes, you can enjoy some activities like river tubing, fly fishing, or kayaking on the Grand River. Paris is located at the junction of the Nith Rivers and Grand River, so it offers lots of outdoor entertainment including hiking on the Grand Trail following the Grand River from the portage area at the dam.

For a weekend getaway for couples, book a room at the Arlington Hotel and take a stroll through the streets. Pick up a coffee at the Paris Bakery and browse the many boutique shops and the shops at Wincey Mills. Book a massage at the Ah Spa in the afternoon and then book dinner at Stillwaters.

Accommodation in Paris – The best accommodation in Paris is the  Arlington Hotel . This central hotel was established in 1851 and offers historical, chic accommodation in the heart of Paris, just opposite the Grand River. The luxury boutique hotel has a restaurant, tranquil updated rooms, and unique decor. Read more: 27 Things to do in Paris Ontario – A Local’s Guide

Ottawa Tulip Festival Parliament Buildings

Ottawa is an all-around golden child and it is our absolute favorite city in Ontario. We’ve been many times and it’s impossible to round up everything in one short paragraph of things to do. It has an abundance of museums , historical sites, landmarks, nature, an exciting food scene, and some great restaurants.

Ottawa is a big city with a small-town feel bringing an extra depth of character to the place. It is easily accessed and makes for a rewarding weekend break for anyone looking for an Ontario city experience. Check out the best Ottawa tours here.

Ottawa is home to thousands of  things to do , including the Canadian National Gallery, Canadian War Museum, and Parliament Hill. Visitors can fly straight into Ottawa or drive there from major cities like Montreal (which Ottawa is a two-hour drive from). The capital of Canada is perfect for winter, autumn , spring , or summer adventures .

Best accommodation option in Ottawa – You will have hundreds of accommodation options in Ottawa.  Fairmont Chateau Laurier  is particularly luxurious if you want to splash out a little. Read more: 33 Things to do in Ottawa – A Complete Guide to the City

3. Prince Edward County

Prince Edward County, Ontario

Prince Edward, aka Prince Edward County, is technically an island. The island community is known for its local artists, beautiful beaches, and wineries. And, just a two-hour drive from Toronto , Prince Edward County is one of the most charming places for a weekend getaway.

While you eat, drink, and be merry, keep your eyes out for Amelia’s Garden Restaurant. The fine dining restaurant prides itself on organic, seasonal produce from nearby farms. It even offers accommodation packages too, so you can stay and dine. If you are traveling with children, Cottage Country Factory is more suitable than fine dining.

Just a short drive from Prince Edward County, this famed sweet shop is the ultimate place for children to pick up their favorite candy. And with so many outdoor  activities on Prince Edward , their sugar rush may come in handy.

Best accommodation option in Prince Edward County – There are plenty of great options, but  Angeline’s Inn  is the quirkiest. The historic inn has bold, colorful decor and warm service.

4. Niagara on the Lake

romantic getaway ontario Niagara winery

Niagara-on-the-Lake is a brilliant small-town getaway for both summer and winter. Filled with historic charm, this town in Ontario is packed with culture, from post-1812 war buildings to world-class theater productions. Read more: 15 Amazing Things to do in Niagara on the Lake – Canada

Many people liken visiting Niagara-on-the-Lake to stepping back into the 19th century as they ride horse carts, sip wine and eat at a fine dining restaurant before relaxing in a luxury hotel. As a weekend destination, it sure packs a punch.

When you aren’t visiting historical attractions, squeeze in a winery or two. Niagara-on-the-Lake is well-known for its successful wineries, and you can experience its produce with wine tasting. Wine tasting tours can be booked here.

Niagara-on-the-Lake is an hour’s drive from  Hamilton  and an hour and a half’s drive from Toronto. This half day wine tour takes you to sample wines at Pillitteri Estates, Inniskillin, and Konzelmann Estates followed by free time to enjoy Niagara on the Lake.

Best accommodation option in Niagara-on-the-Lake – The Pillar and Post Inn and Spa  – is a Niagara institution renovated in a historic building. It has full modern amenities with indoor and outdoor pools, and exotic hot springs pool at 100 Fountain Spa.

  • The Pillar and Post Inn and Spa  – is a Niagara on the Lake institution renovated in a historic building. It has full modern amenities with indoor and outdoor pools, and exotic hot springs pool at 100 Fountain Spa.
  • The Prince of Wales  – is another favourite set in a Victorian landmark downtown. With a pool, fitness center, and make sure to book at an appointment at the Secret Garden Spa, it is a perfect choice for an elegant vacation in Niagara on the Lake.
  • There are plenty of luxurious AirBnBs in Niagara on the Lake.  This one is a lovely cottage  that is two blocks from downtown’s main street.
  • Read our full guide – Where to Stay in Niagara Falls – Best Hotels

5. Niagara Falls Getaway

ultimate romantic getaway in ontario niagara falls

Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls are as different as salt and pepper. A Niagara Falls getaway features the falls, however, the town has a much livelier atmosphere, with tourist attractions like wax museums and casinos.

You can get up close and personal in Journey Behind the Falls or the Hornblower, enjoy the excitement of Clifton Hill, nightlife and attractions of the Fallsview area and make sure to ride the awesome Ferris wheel.

If you are looking for fun a weekend getaway in Ontario with a bit of adventure, nightlife, and excitement, Niagara Falls is an excellent idea. Plus, there is  romance to be found if you know where to look .

A Niagara Falls Getaway is our favorite Ontario weekend getaway because we always find something new to do. In the past 25 years we have visited Niagara Falls for at least one weekend. And we always love it!

Niagara Falls is an hour’s drive from Hamilton and an hour and a half from Toronto. Read more: The Best Things to do in Niagara Falls

Best accommodation option in Niagara Falls – This town offers many great accommodation options, many of which provide waterfall views.  Niagara Falls Marriott Fallsview Hotel & Spa  is a good one, and we’ll attach a link here if you’d like to take a look. Read more: Where to Stay in Niagara Falls – Best Areas

6. Grand Bend

romantic getaways in ontario niagara on the lake

Grand Bend is another small-town gem, perfect for a getaway. My family had a cottage here growing up and my parents retired here for about 10 years, so we know Grand Bend well. Plus, I spent a season at Huron Country Playhouse singing in one of their shows. This place is rockin’!

Set on the shores of Lake Huron, Grand Bend town lives and breathes anything water-related. You could go swimming, kayaking, or mix things up with a parasailing experience. Its beach is always packed with people and activities. Check out: 25 Best Places to Camp in Ontario, Canada

There’s also Pinery Provincial Park to enjoy, which we will chat about further down. The town is approximately two hours from Hamilton and one hour from Windsor and is ideally situated for a relaxing getaway. You can book this guided day tour to Pinery Provincial Park on the shores of Lake Huron and then explore the beach town of Grand Bend.

Best accommodation option in Grand Bend – Amber Hotel is the best accommodation option and is an excellent mid-range choice. You can check the property out on TripAdvisor here.

The Railway Museum in Toronto

Toronto has the best city scene in Ontario and we called it home for 20 years. Its cityscape is recognized worldwide – from the CN Tower to its famed Lake Ontario waterfront. Check out all the top activities in Toronto and book a day tour here. You can choose from the CN Tower to Toronto Islands, Casa Loma and more. Browse tours here.

If you want one of Ontario’s most iconic weekend getaways, Toronto is easily one of the top three. As the province’s metropolis capital, it has stacks and stacks of things to do and is a breeze to access by flight.

You can check out amazing restaurants with multi-course meals, historic buildings like the parliament buildings, and delicious local craft beer at bars across the city. Plus, there are museums like the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and the Railway Museum. Get your entry ticket here to the ROM and other Toronto Museums.

Check out more at The Best Things to Do in Toronto – A Guide to the Top Attractions

Best accommodation option in Toronto – There are many fantastic accommodation options in Toronto, but the Ritz Carlton is our favorite. It’s close to Roy Thompson Hall and the Princess of Wales Theatre, The CN Tower, the Entertainment District, and Harbourfront.

If you are looking for more affordable accommodations, The Chelsea is located at Dundas Square and is central to everything. Plus, it’s where we spent our honeymoon night 25 years ago! Don’t worry, it’s been renovated since. Read more: Where to Stay in Toronto – A Guide to the Best Neighborhoods

8. Kingston

romantic getaways in ontario kingston

The former capital of Canada is an amazing weekend trip. This small city on Lake Ontario, The Rideau Canal, and the St. Lawrence River is filled with historic charm, fine dining, and nightlife. Located just a three-hour drive from Toronto or two hours and twenty minutes by train.

Kingston is one of the few weekend getaways linked to a major city with public transport in Ontario – so jot it down if you don’t drive or don’t want to rent a car. The city is nicknamed the ‘limestone city’ after its signature limestone architecture. It is a stunning place to just explore on foot.

We’ve planned a full ultimate  itinerary for Kingston . So follow that to make your own weekend getaway perfect. You can also book Kingston day tours here . Choose from Thousand Island Cruise, helicopter flights or a haunted walking tour. More details here.

ontario romantic escape kingston ontario

As a quick note, make sure to visit Kingston Penitentiary, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Bellevue House National Historic Site, and Murney Tower National Historic Site of Canada. Read more: Things to do in Kingston – Don’t Miss This Ontario Gem

Best accommodation option in Kingston – There are lots of options when looking for places to stay in Kingston.  Delta Hotels by Marriott Kingston Waterfront  is beautiful, though. The three-star hotel features an indoor rooftop pool and an onsite restaurant.

For a romantic weekend, we recommend Secret Garden Inn , a beautiful boutique manor home is located within walking distance from the waterfront, Princess Street, and many of Kingston’s top attractions it is a great choice to stay and the breakfasts are delicious.  

elora ontario romantic escape in ontario

Elora is another of our favorite small towns and is best known for its 19th-century architecture and striking limestone buildings. The town was founded by Roman Catholic missionaries, and its name translates as ‘sun ray’ or ‘god is my light’ in Hebrew.

Today it remains enticing for visitors wanting a romantic getaway to a pretty, small town. It is just an hour and a half from Toronto, so it is a straightforward destination to reach by car. Plus, my Great aunt lives there too!

Elora is also located next to Elora Gorge – a dramatic gorge cutting through cliffs with the Grand River running through the middle. You can admire the gorge from multiple viewpoints. If you feel nice and inspired afterward, go tubing or kayaking on a different section of the Grand River. Read more: 25 Day Trips from Toronto to Escape the City

Best accommodation option in Elora – The best accommodation option is  Elora Mill Hotel & Spa. The historic hotel is set in an old riverside mill and features rooms with a fireplaces, a full service spa, gym, and yoga facilities.

Wine Region Weekend Getaways in Ontario

There’s something special about visiting wine regions; wine tasting at top-rated vineyards is a romantic way to spend a weekend. These are the best wine regions to visit in Ontario for a weekend getaway. Get ready to sample some stunning wines.

10. Lake Erie North Shore

romantic escape in ontario canada on lake erie

Did you know that Lake Erie and Pelee Island are at the same latitude as Tuscany in Italy and Bordeaux in France? The Southern Ontario region is the oldest wine-producing area in Canada. The first winery opened in 1866. Since then, the region has been carving an ever-growing name for itself in the international wine industry.

Some of the best wineries are Pelee Island Winery Pavillion, Copper’s Hawk Vineyards, Viewpointe Estate Winery, and Mastronardi Estate Winery. Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery is also Ontario’s only beachfront winery – a unique selling point, you’ll agree. The variety of vineyards makes Lake Erie North Shore a wonderful weekend trip. Depending on which area you visit in the region, you can either drive a short distance from London or a few hours from Hamilton or Toronto.

ontario romantic escape wine country

Plus, this was my stomping grounds as a teenager. I’d wash my car every Sunday morning and cruise the beaches of Lake Eerie with my friends Lorri and Kathy for hours on end. Dave and I still head out for Sunday drives to this part of Ontario on a regular basis.

Best accommodation option in Lake Erie North Shore – The region covers such a span of towns and different hotels that this is a hard choice.  Retro Suites Hotel  is located in the center of Chatham, just a short walk from the Chatham Downtown Mall and Milner Heritage Home. Guests get complimentary breakfast on weekdays, a gym pass, and a golf course pass. Plus, you are just a ten-minute drive from Early Acres Estate Winery.

11. The Niagara Peninsula

couples getaway ontario canada niagara on the lake

When you think of Niagara Getaways, your mind very likely jumps to Niagara Falls. Draw your mind away from images of crashing waterfalls. Instead, picture a glass of Riesling, pinot noir, or even a chardonnay if you wish. The Niagara Peninsula is home to over fifty wineries and is one of Ontario’s most prolific wine-producing regions.

Some of the best wineries are Inniskillin, Peller Estates, Calamus Estate Winery, King’s Court Estate Winery, and Flat Rock Cellars. If you want a  romantic getaway , book a wine tour and a relaxing hotel for you and your significant other. The best part about the Niagara Peninsula is that it’s on the doorstep of major cities like Hamilton and Mississauga. It is one of the most accessible weekend getaways in Ontario.

Best accommodation option in the Niagara Peninsula – There are plenty of luxurious AirBnBs in Niagara on the Lake.  This one is a lovely cottage  that is two blocks from downtown’s main street of Niagara on teh Lake.

For a modest budget, A Vineyard View Bed and Breakfast  ticks many impressive boxes. The Victorian B&B has a stunning communal patio with vineyard views, and select bedrooms overlook private views of the unique scenery.

12. Hamilton’s Region of the Niagara Escarpment

ontario couples getaway hiking the NIagara escarpment

The Niagara Escarpment is a long slope, and it is famed as Niagara Falls falls over one part of the escarpment. It actually spreads throughout Canada and the United States. Still, for the purpose of this section, we will be concentrating specifically on Hamilton’s section.

Hamilton’s section of the escarpment is a fantastic Ontario weekend getaway. The region is prime for fruit growing, making it ideal for wine production – plus, it lies in the accessible shadow of many major cities.

Best accommodation option in Niagara Escarpment (Hamilton Area) – You can make a base in Burlington to explore the Hamilton portion of the Niagara Escarpment and we recommend The Pearl Hotel & Spa is Burlington’s latest luxury escape that is perfect for pampering. Located directly on the waterfront with beautiful views of Lake Ontario, 

Resort Weekend Getaways in Ontario

A resort getaway ticks a box that not much else can. These are the best resorts for weekend getaways in Ontario.

13. Sir Sam’s Inn and Spa

Sir Sams Inn Waterspa couples getaway in Haliburton Ontario

For the ultimate romantic getaway in Ontario, consider booking a couples retreat. Sir Sam’s Inn and Spa is a relaxing weekend getaway in a dramatic stone-and-timber mansion. The resort features every luxury – from an indoor water spa to an outdoor heated pool with Eagle Lake views to snowmobile parking and private fireplaces. There is also a fine dining restaurant located directly onsite.

And when you aren’t enjoying outdoor activities around  Haliburton , you can enjoy complimentary spa access. Sir Sam’s is a three and a half hour’s drive from Ottawa, so well-placed for a weekend of luxury.

You can enjoy hiking and boating in the summer and snowmobiling and cross country skiing in the winter. Haliburton is a beautiful small town in Ontario and you can visit our friend Dana’s gorgeous photography studio to pick up stunning metal prints of the Haliburton region. Book your weekend getaway here

14. Fern Resort

Muskoka is a great couples getaway from Toronto

Fern Resort in Orillia is a beautiful family-friendly resort but also romantic for couples too to choose from in Ontario. The resort sits next to Lake Couchiching, and its all-inclusive package includes complimentary meals and activities. You can explore the local area or enjoy onsite entertainment like cross-country skiing, giant chess, a spa, or ice skating.

Fern Resort is just under a two-hour drive from Toronto. It is ideal for those wanting an action-packed, family-friendly resort experience. See more details here .

15. Couples Resort

Paddling in Haliburton romantic getaway in the outdoors

Looking for a romantic Ontario weekend getaway? Couples Resort is a beautiful resort, only open to couples and situated overlooking Galeairy Lake in Algonquin Park. The all-inclusive package includes breakfast, five-course dinners, activities like horse riding and ice skating, and access to facilities like a saltwater swimming pool.

Being in the middle of nature there are plenty of hiking trails, paddling and canoe options in the summer with cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. We visited this pre-pandemic and see that it is now a bit rundown now. Hopefully, by the 2023 season they will have given it a refresh because we loved its tranquil setting that was perfect for a romantic getaway.

The resort is three hours from Ottawa or nearly four hours from Toronto. If you want somewhere surrounded by Canadian wilderness, Couples Resort is the one. See more availabiltiy and rates on TripAdvisor

16. Deerhurst Resort

romantic getaways in ontario deerhurst

Deerhurst is an upscale resort with a lot to offer. The Ontario resort is tucked up near the Hidden Valley Highlands. Come winter, it is an ideal base for a ski holiday. For the rest of the year, though, Deerhurst Resort stands out for its two golf courses, hot tub, spa, and outdoor activities. It is also one of the most romantic places in winter.

Deerhurst is a flexible weekend getaway; it can be considered family-friendly or one of the best romantic weekend getaways – it’s up to you to decide which. Deerhurst is a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Toronto, so nice and feasible as a weekend base. Check out details here.

  • Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville is 2 hours and 45 minutes drive  from Toronto
  • You can book a weekend stay at  Deerhurst Resort.

17. Cedar Grove Lodge

romantic escape cedar grove lodge

We loved our romantic escape to Cedar Grove Lodge in Huntsville. What could be more romantic than booking your own log cabin in the woods? Snuggling up by the fire in the snowy landscape is one of the most romantic places in Ontario. There are plenty of things to do in Huntsville to keep you busy as well. Things to do in Muskoka in Winter

Cedar Grove Lodge is located on 150 feet of lakefront property on  Peninsula Lake. Each room has its own wood-burning fireplace and this romantic retreat has all-inclusive packages where you can eat three meals a day in the dining room. Check availability and rates for Cedar Grove on TripAdvisor

18. Severn Lodge

romantic places in ontario, severn lodge

Severn Lodge is a lovely lakeside resort on the shores of Glouster Pool in Port Severn Township. The property dates back to the 1800s and still has traditional features like beamed ceilings and historical decor. Severn Lodge’s facilities are as extra as it gets, including a heated pool, onsite beach, private dock, and patios or balconies overlooking the lake.

Severn Lodge is just forty minutes by car from Barrie and two hours from Toronto. It is the ideal weekend getaway for anyone wanting a traditional, historical base for a few days. Make reservations here.

18. Idlewyld Inn and Spa

weekend getaways in ontario london

Idlewyld Inn and Spa is the number one destination for an elegant weekend getaway in Western Ontaro. Located in London Ontario Idelwyld Inn and Spa is set in a classic mansion, the property features a full-service spa, onsite restaurant, courtyard garden, and stained glass windows throughout. It is perfect for anyone wanting an inspiring property for a relaxing city break. Get ready to step back in time.

Apart from its facilities, Idlewyld Inn and Spa also offers an all-inclusive package with a complimentary breakfast. And located in the heart of London, it is a deluxe base for a city break. See more details here.

19. Langdon Hall – Cambridge

romantic getaway ontario weekend

Another complete Romantic Ontario getaway is Langdon Hall in Cambridge. My friend Kelly had her wedding here and we had the chance to experience the spa and luxury fireplace suites. This hotel is one of the most romantic places in Ontario.

This property has the distinction of being recognized by Relais & Châteaux for a standard of excellence. The Five Diamond dining experience is the perfect romantic evening out and its spa packages include a half-day retreat of a Swedish massage, facials, and manicure and pedicure. Add a glass of champagne and lunch and you have a full day of luxury with the one you love. There is a huge hot tub, saunas, and steam rooms to chill out in for the afternoon. 

One thing we are very thrilled to share is that Langdon Hall has partnered with The Keep Refillery to become the first hotel in Ontario to have an in-house refillery. They have overhauled their in-room amenities to a more sustainable model by refilling in-room essentials such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion, shower steams and bath bombs. This move will keep 2000 bottles out of landfills this year. Compare prices on TripAdvisor

Part 4 – Family Getaways in Ontario

Ontario is fantastic for family fun. The whole state is excellent for families that love adventure and bonding time, with lots of green spaces, children’s attractions, and great accommodation options. But some places are even more exciting and special for families than others. We’ve picked these extra-special places for our next section; these are the best family weekend getaways in Ontario.

20. Blue Mountain Ski Resort

blue mountain ski resorts canada

Blue Mountain Resort is one of the most adventurous and romantic getaways. We put this under family Ontario getaways because there is so much to do. But Dave and I have had many romantic getaways here on our own in Blue Mountain. So, it has the best of both worlds!

Blue Mountain resort and village is a year round retreat and, in winter, offers skiing and snowboarding galore. When you aren’t zipping down the slopes, you can be in the spa soaking in an outdoor hot tub or enjoying one of the great restaurants onsite.

blue mountain scandinavian spa

Blue Mountain Village, is just over a two-hour drive from Toronto and is  full of things to do . It is a short, pleasant drive easily factored into a weekend trip. And Blue Mountain Resort is perfect for any avid snow sports lovers.

In the Winter, we love to stay at the  Blue Mountain Inn  Slopeside.  It is located directly at our favourite black diamond runs.

In the summer our choices are the gorgeous  Westin Trillium House ,  located at Millpond overlooking Blue Mountain Village it’s set a little away from the crowds of the village. But we are also fans of the Mosaic Boutique Suites smack dab in the center of the Blue Mountains. Its year-round heated outdoor pool and hot tub is to die for.

21. Great Wolf Lodge Water Park Resort

things to do in niagara falls midway

Great Wolf Lodge is a magical weekend getaway. The four-star property is amazing for anyone who wants a fun-filled, action-packed holiday in Ontario. Great Wolf Lodge has an all-inclusive package with unlimited access to its onsite indoor water park, 24/7 entertainment, and ultra-speed wifi.

Situated in Niagara Falls, Great Wolf Lodge is an ideal base to visit Canada’s most famed waterfall and make the most of a fantastic all-inclusive package. It is only a short drive from cities like Hamilton and Toronto. I have stayed here before but for some reason I couldn’t find a picture. We had the good fortune of staying at Great Wolf Lodge when I worked for YTV and had a blast in its waterpark. Check prices and reservations here.

22. Collingwood

weekend getaways ontario blue mountains

Collingwood is an action-packed weekend getaway for families. In the summer, you can explore limestone caves, and in the ski season, you can get all your family zipping down the slopes. Collingwood has plenty of indoor attractions for rainy days, including the Collingwood Museum, Butter Gallery, and multiple theaters. There are also more challenging adventures for older children, like ATV adventure tours, snorkeling tours, and off-roading. Collingwood is just under two hours from Toronto by car, too, so families will find it feasible to reach.

Best accommodation option in Collingwood

The best accommodation option in Collingwood is The Living Water Resrot and Spa . It is walking distance to historic downtown collingwood, it has an indoor pool plus indoor and outdoor hot tubs and Collingwood’s only waterfront restaurant. A more affordable option is the Days in by Wyndham.

23. Hamilton

weekend getaways in ontario hamilton

Hamilton needs little introduction, and the major city in Southern Ontario has already been mentioned in this guide as a reference point. However, Hamilton is also an ideal family weekend getaway. One of the coolest activities in Hamilton is the exotic super car driving experience. Get behind the wheel of your dream car on a test drive adventure.

