Top 9 Road Trip Spots Outside of Toronto
Summer is the perfect time to just get in the car and drive. Ontario is such a large place that it can be hard to decide where to go. Instead of exploring the usual spots in Toronto, we decided to think outside of the box and we found 9 spots under 20 hours away from the city. Whether you want to spend your trip relaxing at the beach or browsing a museum, we’ve got you covered.
9. Elora and Fergus (an hour and a half from Toronto)
If you desire a small town vibe with lots of culture and a few scenic photo ops, this is the place for you. Elora is home to the Elora Gorge Falls and tons of quaint cafes and one of a kind shops. There’s plenty to do for the thrill seekers as well with tubing, bike tours, and ziplining. Right next door is the small town of Fergus which hosts a Highland Games festival every summer in August.
8. Caledon (47 minutes from Toronto)
Want to get out of the city but need to stay close to home? Caledon is a hidden gem right in Toronto’s backyard with plenty to see and do. The Belfountain Conservation Area is a beautiful park complete with a fountain and suspension bridge that’s perfect for photos and for a relaxing afternoon. Caledon also hosts a local farmers market and the Alton Mills Art Centre where you can check out local produce and artwork. For more beautiful scenery, Caledon is located near the Cheltenhem Badlands.
7. Port Dover and Simcoe (an hour and a half from Toronto)
Located within Norfolk County, these two towns offer a lot of rich culture, attractions for the thrill seeks, and gorgeous views. Port Dover is home to Radical Lines Aerial Adventure Park which contains ziplining and various aerial challenges for all skill levels. There are plenty of scenic hiking and biking trails along with a waterfall and the Port Dover lighthouse. Port Dover is also home to a beach with authentic palm trees that will make you feel like you are on the beaches of Miami. Simcoe has a corn maze and a historical tug boat tour for families that are looking for more unique experiences.
6. Kingston and the Thousand Islands (3 hours from Toronto)
Kingston is a city built on history and is located right near the Gananoque border. There are several historic buildings within the city including Fort Henry, a replica of a War of 1812 fort and the Kingston Penitentiary. If you want to explore the water, there is a ferry to nearby Wolffe Island that leaves regularly. A fun family activity can include a trip to the Boiler Room– a rock climbing facility that has walls for people of all abilities. Closer to the American Border is the Thousand Islands. Just as it sounds, there are over one thousand islands to explore which can be done through a Thousand Island cruise.
5. Niagara Falls and Niagara-On-The-Lake (an hour and a half from Toronto)
Though some may see this as an expected vacation, Niagara Falls offers a ton of exciting and unique things to do. There are the usual attractions such as the Maid of the Mist but then there is behind the falls, an attraction which takes you physically behind Niagara Falls. Make sure to drop by Clifton Hills for an arcade, great museum experiences such as Ripley’s Believe It or Not, and the famous Skywheel. If you get bored of downtown Niagara Falls, there are several places nearby that provide good exploring such as Niagara-On-The-Lake and St. Catharines. Check out the McKenzie Printery and Newspaper museum and the Upper Canada Cheese Company.
4. Trent Hills and Prince Edward County (2-3 hours from Toronto)
Right on the Trent River, Trent Hills is a quaint community made up of three towns/villages which embrace a cottage and country feel. Campbellford is the largest of the communities and features a variety of activities including the famous Ranney Gorge suspension bridge which leads into Ferris Provincial Park, a giant Toonie sculpture, cheese factory, and chocolate factory. Nearby Hastings is a great village to go for fishing and Warkworth has several speciality shops and cafes which are perfect for a Saturday afternoon.
One county over is Prince Edward County. A great cottaging and vacation spot with a similar country vibe to Trent Hills. The County, as it’s affectionately known, stretches across the water and is perfect for those who want a waterfront view. You can check out Sandbanks Provincial Park for public swimming, Lake on the Mountain for gorgeous, and even take the Glenora Ferry across the lake for a nice afternoon cruise. Prince Edward County is also known as wine country so be sure to take that into account when visiting.
3. Georgian Bay
The Georgian Bay is a huge area with a ton of things to see and do. Located right on the Bruce Peninsula, you have the opportunty to see scenic caves in Collingwood, the Bruce Peninsula provincial park as well as several other provincial parks in Tobermory, and check out the beaches in Wasaga Beach.
2. Thunder Bay (14 hours and 45 minutes from Toronto)
Pretty far from the city, Thunder Bay is a great place to go for a true Toronto getaway. Thunder Bay features many natural attractions such as the Sleeping Giant, a completely natural rock formation, Kakabeka Falls and a working amethyst mine. For Canadian history buffs, there’s a tribute to Terry Fox and Fort William Historical Park. Thunder Bay also hosts a variety of museums and other attractions throughout the city to appease all interests.
1. Muskoka Region
If cottage country is your thing, this is the best place in Ontario to venture to. The Muskoka Region covers a pretty large area which means there are a ton of things to do and see throughout it. Santa’s Village is a unique amusement park attraction near Bracebridge and is a great place to take the kids even in July. If you’re into camping and canoeing, look no further than Algonquin park. There are tons of campsites amongst the park so it is the perfect place to go camping. Whether you want to canoe or see a real live moose, Algonquin park is the ultimate camping destination. Huntsville also has a treetop trekking and aerial park that is sure to provide for any adrenaline junkie in the family.