Whether you prefer beaches, mountains, waterfalls or cities, there are countless breathtaking scenes of majestic wilderness and cultural urban delights within 5 to 6 hours of drive for every visitor to find something to do for summer or for your next long weekend.
You may also like:Weekend Getaways to Ontario Provincial Parks
Here are few ideas for a long weekend getaway:
Canada’s capital, sitting on the Ottawa River and home to Parliament Hill. Spend time admiring grand Victorian architecture, visiting national museums, walking, boating or skating along the canal, dining on eclectic food and shopping for name brand and one-of-a-kind gifts. Learn about the history and how the fur and logging trade brought Europeans there in the 17th century.
Gateway to the year-round resort town of the Blue Mountains and located in the Nottawasaga Bay, on the shores of the Georgian Bay. An area with endless recreational opportunities like, skiing, hiking, cycling, fishing, boating, caving and ziplining to name a few!
3. Manitoulin Island
Located on Lake Huron, this is the largest, freshwater island in the world and a unique getaway full of heart and spirit. Experience Native life in Wikwemikong the only unceded Indian Reserve in Canada and European history in Manitowaning the first European settlement. Enjoy a slower pace of life with endless shorelines, azure waters and stunning natural beauty.
Famous worldwide with millions of visitors coming to witness its thundering Horseshoe Falls on the border of the USA. A getaway combining Las Vegas style entertainment, breathtaking scenery, outdoor adventure with fresh local produce, boutique wineries, craft breweries and quaint, heritage hamlets.
5. HamiltonQuickly becoming a top getaway destination from Toronto, this city on the rise is rich in culture, history and natural beauty with a vibrant arts, music and culinary scene. Take a journey into the surrounding Niagara Escarpment to explore over 130 stunning falls and cascades and climb the 305 homemade stone stairs.
You may like:25 Waterfalls to visit from Toronto
6. Kingston/Thousand Islands
Know as the “limestone city” for its grand 19th century buildings, Kingston is a perfect starting point or base for exploring the fairytale Thousand Islands. Venture on a floating journey complete with castles, pirate stories, lighthouses and mansions. Take the opportunity while there to visit the newly opened Kingston Penitentiary for a look behind the scenes of one of Canada’s most notorious and oldest prisons.
7.Peterborough & Kawarthas
“Kawartha” named by the area’s First Nation Peoples, translates to “land of shining waters” and something you will soon agree when you witness the sun dancing on the water. This houseboating capital of Ontario is made up of the rural communities, Bobcaygeon, Fenelon Falls, Lindsay, Omemee and Woodville and offers year-round activities like hiking, cycling and skiing on an extensive 800km network of trails.
Whether you are an adventure seeker, art enthusiast, foodie, nature lover, shopper or festival goer the “Malibu of the North” has it all. Made up of three large lakes and surrounded by lush green scenery it’s a dream destination during the long and hot summer days and one of the few places with locations void of light for a magical view of the stars and galaxies.
9. Algonquin Park
With endless forest, rivers and lakes, this haven for water enthusiasts and nature lovers is a paradise for spotting many of Ontario’s wildlife like moose, bears and common loons. Algonquin is the first provincial park in Ontario and one of the largest that protects a variety of natural, cultural and recreational features and values.
10. Prince Edward County
Recently included in Maclean’s top places to see in Canada and a rising, internationally recognized wine destination. Journey to some of the provinces best sandy beaches at Sandbanks Provincial Park, tour art, wine and culinary trails and cycle through gorgeous, gently rolling hills. See if you can solve the mystery of Lake on the Mountain, a freshwater lake with no source!
11. Sauble Beach
A trip to Sauble Beach and you will soon see why it’s rated Canada’s #1 freshwater beach. With all the restaurants, shopping, golf, fishing and variety of activities you will never be bored for something to do and they definitely have something to brag about.
Sitting on the edge of the dramatic and beautiful Elora Gorge and nestled along the banks of the Grand & Irvine River, few places are more charming than the village of Elora. Attend world class festivals, shop for unique arts-and-crafts and pick up some treats at one of the prettiest farmers’ markets in Ontario. And just 5 minutes away find the equally charming neighbor town of Fergus.