The city is smaller than Toronto and packed with kid-friendly activities like Spencer Smith Park, lots of short waterfall walks, and the beloved Theodore Tugboat tours. You can easily head to rural sections for outdoor activities and are just a short drive from Niagara Falls. Read more: The Best Things to do in Hamilton, Ontario

Best accommodation option in Hamilton – The best family-friendly option in Hamilton is Staybridge Suites Hamilton Downtown

24. Peterborough

weekend getaways in ontario peterborough

Peterborough sits just off the Otonabee River and perfectly treads the line between urban and residential suburban. You’ll find it much cheaper to visit Peterborough than Toronto, and the friendly downtown atmosphere and price tags are perfect for families covering lots of heads.

On a weekend getaway, you’ll have any attractions to tick off – including the Canadian Canoe Museum, Peterborough Museum, a rock climbing center, and Riverview Park. The attractions are just a short walk apart – handy for those little legs. Toronto is just an hour and twenty minutes away by car as well.

Best accommodation option in Peterborough – Peterborough’s best accommodation for families is Holiday Inn Peterborough-Waterfront. The property has a policy where children 19 and under stay free with an adult, and kids 12 and under eat free.

25. Sauble Beach

weekend getaways in ontario sauble beach

Sauble Beach is a fantastic destination for a family weekend getaway. The quaint town is a tiny beach community on the shores of Lake Huron. Its calm, shallow waters are perfect for younger children to learn to swim and older children to hone their water skills.

After you’ve spent a day swimming, Ascent Aerial Park is a great family attraction. You can tackle a high ropes course for some quality bonding. There’s also Sauble Falls Provincial Park to hike and fish in. Plus, Toronto is just under a three-hour drive away.

Best accommodation option in Sauble Beach – It’s a tough call, but Sauble Beach’s best accommodation is Bel-Air Motel & Cottages. The property is family-orientated, with a playground, fire pits, basketball hoops, and BBQ facilities to enjoy.

Part 5 – Outdoor Weekend Getaways in Ontario

Do you want a weekend getaway where you can enjoy rolling hills and wildlife? Are you looking to getaway from the hustle and bustle of life? Ontario has amazing national parks and provincial parks that are open all year long. So even if it is winter, put on your parka, cozy up by the fire or head out for some cross country skiing and snowshoeing. In summer, take advantage of all the pristine hiking and biking trails and some of the best wildlife spotting on earth.

26. Algonquin Provincial Park

romantic places in ontario algonquin park

Algonquin Provincial Park is heaven on Earth for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. The park is over a whopping 1.9 million acres of natural beauty and full of marked hiking trails and campsites – making it an accessible, beginner-friendly outdoor getaway in Ontario. Read more: Most Beautiful National Parks in Canada

Its famous trails, like Lookout Trail and Centennial Ridges Trail, are perfect scenic hikes to squeeze into a weekend itinerary. Think of minimal time commitment but extremely high reward. In winter, there are dog sled tours and snow activities. And you have attractions like the Algonquin Logging Museum and Algonquin Art Centre all year round if you fancy a bit of culture.

Algonquin Park is just a three-hour drive from Ottawa and three and a half hours from Toronto, so it is easily reached from a major city. If you don’t have your own car, you can arrange a car rental from one of the many car rental companies in the cities and drive yourself to the park.

Best accommodation option in Algonquin Provincial Park – When you visit on a weekend getaway, make sure to book a campsite in advance for that ultimate wilderness experience. But, if you want a bit of extra luxury,  Killarney Lodge  is an all-inclusive park hotel with rustic lakeside cabins – well worth a look at.

27. Sandbanks Provincial Park

weekend trip in ontario sandbanks

Sandbanks Provincial Park offers some of the best sand beaches in all of Ontario. It is one of the best weekend getaways for a stunning coastline and pristine white beaches, and it has plenty of hiking trails under its belt. You could spend weeks in Sandbanks Park, although a day or two will have to do.

The best things to do in Sandbanks Park are visiting Dunes Beach and Outlet Beach, but Cedar Sands Nature trail is a short walk worth an itinerary spot. This trail follows the Outlet River and has beautiful marshland viewpoints.

Sandbanks is two hours and twenty minutes by car from Toronto, so it is easy to reach if you rent a car. The route is scenic too, and you’ll skirt along the north shores of Lake Ontario and its little lakeside towns.

Best accommodation option in Sandbanks – There is a high-quality handful of fantastic accommodation options in Sandbanks Park. The best is  Log Cabin Point Cottage Resort.  The 1830s log cabin has traditional features like a wood-burning stove and a claw foot tub. And you can even rent a boat or bike for your stay.

28. Pinery Provincial Park

ontario weekend trip pinery

Pinery Park is a wonderful weekend getaway in Ontario. The beautiful coastal park is located on the shores of Lake Huron and is over 6,000 acres in size.

It is home to gorgeous beaches and a protected forest that houses numerous endangered flora and fauna species. Opened to the public in 1959, Pinery Park is a much-loved park in Southern Ontario and a well-known outdoor getaway.

It has a 14km biking trail called the Savanna Trail that cyclists will love. There are also water activities like fishing and canoeing on offer. Pinery Park is a compact area with many activities and things to do, making it an ideal weekend trip. It is also a fifty-minute drive from London and just over two hours from Hamilton – extremely feasible driving distances.

Best accommodation option – Most accommodation options are scattered around Pinery Park, just outside the park boundaries.  Port Franks Getaway  is one of the closest and best options. A luxury, adults-only wellness retreat, it offers homely facilities just a stone’s throw from the park. In the summer months the Pinery is one of the best places for camping in Ontario.

29. French River Provincial Park

Georgian Bay Camping

French River Provincial Park is another of our fabulous Ontario weekend getaways. The park is mainly situated around the French River (as you may have guessed from the name), which was the first-ever Canadian Heritage River. This is a weekend trip best appreciated by canoe or kayak.

There is over 105 km of canoe route to enjoy and explore. The trail stretches from Lake Nipissing to Georgian Bay, incorporating lakes, rapids, and gorges for the ultimate fun-filled weekend.

You can also use riverside hiking trails like the Recollet Falls Trail. The park is just a fifty-minute drive from the city of Sudbury and a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Toronto, so a fantastic weekend getaway if you love water activities.

Don’t have a car? Book this day trip from Toronto to hike one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Ontario, The Crack. You will also visit the suspension bridge at French River Provincial Park.

Best accommodation option in French River Provincial Park

The best accommodation option in French River Park is  Great Escape Cabins. The one or two-bedroom cabins are set right next to the river and make for a scenic base when visiting the park.

30. Batchawana Bay Provincial Park

best ontario weekend getaway

Batchawana Bay Provincial Park is a fantastic weekend getaway and is a 418-acre lakeside park with gorgeous beaches. You’ll have lots to do, whether you enjoy water activities on Lake Superior, relax on the beaches, or get active on the local trails.

Batchawana Bay Park is a fifty-minute drive from Sault Ste Marie, a small city with fantastic mountain biking trails. If you love mountain biking, check out the Berm Baby Berm or Bee Sting trails.

Batchawan Bay is about an 8 hour drive from Toronto so this is best for a long weekend getaway in Ontario

Best accommodation option in Batchawana Bay – If you fancy going RV camping, Wild Rose RV Park is a fantastic seasonal option. If you prefer resorts, Sunset Shores Resort offers cabins just outside the park. Check rates and availaibity

31. Bruce Peninsula National Park

Bruce Peninsula National Park

Bruce Peninsula Park is over 30,000 acres in size and is an absolute haven for outdoor enthusiasts. You’ll be well entertained, from swimming and bouldering to backcountry camping opportunities.

The park straddles the famed Niagara Escarpment and Georgian Bay coastline to enjoy – making Bruce Peninsula Park one of the most diverse places for a weekend getaway.

The best thing to do in the park is to visit its natural attractions, like Flowerpot Island, Little Cove, and Fathom Five National Marine Park.

You can book a day trip from Toronto to Tobermory. This tour includes a guide and driver that takes you to visit the lighthouse and hiking to see the beautiful cliffs of Georgian Bay. You’ll visit The Grotto, Indian Head Cove and Marr Lake.

Bruce Peninsula Park is surrounded by little towns, including Tobermory (read our  guide on things to do in Tobermory ). From Toronto, it is a three-and-a-half-hour drive. It’s ideal for a weekend trip and is surrounded by towns with urban amenities.

Best accommodation option in Bruce Peninsula – One of the best ways to book accommodation in Tobermory is to book vacation rentals. You can look for accommodation on TripAdvisor – Tobermory . This  beautiful waterfront cottage  is 5km from downtown Tobermory. It offers kayaking and beautiful views for sunset.

Camping is one of the best options for accommodation in Tobermory in the summer.  Tobermory Village Campground  or  Cyprus Lake Campground . The campground has many facilities, including showers, flush toilets, and drinkable water. It is an excellent base for an outdoor adventure.

32. Pukaskwa National Park

pukaskwa np on Lake Superior

Pukaskwa National Park is a 460-acre park on the shores of Lake Superior. It is the perfect destination for beginner-friendly water activities, hiking, and camping – especially if you want to get away from the busier parks around Toronto.

Visitors should definitely make time to hike the Bimose Kinoomagewnan Trail. This trail is essential to indigenous Anishinaabe culture and is an excellent mix of cultural and outdoor activity. Read more: The Wild Coastal Trail of Pukaskwa National Park

Like Bruce Peninsula Park, Pukaskwa is quite far from major cities. It will take around eleven hours to reach Pukaskwa from Winnipeg or Toronto. Pukaskwa is perfect for road trip lovers .

Best accommodation option in Pukaskwa NP – The best accommodation in Pukaskwa is  Pic River Guest Suite . The property is the closest option to the park unless you want to camp and is beautifully situated overlooking the river. You also have the choice to purchase yoga and canoeing packages.

For more Ontario inspiration, you can check out our guides on the  best places to visit  and  things to do  across the province. We also have a special guide on the  best things to do  when visiting Ontario in winter and another on the province’s  best hiking trails .

It’s easy to see that you won’t be short of weekend getaways in Ontario. Whether you want charming towns with great restaurants, family-friendly destinations with entertaining attractions, or remote wilderness getaways, Ontario has an option for you.

It is safe to say that we love Ontario, and we bet you will too when you try these weekend getaways. Have a fantastic experience.

  • The Greatest Things to do in Winter in Ontario
  • Romantic Ontario Getaways – The Best Couples resorts and Destinations
  • Top 15 Ontario Hiking Trails
  • 22 Most Epic and Thrilling Things to do in Ontario
  • Best Places to See the Northern Lights in Ontario
  • 9 VALENTINE’S DAY GETAWAYS IN ONTARIO, CANADA
  • 35 Iconic Places to Visit in Ontario, Canada

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use Booking.com and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO . 

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • Allianz - Occasional Travelers.
  • Medjet - Global air medical transport and travel security.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

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Must Do Canada

The Best Things to Do in Canada

8 of the Best Ontario Road Trips

March 30, 2021 By Matthew G. Bailey 59 Comments

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Ontario Road Trips to Algonquin Park

With over a million square kilometres of terrain to explore, there’s no shortage of things to do in Ontario . Canada’s second-largest province is home to everything from lakes and rivers, to cities and culture. One of the best ways to see all that Ontario has to offer is to take one of the many incredible Ontario road trips, whether that’s exploring major cities like Toronto and Ottawa, or getting out into the wilderness and exploring one of the millions of lakes around the province.

So without further ado, here are the 8 best Ontario road trips for you to take this summer.

Niagara Falls is the most popular attraction in Canada.

Table of Contents

Niagara Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake

British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill visited Niagara Falls in 1943 and is quoted as saying that the Niagara Parkway is the “prettiest Sunday afternoon drive in the world.” Now that tells you something!

Niagara Falls is certainly no secret. In fact, it’s one of the top attractions in all of Canada. However, considering its beauty, and the fact that it’s only 30-minutes from Toronto, we couldn’t leave it out as an incredible road trip. To make the most of this Ontario road trip, extend your trip to spend a day (or two or three) in the Niagara-on-the-Lake region as well, taking the Niagara Parkway, which follows the Niagara River through beautiful wineries, parks, historical sites, and more. There’s plenty of places to try delicious food, snacks, and of course, wine! Plus, each season presents new scenery, such as blossoming flowers in the spring, hot weather in the summer, and winter festivals during the colder months. You can even extend your trip down to Fort Erie, which is south of Niagara Falls.

The Niagara Parkway is a short scenic drive running parallel to the Niagara River from Fort Erie at the bottom to Niagara-on-the-Lake at the top. It’s only 55 kilometres (34 miles) in length and takes just over an hour without any stops. Of course, doing the trip without stops would defeat the purpose, as you’d miss all the villages and attractions along the way, such as Old Fort Erie, Queen Victoria Park, Niagara Falls, the Butterfly Conservatory, a variety of wineries, and much more.

This short road trip can easily be made into a full day or a full week depending on what you want to do. For example, you could spend a day learning about the history of the area at Fort Erie, spend a few days in Niagara Falls to enjoy the beautiful views and the variety of attractions, and then spend a couple of days peddle-biking around wineries or catching one of the many performances during the Shaw Festival. After all, biking is so much better after a few glasses of wine.

Popular things to do include:

  • Wandering through the Historic District
  • Taking a food tour in Niagara-on-the-Lake
  • Touring the many wineries
  • Watching a performance at the Shaw Festival
  • Taking a Hornblower Cruise at Niagara Falls
  • Flying over Niagara Falls in a helicopter

Staying in Niagara Falls but wanting to explore the wineries without the worry of driving? The Niagara-on-the-Lake Shuttle offered from May 5th until October 29th is only $7.00 one-way for an adult ($5.00 for a child) and runs every 60 minutes from 10:30 am until 5:30 pm, departing from the Floral Clock.

Algonquin Park is a great Ontario Road Trip destination.

Ottawa to Toronto via Algonquin Park

When it comes to visiting Canada’s capital city and Canada’s largest city, there’s no shortage of things to do in Toronto and Ottawa . However, far too many people take the major highway that connects both cities instead of opting for the much-more scenic route through Algonquin Park. Known as the Highway 60 Corridor , this road trip cuts through the south end of the park from the east gate to the west gate, taking you through lush forest, while providing many opportunities to explore hiking trails, beautiful lakes, lookout points, campgrounds, and even an art centre.

Think of it like a massive oasis right in-between two of Canada’s most famous cities. Enjoy the hustle and bustle of Ottawa, take a few days to get back to nature in Algonquin Park, and then get right back into the action in Toronto. If you still have time, continue down to Niagara Falls and the stunning wine region for even more relaxation and sightseeing.

Algonquin Provincial Park, established in 1893, is the oldest provincial park in Canada and a national historic site. It’s about 7,653 square kilometres (almost 3,000 square miles) and is a great place to spend a few days outdoors. It contains more than 2,400 lakes and more than 1,200 kilometres of streams and rivers. Due to its location, it can be busy but is still a great opportunity to go hiking, canoeing, camping, wildlife viewing, or to simply see where the northern coniferous forest and southern deciduous forest meet.

Hamilton, Ontario is known for more than 100 waterfalls.

Hamilton Waterfalls

Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls may have been a hit song but we don’t advise listening to the lyrics when in Hamilton. This is, after all, Ontario’s waterfall capital , and we highly recommend you do go chasing them. Hamilton is only an hour’s drive from Toronto, making it one of the best day trips from Toronto, but also an excellent road trip as well. Rather than a long-distance type of drive, this one is more focused on seeing as many of the 100 waterfalls as you can.

All around the region, there are hiking trails and parks that allow you to see the thundering beauty of many different waterfalls, including the very popular Devils Punchbowl Falls, which is a 37-metre ribbon waterfall. Many of the waterfalls are located around the Bruce Trail Conservancy, but what makes this area unique is that you can easily combine some easy hikes through nature with urban charm as well, such as shopping for antiques on Locke Street, sightseeing at Dundas Peak, or learning about the city’s history at Dundurn Castle or the Steam and Technology Museum. Hamilton is also known for its thriving arts scene and the Supercrawl Festival, which is a great time to taste local food and craft beer.

Thousand Islands National Park is a wonderful Ontario Road Trip from Toronto or Ottawa.

Thousand Islands National Park

Perhaps one of the most beautiful and unique places in Ontario is Thousand Islands, which is just a short road trip from Ottawa or Toronto. Someone miscounted because there’s actually more than 1,800 islands residing around the St. Lawrence River, but either way, this is a gorgeous place to go for a road trip and then a water trip as well. Not only is it a stunning place to take a boat tour or to go kayaking and canoeing, but it’s also a great place to check out extraordinary lighthouses, historic castles, and learn about the unique history, which includes pirates and smuggling.

This national park straddles the American border and offers a range of things to do on land and on the water. If you had one of those cars that can also float in the water, this would be the trip to take!

Prince Edward County

If you love wine but are looking for something different than Niagara-on-the-Lake, consider visiting charming Prince Edward County in-between Toronto and Ottawa. A favourite amongst wine and cheese lovers, this vacation destination is the home to many passionate winemakers, giving you the chance to drink the province’s best Pinot Noir before walking the white sand beach of Sandbanks Provincial Park. But there’s more than Pinot Noir as well. The region is home to more than three dozen wineries, as well as two local cheese producers. In fact, if you really want to indulge, make your way here in June when the Great Canadian Cheese Festival comes to town. This can easily be a day trip from Toronto or Ottawa, but it’s much better to book a stay at a cottage or a local bed-and-breakfast and just relax.

Ontario road trips almost always include beautiful lakes.

Oxford County Cheese Trail

Want even more cheese? Then this road trip is for you. In Oxford County, near London, Ontario, you can follow a specific route to explore all 98 cheese factories in the area. Okay, maybe not all of them. That’s a lot of cheese! However, along the Oxford County Cheese Trail , you’ll find eight different companies showcasing their products and teaching you about the agricultural industry of the county. The nice thing about doing your own road trip tour is that you can make it as short or as long as you wish. Go for a few hours or stay for a few days. It’s not like it’s just cheese either. You’ll also find artisans, entertainment, and nature as well.

The entire trail consists of 24 stops featuring cheese, dairy, and other offerings that make for a unique road trip that’s not too far from both Toronto and Niagara Falls. It’s even close to some U.S. cities such as Detroit and Buffalo.

Downtown Toronto to Newmarket

While this 83-kilometre stretch of road may not be your typical road trip, it’s kind of a cool thing to do in Ontario. After all, it’s proclaimed to be the longest road in the world and is in the Guinness Book of World Records. It’s mostly situated on Yonge Street, taking you from the bustling downtown core of Toronto all the way north to Newmarket. You can visit the suburbs of Richmond Hill and North York, enjoy a glass of wine at Holland Marsh Winery, stroll the Newmarket Riverwalk Commons, or learn some history at the Elman W. Campbell Museum. In fact, the road itself is quite historical as it was part of the infrastructure that established Upper Canada in the 1790s and provided access to the Great Lakes in case of invasion from the U.S. after independence. If you want to continue North, you can visit places such as Lake Simcoe and Georgian Bay.

The Lake Superior Circle Tour is one of the best road trips in Ontario.

Lake Superior Circle Tour

Last but certainly not least, the Lake Superior Circle Tour is by-far the most adventurous Ontario road trip of them all. In fact, it’s on our bucket list of road trips in Canada. We’ve technically done half of the route but only did it to get from point A to point B, missing out on all the beautiful sights in-between. There are essentially two Lake Superior road trips you can do. The full Lake Superior Circle Tour takes you through the Canadian side on the northern half and the American side on the South. You will cross the border twice and should aim to spend a couple of weeks to fully enjoy it. The shorter version is the Lake Superior Half Circle Tour, which sticks only to the Canadian side, comprised of the area in-between Sault Ste Marie and Thunder Bay. This stretch of the road trip is over 700 kilometres in length and can take anywhere from a really rushed-day to a multiple-week adventure. Please keep in mind that if you only do the Canadian version of the road trip, it’s one-way, which means you’ll have to come back the same way or continue on to other provinces such as Manitoba.

Popular places to visit include Thunder Bay, Ruby Lake Provincial Park, the Terry Fox Memorial, Rossport, Terrace Bay, Pukaskwa National Park, White River, Wawa, Lake Superior Provincial Park, and Sault Ste. Marie.

Toronto's Yonge Street is known as the world's longest street.

Road Trips in Ontario

While Ontario may not have those classic road trips like the Icefields Parkway or the Viking Trail , it does have a ton of interesting, fun, and beautiful destination that can easily be turned into a fabulous road trip. Whether you’re looking for a day trip from one of the major cities or looking to truly get into some adventure along the shores of Lake Superior, there’s no shortage of cool Ontario road trips for people of all types. We hope this article inspires your next trip and if there’s a road trip we missed, please let us know in the comments!

For more adventures in Ontario and beyond, check out these articles below:

  • Things to Do in Winnipeg
  • Things to Do in Quebec
  • Things to Do in Montreal
  • 13 Amazing Canada Road Trips
  • The Ultimate 150-Day Road Trip Across Canada

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About Matthew G. Bailey

Matthew G. Bailey is the founder and editor-in-chief of Must Do Canada. Growing up in Alberta to a mother from Quebec and a father from Newfoundland, Matt spent his childhood playing hockey under the Northern Lights and hanging out in the forest before moving to Calgary and travelling to more than 250 cities spanning 42 countries and 6 continents. He loves travel, learning new things, playing sports, writing, making videos, photography, and scuba diving. You can also find him at LiveLimitless.net .

Reader Interactions

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April 1, 2021 at 10:03 am

Ahh! I can’t wait to move back to Ontario, and get exploring

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April 1, 2021 at 3:03 pm

Love Algonquin any time of the year – especially the fall!

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May 22, 2022 at 8:47 am

We are planning a fall trip to Ontario and we are taking advantage of the blogs and videos from you guys. I think we will do 2 days in Toronto, 1 to Niagara falls and then 9 days in Muskoka.

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May 22, 2022 at 10:09 am

Nice! We’ve never been to Muskoka. Why 9 days? Just lots of relax time?

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April 1, 2021 at 5:01 pm

These sound great!

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April 2, 2021 at 5:30 am

Hopefully some of these can be done this year if parks are open.

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May 13, 2021 at 7:38 am

Awesome! Love this

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April 2, 2021 at 6:56 am

Can’t wait to explore!

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April 21, 2021 at 1:14 pm

Same! I need to see more things in my home province

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April 2, 2021 at 9:01 am

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April 2, 2021 at 6:22 pm

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April 2, 2021 at 8:54 pm

We are lucky to have so many places to see close to home!

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April 3, 2021 at 6:53 am

I took friends from Germany to see Niagara Falls and Niagara on the Lake on a road trip.They were impressed and enjoyed the excursion.

April 3, 2021 at 11:09 am

Sweet. Here’s a fun fact. Germans love Saskatchewan. It’s one of their top tourism markets

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April 3, 2021 at 8:13 am

I’ve always wanted to visit Algonquin!! H0ping to soon!

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April 3, 2021 at 9:22 am

Looking forward to finding new things to explore in Ontario!

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April 3, 2021 at 10:30 am

Amazing article! @iceyviolet

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April 5, 2021 at 9:02 pm

Nice article, time to get some more Manitoba content

April 5, 2021 at 9:48 pm

haha yes, for sure. We really wanna do some road trips there. What are some good ones?

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April 3, 2021 at 12:58 pm

Great ideas! I live in Southern Ontario and have always wanted to go to both Algonquin Park and Ottawa. Might have to give this trip some thought.

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April 3, 2021 at 8:48 pm

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April 3, 2021 at 9:57 pm

This is such a great tool for people who are excited to explore the nooks and crannies of Ontario! Love being in nature!!

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April 4, 2021 at 2:59 am

Canada has so much beauty. I love to see everything.

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April 4, 2021 at 7:26 am

I cannot wait to start travelling again:)

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April 4, 2021 at 7:54 am

Good article. I would love to go on the Viking Trail. Looks like great fun.

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April 4, 2021 at 8:27 am

Can’t wait to to one of these trips after the pandemic!

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April 4, 2021 at 9:09 am

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April 4, 2021 at 10:10 am

There are so many wonderful sights to see in Ontario. I would love to take the Lake Superior Circle Tour.

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April 4, 2021 at 11:14 am

I’ve been to northern Ontario to see some friends, but didn’t have time to visit Algonquin. I hope to go back soon in better times and visit! So many beautiful sights!

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April 4, 2021 at 12:50 pm

Oxford County cheese tour. 98 cheese factories, who knew!

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April 4, 2021 at 1:21 pm

Looking forward to being able to go on road trips again!

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April 4, 2021 at 1:46 pm

Sounds like an awesome visit!

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April 4, 2021 at 3:04 pm

Enjoyed the article

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April 4, 2021 at 4:51 pm

I’ve road tripped around the world and there’s still no place like Ontario for road trips.

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April 4, 2021 at 7:59 pm

I’ll have to get on this! Thanks!

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April 4, 2021 at 8:04 pm

Niagara Falls is a little further than 30 minutes from Toronto. 🙂 Also Quebec is the a largest province. Ontario 2nd. 🙂

April 5, 2021 at 12:38 pm

Woops. It was supposed to say second-largest. Thanks for catching that

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April 5, 2021 at 3:43 am

I love Algonquin. One of my favourite places.

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April 5, 2021 at 1:04 pm

I didn’t know about the waterfalls in the Hamilton area I am very familiar with Algonquin Park and Toronto I am somewhat familiar with Ottawa.

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April 5, 2021 at 6:51 pm

I’m so happy I live in such an amazing province and country!

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April 6, 2021 at 12:32 am

Gotta check out all these places! Putting these on the bucket list for sure!

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April 7, 2021 at 3:47 pm

Great place to checkout!

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April 9, 2021 at 7:38 am

The Niagara region is simply beautiful in the spring. A road trip is simply spectacular.

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April 10, 2021 at 6:38 pm

These are sounding great

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April 11, 2021 at 8:44 am

Thanks for sharing all this information, there are many nice places to visit in Ontario.

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April 11, 2021 at 1:34 pm

J’adore la route des vins à Niagara-on-the-Lake

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April 12, 2021 at 5:50 pm

Thanks! I can’t wait to travel again.

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April 14, 2021 at 8:22 am

Great suggestions! Looking forward to exploring more of this province when things are safe to do so 🙂

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April 15, 2021 at 1:54 pm

Have to put these on the bucket list!

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April 17, 2021 at 1:18 pm

Good road trips!

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April 19, 2021 at 9:12 am

Niagara Region is beautiful year round. Can’t wait to get back out there again.

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April 23, 2021 at 6:51 am

Great article! Prince Edward wine tours sounds lovely.

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April 27, 2021 at 9:26 am

Me mudé con mi esposa a Toronto hace un par de semanas y no podemos esperar para explorar TODO!!!

April 27, 2021 at 10:15 am

aha yes I bet!

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May 8, 2021 at 7:48 am

I live in Ontario – and for The past 25 years I have done the road trip to Niagara-on-the-lake at least 25 times. I love it there! Picturesque, shopping, the food etc. And wine country right next door! Perfect road trip for me!

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September 1, 2021 at 7:19 am

I’ve lived in Ontario all my life and I just learned about the Oxford County Cheese Trail from this article! I love cheese, so will definitely plan to do this this fall! Thank you for the great, comprehensive list.

September 1, 2021 at 9:36 am

I’m sure we’ll continue to uncover stuff too. COuntry is so big!

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March 29, 2022 at 4:25 pm

You should find all the waterfalls in Ontario! Hamilton area, grey Bruce!

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May 5, 2022 at 6:29 am

Thanks for these articles. Waterfalls of Ontario sounds like a good future article. Next time we have put of province visitors will definitely do some of these road trips.

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Justin Plus Lauren

30 Best Ontario Road Trips You Need to Experience (2024)

Posted on Published: June 27, 2023  - Last updated: January 8, 2024

Categories Blog , Canada , Ontario , Road Trips

These are the best road trips in Ontario that you’ll want to experience as soon as possible. On these top Ontario road trips, I’m going to showcase some fantastic destinations and give you many ideas for upcoming travels in the province. Looking for even more places to visit? Here are the 30 best small towns in Ontario and the best beaches in Ontario .

Spending hours in the car might not seem like a lot of fun at first. However, I’ve got some great road trip tips to help make the journey almost as enjoyable as the destination. Some of the essentials include yummy food and drink (coffee is an absolute must for me!), an epic road trip music playlist, downloadable maps, and don’t forget your sunglasses!

Posts may be sponsored. Post contains affiliate links. I may be compensated if you make a purchase using my link.

Best road trips in Ontario

Are you a hiker? You may want to hop over to my other website, Ontario Hiking, to check out the top 100 hikes in Ontario . You could easily plan 100 road trips using this list alone. If you’re looking for Ontario road trips with many things to see and do, here’s my list of the best destinations around the province that you simply must see.

Need a Rental Car for your Ontario Road Trip?

I always use Discover Cars when I need a car rental, no matter where I’m traveling in the world. If you’re thinking about tackling any of these road trips in Ontario and you don’t have a car, I suggest comparing car rental prices to find the best rates. Happy road trippin’!

Table of Contents

Best Road Trips in Ontario: 1000 Islands

Best Road Trips in Ontario: 1000 Islands

The Thousand Islands region is an incredible destination for lovers of outdoor adventures. Hiking , kayaking , paddleboarding. You name it and you’ll likely be able to do it in the 1000 Islands. There’s also delicious food and drink, fascinating history, and it’s oozing with small town charm.

The town of Gananoque is considered to be the “gateway to the Thousand Islands”. This is likely where you’ll want to base yourself for the night. There’s a quaint downtown core with shops, restaurants, and even a brewery.

This is also a jumping off point for many popular attractions, like a kayaking tour or a boat cruise of the 1000 Islands on the St. Lawrence River. Then, it’s easy to explore the rest of the region from Gananoque, such as the Thousand Islands National Park . I stayed at the comfortable and conveniently located Colonial Resort & Spa .

Southern Ontario Road Trips: Grand Bend

Southern Ontario Road Trips: Grand Bend

Grand Bend is home to one of the best beaches in Ontario , and that’s a good enough reason to plan your Ontario road trip there. Beyond the beautiful beach, there’s also a wonderful provincial park (that also has a pretty beach!), a resort with a spa and golf course, two wineries, and fantastic restaurants.

In this blog post, I show you how to spend a day or two in Grand Bend , while taking a day trip to nearby Sarnia. No matter what you end up doing, don’t miss the sunsets in Grand Bend. They are among the best in the province, Canada, and possibly the world!

If you’re looking for where to stay in Grand Bend, check out Oakwood Resort . Not only is there a spa and golf course, but there’s also great dining options and a pristine section of the beach that you can access straight from the property.

Adorable Towns on Lake Huron

Adorable Towns on Lake Huron (Bayfield, Ontario)

Looking for more great places to visit on Lake Huron? If you continue traveling north from Grand Bend, you’ll hit so many beautiful small towns and villages on the way. Over the course of a weekend or a few days, you can explore each charming place. Stop to admire the little main street villages, the stunning beaches, and the parks and trails.

From Grand Bend and traveling north, the best places to visit include Bayfield, Goderich, Kincardine, Port Elgin and Southampton. You can also continue on to the popular beach town in Ontario, Sauble Beach, with its iconic sign welcoming you to the beach. Stay at a historic inn in Goderich, the Benmiller Inn & Spa , for the ultimate getaway.

Places to Visit in Ontario: Port Stanley

Places to Visit in Ontario: Port Stanley

Port Stanley is another one of the best road trips in Ontario that you can take this summer. I recommend visiting both Port Stanley and the nearby village of Sparta, as you can see in my Port Stanley itinerary . Located on the shores of Lake Erie in Elgin County, Port Stanley is one of the cutest small towns in Ontario and an awesome road trip destination.

There are so many things to do in Port Stanley that make for a memorable getaway: shopping, renting a bike and riding around town, having a beach day or two, visiting a lavender farm, frequenting a winery, and even going for a hike. And don’t forget all of the delectable restaurants and coffee shops.

When you visit Port Stanley, I suggest staying at one of the Carriage Houses at The Windjammer Inn . My Carriage House had so many wonderful amenities, like a kitchenette, a Jacuzzi tub, and a little patio out front. Plus, your stay comes with one of the tastiest breakfasts I’ve ever enjoyed at a hotel.

Ontario Weekend Road Trips: Stratford

Ontario Weekend Road Trips: Stratford

Stratford is another amazing city in Ontario that has small town vibes, especially around its historic downtown. You might know Stratford best for the Stratford Festival or the fact that it’s the hometown of Justin Bieber, but there are so many things to see in this picturesque Ontario city.

Downtown Stratford has many unique boutiques and small businesses you’ll love. As an artsy city, there’s no shortage of festivities, public art, and local galleries. Stratford is nestled on the banks of the Avon River, so you can soak up beautiful views and explore its scenic trails.

Add delicious food and beverages to the mix, and you’ve got the makings of a delightful trip to Stratford, Ontario. Some of my favorite restaurants include Grounded (“Purely Plant Based Cafe”) and The Planet Diner (vegan comfort food). Spend the night at Foster’s Inn , conveniently located in Stratford’s downtown core.

Road Trip to London, Ontario

Road Trip to London, Ontario

London, Ontario is a big city with small town vibes. As I strolled down Richmond Row, the historic shopping district in London’s downtown core, the old buildings seamlessly merged with modern boutiques. It’s also known as “The Forest City”, so you can imagine that there are lots of great outdoor activities in nature.

Here’s why a trip to London is one of the best road trips in Ontario: there are outdoor adventures, fantastic restaurants, brilliant museums, and even a gigantic arcade with tons of video games. I recommend going treetop trekking at Boler Mountain, admiring the thoughtful art displays at Museum London, and playing games at the Rec Room.

For food and drink, sampling tea and eats at The Tea Lounge is a must. Love craft beer? Head over to Curley Brewing Company for refreshing beer and tasty pub fare. Stay at The Park Hotel with its modern and dazzling suites, centrally located in the middle of it all.

Woodstock and Oxford County

Woodstock and Oxford County

Woodstock and Oxford County is another overlooked region of Ontario that I loved visiting. I spent a day in Woodstock and a day in Otterville and Tillsonburg.

In Woodstock, I frequented a lot of amazing local businesses like Early Bird Coffee, Wild Comfort Body Care, Habitual Chocolate, and Upper Thames Brewing Company. One thing that I really loved was how each small business worked with one another. For instance, the brewery provided beer to make body care products. The chocolate shop offered cacao nibs for a stout beer.

Otterville and Tillsonburg were also pleasant surprises to check out. Otterville has lots of opportunities to explore history and nature, and it’s a great place to go kayaking. In Tillsonburg, I cut my own flowers at a local flower farm, attended an outdoor yoga class, and ate lots of yummy food. Combine a trip to Woodstock, Otterville, and Tillsonburg for one of the most epic Ontario road trips.

If you’re looking for places to stay in the region, I suggest checking out this beautiful chalet just outside of Tillsonburg. Stay in this country home in a peaceful setting with many modern amenities.

Road Trips in Southern Ontario: Windsor

Road Trips in Southern Ontario: Windsor

Have you visited Windsor yet? It’s one of my top southern Ontario road trips, especially if you are up for an eco-friendly getaway. While Windsor might be known historically as the automotive capital, there are lots of awesome adventures in the city.

I spent the majority of my time in Tecumseh as there are many fantastic activities near Lake St. Clair. You can go standup paddleboarding (I highly recommend the sunset SUP tour). There are lots of cycling paths and trails to explore.

Plus, I loved all of the yummy vegan eats! There’s a vegan donut shop that captured my heart (Plant Joy), especially since you can get your name spelled out in donuts. Also, be sure to dine at Nooch, Healthy Mama, Carrots n’ Dates, and Thyme Kitchen. Stay at A Hidden Gem B&B , a gorgeous historic home in Windsor.

Road Trip to Beaches and More: Turkey Point

Best road trips in Ontario: Turkey Point

Turkey Point is an underrated destination in Ontario and one of the best road trips in southern Ontario. It’s a short drive from Hamilton and Brantford, and just a couple of hours from Toronto. Turkey Point Beach on Lake Erie with its calm waters is a big draw for families with small children, as well as couples, groups of friends, and multigenerational family trips.

If you’re not visiting during the summertime, there are still many great things to do in Turkey Point that can be enjoyed in all seasons. First, Long Point Eco Adventures has thrilling outdoor amusements with its ziplines, kayaking tours, and night sky observation tours. There are also glamping wilderness suites and pods on site.

Justin and I stayed in a cute cottage with some of our friends when we visited Turkey Point. This lakefront beach house is right across the road from the beach, so you really can’t get much closer than this. It’s a cozy beach bungalow with four bedrooms and more than enough room for all your friends and family.

Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake

Niagara Falls from a helicopter

While it might be an obvious suggestion, there’s a reason why so many people in Ontario (and around the world) flock to Niagara Falls . It’s one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world. Although I’ve been to Niagara Falls more times than I can count, it never ceases to amaze me.

Walk along the Falls, take a ride on the famous Hornblower Cruises ferry to the base of the falls (aka the Maid of the Mist), or walk through tunnels right beside Niagara Falls itself. I have even more suggestions on how to experience Niagara Falls in the fall and Niagara Falls in the winter . The Niagara Parkway is a great place to go cycling , if you’d like a break from all the driving.

Don’t miss going to Niagara-on-the-Lake, especially if you’re a fan of wine. This is the heart of Niagara’s wine country with over 120 wineries to visit. Niagara-on-the-Lake is a charming little town that’s perfect for a day trip, too.

Stay at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Niagara for views of Niagara Falls from your room. If you’d rather spend the night in Niagara-on-the-Lake, we really enjoyed staying at the Pillar and Post Inn & Spa for a romantic getaway together.

Best Road Trips From Toronto: Muskoka Region

Best Road Trips From Toronto: Muskoka Region

There are so many amazing things to do in Muskoka, especially in the summertime. There are kayaking and paddling trips, exploring the hiking trails , or relaxing on a dock with a frosty pint. If you’re looking for places to visit in the Muskoka region, I suggest road tripping through Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, and Huntsville, to name a few.

In Bracebridge, there are numerous waterfalls and natural wonders along the Trans Canada Trail. Gravenhurst is another cute town that you’ll want to explore on the way to beautiful outdoor spaces. Huntsville is a gem of a town with a delightful downtown core, a brewery, and patios upon patios.

Muskoka has approximately 1600 lakes and 14,000 kilometers of shoreline, with no shortage of beautiful beaches and places to explore. You can visit again and again for new experiences each time, making it one of the best road trips in Ontario. It’s also the gateway to Algonquin Park, one of the best provincial parks in Ontario.

Deerhurst Resort is a stunning property in Huntsville to rest your head at night. Justin and I attended a wedding here in the past and the resort was a beautiful destination in itself. There are two swimming pools on site, as well as the spa, a golf course, treetop trekking and much more.

Collingwood, Blue Mountain and Thornbury

Blue Mountain lights festival

You may have made more than a trip or two to Wasaga Beach over the years, but there’s so much more to see along Georgian Bay. Collingwood is a really lovely town to visit with a main street full of shops and restaurants. Scenic Caves Nature Adventures isn’t too far from Collingwood, and it’s home to some intriguing caves and southern Ontario’s longest suspension bridge.

Blue Mountain Village is popular in all seasons, whether you’re skiing or snowboarding in the winter or hiking in the summer. Soak in the soothing waters at Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain or take in an evening lights festival at Blue Mountain, depending on the season.

Continue your road trip west of Blue Mountain to the town of Thornbury . It’s a cute place to visit in Ontario with a main street filled with cafes and shops. There’s also a cidery in Thornbury, a large antique market, and some trails to explore as well. Stay at Penny’s Motel , a chic and stylish property that you’ll love.

Road Trip to Kingston, Ontario

Queens University, Kingston

Kingston is another amazing city in Ontario and one of the best road trips from Toronto. Downtown Kingston has charming inns, delectable dining options, and lots of water sports on the St. Lawrence River. Justin and I went standup paddleboarding for the first time in Kingston, and we had a total blast!

There are many Kingston attractions that you’ll want to check out. You can visit historic Fort Henry, take the ferry to Wolfe Island, and tour the Kingston Penitentiary. Lemoine Point Conservation Area is a great place to go for a hike, and going for a ride on the Kingston Trolley Tour is super iconic.

Stay at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Kingston Waterfront to be in the center of all the action. Situated right on the lake overlooking Confederation Park, you’ll be within walking distance of Kingston’s downtown core with its vibrant shops and restaurants.

Tobermory and the Bruce Peninsula

Tobermory and the Bruce Peninsula

What kind of a “best road trips in Ontario” article would this be if I didn’t mention Tobermory and the Bruce Peninsula ? Tobermory is known as the “freshwater scuba diving capital of the world” for its intriguing shipwrecks in Fathom Five National Marine Park, Canada’s first national marine conservation area.

It’s also home to Bruce Peninsula National Park and its famous Grotto cave. Hikers will absolutely love the Bruce Peninsula as there are incredible trails at the national park, Flowerpot Island , and Lions Head Provincial Park.

Even if you aren’t massively into hiking, there are amazing views for days from the town itself or one of the easier walking paths. In the harbour, you’ll find restaurants and a brewery. It’s a sweet place to visit, although it does get very busy during the summer months. Stay at the Bruce Anchor Motel right in town for a comfortable and convenient overnight stay.

Point Pelee and Pelee Island

Kingsville, Ontario

Point Pelee National Park is the southernmost portion of mainland Canada, just south of Leamington. You’ll discover five unique Carolinian habitats and the opportunity to witness over 370 species of birds throughout the year.

While I highly recommend visiting Point Pelee by day, you can also have an entirely new experience at night. Point Pelee National Park is one of the best dark sky preserves in Ontario . The best times to see the stars at Point Pelee National Park are during the new moon (when you can’t see the moon in the sky). During these nights, the park will stay open until midnight, which are longer operating hours than usual.

Pelee Island is a great place to rest and unwind. It’s the southernmost inhabited place in Canada. There are a few relaxing hikes, a lighthouse, and a winery. From Leamington or Kingsville , you can also take the ferry over to Pelee Island. Spend the night at Inn 15 Brewery Loft Suites in Kingsville.

Cute Small Town in Ontario: Elora

Cute Small Town in Ontario: Elora

Is Elora quite possibly the cutest town in Ontario? I don’t like to pick favorites, but Elora really captured my heart . It’s one of the best places in Ontario to visit for the weekend, just an hour outside of Toronto. So, if you’re looking for the best road trips from Toronto, Elora is a great one to consider. Plus, you can visit the nearby town of Fergus in the same trip.

There are plenty of outdoor adventures in Elora, like hiking at Elora Gorge Conservation Area , going tubing, or swimming at the Elora Quarry. Treat yourself to afternoon tea in a pretty garden patio at The Wild Tart. Go shopping along the main street. If you really want to treat yourself, a spa day at Elora Mill is absolutely divine.

Elora also has an assortment of cafes, a brewery, pubs, and restaurants. I suggest spending the night at the cozy Cheshire Cat B&B for a warm and welcoming spot in town.

Dundas, Ontario (Hamilton)

Dundas, Ontario (Hamilton)

Are you a fan of cute small towns and beautiful nature? Dundas is a community in Hamilton, Ontario that has a little bit of everything. There’s a quaint main street featuring dozens of shops, cafes and restaurants. Don’t miss stopping at Detour Coffee or Beanermunky Chocolates. Go for a stroll at the Dundas Driving Park or attend a local festival in the summer.

Aside from the quaint downtown core, Dundas is best known for its beautiful conservation areas and hiking trails. The  Dundas Valley Conservation Area  is always a treat to visit with its extensive trail system, the Hermitage ruins, and the old Victorian train station. Dundas also has two waterfalls (Tews Falls and  Websters Falls ), as well as amazing lookout point called the  Dundas Peak .

While there aren’t any hotels or apartment rentals within Dundas itself, you can stay down the road in Hamilton. Try the SoMa Furnished Residences for a comfortable and convenient place to stay.

Brant County (Brantford and Paris)

Paris, Ontario

There’s plenty of fun to be had in “The Telephone City”! Brantford has turned into quite the Ontario road trip destination over the years with engaging attractions and museums, including national historic sites, as well as outdoor adventures on the Grand River. You absolutely must go tubing on the Grand River as it’s like a giant natural lazy river!

From Brantford, hop over to the nearby town of Paris, especially if you love small towns like I do. Paris has a charming main street with restaurants and shops. You can dine on the patios lining the Grand River, and there are many Instagrammable spots around town, too. Spend the night at the idyllic Arlington Hotel right in the middle of town.

Prince Edward County

Karlo Estates Bridge, Prince Edward County

Prince Edward County has grown to be a very popular summer road trip destination in Ontario over the years. Next to Niagara, it’s one of the best wine countries in Ontario, and it’s even home to the world’s first vegan-certified winery, Karlo Estates.

For outdoor activities, Prince Edward County is home to Sandbanks Provincial Park, as well as 800km+ of shoreline to enjoy. There are also six museums around the County featuring Indigenous history and a pioneer village.

Prince Edward County is home to many artists and you can venture out on an art studio trail to visit them in person. Many studios offer instructed workshops where you can get crafty yourself. There’s also so much to see and do when it comes to catching live theater performances or concerts. Base yourself at the Merrill House in Picton and spend a few days road tripping around and adventuring.

Brighton and the Bay of Quinte

Brighton and the Bay of Quinte

Brighton and the Bay of Quinte region is another excellent Ontario weekend road trip you need to take. You’ll find Brighton on the coastline of Lake Ontario, about two hours from Toronto and three hours from Ottawa. This is one of Ontario’s most charming small towns that also has an abundance of outdoor adventures.

There are so many things to see and do in Brighton. You can go hiking at Presqu’ile Provincial Park and Proctor Park Conservation Area . There’s a quaint downtown core with local shops that offer unique finds. Plus, Brighton is surrounded by countryside and farms with the freshest produce around.

In Brighton, the Timber House Resort is one of the best hotels that I’m sure you’ll love. It’s a beachfront property with uniquely decorated rooms featuring wood beam ceilings. There’s an outdoor swimming pool, bicycle rentals, and a great breakfast.

Road Trips in Ontario: Belleville

Road Trips in Ontario: Belleville

Belleville is another fantastic road trip in Ontario with many fun attractions and activities to discover. Downtown Belleville features a historic city centre with many local shops, cafes, breweries and restaurants. Check out the street art and colourful murals all over town while you’re there, too.

There’s no shortage of unique seasonal happenings, like Pop-Ups on the Bay, and there are plenty of outdoor adventures to be had. I loved kayaking on the Bay of Quinte and going for a walk on the Waterfront Trail. Glanmore National Historic Site of Canada provides an insightful window into the past, and there might be a cool event to check out when you’re there.

You can pair your trip to Belleville with some other towns in the Bay of Quinte, like Trenton and Brighton. There are also some nearby conservation areas with hiking trails, like Sager Conservation Area , HR Frink Conservation Area and Bleasdell Boulder Conservation Area . Stay at the clean and modern hotel,  Towneplace Suites by Marriott Belleville .

Lennox and Addington County

Napanee, Ontario

Lennox and Addington County is a lesser known destination in South Eastern Ontario that you need to add to your Ontario road trip bucket list. Make your home base in Greater Napanee and explore several nearby areas, like Loyalist Township and Stone Mills Township. Stay at the Seasons Gallery Retreat , a relaxing getaway in historic Napanee.

Napanee has a cute downtown core with excellent shops, restaurants and caf. You can walk everywhere in Napanee, including a stroll to a waterfall in the middle of town on a riverfront boardwalk. Then, hop on board a pontoon boat for a cruise on the Napanee River.

Visit one of Ontario’s quiet islands, Amherst Island, perfect for birdwatching and immersing yourself in nature. Stop in the village of Bath first, which is where you’ll catch the ferry to Amherst Island. Bath has one main streets with some artisan shops and a cute coffee shop.

Perth and Lanark County

Stewart Park, Perth Ontario

Have you heard about the Lanark Highlands or the town of Perth ? Make sure you don’t overlook this beautiful region of Ontario as it’s one of the best Ontario road trips. If you’re looking for a getaway in Ontario that offers peace and tranquility, delicious food, welcoming festivals, and something a little out of the ordinary, it’s time to spend a weekend in Perth and Lanark County.

Go for a stroll around Stewart Park, browse the quaint downtown shops, and admire the old architecture around town. You can also try standup paddleboarding or kayaking down the river. If you love hiking, the trails at the Perth Wildlife Reserve Conservation Area are a must.

I spent two nights at the  Best Western Plus Perth Parkside Inn & Spa , which is one of the most popular hotels in Perth, Ontario. Nestled on the edge of Stewart Park, your hotel room may have one of the prettiest views of the town.

Cornwall, Ontario

Cornwall, Ontario

Have you visited the city of Cornwall yet? It’s Ontario’s easternmost city that sits on the Canada-USA border, located on the St. Lawrence River. It’s the last major stop in eastern Ontario before you enter Quebec. If you’re on a road trip of Ontario, you might consider stopping in Cornwall for a day before continuing on your way.

Cornwall is home to hiking, biking, and kayaking trails at Guindon Park, Gray’s Creek Conservation Area, and of course, the Waterfront Trail. Some of the best attractions include the Lost Villages Museum (a wild story in Canadian history that I’d never heard before!), a spacious city park, and the ruins of a Roman Catholic church that remind me more of Europe than Canada.

Cornwall is full of so many hidden gems that will make you wonder why you never thought to visit before now. Here’s a lovely two bedroom apartment that you can call home during your time in Cornwall.

Best Road Trips in Ontario: Ottawa

Best Road Trips in Ontario: Ottawa

Ottawa is an amazing all-season destination in Ontario, whether you decide to plan your summer road trip to Ottawa or visit Ottawa in the winter . There are festivals all year long (Winterlude is perfect for the winter, and you don’t want to miss the famous Tulip Festival in the spring). From ice skating on the Rideau Canal to touring the Parliament buildings, there are so many things that you can only do in Ottawa that make it such a worthwhile destination.

While not entirely in Ottawa, Gatineau Park is the National Capital Region’s conservation park. Most of it is located across the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec. Of course, Gatineau, while not in Ontario, is another awesome place to check out on your road trip to Ottawa.

If you’re a museum buff, you will adore Ottawa. There are seven national museums in total, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian Museum of History and the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. For a spacious and upscale hotel near many museums and the downtown core, rest your head at the Lord Elgin Hotel .

Road Trip Ontario: Cute Towns Near Ottawa

Road Trip Ontario: Cute Towns Near Ottawa - Sunset in Merrickville Ontario

If you’re planning an Ontario road trip of eastern Ontario, there are so many adorable and charming towns near Ottawa that you need to visit. These are some of the cutest small towns that I’ve ever seen. Most of them have picturesque downtown streets where you can walk all over town. Some of them are right on the Rideau Canal, adding even more pretty viewpoints.

While I’ve already mentioned Perth, you can easily road trip to these towns from Perth or Ottawa, depending on the direction you’re travelling from. Drive to Smith’s Falls, Merrickville, Kemptville, Carleton Place and Almonte. Westport is another cute town that’s just south of Perth that you can include on this road trip, too.

I spent the night at the Merrickville Guest Suites , which was a cozy and cute apartment in the middle of town. From there, I was able to walk all over town and it also includes a complimentary parking space (a must for any Ontario road trips!).

Ontario Road Trips: Sudbury

Ontario Road Trips: Sudbury

Sudbury might be a four hour drive from Toronto, but it’s well worth the distance. This is one of the best road trips in Ontario for a great combination of city living and wilderness. Sudbury is known as the “Nickel City” for its mining history and the “City of Lakes” for its 330 lakes. In fact, Sudbury has more lakes than any other city in Canada.

Sudbury is the perfect place for outdoor adventures, visiting unique and popular tourist attractions, and wandering around a bustling city centre. It’s northern Ontario’s largest city and there’s no shortage of awesome attractions and activities. Check out Science North, the “Big Nickel” and Dynamic Earth.

For hiking trails and waterfalls, make some room in your itinerary for Lake Laurentian Conservation Area, Kivi Park, Onaping Falls and the A.Y. Jackson Lookout, and Bell Park / Ramsay Lake. Public art lovers will adore Sudbury – it’s home to Canada’s largest mural, as well as numerous other colorful works of art throughout downtown Sudbury. I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn Sudbury , which was the perfect place to relax after days of adventures.

Killarney and Killarney Provincial Park

Killarney Provincial Park

If you continue for another hour beyond Sudbury, you’ll discover one of the most beautiful places go to go hiking in Ontario. Killarney Provincial Park is home to the “Crack” trail , which leads to a stunning panoramic lookout point. Killarney Provincial Park has some less challenging trails across the rocks of the Canadian shield, as well as some lengthier trails that take several days to hike.

The town of Killarney is very small and there are only a couple of places to stay in town that are destinations in themselves. It’s one of the prettiest scenic drives through the grounds of the provincial park to reach Killarney. We spent a couple of nights at the Killarney Mountain Lodge where you could dine at the on-site restaurant or relax in the Muskoka chairs by the waterfront.

I suggest making a larger road trip journey where you visit Sudbury for a few days, and then venture down to Killarney Provincial Park for a couple more days. You can even extend your trip for longer and drive to my next suggested place for a road trip in Ontario…Manitoulin Island!

Manitoulin Island

Manitoulin Island is one of the most amazing road trips in Ontario, whether you drive there or take the ferry from Tobermory. It’s the largest freshwater island in the world, situated on the shores of Georgian Bay and Lake Huron.

Take a tour with the Great Spirit Circle Trail for an amazing Annishanabe cultural experience, learning more about the customs and legends of the local First Nations Peoples. Visitors are also welcome to the annual Pow Wows hosted by each First Nation community on Manitoulin Island.

Manitoulin Island is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor adventurers. You must hike the Cup and Saucer Trail, and a stop at Bridal Veil Falls is a must. It’s even possible on some nights to see the northern lights from Manitoulin Island, as it’s one of the best dark sky preserves in Ontario . Stay at the Manitoulin Inn for a comfortable home base between your adventures.

Best Road Trips in Ontario: Thunder Bay

Best Road Trips in Ontario: Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay is one of the most amazing places to visit in Canada, a dynamic city surrounded by rugged wilderness. While it’s quite the drive from southern Ontario, it’s well worth the journey (or you may wish to fly to Thunder Bay and rent a car when you arrive , like I did!). There are so many things to do in Thunder Bay, both in and around the city, especially if you love exploring the great outdoors.

Perched on the shores of Lake Superior, the world’s largest freshwater lake, the city of Thunder Bay is the gateway to some of Canada’s most epic landscapes. Northwestern Ontario is home to 150,000 lakes and an ancient Boreal forest with over 44 billion trees. Go paddling or venture across the vast Canadian Shield on foot.

Though it’s wonderful to explore the shops and restaurants in downtown Thunder Bay, the main attractions lie in the nature on the outskirts of the city. Explore Sleeping Giant Provincial Park (hike to the Top of the Giant), walk across Canada’s longest suspension bridge at Eagle Canyon Adventures, witness a vast gorge at Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park, and see the “Niagara Falls of the North”, Kakabeka Falls.

Spend the night in Thunder Bay at The Courthouse Hotel , a 40-room boutique hotel in the former Superior Court of Justice building, dating back to 1924.

These are the best road trips in Ontario that you need to add to your travel bucket list. Here are 30 amazing Ontario road trips you'll love.

Lauren is the full-time travel blogger and content creator behind Justin Plus Lauren. She started Justin Plus Lauren in 2013 and has travelled to 50+ countries around the world. Lauren is an expert on vegan travel as one of the very first vegan travel bloggers. She also focuses on outdoor adventure travel, eco and sustainable travel, and creating amazing travel itineraries for cities and small towns.

The World As I See It

One Ontario lady with a passion for travel and inspiring others to get outdoors and explore more

  • Canada / Ontario / Travel

31 Ultimate Ontario Road Trips to Take in 2024

by Stephanie · Published January 1, 2024 · Updated January 11, 2024

One of my favourite things to do is road tripping in Ontario. Driving down winding roads, over green hills with sweeping views, and finding charming places to explore. And the back roads of Ontario lead to some of the best places to visit in Canada. So, if you’re looking for awesome places to visit here are some of the best Ontario road trips.

Along with sharing my top picks for road trip destinations, you’ll discover the best time to go. I’m sharing the best road trips to take in summer, winter and fall. Plus, my insider tips for a successful getaway!

One thing all of these road trips in Ontario have in common is a hint or a hefty dose of the great outdoors. Many others will have you learning about the province’s history, its people, and why these are some of the top Ontario destinations.

So, pack your bags, fill up your gas tank, and let’s start planning your next Ontario road rip.

15 Best Ontario Road Trips to Take this Summer

Depending on your interests, one of these unforgettable Ontario road trips will suite your style. There’s everything from epic outdoor adventures to charming small towns to explore.

Lion's Head on the Bruce Peninsula Ontario

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Bruce Peninsula

The Bruce Peninsula tops every list of Ontario road trips. The growth in visitors to Bruce Peninsula National Park and its world-famous Grotto has reached epic proportions over the past few years. It’s now one of the most popular road trips from Toronto.

Beyond the crowds in the summer, the Bruce Peninsula will wow you with its incredible natural beauty and wonders. It’s an ideal road trip destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Two of the top parks to visit are Bruce Peninsula National Park and Fathom Five National Marine Park.

Tobermory is the ending point to Ontario’s Bruce Trail as well as at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula. Along with the Bruce Trail hikes , there are a ton of great hiking trails along the Bruce Peninsula.

The region is also filled with cool geological formations and outstanding orchids. Plus, the Bruce is home to great small towns like Lions Head and Tobermory .

Both towns are both great places to use as your base to explore the Peninsula. You can also take your car, via ferry, over to Manitoulin Island if you want to extend your road trip.

Road Trip Tip : Because of its popularity, I recommend planning your Bruce Peninsula road trip for during the week. The best times are before the May long weekend or after Labour Day, to avoid the bulk of the traffic.

Driving time from Toronto – 3 hours Suggested days – 3 days

A great way to enjoy one of the best road trips in Ontario is to take one of the Guess Where Trips ! These themed surprise road trips take you to various areas of the province. You can choose from an array of trips that cover everything from waterfalls to markets and even spooky places. And if you use my special code, STEPHANIE10 , you’ll get 10% off your purchase.

Grand Bend beach on Ontario's west coast

Ontario’s Huron Coast

If you’re looking for Caribbean-like beaches then head to Ontario’s west coast. Otherwise known as Huron County , many vacationers flock to the Blue Flag beaches of Lake Huron in the summer.

There are over 80 km of shoreline and over a dozen incredible beaches. One of the most popular Ontario beach destinations is Grand Bend. But there’s so much more to discover along Ontario’s west coast.

Ontario’s Huron coast is home to a bunch of adorable small towns including Bayfield, Blyth, and Kincardine . Some towns have a European feel like Goderich . Goderich has a rich history that will have you stepping back in time – like at the Historic Gaol .

Another gem on the Huron Coast is Southampton! There are a variety of things to do in Southampton . You’ll find charming cafes and shops. Plus, there’s a fantastic beach and boat tour.

You’ll also find so many great areas for hiking and camping, like at Pinery Provincial Park. There’s also an array of great restaurants and cafes and even live theatre.

And the best way to end a day on Ontario’s Huron coast is with one of their infamous magical sunsets. There are plenty of awesome viewpoints along the coast.

Driving time from Toronto – 2.5 hours Suggested days – 3 days

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

One of the most popular Ontario road trips is Niagara Falls! That goes for both Ontarians and citizens from the United States.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or some solid fun, you’ll find it in Niagara Falls. Book a room with a view and wine tasting for a couple’s escape.

Enjoy high octane entertainment at Clifton Hill. There’s everything from a Ferris wheel with epic views to rides and fun houses.

But there’s more than wine and the Las Vegas-style strip to Niagara Falls. For nature lovers there are awesome hiking in the Niagara Gorge.

For families there’s Bird Kingdom and Butterfly Conservatory. And don’t forget about Journey Behind the Falls and the Hornblower Niagara Cruises.

In the Niagara area there’s also another charming road trip destination that has a lot to offer road trippers! Niagara-on-the-Lake! This charming small town is home to wineries, history, theatre and even a few ghosts !

Road Trip Tip : Book your accommodation in Niagara Falls within walking distance to the attractions you hope to visit. And make sure that your hotel offers free parking. This will ensure you can avoid paying for parking downtown and you can enjoy drinks after dinner and don’t have to worry about driving.

Driving time from Toronto – 1.5 hours Suggested days – 2 days

Lake Superior

Lake Superior

This is not a weekend road trip by any imagination. But taking a road trip to Lake Superior is beyond unforgettable. I’d even say it deserves a spot on any top road trips in the world list.

Whether you’re adding a stop at Lake Superior on your epic Ontario road trip north or a camping getaway in the park, you’ll find a wealth of things to do along the coast of this mighty lake.

I think everyone should visit the Lake Superior area, it’s one of the most scenic places in Ontario. Lake Superior Provincial Park is one of Ontario’s most incredible parks. It’s home to a wealth of history – like the Agawa Rock pictographs, and nearly a dozen epic hiking trails.

Lake Superior is the world’s largest freshwater lake. With such a massive coastline, the Lake Superior Circle Tour is one of the best bucket list road trips. It covers over 2000 km in both Ontario and three different US states.

The Trans Canada Highway, that runs through the park, is one of the best scenic road trips in Ontario. You’ll find a bunch of great lookout stops along the way.

Road Trip Tips : If you are not planning on camping in Lake Superior Provincial Park consider starting your Lake Superior road trip in Sault Ste. Marie. At roughly 7 hours north of Toronto, it’s a good place to sleep before you begin exploring Lake Superior Provincial Park. The park is 2 hours north of Sault Ste. Marie.

Bonus tip: Also note that there are no gas stations in the park, so be sure to gas up beforehand.

Driving time from Toronto – 9 hours Suggested days – 4-7 days

For more information on a road trip to Northern Ontario, check out my Northern Ontario road trip itinerary . It includes all the must-stop locations, including provincial parks, scenic lookouts, and things to do along the way.

Shakespearean Garden

It’s well-known for its theatre, but there are so many more things to do in Stratford then taking in a show at the Stratford Festival.

Stratford has an incredible food scene that celebrates everything from Indian food to vegan. And one of my favourite parts is each restaurant’s commitment to farm to table fresh food.

Beyond theatre goers, Stratford is the perfect destination for foodies. Along with all the great restaurants, it’s home to some of the best chocolate in Ontario. There’s even a Chocolate Trail for visitors to indulge in!

Set along the Avon River in Southern Ontario, Stratford is a great place to explore the outdoors . Whether it’s hiking or renting a paddleboat, you’ll be swept away by its tranquil natural beauty.

Rounding out the wealth of things to do, Stratford has a museum, art galleries, ghost walks, street art, and fabulous local shops.

Road Trip Tip : If you’re staying outside of the main downtown core and driving into town you’ll find various free parking area. You can park for free along sections of the Avon River as well as in a downtown parking lot beside the University of Waterloo Campus on Downie Street (called Cooper Lot).

Driving time from Toronto – 2 hours Suggested days – 2-3 days

If you’re planning a few days in Stratford check out these amazing places to stay in Stratford .

Gananoque

Gananoque & the Thousands Islands

One of the best summer road trips in eastern Ontario is to the Thousand Islands area . The Thousand Islands area is home to adorable small towns , like Gananoque and Rockport.

Set on the shores of the St. Lawrence River, Gananoque is one of the most charming small towns in the area. It’s the perfect place to base yourself for exploring the area.

There is a wealth of things to do in Gananoque , that range from exploring downtown shops to dining. One of the top activities is taking a scenic cruise through the Thousands Islands and visiting Bolt Castle.

It’s a great area for nature lovers as there are a bunch of great places to hike, like right in Gananoque and nearby Marble Rock Conservation Area. You’ll also want to hike or bike the scenic Thousands Islands Parkway. Consider packing a picnic lunch and stopping at one of the many lookout spots along the way.

A big draw is the incredible Thousand Islands National Park . Eastern Ontario’s only national park, it’s an incredible stretch of islands that are great for boaters, campers or for road-trippers looking for a perfect place to kayak.

Another couple of must-stops in the area is the 1000 Islands Tower with its epic views of the Thousand Islands National Park and area.

downtown Kingsville Ontario

Plan a road trip to the southern most town in Canada this summer! The town of Kingsville Ontario is full of fun things to do in the summer.

The charming downtown of Kingsville is packed full of fun shops selling everything from local makers’ goods to sweet treats. Two of the best are Dutch Boys Chocolate and Miller’s Bakery.

You’ll also find plenty of incredible restaurants to choose from. My favourite is El Diablo. But if you’re looking for a pint, you’ll find it and great food at the Kingsville Brewery.

History buffs will love the self-guided walking tour of the historic sights around town. And nature buffs will love nearby parks and cycling the Greenway trail.

Another popular activity in Kingsville is indulging in a wine tasting. You’ll find one of the best wineries in Ontario here, the tasting room for Pelee Island Winery .

Road Trip Tip: I suggest at least a two day road trip to Kingsville which pairs well with adding a few days on Pelee Island, since the ferry over is in town.

Driving time from Toronto – 3.5 hours Suggested days – 2-3 days

Paris Ontario overlooking the Grand River

Brant County

Brant County is the wild card on this list of road trips in Ontario. But I promise you’ll be surprised. Located west of Hamilton, Brant County has something for everyone.

The area is rich in history, with sites like where the last battle of the War of 1812 took place on Canadian soil by Canadians and where the first long-distance phone call was received. You’ll find a bunch of great museums and self-guided walking tours too!

There are also some of the plenty of small towns to explore. One of which, Paris, is known as the prettiest small town in Canada .

Other cute small towns to visit include St. George and Mount Pleasant. The area has some incredible places to eat at, food tours, a charming tea shop, and one of the most unique places to stay in Ontario.

For nature lovers, there are lots of great hiking trails along the Grand River . In addition, one of the top activities in the summer is to paddling along the Grand River.

things to do on Manitoulin Island - Hike Cup & Saucer Trail

Manitoulin Island

For those looking for one of the best Ontario road trips that’s filled with outdoor adventures then head to Manitoulin Island. It’s the largest freshwater island in the world and home to hiking trails, small towns, and plenty of cultural experiences.

The Island is located in Lake Huron, above the Bruce Peninsula and west of Sudbury. You can access Manitoulin via ferry from Tobermory in the summer months, or via Highway 6 all year round.

Across the island you’ll find a handful of small towns like Little Current, Providence Bay, and Kagawong. All have something unique to offer, from museums to lighthouses, and even street art.

One of the most popular things to do on Manitoulin Island is hike the Cup and Saucer trail. This incredible trail has over 12 km of trails to explore. The main one, the Red Trail, is a 6-km loop. It takes you up the Niagara Escarpment and two a variety of epic viewpoints.

However, there are plenty of other hiking trails on Manitoulin. A few other trails to check out including Bebamikawe Memorial Trail and Billings Connection Trail. One large park not to miss is Misery Bay Provincial Park. Its home to a variety of trails and some of the most unique landscapes on the island.

Manitoulin is also home to 10 lighthouses, 2 amazing waterfalls, and over a dozen art galleries and trading posts. There’s something for everyone!

Road Trip Tip : As one of the top summer Ontario road trips, Manitoulin is large but many popular hotels book up fast, especially on weekends. I suggest planning your visit for during the week or just after Labour Day.

Driving time from Toronto – 6 hours Suggested days – 3 days

Pelee Island

Pelee Island

If you’re looking for one of Canada’s best-kept secrets then head down to Pelee Island. Located in the middle of Lake Erie, it’s a short ferry ride from the shoreline of Southern Ontario. Its remote location helps keep it off the radar of many. But it’s worth the drive!

Pelee Island is ideal for those looking to relax on the beach, be inspired , or explore one of Canada’s top ecological gems. The island is home to a wealth of birds, wildlife, and unique plant life – many of which are endangered and not found anywhere else.

There’s also a vineyard with wine tasting. Pelee Island Winery is the largest private estate winery in Canada. Plus, you’ll find a museum, sweet café with the best butter tarts, and some of the best sunrises and sunsets in the province.

Road Trip Tip : When planning your road trip to Pelee Island make sure you check the schedule for ferries and know where exactly it’s leaving from. Being prepared by planning and booking ahead will make for a stress-free road trip. And a great stop on your road trip to Pelee Island is Point Pelee National Park .

Driving time from Toronto – 5 hours Suggested days – 2-3 days

village of Elora Ontario

Elora is known as the ‘most roadtrippable town in Canada.’ It even has a sign for it in Victoria Park!

This beautiful town along the Grand River is full of historic limestone buildings. It’s one of the best road trips from Toronto all year round.

Visitors will find plenty of charming cafes, shops and restaurants in town. It’s great for those looking for a girl’s getaway or romantic escape.

One of the top things to do in Elora is visit the Elora Gorge! Carved out by the Grand River, the gorge is set in a conservation area.

The Elora Gorge Conservation Area is home to hiking trails, river tubing, and stunning natural scenery. It also features camping in the summer months.

Another fun experience in Elora is afternoon tea at Wild Tart! This lovely tea room serves up three tiers of delightful treats. I love their desserts that almost look too pretty to eat.

Driving time from Toronto – 1.5 hours Suggested days – 2 days

Sandbanks Provincial Park - Dunes Trail

Prince Edward County

If you’re looking for a great weekend getaway in Ontario for you and the girls or your significant other then head to Prince Edward County . This picturesque area of Ontario is home to some of the best wine in the province.

The County is best explored on a 3 day road trip. In the summer you’ll find bountiful things to do like enjoying the beaches and hiking trails. One of the best parks in Ontario, Sandbanks Provincial Park, is a must visit!

The most popular town in the County to explore is Picton! Home to unique shops and incredible restaurants, there’s plenty of things to do in Picton to keep you busy. In town there’s a museum, art galleries and more.

Prince Edward County is a perfect summer road trip! You’ll be able to enjoy lavender farms , patios with views, local ice cream shops, and sunflower fields .

driving time from Toronto 2.5 hours suggested days – 3 days

Organic Oasis Farm Store Shakespeare Ontario

Perth County

One of the up and coming destinations for an unforgettable summer road trip in Ontario is Perth County! There are a wealth of things to do in Perth County for everyone from foodies to families. It’s also full of charming small towns to explore!

Perth County is Ontario’s farm country and so is full of incredible places to stop for great food. There are a wealth of farm gates where you can grab fresh local produce. Plus, at many you can meet the farm animals and some even have a bunch of family-friendly fun activities.

But there are also a ton of great restaurants and cafes in Perth County! You’ll find everything from fresh homemade treats to cozy meals. Plus, many are owned and operated by Mennonites.

If you love the outdoors then Perth County is the place you want to go. The county is full of parks and conservation areas to visit where you can hike, bike, or paddle.

Road Trip Tip : There are few tips to help you have a great Perth County road trip. Bring cash, especially for farm gates. Plus, check opening times for the small town businesses you hope to visit to avoid missing out. And don’t forget to pack a cooler for all the great food you’ll want to bring home!

Driving Time from Toronto – 2 hours Suggested days – 2 days

Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay

For those looking for one of the best outdoor road trips in Ontario, I highly recommend Thunder Bay. Set on the northern shore of Lake Superior, you’ll find a ton of things to do in Thunder Bay .

There’s something for everyone, from outdoor enthusiasts to history buffs. Plus, you’ll find plenty to entertain and inspire art lovers. This city has it all!

Thunder Bay is worth the drive! The city is full of rich history, like the Fort William Historical Park , the Terry Fox monument and historic walking tours.

Outdoor adventures are plentiful! You can hike to one of the best views in Ontario at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. The Top of the Giant Trail is a bucket list worthy hike but there are a ton of great trails in the park.

Or if you’re looking to chase waterfalls then you’re in luck! There are a variety of them in and around the city. One of the most popular is Kakabeka Falls, which is known as Niagara of the North!

There’s a thriving art scene too! Check out the art installations along Prince Arthur’s Landing or all the street art you’ll find wandering the streets.

If you’re looking for something unique then head to the Amethyst Mine. At the Mine you can learn more about these jewels and even dig for them.

Road Trip Tip : Whether you’re driving from Toronto or elsewhere in Ontario, a road trip to Thunder Bay is a long haul. Be prepared! Make sure your gas tank is full and you have snacks to keep you fueled. I highly recommend stopping for all the fun roadside attractions and lookouts along the way.

Driving Time from Toronto – 15 hours Suggested days – 4-5 days

Science North forest exhibit

If you’re looking for destinations that make for the best Ontario road trips for families then I highly recommend Sudbury!

A few hours north of Toronto, there are a ton of fun things to do in Sudbury for families ! One of the top attractions is Science North. This multi-level science museum is full of interactive exhibits that kids and adults will love.

Be sure to head to Science North’s sister museum, Dynamic Earth! Here you can learn all about the city’s mining history in a fun and interactive way. Plus, you can find out what it feels like to go deep in a mine with an underground tour.

Sudbury is also a great road trip destination for outdoor adventurers! The city is home to over 300 lakes and dozens of parks.

Some of the best hiking trails in Sudbury are right in the city. There’s a scenic trail around Ramsey Lake and a boardwalk trail across the street.

Another fun spot to enjoy outdoor recreation for the whole family is Kivi Park. It’s home to hiking trails, an epic playground, and a disc golf course.

Driving time from Toronto – 4 hours Suggested days – 3 days

5 Unforgettable Winter Ontario Road Trips

If you’re looking for epic road trips in Ontario this winter then I have 5 unforgettable ones! These Ontario winter getaways are perfect for those looking for adventurous outdoor fun or cozy trips. Don’t shy away from a winter road trip in Ontario!

Ottawa winter road trip

One of the best Ontario road trips in winter is to Canada’s capital city, Ottawa. There are so many amazing things to do in Ottawa, from fun festivals to outdoor activities.

One of Canada’s best festivals, Winterlude , takes place every February in Ottawa. Winterlude hosts a ton of fun and family-friendly attractions and activities.

The city is also home to many museums to check out if you’re looking to escape the cold and snow for a day. Two of my favourite are the Canadian Museum of Nature and National Gallery of Canada.

A must winter attraction in Ottawa is skating the Rideau Canal. But don’t forget to end your trip with a tasty BeaverTail.

Plus, if you’re coming from Toronto, a road trip to Ottawa is made better with all of the incredible stops along the way. With three different routes to choose from, there’s everything from small towns to parks along the way.

Road Trip Tip: If you’re looking to explore further and have more time consider visiting a few places in Quebec. Set on the border of Quebec, there are a bunch of great things to do in the winter that is close to Ottawa like, North America’s largest spa – the Nordic Spa, snowshoeing in Gatineau Park, and the Quebec City Winter Carnival.

Driving Time from Toronto – 4 hours Suggested days – 3 days

Barrie Winterfest snow sculpture

One of the best Ontario road trips to take in the winter is to Barrie! Located an hour north of Toronto, Barrie is set along the picturesque shores of Lake Simcoe.

While it’s a popular summer destination, many of the top things to do in Barrie happen during the winter season. The city is surrounded by ski hills, making it an ideal spot for affordable winter getaways .

Within a 20-minute drive from downtown Barrie there are over 3 different places to ski. Horseshow Resort is a great option for outdoor adventurers. It’s home to downhill skiing, tubing and a resort to stay at.

For those looking for road trip destinations in February, Barrie is perfect! Along with the skiing, February boasts one of the best Barrie festivals , Winterfest.

Taking over downtown Barrie, Winterfest is full of fun sights like ice sculptures and family-friendly activities. Or you can pop into one of the many cute downtown Barrie coffee shops .

Driving time from Toronto – 1 hour Suggested days – 2 days

Holiday Magic light displays in Blue Mountain Village

Blue Mountain Village

One of the top places to go on a winter road trip in Ontario is Blue Mountain Village . Only a 2 hour drive north of Toronto, Blue Mountain is the perfect winter destination.

If you’re looking for small town charm and a bunch of winter activities all in one spot then Blue Mountain is where you want to go. For those visiting during December, you’ll find one of the best free light displays in Ontario . Plus, the village hosts an annual Christmas market that’s full of great local gift ideas.

What can you do on a winter road trip to Blue Mountain? Book your stay in one of their beautiful apartments where everything you need is right at your doorstep.

Blue Mountain offers a range of fun winter activities like skiing and snowshoeing. There are also a ton of great restaurants and shops to check out.

Road Trip Tips : Blue Mountain is a popular destination in the winter. I suggest booking well ahead if you plan to visit on a weekend or opt for a less busy time during the week. And if you plan on staying and skiing be sure to check out package deals to save some money.

Driving Time from Toronto – 2 hours Suggested days – 2 days

Whitefish Point Lighthouse in Michigan

Sault Ste. Marie

Another great winter destination for an epic Ontario road trip is Sault Ste. Marie. It’s worth the drive! Marie.

It’s a solid 7 hour drive from Toronto, but there are a ton of things to do in Sault Ste. Marie in the winter. And since it’s located right across the US border there are a host of day trip options too, like popping over to Michigan.

What can you do on a road trip in the winter to Sault Ste Marie? Once you’re in the Soo, as it’s affectionately called, try out the Clergue Park skate trail, go ice fishing, and cross-country skiing in Hiawatha Highlands Conservation Area!

Road Trip Tip: It’s a long drive up to Sault Ste. Marie and driving in Northern Ontario is different than Southern Ontario. More snow, more wind, and colder temperatures, blend for dangerous driving conditions. Plan ahead. Always make sure you have plenty of gas, windshield fluid, and other necessary winter road trip essentials .

Driving Time from Toronto – 7 hours Suggested days – 3 days

Looking for history, festivals, and fun? Then plan a road trip to Kingston this winter. Known as the Limestone City, Kingston has so much to offer to those looking for things to do in Ontario in the winter.

There’s something for everyone’s interests, whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures or fun family-friendly activities.

What should you do in Kingston during your winter road trip? There is a range of events and fairs throughout winter in Kingston, from holiday markets to FebFest.

You can also grab a pair of skates and head to Market Square for a skate. Or, if you’re looking for fun indoor winter things to do there’s are a couple awesome escape rooms and the theatre. In addition, the city is full of cozy cafes.

Driving Time from Toronto – 2.5 hours Suggested days – 3 days

Best Road Trips in Ontario in the Fall

Walker's Point Lookout

The region of Muskoka is one of the best Ontario road trip destinations in the fall. Full of tree lined winding back roads, there are countless ways to enjoy fall in Muskoka .

Along with scenic drives, some of the best fall activities include hitting the trails. Some of the best fall hikes in Muskoka include Arrowhead Provincial Park and Hardy Lake Provincial Park .

Another top thing to do is enjoy one of the fall colour boat tours in Muskoka. Taking you out on one of the beautiful lakes, each offers unique views and interesting history.

Muskoka boast a wealth of stunning scenery! One fantastic way to experience the fall colours is to add one of the many Muskoka lookouts to your road trip itinerary.

You can choose to base yourself in one of the many small towns in Muskoka or stay a night or two in each. If you’re planning to visit more of central Muskoka, I recommend staying in Bracebridge. There is a ton of things to do in Bracebridge . Plus, it’s close to many of the other attractions in the area.

If you plan to visit more of northern Muskoka and Algonquin, I suggest basing yourself in Huntsville.

Road Trip Tip : If you’re planning to rent a cottage consider buying your food from local farmers’ markets and shops instead of bringing it from the city. Not only will you help support the businesses and local farmers that rely on the short summer season but the food will be fresher and tastier! And here’s an epic itinerary for a great Toronto to Muskoka road trip .

Driving time from Toronto – 2 hours Suggested days – 2-3 days

Haliburton Sculpture Forest

I’ve been travelling to the Haliburton Highlands for my entire life. And even after over 40 years, I think the Haliburton area makes for one of the best road trips in Ontario!

The area is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Some of the top things to do in the Haliburton Highlands include hiking, boating and skiing.

Haliburton is a dreamy destination in the fall.  One of the best places to soak in the fall colours is Sculpture Forest. The park is home to interesting sculptures and pieces of art that line its winding trails.

Another fun place to visit is Haliburton Forest. This massive recreation site is home to a wealth of attractions. There are hiking trails, Treetop Trekking, and more.

It’s also home to the Wolf Centre where you can learn all about wildlife in the area. Plus, the museum houses a pack of wolves that you can watch through one way glass.

The village of Haliburton is a great place to explore too. There are a number of art galleries, shops, and plenty of great restaurants.

Road Trip Tip: Head to Skyline Park for sweeping views of downtown Haliburton. It’s an especially special view in the fall.

Driving time from Toronto – 2.5 hours Suggested days – 2-3 days

Fall Drive in Caledon Ontario

One of the best Ontario road trips to take in the fall is around Caledon! The region is home to some of the top scenic drives from Toronto. They feature tree lined twisting roads full of brilliant fall foliage.

Filled with incredible parks, hiking is one of the top things to do in Caledon . The most popular park in the area is Forks of the Credit Provincial Park. Along with trails, the park features a waterfall.

The Caledon Trailway stretches through the region too. This stretch of old railway turned trail is perfect for a fall cycle or hike.

In the fall, it’s all about the bounty of the harvest season. There are a number of amazing farms in Caledon that are a must-visit. Visiting these farms are one of the top things to do in the fall !

Places like Downey’s Farm and Davis Family Farm are great for families. Activities on the farm include pick your own pumpkin, corn mazes, and more.

Caledon is also home to one of the best scenic drives in Ontario. Forks of the Credit Scenic Road offers an amazing fall drive. The road is lined with trees and full of twists.

Doube’s Trestle Bridge in the fall

Kawartha Lakes

Another great destination for an awesome fall road trip in Ontario is Kawartha Lakes. Much like Muskoka, this cottage country region is full of small towns and stunning scenery.

Two lovely towns to explore are Bobcagon and Lindsay. Bobcagon has an adorable downtown with shops to browse and restaurants to dine at. You’ll find the same in Lindsay and more.

The Kawartha Lakes is one of the best places to see fall colours in Ontario ! Along with scenic drives, the area is full of fantastic parks.

Balsam Lake Provincial Park and Ken Reid Conservation Area are both must-visit parks in the fall! Another hidden gem is Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Park. This park is one of the least disturbed in central Ontario.

My favourite spot to go in the fall in Kawartha is Doube’s Trestle Bridge! Spanning over 650 feet long and standing nearly 100 feet above the valley, it offers epic fall views.

cycling the Ottawa Valley Rail Trail in the fall

Lanark County

One of the best road trips in Ontario is to Lanark County. This area, west of Ottawa, is full of small towns and parks to explore.

The town of Almonte is one of the most popular towns in the area. You’ll find a waterfall right downtown as well as plenty of unique and vintage shops to browse. Almonte is full of great places to eat, like Sterling and North Market.

I recommend planning a weekend road trip in the fall to Lanark County! Along with scenic drives, the parks are home to some brilliant fall colours.

Two great parks in the county to add to your road trip itinerary are Silver Lake and Murphy’s Point Provincial Parks. Another gem is Mill of Kintail Conservation Area.

Perth is another top destination in the area. Full of historic stone buildings and a river running through it, it gives dreamy European vibes.

Some of my favourite things to do in Perth are centered around its downtown. It’s full of interesting shops, including plenty of antique stores, as well as cute cafes.

Be sure to pop into Code’s Mill for one of the best chocolate shops in Ontario. Plus, this historic mill is home to a restaurant, boutique, and donut shop.

One of the hidden gems of the area is Carleton Place. You’ll find a surprising number of things to do in Carleton Place .

Downtown is lined with unique boutiques, coffee shops, and fabulous food stops. There’s something for everyone in Carleton Place. You’ll find a museum, art gallery, and street art.

Road Trip Tip: I recommend basing yourself in Carleton Place for a Lanark County road trip. It has budget-friendly accommodations. Plus, many of the towns and areas of interest in the county are within 30 minutes.

Driving time from Toronto – 3.5 hours Suggested days – 3 days

More Ideas for Amazing Ontario Road Trips

North Bay waterfront

Another one of the best cities in Ontario to road trip to is North Bay. This may surprise you if you haven’t explored the city, but it’s such a gem!

The city’s downtown is home to a long list of historic buildings, fun shops and great restaurants. You’ll also find an array of street art and a museum.

If you’re visiting in the summer, one of the best things to do in North Bay is to take a Lake Nipissing cruise. Learn about the history of the area and see the stunning islands on this massive lake.

I also recommend strolling the waterfront. It features a scenic trail along the water, gardens, and sweet views.

North Bay is an ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts. There’s a massive waterfall just west of downtown, Duchesnay Falls. Plus, there are a bunch of fantastic parks to hike.

My favourite park in the city is Laurier Woods Conservation Area. With boardwalk trails and scenic views, you’ll feel a world away. Plus, in the summer it’s full of lady slipper orchids!

Road Trip Tip: On your way to North Bay, add a stop at Crystal Caves. This incredible shop is one of the many Ontario hidden gems that’s a must-see!

Driving time from Toronto – Suggested days – 3 days

cider tasting at Archibald Orchards & Estate Winery

Country Path

For those looking for fun Ontario staycation ideas I recommend taking a Country Path road trip. This charming road trip takes you to some of the best places to visit in Clarington .

A Country Path is perfect for a mini staycation. This planned route includes a variety of local businesses. Plus, there’s a warm and inviting Inn to stay at that’s close to all the stops.

This road trip is great to take throughout the year. During the holiday season, you’ll find plenty of festive places to do some shopping for gifts. In the summer, you’ll find farm fresh produce and long days for exploring.

My favourite time to do it is in the fall. In the fall, you’ll get to experience the harvest season and scenic country roads. A top stop in the fall is Knox’s Pumpkin Farm. Explore the grounds, feed the animals, and pick a pumpkin.

South Georgian Bay

Another awesome Ontario road trip destination is Southern Georgian Bay. A great place to base yourself in is Collingwood. From here you can explore all of the adorable small towns that dot the bay.

For outdoor buffs, you can also dive for shipwrecks, take on one of the many hiking trails in the area, or enjoy a paddle down the Nottawasaga River. In the winter, the area is popular for skiing, snowboarding and tubbing.

There are plenty of things to do in Collingwood that range from shopping to cycling. There are also a bunch of incredible restaurants too.

For foodies, I highly recommend enjoying the Apple Pie Trail or go strawberry picking. Plus, don’t forget to check out all the farm markets.

driving time from Toronto – 2 hours Suggested days – 2 days

Pickering Village Museum

A surprising road trip destination is Pickering. Beyond being a commuter town, there’s so much more to this Durham Region gem!

Whether you’re into exploring the great outdoors or local history, you’ll find a wealth of things to do in Pickering.

One of the top attractions is the Pickering Museum Village. The museum is home to a living history village. It’s a great place for families or history buffs. They offer a range of tours and fun events throughout the year, from ghost walks to escape rooms.

Where Pickering meets Lake Ontario you’ll find a neighbourhood reminiscent of beach towns, Nautical Village. This adorable area is home to a marina and a beach.

Nautical Village lakefront is perfect for summer sun or a stroll on part of the Waterfront Trail. It’s also where you’ll find a bunch of great shops, cafes and restaurants to either grab takeaway for a picnic or to eat on one of the amazing patios.

Pickering is home to a wealth of great places to hike. There’s a range of parks to choose from. On the western border of Pickering you’ll also find, Rouge National Urban Park .

As one of North America’s largest parks, the Rouge is home to a variety of habitats, from forest to wetlands as well as farmers’ fields. And you’ll find one of the best boardwalks in Ontario here!

Driving Time from Toronto – 1 hour Suggested days – 2 days

camping in Awenda Provincial Park

Ontario is home to some incredible places to camp and many of these parks make for the perfect road trip!

If you’re looking for a few great parks that are ideal for camping and home to beautiful lakes then I have you covered! My favourite place to camp is Awenda Provincial Park . The campsites offer shade and privacy. Plus, there’s plenty of things to do in the park and area.

Grundy Lake Provincial Park is a popular camping destination thanks to its lovely lakes and scenic trails. In addition, the park is easy to access as it’s right off the Trans Canada Highway, just north of Parry Sound.

Another is Silent Lake Provincial Park. It’s home to over 19 km of trails, camping and in one of the most beautiful areas of the Kawartha’s.

driving times vary

Group of Seven

If you’re an art lover or nature addict you’ll love a road trip across Ontario to all of the Group of Seven locations . You can road trip from Toronto to Algoma Country and find scenic places that inspired their art work.

Group of Seven chose some of the most beautiful natural scenery in Ontario paint, like Killarney Provincial Park and Algonquin Park .

Some top Group of Seven destinations worth road tripping to include; Huntsville , Lake Superior, Sudbury, and Kleinberg.

Note : Drive times are noted from Toronto by highways for all road trips. But I highly recommend that all great road trips are made infinitely better when you opt for the back roads. It may take a bit longer to get to your final destination but imagine the hidden gems you’ll find!

Looking for fun and quirky places to stay along your road trip? Try one of these dreamy Airbnbs in Ontario that is worth road-tripping for!

Are you looking for more of the best road trips in Canada?

8 Best Quebec Road Trips for a Bon Voyage

British Columbia Road Trip Guide: 4 BC Road Trip Itineraries

where to take a road trip in Ontario

Books to Help You Plan Your Next Road Trip in Ontario

Are you looking for more information to help plan your next Ontario road trip? There are a host of great books that will inspire you to dig deeper into Ontario. But I’ve done the work for you! Here are a few books to check out.

Backroads of Ontario  – where you’ll discover incredible places and hidden gems that you’ll find on the backroads of Ontario. Including a few of these small towns as well as the scenic drives to take to get you there.

Top 160 Unusual Things to See in Ontario  – if you’re on the hunt for more interesting places to visit and things to see during your Ontario travels then this is a fun book to pick up.

Discover Ontario  – in this book you’ll read about stories from the people and places that make up Ontario. There’s everything from unusual places to interesting people and the book shares their history and more.

Ultimate Bucket List of Ontario Road Trips

Niagara Falls Muskoka Stratford Thunder Bay Manitoulin Island Lake Superior Thousand Islands National Park Pelee Island Ottawa Ontario’s West Coast Kingston Prince Edward County

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Ontario Road Trips

Tags: Canada Ontario

I'm a Canadian gal with a passion for travel, the great outdoors as well as coffee and books. I hope to inspire others to feel the same way! Traveling mostly solo, I love to explore my own backyard of Ontario as well as exotic cities around the world.

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Ultimate Ontario

7 Breathtaking Drives in Ontario: Ontario Road Trips That You’ll Love

Ontario is a province best experienced on the road. Discover the best drives in Ontario from the far north to the deep south.

Beautiful Ontario Drives

Ontario is blessed with some of the most gorgeous drives in Canada. I have driven through Ontario from top to bottom on countless occasions. And I’m constantly left in awe over just how incredible some of the most beautiful drives in Ontario are.

The landscape in this province ranges from the dramatic rockiness of the Canadian Shield to the sparkling lakes of the Muskoka region, and even sub-tropical fern-filled landscapes in the region of Windsor-Essex .

The most spectacular Ontario drives don’t just pass through romantic regions such as Niagara-on-the-Lake. Some of these Ontario road trips passed through seldom-seen landscapes in Northern Ontario.

But no matter where you live or are visiting in Ontario, you’ll find some of the best drives in Ontario nearby. So fill up the gas tank and pack your snacks. Because these are the most beautiful drives in Ontario.

Incredible Scenic Drives In Ontario

Ontario is vast and beautiful. And with over 650,000 kilometres of roadway snaking through the province, you’ll find it all.

Whether you’re pairing your drive with some of the province’s incredible wineries or looking to get physical on the province’s most beautiful hikes , here are some of the best drives in Ontario.

I know that I won’t be able to get everyone’s favourite Ontario drives into this article, so if I missed one, drop a comment below to tell us your favourite Ontario road trip. Or, swing by the Ultimate Ontario Facebook community and share a photo of your trip. The Ultimate Ontario community is awesome and we would love to hear your ideas.

From Waterfalls To Vineyards On The Niagara Parkway From Niagara Falls To Niagara-On-The-Lake

Ontario Road Trips Niagara Parkway

The Niagara Parkway has everything you want for an Ontario road trip. This drive isn’t a long one. But what it lacks in distance, it makes up for with a combination of history, flavours, and incredible views.

The Niagara Parkway can be done in about 30-minutes. But that’s only if you want to do the drive itself. If you want to really experience one of the best Ontario drives, you’ll want to give yourself between 2-4 hours, plus anything that you want to do in Niagara Falls.

Along the Niagara the Niagara Parkway you’ll experience historic sites such as the monument to Isaac Brock and the historic homestead of Canadian hero Laura Secord .

You’ll also encounter some of the most incredible scenery in the province. This, of course, starts with the legendary Niagara Falls. But as you continue on this road trip through southern Ontario you’ll also take in some of the most beautiful views of the Niagara River.

If you’d like to take a tour while you’re in Niagara Falls, we’d highly recommend booking this helicopter tour while you’re there. But if you prefer staying closer to sea level, booking this jet boat tour is an excellent way to see the beauty of the Niagara River from the water.

As the Niagara Parkway makes its way closer to Niagara-on-the-Lake, the escarpment views change from towering cliff faces to the agricultural beauty of Niagara wine country. Along the way, you can stop for some tasty bites at one of the many roadside produce stands.

Distance: 24.1 km

Driving Time : 20 minutes

Recommended Time: 2-4 hours

Experience Ontario’s Rich History Along The Loyalist Highway And Highway 2 From Picton To Kingston

fun trips in ontario

Another one of Ontario’s most beautiful drives is the Loyalist Parkway that stretches the shores of Lake Ontario. This gorgeous Lake Ontario road trip begins in the quaint Prince Edward County town of Picton.

After winding through northern Prince Edward County cheese country, road trippers will take a scenic trip on the Glenora Ferry across Lake Ontario waters before continuing along the Loyalist Parkway towards Kingston.

Along the mainland shores, you’ll experience some of Ontario’s most historic towns. Some towns, like Bath, Ontario, were settled by the United Empire Loyalists as far back as 1784. Make sure you stop at The Lodge Coffee House in Bath . Along with the blue waters of Lake Ontario, you’ll find majestic colonial homes, small-town diners, and some of the most gorgeous properties in the province.

As the drive pulls through the historic city of Kingston, you’ll find an incredible selection of restaurants. There’s everything from great local pubs to high-end fare. If you’re thinking of breaking up your Loyalist Parkway/HWY2 Ontario drive into two days, Kingston also offers a wonderful place to stop for the night.

You can also combine your visit to Kingston with incredible sites such as historic Fort Henry, the Kingston Penitentiary, and Kingston’s incredible waterfront.

Distance: 87.1 km

Driving Time: 60 minutes

Recommended Time: 3-5 hours

Wildlife And Landscapes On The Highway 60 Corridor Through Algonquin Park

fun trips in ontario

There are few more iconic natural areas in Ontario than Algonquin Park. Algonquin is one of Canada’s most famous landmarks, with people from all over the world travelling to this gorgeous area near Huntsville.

The HWY 60 corridor, which passes through southern Algonquin Park could make it one of the best Ontario drives on scenery alone. But add easy access to Ontario’s most incredible natural playground, and the high likelihood of seeing local wildlife to the list, and this becomes one of the best drives in the country.

The HWY 60 corridor drive is a straight shot from the East Gate to the West Gate. But your drive can easily be extended by combining it with camping, beaches, museums, and more. A stop at the Algonquin Park Visitors Centre at kilometer 43 is a must.

Make sure to include some dips into the park roads to maximize your HWY 60 road trip. Some of the most beautiful sections lie within the dirt roads of Algonquin Park.

Along the way you may see moose, black bear, deer, bald eagles, beavers, and much more.

Distance: 56.5 km

Driving Time: 40 minutes

Recommended Time: 3-4 hours

Alternatively, if you’d like someone else to drive, and take a day tour from Toronto to Algonquin Park, booking this tour is a great idea!

Blue Waters And Towering Cliffs Of The Lake Superior Circle Tour

fun trips in ontario

One of the most epic and scenic drives in Ontario is the route around the world’s largest freshwater Lake (by area), the aptly named Lake Superior.

The Lake Superior Circle Tour stretches for an incredible 2,092 kilometres. It’s far and away from the longest of the drives in Ontario on our list. However, it’s also a bit of a cheat. You see, part of the Lake Superior Circle Tour dips into the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan in the United States.

Don’t have a passport? No problem! It’s just as easy to circle back near the border and look for new and unique Lake Superior scenery on the way back. This route is still an epic 767 km one-way journey and is perfect for those RVing in Ontario.

With all of this road to travel, a drive along the Lake Superior Circle will have dramatic landscape changes happening before your eyes. You’ll pass lighthouses, waterfalls, sparkling lakes, and towering cliffs. And all of these will be dotted with some of the routes’ most fascinating historical markers. These include the magnificent Agawa Rock indigenous pictographs .

One of the things that make the Lake Superior Circle one of the best Ontario drives is that it can be as active, or relaxed as you would like. The drive itself is beautiful enough that you can sit back and enjoy the views. But you can also take part in incredible activities such as some of Ontario’s best hiking , biking, climbing, kayaking, and canoeing.

No matter how you tackle the Lake Superior Circle, you’ll soon realize why this greatest of lakes holds such an important place in the history and culture of Ontario.

Distance: 2,092 kilometres

Driving Time: 24 hours

Recommended Time: 5-7 days

Fishing Towns And Ferries of the Georgian Bay Coastal Route

fun trips in ontario

The Georgian Bay Coastal Route is another big undertaking among the best drives in Ontario. This 1,350-kilometre route explores some of the most beautiful and accessible areas of the Great Lakes shoreline in the province.

What makes the Georgian Bay coastal route such a magical journey isn’t just the views and landscapes, and the azure waters of the Georgian Bay shores, but also the serene pace of driving through some of Ontario’s most idyllic small towns.

Georgian Bay is contained within the southeastern section of Lake Huron. And the coastal route winds through some of the Ontario heartland’s most important regions including Manitoulin Island , Sudbury, Killarney, and the Bruce Peninsula.

As you travel the Georgian Bay coastal route watch out for incredible Ontario lighthouses such as Big Tub Lighthouse in Tobermory and Kagawong Lighthouse on Manitoulin Island.

You’ll also get the chance to feel the sand between your toes at some of the best beaches in Ontario. And for those looking to take a dip, you can jump in the mystical waters of Bruce Peninsula Provincial Park’s Blue Grotto .

Distance: 1,350-kilometre

Driving Time: 10 hours

Recommended Time: 3-4 days

Visit Canada’s Southernmost Point On The Niagara Falls To Pelee Island Drive

fun trips in ontario

For one of the most beautiful drives in southern Ontario, you’ll want to make sure you have an Ontario Provincial Park pass . You’ll be passing through some of the province’s most gorgeous agricultural country as you drive along the shores of Lake Erie from Niagara Falls to Pelee Island.

Along this Lake Erie coastal trail, you’ll pass some of southern Ontario’s most beautiful parks including Turkey Point, Long Point National Wildlife Area, Rondeau Park, Hillman Marsh, and, of course, the southernmost point in Canada at the tip of Point Pelee National Park .

It’s not just nature that you’ll experience on this most southern of the Ontario drives. You’ll also roll through some of the most picture-perfect towns in the province such as Port Stanley and Leamington.

Make sure you have an appetite as well because along this Ontario drive you’ll find loads of roadside food stands, produce markets, and plenty of small, locally run restaurants serving the region’s signature perch platters.

While you could continue your drive down to the border town of Windsor, Ontario to explore some of its incredible neighbourhoods such as the Ford City neighbourhood , I recommend topping it off with a ferry ride to Pelee Island, the province’s most southern wine region.

Distance: 414 kilometres

Driving Time: 6 hours 30 minutes

Recommended Time: 12 hours across two days

Hop Between Idyllic Islands On The Long Sault Parkway

fun trips in ontario

The Long Sault Parkway, which skirts from island to island between the towns of Ingleside and Long Sault isn’t just one of the best drives in Ontario, it’s also one of the province’s most unique places .

This Instagram-worthy drive hops across 12 different islands in the St. Lawrence River. You can experience some of the provinces best camping on the Parks of the St. Lawrence sites. And treat yourself to some delicious small-town cooking in both Ingleside and Long Sault along the way. I highly recommend the pizza at Water View in Long Sault.

The Long Sault Parkway isn’t a long trip, but there are plenty of places to picnic along the way. It’s also a popular place for SCUBA divers exploring some of the shipwrecks in the St. Lawrence River.

Make sure you stay for some of the island chain’s legendary sunsets as well. And if you’re visiting during Canada Day, be prepared for one of the best small-town fireworks presentations in the province!

Distance: 11.6 kilometres

Driving Time: 22 minutes

Recommended Time: 2 hours

Now It’s Time to Experience These Unique Places in Ontario For Yourself!

There are countless unique places that can be found throughout Ontario. While they vary in landscape, people, and experiences, they all hold the opportunity for a truly fascinating getaway. No matter which region of Ontario you’re looking for, there’s always something awesome waiting for you.

Many of these businesses and restaurants are anxious for visitors after a tough year. So let’s support local and make the most of your Ontario glamping experience.

Do you have a favourite attraction or restaurant in Ontario? Head over to the  Ultimate Ontario Facebook Community  and join the conversation! You’ll find an amazing group of people passionate about Ontario and who love to share their local secrets.

Kevin Wagar Ultimate Ontario founder

Kevin Wagar is a founder and editor of Ultimate Ontario. He has been working in the travel media industry since 2015 when he founded his family travel website Wandering Wagars – Adventure Family Travel . Over the years Kevin has developed a deep love for his home province of Ontario and aims to showcase the incredible experiences and amazing small businesses found within it.

Monday 12th of July 2021

Like the articles, and maybe I’m missing it but you should see if you can key word search some of the subject lines. Or even if you were to # the town name people could search based on key words. I’m headed out to Torrance later on this month for a week, I knew about the dark sky reserve but was curious to know if you had any other areas of interest close by to Torrence you could recommend for some day trips, hikes or anything out that way. Travelling with my wife for her bday at the end of the month. Great Blog…signed up for the news letter

Kevin Wagar

Thursday 15th of July 2021

Hi Jeff, Thanks for the tips. We'll look into that. If you're heading out to Torrance Barrens, swing by nearby Hardy Lake Provincial Park. This non-operating park has some incredible trails to explore. And, of course, you're not too far from Gravenhurst which has some fantastic Georgian Bay boat tours.

Carol Puttock

Monday 14th of June 2021

Great suggestions! Beyond taking Hwy 60 through The Park, do you have any circular day trip route suggestions around the Haliburton/Muskoka area? We like to do convertible runs with a lunch stop with friends!

Tuesday 15th of June 2021

You could always do the Huntsville - Pembroke - North Bay - Huntsville Loop. It's about a 6.5-hour journey that takes you completely around Algonquin Park.

A shorter, but also very beautiful route would be to go Huntsville - Whitney - Bancroft - Huntsville, which is a 4.5-hour loop and has a very different feel to it.

Lyle Michener

Thursday 8th of April 2021

Outstanding and tantalizing possibilities for travelling throughout our beautiful province. With my wife who passed away in August of 2020, I have travelled many of these routes and plan to explore these again in the very near future. Your descriptions have offered new experiences to be enjoyed. Thank you so much for this wonderful service

Hello Lyle, our deepest condolences on the passing of your wife. Thank you so much for the kind words. We're thrilled to hear of your upcoming adventures. Safe and happy travels.

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Road Trip Ontario

Spring In Ontario | 16 Activities to Have a Blooming Time

spring in ontario

Spring in Ontario brings the beginning of nature’s wake from its hibernation and becomes alive with activity, much different from the snow-capped fun of  Ontario winter activities . With the busy bees and brooks babbling surrounded by bouquets of bolstering buds, the spring season in Canada is a fantastic festival of natural wonders. 

From the fun-filled festivals to the humble splendours of a weekend away in the wild, an Ontario spring brings the goods to create remarkable memories. 

Wondering how to discover the splendid pearls of springtime fun in the vast sea of spring activities in Ontario? We’ll unearth some of the top excursions in this Canadian season of joy to ensure you have an incredible getaway.

When Does Spring in Ontario Start?

With plenty of spring showers and growing greenery to look forward to, this season of new beginnings starts around late March and till late June. 

The weather in Ontario can be pretty fickle, which can fluctuate between mild and cold weather throughout the season. The silver lining is that there are plenty of events to get lost in during the season, which will prompt you out of your cozy bed on rainy days to explore.

Note:  Take a look at the weather in Ontario, Canada, beforehand, as the  ever-changing spring weather pattern  might put a damper on your plans if you don’t plan accordingly.

springtime in canada

Things to Do in Spring – Ontario Sights & Attractions

Get ready to jump into the springtime stream of possibilities, as Ontario’s best activities and attractions will have you dive into this season swimmingly. Take a look at what you should add to your itinerary to make the most out of this joyful season:

1. Enjoy the Easter Celebration 

Easter in Ontario is a festive holiday with themed events, from egg hunts to endless parades of egg-laden events. Whether hunting for a family-fun adventure or just looking for a hopping time, you’re in for a treat.

Make your way to Milton in Southern Ontario to participate in Canada’s largest Easter egg hunt, which has a 23-acre hunting ground to search for these colourful treasures. By teaming up with family or friends, you’ll ensure you’ll have an eggcellent time at this spring event.

After filling your baskets, you can head to various food vendors on the property to celebrate your victories or losses in style.

If you want to get into the Easter spirit, you can travel to Toronto to watch the Toronto Beaches Lions Easter Parade in full throttle.  After a slight absence , this spectacular float-filled event is back and better than ever, with a wide variety of floats to enjoy.

Known as the biggest Easter parade in North America, you’ll be able to delve into the festive spirit along Queen Street. A pinnacle of the community since 1967, you’ll have a blast waving at the various organizations and floats as they walk and ride by.

ontario spring

2. Go to the Various Flower Festivals in Ontario

While embarking on some spring activities in Ontario, one thing is sure — this province knows how to celebrate the unfurling wonders of flowers in the season. 

With a stunning selection of flower festivals to choose from, budding botanists and flower enthusiasts will experience the true meaning of flora frenzy. Here are a few blossoming events to dive into during spring:

  • Canadian Tulip Festival  – An opulent occasion in the Commissioners Park in Ottawa, this event has been a staple of celebrating Canada’s historic liberation from the Netherlands. As the days get brighter and warmer in May, the Canadian Tulip Festival blooms in full glory, with hundreds of thousands of tulips providing a picturesque backdrop of vibrant colours and inviting aromas. With tulip night shows and fireworks displays, you’re in for an illuminating experience. Painters and photographers flock to the area to immortalize the beauty of this annual marvel.
  • Peony Festival  – An ode to this pillowy plant, this occurrence in mid-June takes place in the Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens.
  • Warkworth Lilac Festival  – A celebration with a charming edge, this festival has a stunning array of lilacs to discover and explore for May. This is an excellent opportunity to craft a handmade bouquet for Mother’s Day to ensure you have the perfect gift.

spring ontario

3. Take a Trip to Flowerpot Island

What better way to commemorate the spring flower theme than by travelling to the wondrous nature setting of Flowerpot Island? This idyllic space forms part of the Fathom Five National Marine Park and has abundant hiking trails and camping facilities, perfect for a spring adventure.

The island is named after the unique rock formations peppered on the island that resemble flower pots. You can book a tour boat to this space to access the island when weather conditions are safe. 

This island is a must for nature lovers, from snorkelling through the aquamarine waters to watching the sky become bespeckled with stars when you camp. It is also the perfect activity to add to your  weekend getaway  plans. 

when does spring start in ontario

4. Dust Off The Canoe/Kayak Snd Head To Algonquin + Arrowhead

Algonquin Provincial Park is a stunning wilderness destination during spring, where you can canoe and kayak on the numerous lakes, hike the rocky ridges and forested trails, and listen to the captivating call of the loon.

The diversity of wildlife, including moose, beavers, bears, wolves, 30 varieties of reptiles, amphibians, and many birds, will blow you away. The Mizzy Lake Trail offers an incredibly excellent opportunity for wildlife viewing.

If you plan to hang out in Huntsville , visit Arrowhead Provincial Park, where you’ll find the highly photographed Big Bend Lookout.

huntsville attractions - arrowhead provincial park

5. Victoria Day & Cottage Country

The Victoria Day weekend marks the unofficial beginning of summer, largely because we’ve grown tired of waiting –– but it’s technically still spring!

Some of our favourite places to visit if you’re in Southern Ontario are Muskoka , Prince Edward County , Niagara and everywhere in between. You’re guaranteed a wonderful time with plenty of hiking trails, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, boating, or doing nothing.

6. Enjoy a Sugar Rush at a Maple Fest

As Mid-February and March bring the sweet sensation of the  sugaring season , the sap of maple trees begins to flow once more to produce some sweet treats. As the maple season only lasts a few months, this is a fantastic opportunity to peer into the beautiful world of the maple syrup-making process.

Make your way to the Proulx Farm in Cumberland to dive into the beautiful sugary activities of the Maple Fest. From horse-drawn carriage adventures to the array of maple-infused creations (such as maple syrup pie and taffy).

Tip:  Looking to take a slice of the fun home? Be sure to visit the gift shop to purchase the ultimate candied souvenir to commemorate your syrupy adventure.

canadian seasons

7. Take Instagram Worthy Pictures Of Cherry Blossoms

As the days get warmer, the first surefire sign of spring is when the cherry blossoms appear all over Ontario, bringing some colour back from the grey winter. Although High Park in Toronto is widely known and the most popular, there are plenty of other places to enjoy their beauty.

Depending on the weather, it typically takes place in mid to late April, but it only lasts about three weeks after the first blossoms.

spring in ontario

8. Tee Up On An Ontario Golf Course

Ontario has many excellent golf courses. After a long winter, Spring brings warmer temperatures and longer days. The best time to play golf is during these warm months. If you want to enjoy some fresh air while playing golf, there are several opportunities in Ontario. 

  • Glen Abbey Golf Club – Located in Oakville and designed by legendary gol­fer Jack Nicklaus, the Glen Abbey Golf Course has hosted the RBC Cana­dian Open, a PGA Tournament, and Canada’s National Open Championships 28 times. The property is also the home to the Academies, the headquarters of GolfCanada, the Canadian Golf Museum, and the TaylorMadePerformanceLab.
  • Forest City National Golf Course – Forest City National offers 18 holes of golf, an extensive driving range, and putting greens for you and your family to enjoy.
  • Royal Ottawa Golf Club – The Royal Ottawa is one of the oldest golf clubs outside Britain, founded in the spring of 1891. The first nine-holer was built on 50 acres of land donated to the club by Charles Maguire, a real estate developer, on the banks of Lake Ontario, just west of the former Rideau Rifle Range.

spring in ontario

9. Pick Your Own Greenery at a Flower Farm

With flowers crammed in every nook and cranny in Ontario during spring, you can bring the season of thriving flora home with you after a flower-picking excursion. This magical province has an abundance of farms to choose from to obtain the bouquet of your dreams. Here are a few to explore to step up your flower-arranging game:

  • Thames River Melons – If you love   picking your own apples  or   picking your own pumpkins , then Thames River Melons is the place for you! Visiting Thames River Farm is an excellent way to experience the unique charm of Woodstock . Here, you can pick your delicious fruits and vegetables with various options.
  • Windecker Woods Flower Farm  – With a kaleidoscope of colourful flowers, you can snip and clip your way to the springtime flower bunch of your dreams.
  • Garden Party Flower Farm  – A stunning 2-acre farm in St. Agatha, this picking adventure is the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in nature (and take a piece home with you!).
  • Makkink’s Flower Farm  – A picturesque space embellished with farm events throughout the year, this flower-picking experience is a must. You can expect to harvest some peonies and dahlias in spring.

spring in ontario

10. Try to Find and Capture Some Fireflies

While they might only be humming around in late June (as spring is nearing its end), this glowing encounter is a sparkling spectacle worth searching for. These bright bugs usually ignite in brilliant bunches in Southern Ontario, making it the ultimate opportunity to embark on a camping expedition with a shining twist.

You can try your luck at Algonquin Provincial Park, embellished with beautiful natural scenery like forests and lakes. If you didn’t find fireflies on your camping trip, you could enjoy abundant adrenaline-fuelled activities on the premises. You’re in for an adventure of a lifetime, from canoeing to various backpacking trails.

11. Early Spring Bird Watching

Head to Ontario’s Southwestern parks this spring, get your binoculars out and be on the lookout for raptors, swans, hummingbirds, majestic birds of prey, and many songbirds.

There’s no better time than now to join birders alike at Point Pelee National Park in early May to take part in the Festival of Birds. As if the 390+ species of birds weren’t enough, you may also have the opportunity to hike wildflower trails, cycle the Centennial Trail, and spot Canada’s largest butterfly- the Giant Swallowtail, known for its residence in Pelee.

12. Taste Test Ontario Wine

Many great wines are made in Ontario, and we’re very thankful for them!

Ontario has thousands of vineyards spread across thousands of acres, making this province the largest producer of wine in Canada. Niagara,  Prince Edward County  and Essex-Peele-Island County are well-known classics. Still, Norfolk County,  Lennox & Addington County  (The County’s Southern part is already part of Prince Edward County’s Wine Region), Georgian Bay, and others produce some fantastic reds & whites. 

springtime in canada

13. Or Taste Test Ontario Beer

Ontario has no shortage of great breweries; we’re also very thankful for them. These days every city and town has a brewery making delicious craft beers. You’ll have to wait till Fall for Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest, the best Beer Party in the province! However, we’ve stumbled upon several faves while road-tripping, and we tend to consider spring an excuse to explore more! 

  • MacKinnon Brothers Brewing Company –  MacKinnon Brothers are located on a 200-year-old family farm, in  Bath, Ontario  and through the generations, it thrived as a farm. The brother decided to add a farm-based brewery by renovating the old barns and planting hops and malting barley in the surrounding fields. 
  • Elora Brewing Company –  The Elora Brewing Company is an award-winning craft brewery, pub, bottle shop, and music venue brewing hundreds of beers, making it the city’s top late-night hot spot. With the gorgeous Elora Gorge in their backyard, popping in for lunch or dinner with a delicious beverage is a must.
  • Baked By Bees –  One place you don’t want to miss is Baked By Bees out in  Burlington . Here you’re going to get to sample some delicious mead-fermented beverages. 
  • Kingston Brewing Company –  The building is an 1800s-era brick and stone, built initially as a telegraph office. You’ll find an extensive collection of beer memorabili­ties that will keep your eyes busy for hours and inspire lots of conversation. Kingston Brewing Co. is Ontario’s oldest brewpub, established in 1986, and offers beers, ciders, and sodas made on the premises. It’s a must on your next  trip out east to Kingston .

when does spring start in ontario

14. Grab The Freshest Produce At An Ontario Farmers Market

The best way to learn about a county or region in Ontario or around the world, for that matter, is to visit a local Farmers Market. Here you will find produce, products and even services unique to a particular part of Ontario. Enjoying the freshest fruits, veggies, meats and fish or top-quality handmade goods is a great way to support the local economy.

One of the most impressive Farmer’s Markets we’ve visited during our travels is  St. Jacob’s Farmers’ Market  in the Waterloo Region.

what is in season ontario

15. Spring Into Romance At 1000 Islands

The Thousand Islands Region, located between Toronto and Ottawa , and 50 minutes from Kingston , provides the perfect getaway for anyone looking to experience the beauty of spring.

Explore the archipelago by boat and travel through the narrow channels of the St Lawrence River to discover the hidden gems of the over 1800 islands. A day cruise lets you enjoy the sights of secluded beaches, quaint family cottages, and luxurious homes on Millionaires’ Row.

If romance is in the air, stop at Boldt Castle to learn the heartbreaking story of George C. Boldt and his wife. After she died before the castle was finalized, the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority completed the task and opened the grounds for exploration.

Important note: Be sure to pack your passport as the castle is on the American side of St. Lawrence.

16. Get The Vehicle Ready For An Ontario Road Trip

We’d be remiss if we didn’t suggest getting an early start on some fantastic Ontario road trips .

No matter the time of year, road trips are a great idea, but they tend to slow down during winter. Though the weather isn’t always ideal, you won’t have as many crowds as in the summer. Start with some day trips , then move to weekend getaways and multi-day road trips .

Please Note: Ensure that attractions and facilities are open since they are more likely to be available during summer.

Be sure to join our newsletter for bi-weekly destination inspiration. We got you covered!

Top Tips for an Opulent Ontario Spring Experience

From ruining your shoes in mud puddles to getting caught in a sudden flash rain session, the unpredictable weather an Ontario spring is known for can be tricky to navigate. Take a look at some top tips to keep your wits about you during this season:

  • Always take a light jacket on your day trips  – While the weather report might call for a rain-free day, you should always carry something warm and waterproof just in case.
  • Keep an eye on road conditions  – In some parts of Ontario, snow and icy conditions persist. If you’re on the road, drive carefully to avoid accidents.
  • Be aware of ticks in long grassed areas  – While strolling along a meadow in spring is a romantic idea, you’ll need to check your body for ticks afterwards to ensure you didn’t capture an unwanted visitor.
  • Check to see what produce is in season –  With spring comes an abundance of in-season Ontario fruit and vegetables. After the cold winter months, you can add some colour to your salad, from greenhouse strawberries to red onions. 
  • Invest in a good pair of walking shoes –  Blisters and frosty toes are so last season. As spring calls for frolicking around in nature’s finest settings, this is the perfect time to purchase a good pair of  water-resistant walking shoes  to take on these trails comfortably. 

Springtime in Canada’s Ontario

While it might be a rainy season, you’ll have a few silver linings in the form of blissful and adrenaline-fuelled adventures. From enjoying the sensory pleasures of flower picking to swaying your hips to the beat at Easter parades, you’ll feel springtime bliss in your body. 

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fun trips in ontario

THE 10 BEST Family & Kid Activities in Ontario

Things to do in ontario with kids.

  • 5.0 of 5 bubbles
  • 4.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 3.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 2.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • Old Toronto
  • Waterfront Communities-The Island
  • Downtown West
  • Good for Kids
  • Budget-friendly
  • Good for Couples
  • Good for Big Groups
  • Good for a Rainy Day
  • Hidden Gems
  • Good for Adrenaline Seekers
  • Honeymoon spot
  • Adventurous
  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

fun trips in ontario

1. Niagara Falls Canada

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2. CN Tower

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3. St. Lawrence Market

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4. Toronto Island Park

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5. Ripley's Aquarium of Canada

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6. Parliament Hill and Buildings

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7. Royal Ontario Museum

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8. Casa Loma

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9. Distillery Historic District

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10. Canadian War Museum

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11. Butterfly Conservatory

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12. Skylon Tower

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13. Journey Behind the Falls

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14. Art Gallery of Ontario

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15. Hockey Hall of Fame

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16. Horseshoe Falls

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17. White Water Walk

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18. Rideau Canal National Historic Site

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19. Niagara SkyWheel

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20. Rogers Centre

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21. Bird Kingdom

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22. Canadian Museum of Nature

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23. High Park

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24. Toronto Zoo

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25. Niagara on the Lake Heritage District

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26. Little Canada

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27. Notre Dame Basilica

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28. Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge

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29. CF Toronto Eaton Centre

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30. Clifton Hill

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fun trips in ontario

Top 5 Kid-Approved Vacations in Ontario That Won't Break the Bank

fun trips in ontario

Have you ever been on a vacation and spent the whole time feeling like you were being fleeced? The world is full of overpriced, overcrowded tourist destinations. Not Northern Ontario . Here you can put worries about being overcharged out of your mind and get on with having fun.

You’ll find you pay a fair price for amazing experiences, just about anywhere you go. So load the kids up and don’t worry about loading up the credit card. Northern Ontario is packed with exciting things to do, at prices that won’t excite your accountant.

A girl hanging upside down in a contraption at Science North.

Science North has a lock on entertaining outings for kids in Ontario’s hard-rock capital of Sudbury . The science centre is the second-largest of its kind in Canada and the most popular attraction in Northern Ontario. Its offerings include an IMAX theatre, a digital planetarium, a hands-on, high-tech fabrication lab, and a butterfly gallery. It’s open every day from 10 am to 4 pm, and you can buy a “Play all day” passport which includes admission to Science North, one planetarium show and one IMAX show (Adults: $35, Youth 13-17 years: $31, Children 3-12 years: $27).

Or visit Science North’s sister museum, Dynamic Earth , to travel seven storeys into the earth for a 1.25-hour guided tour of a mine.

If being above ground and outside is more your thing (and who can blame you?), then consider Halfway Lake Provincial Park . This full-package park is an hour northwest of Sudbury on Highway 144, right on the southern edge of the northern boreal forest proper.

The park has two hiking trails (from 2-15 km), two-day trip canoe routes, two buoyed swimming beaches, and two camping options (backcountry or car camping). Frequent wildlife sightings include bald eagles, moose, and great blue herons.

What makes it extra special for kids is that through July and August, the park offers a Discovery Drop in program, which is basically a staff-led exploration squad for young naturalists.

Rent equipment in Sudbury before you go. The Laurentian University Outdoor Centre will rent canoes, recreational kayaks, paddleboards, tents, and packs. 

Manitoulin Island

A girl and woman jumping across rocks in river with falls in background.

Fun fact: the world’s largest freshwater island is itself home to 108 freshwater lakes. The standard photo op on the island is Bridal Veil Falls, a picturesque, 10-metre cascade that drops into a limestone basin. The trail to the falls starts at Highway 540, and after a short walk to the falls it turns downstream to end where the river reaches Lake Huron’s North Channel at Kagawong—a picturesque town in its own right, dubbed by the locals as Ontario’s Prettiest Village.

In town, the kids will want to stop at Manitoulin Chocolate Works , for reasons that don’t need to be explained. A giant chessboard and cedar tree maze seal the deal for kids becoming Kagawong fans.

Two kilometres east of town, Hide Away Lodge offers sandy shores on a quiet bay with the white La Cloche mountains of Killarney in the distance for scenery.

For the more adventuresome, Gordon’s Park campground at the south end of Lake Manitou offers private wilderness campsites, tipi-tenting, bunkies, hammock camping, and a full calendar of events like wolf howls and night hikes to keep the kids enthralled.

You can never be more than a handful of kilometres from a shoreline of some type while on the island, so stop in at Manitoulin Wind and Wave in Kagawong. They will provide you with a rented canoe or kayak and free advice on where to launch it.

Manitoulin Island Cycling Advocates is the one-stop shop for anyone hoping to find a suitable cycling route, which describes most of the uncrowded and undulating island.

Moose Factory and Cochrane

Kids looking through glass at a polar bear.

Ontario is world famous for its lakes and rivers. But how about its ocean shores? Ontario’s salty tidewater regions don’t get much attention, but there’s one seaside destination with its own historic settlement and modern eco-lodge waiting for you at the end of a comfortable railway trip.

Board the famous Polar Bear Express in Cochrane and sit back and relax as you follow the Abititbi and Moose rivers north to James Bay. Be sure to book the new “family car” for the five-hour trip that ends at Moosonee. From here it’s a freighter-canoe ferry across the Moose River to the island settlement of Moose Factory. The Hudson’s Bay Company post established here in 1673 became the first English-speaking settlement in Ontario, and Centennial Park is now home to 19 th -century buildings from that fur-trading history.

For accommodation, book in at the Cree Village Eco Lodge . Opened in 2000, it has modern rooms and is intimately connected to the community, so will be able to get you on boat rides out the mouth of the Moose River to James Bay, or on fishing and canoeing trips to tour the 460-hectare Moose River Migratory Bird Sanctuary and the Cree Cultural Interpretive Centre .

Or check out Tidewater Provincial Park for camping. It’s a great base for exploring the estuary. Keep your eyes open while boating. You might just spot a seal or beluga whale.

Upon returning to Cochrane by train (it’s the only way out of Moosonee except by sea or floatplane), the Thriftlodge in Cochrane lives up to its name with a hot tub and sauna that might exceed expectations for this budget-friendly hotel.

The must-see stop in Cochrane is the Canadian Polar Bear Habitat , a rescue and research facility with 10 hectares of natural habitat and five resident orphaned bears. The centre is open daily, offers a family rate of $45, has bear experts on hand, and even features a wading pool separated from the bear’s wading pool by a (strong) glass wall. Your kids might be the only ones who can write “swam with polar bears” in their next “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” essay.

Bracebridge

Kids in harness on a net wall.

Did you know Bracebridge , Muskoka, is located smack dab on the 45 th latitude parallel? The fact that it’s halfway between the equator and the North Pole was inspiration enough for an entrepreneur to build a Christmas-themed amusement park just down the Muskoka River. Santa’s Village has been entertaining kids, mostly nice, some naughty, since 1955 and now takes up 25 hectares of wooded Muskoka riverside.

Rudolph leads the reindeer roller coaster, of course, but there are plenty of other rides to choose from, geared mostly for kids aged two to 12. Older kids might like Sportsland with its batting cage, mini putt, climbing wall, go-karts, and bungee trampoline. Or visit the attached Muskoka Zip Lines and Aerial Park with its zip line canopy tour through the Muskoka forest and an aerial adventure tour.

The adjacent Whispering Pines Campground welcomes campers toting tents or towing trailers.

Straight across the road from Santa’s Village is the trailhead for Porcupine Ridge , a truly naughty network of Canadian Shield mountain bike trails, in case anyone isn’t in the Christmas mood and happens to be an expert biker.

Find beefy bike rentals in town at Liv Outside Gear and Adventures . Live Outside will also rent you canoes and kayaks for nearby punts on the Muskoka River downstream of downtown’s scenic waterfall. Choose from over 40 flavours of Kawartha Dairy ice cream and other sweets at Momma Bear's .  

And if you need to sit back and relax after all that fun, hop on the 30-metre Lady Muskoka tour boat for a glimpse of the grand Lake Muskoka. Hour-long trips that stay on the Muskoka River are available, but for a proper outing take the 2.75-hour tour that takes in the lake proper, including a cruise past the stately cottages on Millionaire’s Row (Adults: $39, Teens: $25, Children: $17).

The Hudson Bay Company gets a lot of lip service for its role in the fur trade and the post-contact history of what would become Canada. But for much of its history, the HBC was not much more than a few bean counters cloistered in frozen forts around Hudson Bay. The richer, livelier history of the fur trade derived from the voyageurs of the North West Company who, denied interior access via Hudson Bay, had to travel inland from Montreal by canoe.

Woman looking at hanging birch bark canoes in a storage building.

Thunder Bay became the inland headquarters. Except back then it was called Fort William, and part of it still is. The 100-hectare Fort William Historical Park , just west of town on the Kaministiquia River, is home to dozens of historical buildings and 15,000 objects like birch bark canoes and tools that harken back to the mid-1800s.

Back in town, get a sense of what it would have been like for voyageurs plying Lake Superior in a canot du nord by taking an evening, two-hour Big Voy Harbour Paddle with Such A Nice Day Adventures . The 10-metre canoes are a perfect way for families (up to 14 people) to get out on the water together and see the “Lakehead” from the lake ($25 per person).

View of waterfalls from top of falls.

Half an hour’s drive west of Thunder Bay you’ll find the “Niagara of the North” where the Kaministiquia River flows over the stunning Kakabeka Falls. The encompassing Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park has a viewing boardwalk that wraps around the top of the gorge and 40-m waterfalls (second-highest in Ontario). The main attraction here is the falls, but there’s also a swimming area, a 4-km hiking trail, and two campgrounds.

After you’ve feasted your eyes on the falls, enjoy a feast of another sort at The Eddy restaurant. This gastro pub is just 2 km east of the falls (4744 Trans-Canada Highway) and serves the kind of satisfying comfort food that the whole family can enjoy.

Smart planning with fun-filled, budget destinations is a better approach than just throwing money at overpriced destinations. Because if your kids don’t like your vacation, that’s when you’re really going to pay for it.

fun trips in ontario

PLAN YOUR TRIP NOW

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After studying journalism at King’s College in Halifax, Ian Merringer started a freelance journalism career that has included a stint as the editor of Rapid , Canoeroots and Adventure Kayak magazines (now combined to become Paddling magazine). Over the last 20 years, he has written for the Globe and Mail newspaper and Canadian Geographic, Paddling, Ski Canada, Explore, Outdoor Canada and Ontario Nature magazines. He’s won multiple National Magazine Awards and lives in Toronto and has two canoes in his garage and another under his porch.

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fun trips in ontario

Great Wolf Lodge | Niagara Falls Tourism

Greater Toronto Area (GTA)

Niagara region, bruce, grey and simcoe, kawarthas northumberland, haliburton highlands and ottawa valley, muskoka, parry sound and algonquin park, on this page, fun places to stay in ontario for kids.

Many of Ontario’s diverse selection of hotels, motels, resorts and campgrounds welcome families with young children.

However, there are several unique places that put kids first, offering special activities for the little ones and allowing their parents to take a well-deserved break.

These properties feature a variety of family-friendly amenities, programs and entertainment. Your kids will have the opportunity to make new friends, play outdoors, learn about local nature and wildlife and probably won’t want to leave.

From urban hotels to waterside resorts and even some unique overnight zoo experiences, here are some amazing places to stay during your Ontario family vacation that your kids will love.

Chelsea Hotel

Downtown Toronto’s Chelsea Hotel has something for everyone in the family.

The Family Fun Zone features an indoor, heated pool, whirlpool and a corkscrew waterslide that twists and loops outside the building.

Accompany your little ones to The Kids Centre, with lots of activities and games to keep them busy. You’ll want to say hello to the adorable rabbits that live in the Centre. Childcare services are also available so parents can spend time in the adult-only area on the top floor that has a gym, spacious outdoor patio and spectacular views of the city.

Club 33 Teen Lounge is a cool entertainment space for tweens and teens with sports tables, pool arcade games and more.

The market-style eatery has a great selection of grab-and-go options and lots of seating to enjoy a meal together. Be sure to try the delicious honey made exclusively from the Chelsea’s own bee garden.

When it’s time to explore the city, check out the hotel’s promotions such as Show Your Key and Save . Don’t miss visiting nearby Little Canada , where you can see the Little Chelsea Hotel display.

Operates: Year round Location: 33 Gerrard Street West, Toronto

Serengeti Bush Camp at the Toronto Zoo

Families with children aged six and up can enjoy a fun overnight experience at the Toronto Zoo through the Bush Camp Family Nights program. The Bush Camp Jr. Night caters the experience for kids aged two to five.

This memorable tour of the zoo’s African Savanna and African Rainforest Pavilion includes sleeping in tents, evening activities with fellow campers, buffet-style meals and campfire tales over s’mores. You’ll get complimentary parking and an exciting “Zoomobile” ride to and from the camp. Plus, you can explore the rest of the zoo before or after your bush camp.

This fun and interactive experience is available during the Victoria Day weekend in May, the Labour Day weekend in September and select dates in July and August.

Operates: Seasonally Location: 2000 Meadowvale Road, Toronto

Americana Conference Resort Spa & Waterpark

Americana Conference Resort boasts over 2,000 square metres of fun in the “Waves Indoor Waterpark.”

Your kids will love all the water park features like the wave pool, three-storey-high slides, interactive water play structure, giant tipping bucket and kiddie pool. For the ultimate poolside experience, rent a private cabana that includes a flat-screen TV, mini fridge and soft lounge seating with a coffee table.

Book the resort’s Kiddie Suites for your family and unlimited passes to the water park.

Operates: Year round Location: 8444 Lundy's Lane, Niagara Falls

Skyline Hotel & Waterpark

With 16 exciting waterslides, a large wave pool and a 3,500-litre tipping bucket, your kids will have a blast at the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark, which is directly connected to the Skyline Hotel.

The hotel is also close to popular attractions in Niagara Falls such as Adventure City , Hershey’s Chocolate World and Clifton Hill .

Book the “Waterpark Getaway Package” for one-night hotel accommodations and four passes to the water park.

Operates: Year round Location: 4800 Bender Street, Niagara Falls

Great Wolf Lodge

Your stay at Great Wolf Lodge includes unlimited access to the indoor water park, life jackets and towels. Enjoy roomy suite-style rooms, some even include bunk beds!

The kids will love the exciting lineup of daily activities like creative arts projects, fun family games, magic shows, story time and dance parties.

The lodge offers multiple packages like the Wolf Pass if you’re more interested in the resort’s attractions and games and the Pup Pass if your kids want to try everything.

Operates: Year round Location: 3950 Victoria Avenue, Niagara Falls

Fern Resort

From summer and winter vacation to Family Day and March Break, there’s no shortage of exciting things to do at Fern Resort. Kids will be so busy with exciting activities and programs they won’t have time to be bored.

Younger children are safely supervised at Playvillage, where they can enjoy swings, a sandbox, pedal toys and a pirate ship. Fun activities including sports and dance are designed for the older kids.

While the kids are busy, parents can relax and do yoga, go on nature walks and experience wine tasting. There are also more invigorating options such as parasailing and volleyball. Of course, there are plenty of activities for families to do together, such as family photo night, which includes a memorable keepsake of the fun.

In the winter, skating along the 1.5 kilometre skating trail is popular pastime.

Operates: Year round Location: 4432 Fern Resort Road, Township Of Ramara

Severn Lodge

Each year, families are welcomed to Severn Lodge, one of the best all-inclusive resorts in Ontario offering a full schedule of fun programs and activities.

Supervised services are available for children aged three to twelve from June to the Labour Day weekend in early September.

The Kids Club Program gives parents a break while their children enjoy a full day of fun and flexible sports, waterfront activities, fishing, arts and crafts, hiking, animal shows and more. Severn also has toddler specialists who run fun activities designed to keep the younger ones busy.

Operates:  May through October Location: 116 Gloucester Trail, Port Severn

Blue Mountain Resort

Book a cottage at Blue Mountain and enjoy a wide variety of all-ages activities.

Relax on the resort’s private beach while your kids play in the sand. Rentals are available for boats, kayaks, canoes and stand up paddle boards (SUP).

Take a heart pounding ride on the Runner Mountain Coaster, soar the skies ziplining or try cycling water trikes across the pond.

 If you’re visiting during the winter, take advantage of Blue Mountain being the largest ski resort in Ontario and sign up your kids for skiing lessons on the resort’s 43 ski trails.

After a fun-filled day, head back to your cottage to relax, dine at one of the many nearby family-friendly restaurants like Jozo’s Original Après, Magnone’s Italian Kitchen and Rusty’s at Blue.

Operates: Year round Location: 190 Gord Canning Drive, Town Of The Blue Mountains

Elmhirst’s Resort

Located on Rice Lake and surrounded by stunning nature, Elmhirst’s Resort in Keene offers a selection of fun activities to entertain families.

Rent a cozy lakeside cottage and enjoy a host of free activities included with your stay. That means countless hours tubing, playing on the inflatables, visits to the farm and so much more. Horseback trail riding excursions are also available to book.

If you’re here for a winter getaway, you’ll get a chance to participate in an ice fishing derby and take a fun sleigh ride through the snow.

Look for great packages like Kids Stay Free in March and Family Day Weekend. You can also save by booking your family summer getaway early.

Operates: Year round Location: 1045 Settlers Line, Keene

Viamede Resort

Overlooking the shores of Stoney Lake, Viamede Resort takes advantage of the surrounding nature and water to offer a range of activities for the whole family like guided fishing, hiking and foraging tours. There’s also an indoor pool for guests to use.

While your kids are occupied with the daily kids’ camp, enjoy wine tastings, bread making or hiking along the picturesque trails. Pets are welcome and there’s lots of space to roam with your dog, including an off-leash dog park.

Reunite at the hotel’s on-site restaurant, 1885 Restaurant for a tasty meal made with local ingredients.

Operates: Year round Location: 595 Mt Julian Viamede Road, Woodview

Scotsman Point Resort

Open since 1920, Scotsman Point Resort is a family-oriented spot situated on 25 hectares of picturesque land.

The Kidz Program is a daily children’s activity schedule that takes them swimming, fishing, paddle boarding, water tubing and more. Movie buffs can enjoy movie nights with new friends.

Spend the night in one of the many spacious bedrooms, cabins and cottages that showcase stunning views of the outdoors and have plenty of room for the kids to burn off their extra energy.

Scotsman Point also hosts reunions, so make your family vacation an annual tradition here.

Operates: Spring, summer and fall seasons Location: 467 Six Foot Bay Road, Buckhorn

Bonnie View Inn

A popular spot in the Haliburton Highlands, Bonnie View Inn is a charming, stone cottage inn that’s been open since 1924.

This year-round family resort offers cozy and modern accommodation with lots of amenities and activities included such as peddle boats, water tricycles and stand up paddle boards (SUP). 

Parents can enjoy a drink by the lakeside patio and take in the marvelous views while the kids play by the dock.

If you want more quiet time, drop off your kids with the inn’s babysitting service and spend your day relaxing in the garden or the private beach.

In the winter warm up together by the fireplace after a day of skating, tobogganing and more.  

Operates: Year round Location: 2713 Kashagawigamog Lake Road, Haliburton

Haliburton Forest & Wild Life Reserve Ltd

Choose your own adventure for your next family getaway. Stay in a spacious rustic cabin or enjoy a night in a glamping lodge in Haliburton Forest & Wild Life Reserve.

Experience exciting nature activities like hiking, mountain biking, fishing, kayaking and more, with guided tours designed for families. Take a Walk in the Clouds on a guided canopy tour above the forest ground. Also don’t miss a visit to the Wolf Centre to view a family of wolves and learn more about them through various museum-style exhibits. After a day of learning and adventure, experience the beauty of the night sky and enjoy stargazing in one of Ontario’s designated Dark Sky Preserves.

Operates: Seasonally spring to fall Location: 1095 Redkenn Road, Haliburton Highlands

Cedar Grove Lodge

Stay in a log cabin overlooking scenic Peninsula Lake at Cedar Grove Lodge.

This quaint lodge offers a variety of activities including paddle boating, windsurfing, golf and fishing in the spring and fall, plus a games room in case of any rainy days.

During the summer, the kids will enjoy playing on the sandy beach or on the water trampoline and aquatic Jungle Jim. Sail down the river on a pontoon boat tour or visit the local art studios and gift shops in the Lake of Bays region.

If you’re visiting in the winter, try out ice fishing in the Penguin ice hut.

Operates: Year round Location: Peninsula Lake, 167 Grassmere Resort Road, Huntsville

Bayview Wildwood Resort

Colourful cottages and luxurious rooms are offered at this all-inclusive family resort in Muskoka. Bayview Wildwood Resort features cabins with multiple bedrooms and living areas, plus a meal option if you want to leave the cooking to someone else.

The supervised children’s program means plenty of fun for your kids. They’ll love stepping onto the sports court to play basketball, volleyball and badminton and participating in the resort’s extensive range of waterfront activities, such as canoeing, kayaking, fishing and stand-up paddle boarding. 

Operates: Year round Location: 1500 Port Stanton Parkway, Severn Bridge

Deerhurst Resort

With over 300 hectares of property to explore, kids all ages can enjoy indoors and outdoor activities and programs year round at Deerhurst.

During the summer, cool off on the water slides, lazy river and splash pad. Paddle on Peninsula Lake or explore higher ground with climbing, treetop trekking and ziplining experiences nearby. 

Explore the area on ATVs and side-by-side adventure tours. And meet other families through summer social activities with crafts and fun sports. 

Several family-friendly restaurants at the resort offer a diverse range of meals including a family buffet. In the summer, grab a bite from the food truck.

Operates: Year round Location: 1235 Deerhurst Drive, Huntsville

Rocky Crest Golf Resort

With spacious suites, villas, cabins and cottages your family will enjoy a comfortable, stress-free stay at Rocky Crest Golf Resort. And its dog friendly so even your furry family member can vacation with you.

There’s a wide range of fun activities like swimming, kayaking, canoeing and fishing. The inflatable water park on the lake will keep kids playing for hours. Rocky Crest Kids Camps is a great kid-approved program offered in July and August. Check out the family packages that suit your needs.

This resort is located close to several local attractions. Take a guided tour through the famous Cranberry Marsh, visit North America’s oldest operating mail steamship, browse through an extensive collection of artifacts at the Muskoka Museum and take in an incredible 360° view of Georgian Bay at Tower Hill.

After your fun-filled day out, enjoy a relaxing meal at one of the three eateries on the property that serve kids’ meals.

Operates: First weekend in May until the weekend after Thanksgiving in mid-October (family packages available in the summer)

Location: 20 Barnwood Drive, MacTier

Santa’s Village

Santa’s summer vacation home in Muskoka is the perfect place for a family getaway. Choose between Santa’s Whispering Pines, a campground and trailer park located beside the Muskoka River and Santa’s Muskoka Ridge, a collection of cottages and a cabin close to the Trans-Canada Trail.

Not only will you and the kids enjoy convenient access to all the attractions and activities in Santa’s Village, but you’ll also stay in spacious accommodations with modern amenities. Enjoy the outdoor swimming pool, boating and fishing on Lake Muskoka, plus a recreation playground for the little ones.

An on-site general store offers any supplies you’ll need if you are camping. You’ll also be close to downtown Bracebridge shops and several pristine beaches in the area.

Operates: Seasonally (check online for specific dates) Location: 1624 Golden Beach Road, Bracebridge

Clyffe House Cottage Resort

Create lasting family memories in beautiful Muskoka.

With nine cozy cottages nestled in a picturesque eight-hectare property, this family-owned resort is the perfect destination for kids to create their own adventures and make new discoveries. It’s a safe and welcoming vacation spot where parents can relax while the kids make new friends.

Canoes, paddle boats and life jackets are available for guests to use. Swim the shallow and pristine waters of Mary Lake or build a sandcastle on the shore. Check online for availability of cottages , reservations can be made via phone or email.

Operates: Early May to the second week of October Location: 1010 Muskoka District Road 10, Port Sydney

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Last updated:  September 11, 2023

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A woman swims in the Caribbean waters of Saint Lucia, with one of the green Piton mountains in the background.

Seize the Summer! 10 Incredible Trips Our Editors Are Taking.

Outside editors know the best places to go on vacation. Let our summer plans be your inspiration.

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Heading out the door? Read this article on the Outside app available now on iOS devices for members! >","name":"in-content-cta","type":"link"}}'>Download the app .

We are ready for summer. We’ve got our lightweight tents and Tevas out, spend our free time examining trail maps, and have been outdoors soaking up the longer days in preparation for all sorts of adventures. Where are we going this summer? Some of us have plans to escape to tropical Caribbean ports and the high peaks of South America, while others are simply road-tripping one county or one state over for a long weekend escape.

Haven’t nailed down the specifics of your summer vacation yet? It doesn’t have to be spendy, and you can go with friends, family, or solo. Just pick a place that will offer a sense of wonder, a disconnect from your routine, preferably in nature, which has been shown to improve everything from our psyches to our relationships and even heal heartbreak . Here are the trips we’ve booked.

Northern New Mexico

A woman sits on stones at Black Rock Hot Springs along New Mexico's Rio Grande

When the heat hits the country with full force in July, my husband and I will head from our home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, up north to cooler climes near Taos. We’re eager to stay at Hotel Luna Mystica , which isn’t a hotel at all but a grouping of vintage Airstreams all decorated differently. We’ve rented Castor, built in 1972, our best friends have rented the adjacent Pollux, from 1967, and we’ll share a deck. Each trailer has a queen bed, a full kitchen, a bathroom, and views of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. The hiking around Taos is incredible, too, with trails in nearly every direction.

From Luna Mystica, you can walk to the Taos Mesa Brewery’s mothership location, which has a stage and live music many summer nights. Early in the mornings we’ll drive the quick 13 miles to the Black Rock Hot Springs on the Rio Grande; my husband will fly-fish from the wide banks while I soak and enjoy the July traffic through the canyon: dragonflies, swallows, kayakers, hawks, and bright-yellow butterflies.

One day we want to tour the nearby Earthships , self-sufficient off-grid homes that look like futuristic dwellings. I’m fascinated by their modern sustainability efforts but also love their incorporation of beautiful, unique design elements—walls made of used tires and earth or accents of recycled glass bottles that glimmer colorfully in the sun. — Tasha Zemke , Outside managing editor

Ten Sleep Canyon, Wyoming

At some point over the winter, I decided I sucked at climbing. As I dragged my feet out of the gym, devoid of stoke and prepared to suck again the next day, I had no idea how to cure my melodramatic self-diagnosis. But that changed two months ago when I started climbing with the ShayrdAir , a mentor program in the Denver area led by big-wall athlete Jordan Cannon . A dozen of my peers and I have attended clinics, trainings, lectures, and meet-ups to define and achieve our climbing goals, and it all culminates in a final trip in June to Ten Sleep, Wyoming.

Why Ten Sleep? This tiny cowboy town in the north-central reaches of the state happens to be the base camp of a massive limestone canyon 15 miles away with more than a thousand sport routes for climbers of every skill level. One of last year’s mentees called it “Shelf Road on steroids”—a reference to a popular Front Range climbing mecca—and noted how the population of the local campground, when filled with climbers, seems bigger than the actual town itself. — Holly Humphries , National Park Trips digital content producer

Saint Lucia

A romantic view of Saint Lucia's Pitons and Soufrière Bay shows why it's a top spot with honeymooners.

My fiancé and I are taking our honeymoon this summer on the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia, best known for two mountains called the Pitons—Gros Piton and Petit Piton. While we’re eager to lounge on the white-sand beaches, snorkel, eat jerk chicken and breadfruit, and enjoy a mud bath at Sulphur Springs, in the dormant Soufrière volcano, we’re most looking forward to guided hikes. I’m especially excited to tackle the Gros Piton Trail (see Gaia GPS map below), which is three miles round-trip, with a little more than 1,800 feet of elevation gain.

We’ve been told this is challenging, but the view from the top of the island and the sea is said to be spectacular. Plus, I plan to set my alarm for an early-morning run just as the sun rises over the sea. — Mallory Arnold , Run associate editor

Machu Picchu, Peru

A woman looks at the Inca site of Machu Picchu citadel with three cute llamas beside her.

I’m an editor at Backpacker , and the biggest hiking goal of my life has always been Machu Picchu . I first learned about the ruins in Peru in my middle school history class, and the combination of hiking and Indigenous history intrigued me. A trip to South America seemed like a long shot, but I kept dreaming. Flash forward to the end of May: my college friends and I are going international on our annual reunion trekking trip. We’ll fly into Cuzco and spend two days acclimatizing to the altitude—a little more than 11,000 feet—while touring the city before hitting the Inca Trail with Llama Path , a sustainable-tourism company.

For four days we’ll hike between 7,218 and 13,780 feet before ending at the famous Inca site. With porters carrying our belongings and chefs cooking our meals, this is going to be a lot more glamorous than my usual excursions to the backcountry. I can’t wait. But there’s a more personal reason why this trip is particularly meaningful to me: I recently learned that a suspicious mole was actually stage-one melanoma and was sidelined for weeks in between procedures. I can’t imagine a better place to celebrate being cancer-free. — Emma Veidt , Backpacker associate editor

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Two men atop Mount Alice in Rocky Mountain National Park admire their surrounds above the tree line.

My theme for the summer is: Stay local, but get far, far away. From our home in Boulder, Colorado , my wife and I can drive to Rocky Mountain National Park in less than two hours, and we’ve exploited that proximity to visit many of the park’s peaks, lakes, and trails. Not surprisingly, popular spots are often packed with other nature lovers. So this year we’re taking advantage of a little-used type of wilderness permit to escape the crowds. We’ve reserved long weekends in four of Rocky’s 23 cross-country zones , remote areas without developed trails or campsites, where we’ll likely see more elk and moose than people.

Hidden in some of the park’s most rugged terrain, typically at elevations of 9,000 to 11,000 feet, these zones require expert navigation skills and total self-reliance. Expect rangers at the backcountry desk to quiz you on bear safety, Leave No Trace ethics, orienteering know-how, and prior wilderness experience before issuing your permit, and expect challenging bushwhacking through dense forest. But the reward is worth the effort: the crisp, star-filled nights, high-country wildflowers, and Alaska-worthy solitude will make you feel much farther from civilization than you actually are.

Fair warning: the park provides scant information about the zones, and trip reports are few and far between. Your best bet is to download the Gaia GPS app and subscribe to the Premium edition so you can access detailed topo maps for offline use (there’s typically no cell reception in these zones). Study the terrain closely before you go, and don’t expect to cover more than one mile per hour. — Jonathan Dorn , Outside, Inc., chief entertainment officer

  • Switzerland

A waterfall drops down a sheer Alpine face into Switzerland’s verdant Lauterbrunnen Valley.

When I realized I’d be spending my 30th birthday in Europe, I only had two nonnegotiables: Alpine hiking and cheese. Switzerland, specifically the Lauterbrunnen Valley, perfectly fit that bill. My husband and I are planning to spend four nights in the central Jungfrau region: one in a village hotel at each end of the valley, and two at the remote Berghotel Obersteinberg , an off-grid hut that’s only accessible by foot through forests and wildflower-filled pastures. (See Gaia GPS map to the hut below.) Reservations can only be made by phone, a charming and slightly confusing experience that secured us a bed in a private room, breakfast, and dinner for two days for about $106 per person per night.

We’ll fill our days ascending the area’s many trails in the shadow of imposing peaks, past some of the valley’s 72 waterfalls, and our evenings eating hearty meals, including Obersteinberg’s homemade cheese. I’m crossing my fingers that raclette is served–my favorite Swiss dish, it consists of melted cheese scraped over potatoes–but if not, I’ll indulge back in town with a celebratory pot of fondue.

We’re traveling to Switzerland by car but will leave it parked in Interlaken to take advantage of the valley’s excellent public transportation (think: trains, trams, and gondolas), as many of the hamlets are otherwise inaccessible. — Mikaela Ruland , National Park Trips editor in chief

Victoria, British Columbia

A pod of orcas skim the surface off British Columbia.

Last year my husband and I became rooftop-tent converts in Iceland. I’ve pitched and slept in backpacking tents my whole life, and I never thought I’d be into a roof rig until our European rental experience went right. We realized it can take us two minutes, instead of twenty, to set up or break down camp. Plus, memory foam is so much comfier than the ground, and our gear stays a helluva lot more organized inside the vehicle.

So we scored an open-box deal on a Roofnest , and this summer we’re taking it for a spin from New Mexico up through the Pacific Northwest to Canada. We’ll hit campsites near Olympic National Park along the way, before ferrying to Victoria, British Columbia, to hang out at an oceanside apartment along a 70-mile bike path for six weeks. We’re stoked to beat the heat, enjoy the nearness of open water, and work from a place that’s new to us both where we can trail-run through the backcountry.

On our way home, we’ll swing through Banff, in Alberta, then Glacier National Park , in Montana—two bucket-list areas I’ve been dying to check out. The best part? My husband is the king of finding last-minute camping reservations , so I barely had to lift a finger to map it all out. — Patty Hodapp , Outside Online interim digital director

Paris and Annecy, France

A canal cuts through the town of Annecy, known as the Venice of France.

I’m heading to Paris for the Summer Games! I’ve been a huge fan of the Olympics for as long as I can remember, and about a year ago I haphazardly put my name on an email list for the ticket lottery. I didn’t put much thought into the idea of actually attending, until I beat out thousands of other eager fans (a process that saw me awake at 3 A.M., repeatedly refreshing my browser) to secure two tickets to men’s rowing in late July.

This will be my third time to the French capital, so after the event concludes and I’ve gotten my fill of Olympic pride, I plan to head southeast to Annecy, a town on the French-Swiss border, for a long weekend in the fresh Alpine air. I’ll brave the frigid temperatures of Lake Annecy, stroll Jardins de ’Europe, and of course do some hiking. Routes to the Citadel of Lake Annecy and the Parmelan Plateau have already caught my eye, but like most things, there’s something to be said for going in with half a plan and figuring out the rest later. — Jamie Aranoff , Ski digital editor

British Columbia’s West Coast Trail

A woman carrying a big backpack looks over the black-sand shoreline and wind-blown trees of British Columbia’s West Coast Trail.

Ever since writer Scott Yorko pitched me this story on the deadly history of Canada’s West Coast Trail (see Gaia GPS map below) a number of years ago, I’ve wanted to see the area’s storied shipwrecks, beaches, and wildlife for myself. Yorko wrote not only of the dramatic rescue attempts that led to this 48-mile path’s construction along British Columbia’s rugged coast but also of sandy campsites, verdant rainforest walks, tide pools brimming with sea life, and a floating crab shack that caters to hungry hikers.

In June, I’ll finally experience the trail for myself. I’m prepared for slow miles through boot-sucking mud, rickety wooden ladders, cable cars, and changing tides. With any luck, my partner and I will spot sea lions, whales, and otters; bears, cougars, and wolves are also known to wander the shore. The salty air and marine views should be a welcome departure from the alpine hikes I usually gravitate toward in the summer, and I couldn’t be more excited. — Zoe Gates , Backpacker senior editor

The Andes, Chile

A group of skiers stop on the slope to admire Lago del Inca at Portillo, Chile.

In 2013, I spent five months living in southern Chile. But that was before I was a skier. In the intervening decade, I’ve spent 100 days on snow almost every year. I rarely travel away from my home in the eastern Sierra to ski these days, but my ultimate dream trip is a ski trip to Chile and Argentina. This is the year that becomes a reality. In August, when the austral winter is in full swing, my fiancée and I will fly from Los Angeles to Santiago and enjoy the change of scenery while sipping pisco sours, sightseeing at the Pablo Neruda museum, and checking out the mountaintop zoo. The following day we’ll take a bus to Portillo , a resort nestled among the Andes that’s famous for runs that empty out at Laguna del Inca, for three days on the slopes, and after that , we’ll travel southeast to Las Leñas, in Argentina, for a final two days of skiing above wine country. I never much cared for summer anyway. —Jake Stern, Outside Online digital editor

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  2. 15 Best Ontario Road Trips You Can Take For Endless Summer Adventures

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  3. Kayak Trips Ontario

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  4. Ultimate Guide of Destinations for Summer Road Trips in Ontario

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  5. 8 Amazing Activities To Do In Ontario This Springtime

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  6. Top Day Trips in Ontario

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  1. 30 Exciting Weekend Getaways in Ontario: Your Top ...

    Putting together this list was a lot of fun, and there are so many different types of getaways on this list: quaint and quiet, zen and natural, unique and creative, or urban and entertaining. ... Ultimate Ontario is your guide to the most amazing things to do in Ontario. Our team of local experts, travel writers, and experience leaders share ...

  2. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Ontario

    5. Toronto Island Park. 8,571. Islands. This park in Toronto is a haven for travelers looking to spend a fun-filled day in the great outdoors. Rent a bike at Centre Island Pier—which has fantastic views of Lake Ontario—and explore the park's many trails and paths.

  3. 15 Most EPIC Ontario Day Trips

    Perfect for family day trips from Ontario, Wonderland Amusement Park has been making visitors smile since 1981. The park features more than 200 attractions, including 17 roller coasters, two children's areas, and a 20-acre water park.

  4. Great Ideas for Weekend Getaways in Ontario (+ Mini Itineraries)

    Ontario is loaded with amazing places to visit, attractions to explore, and things to try so there is no shortage of weekend trip ideas. No matter where you are travelling from - Ottawa, Toronto, etc - and whatever your style - romantic, fun, relaxing, adventure - there is a getaway for you.

  5. 41 Iconic Places to Visit in Ontario, Canada

    When visiting Canada, a trip to Ontario is a must and these are all of the best places to visit in the province! Read more facts at - Fun Facts About Canada That Will Make Smarter. Unique Places in Ontario. ... Located at the Dynamic Earth Science Museum (which is a lot of fun) the Big Nickel was built in 1964 to pay homage to the mining ...

  6. Things to do

    Make a splash at one of these Ontario water parks, a summer season go-to for family fun. Read more Cool off at Ontario water parks this summer; Family-friendly city beaches in Ontario. ... Looking for Ontario travel advice? Our experts are here to help you plan your perfect trip. Call or book today. 1-800-668-2746. Book a virtual appointment.

  7. Itineraries and road trips

    Itineraries and road trips. One of the best ways to explore the big cities, small towns, family-friendly attractions and vast wilderness of Ontario is by packing all your essentials into your vehicle and hitting the road. Road trips give you the freedom to explore the province at your own pace while pursuing the experiences that best fit your ...

  8. Things to Do in Ontario

    Top Things to Do in Ontario: Road Trips, Getaways, Festivals, Places to Visit & More! ... 30 Corn Mazes in Ontario For a Fun Fall Day Trip. Stalking Dead: Escape the Horrors of This Outdoor Halloween Maze in Peterborough. Ganaraska River Salmon Run: A Short Guide For a Fall Day Trip to Port Hope.

  9. Best Weekend Getaways Ontario Has To Offer

    Ontario offers some of the best Canadian weekend getaways; whether it's a trip for couples, finding some fun outdoor activities or staying in luxury resorts, Ontario has it all. In this post, I'll give you the best places to escape for the weekend, including romantic places, relaxing resorts, and destinations that offer excellent outdoor ...

  10. 33 Best Weekend Getaways in Ontario, Canada

    1. Paris. Tiny Paris was named the "Prettiest little town in Canada," and it is certainly is one of the best small towns to visit for a fun Ontario weekend getaway. The town is famed for its stone buildings, cafes, and window shopping culture.

  11. 50+ Bucket List Ideas for Summer in Ontario

    51. Go on a Road Trip. The best way to explore Ontario? Go on a road trip. Circumnavigate Rice Lake, Simcoe Lake, Georgian Bay, drive from Peterborough to Ottawa on Highway 7, drive along Rideau Canal or St. Lawrence River (Highway 2), chart a path to follow Lake Erie shores from Windsor to Niagara Falls or Lake Huron from Sarnia to Tobermory.

  12. Ontario Day Trips

    July 26, 2022. A true treasure found in Ontario's Lennox & Addington County, the village of Bath makes for a history-rich day trip from its neighbouring towns, and naturally, we've put together a great list of things to do in Bath Ontario. If you search for a town named "Bath" you may also come across the city in….

  13. 8 of the Best Ontario Road Trips

    So without further ado, here are the 8 best Ontario road trips for you to take this summer. Toggle. Niagara Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Ottawa to Toronto via Algonquin Park. Oxford County Cheese Trail. Downtown Toronto to Newmarket.

  14. 13 Best Ontario Day Trip Destinations [2024]

    Address: 1 Canada's Wonderland Drive, Vaughan, ON. Contact details: +1 905-832-8131. Operating hours: Sunday to Thursday - 10 AM to 8 PM. Friday and Saturday - 10 AM to 10 PM. Canada's Wonderland is an epic theme park located in Vaughan, Ontario—just a hop, skip, and a jump from Toronto.

  15. 30 Best Ontario Road Trips You Need to Experience (2024)

    Ontario Road Trips: Sudbury. Sudbury might be a four hour drive from Toronto, but it's well worth the distance. This is one of the best road trips in Ontario for a great combination of city living and wilderness. Sudbury is known as the "Nickel City" for its mining history and the "City of Lakes" for its 330 lakes.

  16. 164 Cool and Unusual Things to Do in Ontario

    Discover 164 hidden attractions, cool sights, and unusual things to do in Ontario from The Monkey's Paw to Lower Bay Station. Trips Experiences Courses Places Foods Stories Newsletters

  17. 31 Ultimate Ontario Road Trips for Summer, Fall & Winter

    31 Ultimate Ontario Road Trips to Take in 2024. by Stephanie · Published January 1, 2024 · Updated January 11, 2024. One of my favourite things to do is road tripping in Ontario. Driving down winding roads, over green hills with sweeping views, and finding charming places to explore. And the back roads of Ontario lead to some of the best ...

  18. 7 Breathtaking Drives in Ontario: Ontario Road Trips That You'll Love

    As the Niagara Parkway makes its way closer to Niagara-on-the-Lake, the escarpment views change from towering cliff faces to the agricultural beauty of Niagara wine country. Along the way, you can stop for some tasty bites at one of the many roadside produce stands. Distance: 24.1 km. Driving Time: 20 minutes.

  19. 16 Incredible Family Resorts In Ontario You'll Love (2023)

    16. Bayview Wildwood Resort, Severn Bridge. Bayview Wildwood Resort is a modern, all-inclusive, family-friendly resort situated on the shores of Sparrow Lake, 20-minutes north of Orillia. This resort includes beautifully-decored rooms in the main building, as well as cottages located close to the water.

  20. Must Do Scenic Train Tours in Ontario

    1. Agawa Canyon Tour Train. One of the most popular train tours in Canada, this one-day trip will take you through alongside pristine northern lakes and rivers and vast mixed forests of the Canadian Shield. At the end of the 114 mile journey, explore Agawa Canyon Wilderness Park that has a variety of trails that lead to the most scenic spots ...

  21. 16 Activities to Have a Blooming Time

    Spring in Ontario brings the beginning of nature's wake from its hibernation and becomes alive with activity, much different from the snow-capped fun of Ontario winter activities.With the busy bees and brooks babbling surrounded by bouquets of bolstering buds, the spring season in Canada is a fantastic festival of natural wonders.

  22. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Ontario with Kids (Updated 2024)

    THE 10 BEST Family & Kid Activities in Ontario. 1. Niagara Falls Canada. Absolutely love it great place to visit great weather and joy the experience on the maid of mist boat going into the... 2. CN Tower. Brilliant experience - loved the design of the viewing area which felt safe, spacious and beautiful.

  23. Top 5 Kid-Approved Vacations in Ontario That Won't Break the Bank

    Fun fact: the world's largest freshwater island is itself home to 108 freshwater lakes. The standard photo op on the island is Bridal Veil Falls, a picturesque, 10-metre cascade that drops into a limestone basin. The trail to the falls starts at Highway 540, and after a short walk to the falls it turns downstream to end where the river reaches Lake Huron's North Channel at Kagawong—a ...

  24. Fun places to stay for kids

    Each year, families are welcomed to Severn Lodge, one of the best all-inclusive resorts in Ontario offering a full schedule of fun programs and activities. ... Our experts are here to help you plan your perfect trip. Call or book today. 1-800-668-2746. Book a virtual appointment. Footer Navigation Explore Ontario. Regions, cities and towns;

  25. 10 Incredible Trips Outside Editors Are Taking This Summer

    The 9 Most Fun Adventure Lodges in North America. The Gear Our Editors Loved This April. ... National Park Trips digital content producer. Saint Lucia Saint Lucia, one of the Caribbean's ...