13. Pelee Island
Located in the western half of Lake Erie, Pelee Island is considered as Canada’s best kept secret. With a myriad of things to do from historical sites, shopping, nature walks, nightlife and wineries you can easily satisfy your craving for calm and quiet or adventure and entertainment.
You may like:Guide to Point Pelee National Park
14. Grand Bend
Adrenaline junkies and beach bums will love the clean water, endless activities and safe (blue flag) swimming of one of Ontario’s best beaches and best sunset destinations in the world. With historic towns and villages perched along the shoreline and farms adorning the countryside it’s no surprise artists have been finding inspiration here for centuries.
Founded in 1820 on the Georgian Bay as a fur trading post, this historic village and provincial park is one of the most popular wilderness destination in Ontario. Stay in year-round yurt accommodations, enjoy extensive backcountry canoeing and sea kayaking while viewing the pink granite coast, sapphire lakes and white quartzite ridges.
16. French River
Gear up for a paddling adventure along the first designated Canadian Heritage river, flowing 110km from Lake Nipissing west to Georgian Bay. Home to the best camping, fishing, cottages and provincial parks in Northern Ontario. Paddle the route of First Nations, French Explorers, fur traders and voyageurs.
17. Grey CountyWhatever you seek you will be sure to find it here. Endless outdoor activities, local art and culture, unique dining options and vibrant natural landscape. Take a journey through the county to view 9 spectacular waterfalls, 7 of which are accessible in the winter months.
A natural paradise and must for any local or visitor to Ontario at least once. Home to the Bruce Peninsula National Park known for the Bruce trail footpath, Flowerpot Island sea stacks, 19th century lighthouse and over 25 shipwreck dive sites as well as the Grotto, a wave-carved cave in Georgian Bay.
19. Bay of Quinte
[instagram url=https://www.instagram.com/p/BR3Zkp_BZuO/ hidecaption=true width=800]Full of gorgeous sandy beaches, crystal clear lakes and lush green golf courses there are endless things to do in this region. Catch a live show at the Stirling Festival Theatre, educate yourself on some town history at the Glanmore National Historic site or just relax with the sounds of nature on a boat cruise around the bay.
20. Land o Lakes
With 5,000 lakes, this region is the perfect destination for the outdoor enthusiast. Hit the waters for some canoeing, kayaking, fishing and boating. Then venture on land to explore nearly 600km of trails for cycling and hiking, fine dining experiences, charming local shops and artisan studios. Your adventure awaits.
Home to the world’s largest coin, Sudbury continues to surprise and impress with year-round activities, scenic sights, urban delights and world-renowned attractions. At Dynamic Earth immerse yourself in hands-on earth science and mining experiences with guided underground tours, multi-media theater and engaging exhibits.
22. Bon Echo
This crown jewel of the region offers a pristine expanse of wilderness. Discover Mazinaw Rock, a sheer granite rock face towering 100 metres over Lake Mazinaw, one of Canada’s deppest lakes, where aboriginal artists created a canvas of 260 pictographs still visible today.
[instagram url=https://www.instagram.com/p/BUZSnvKA79R/ hidecaption=true width=800]Join travellers from all over the world who come to Eganville to go underground and marvel at the Bonnechere Caves. Considered one of the best examples of limestone cave formations open for exploring year-round. Follow local guides as they lead you through narrow passages once part of a tropical sea floor 500 million years ago and discover fossils of coral, octopus and other sea life.
24. MontrealThe largest city in the province of Quebec and named after the triple-peaked hill at its heart, Mt. Royal. A vibrant and engaging metropolis in love with festivals, art, great food and enjoying life. A must visit destination with a rich history and unique mix of North American and European culture.
25. Quebec City
Situated along the lovely Saint Lawrence River in the mostly French-speaking province of Quebec. A charming and romantic European inspired fortified city with pedestrian friendly cobblestone streets, enchanting chateaus and historic old forts. A UNESCO World Heritage gem and the oldest city in Canada.
You may like: