By CAROL SPODE
Unusual getaways from Toronto: hot air ballooning (Photo: Sundance Facebook)
Toronto is a great destination in itself, but travel just a few hours outside the city, and an unusual world of possibilities opens up. Of course, there are the obvious day trips from Toronto—the vineyards of Niagara-on-the-Lake, the theatre of Stratford—but for those looking for a memorable experience that’s off the beaten track, we’ve compiled this list of amazing, unusual getaways from Toronto.
Start the slideshow of unusual day trips and getaways from Toronto »
— Carol Spode runs Tailor-Made Toronto—http://britgirlintoronto.wordpress.com—which offers Toronto-based itinerary planning tailored to a client’s interests and time frame. If you are a visitor, have visitors coming to stay or simply want to find out how exciting and diverse Toronto can be, then leave a comment on Carol’s blog. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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By KAREN CLEVELAND
Getaway From Toronto: Niagara-on-the-Lake (Photo: Theodore C)
If you’re going to invest 90 minutes of driving for a getaway from Toronto, fewer places net a higher return than a trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake. The charming town is home to breathtaking views, excellent restaurants, amazing vineyards and some of Canada’s most treasured heritage sites. Whether you fall in love with Niagara-on-the-Lake for a long affair, or just a fleeting tryst, be sure to consider these 10 tips when making your getaway plan. (more…)
By TIM JOHNSON
Beausoleil Island (Photo: rkklfb)
It’s a common warm-weather weekend dilemma—you love camping, except for one thing: the camping part.
Lazing in the sun at the beach, swimming in a pristine lake and wrapping up the day with a campfire and s’mores is undeniably great, but sleeping in a tent on the cold, hard ground is not. For the best of both worlds, look into the rustic cabin rentals in Georgian Bay Islands National Park, just steps from a rugged, picturesque coastline. (more…)
By SHANNON KELLY
The pretty Victorian-era town of Niagara-on-the-Lake has no shortage of impeccably designed accommodations, but the Harbour House Hotel has something just a bit special. A boutique hotel with 31 rooms and suites, it is an excellent option if you’re seeking the coziness of a B&B—where staff go above and beyond and often greet you by name—without intimate breakfast-with-the-owner chats. (more…)
By RED HUNT
You may have been to some breweries, wineries or distilleries, but have you ever visited a cidery?
Spirit Tree Estate Cidery has been producing ciders for a number of years in southern Ontario. Its first apple trees (15 different kinds!) were planted in 2005, with cider production starting a few years later. Only about an hour north of Toronto, the cidery makes for a perfect weekend day trip. (more…)
New, unique, iconic or just plain fabulous Canadian hotels we love, profiled every week!
By Sanam Islam
Photo: Irene Miller
Built in 1870, the Stewart House Inn combines old-world elegance with modern-day comforts. Surrounded by century-old black walnut and pine trees, the inn is on an acre of woodlands overlooking the Avon River parklands, yet is just two blocks from downtown Stratford. Owners Marc Armstrong and his wife Lynn Logie aim to create a high-end, five-star experience for guests, who have included veteran Stratford Shakespeare Festival thespian Christopher Plummer. Each day starts with a homemade gourmet, locally sourced breakfast and in-room silver coffee or tea service and ends with a personalized note and evening treat like cookies or fresh fruit. (more…)
By RED HUNT
One of Ontario’s most impressive wilderness areas, Algonquin Provincial Park is larger than some national parks at more than 7,000-square-kilometres and with more than 1,600 km of navigable waterways. Given the park’s size and its distance from both Ottawa and Toronto (about three-and-a-half hours from each to the outermost park entrances), it’s best to set aside some time here: five to seven days is a perfect amount of time to appreciate the diversity of one of Ontario’s best adventure destinations.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of your Algonquin getaway. (more…)
By ALINA SEAGAL
Big Chute dam (Photo: Yulia Rabinovich)
It is one of the most picturesque drives in southern Ontario, yet very few know about the winding road to Big Chute Marine Railway north of Port Severn, two hours from Toronto. On this route, you’ll see Ontario at its best while passing stunning views of marshes, rocky formations, lakes, islands and thick forests, ending up at the railway boat lift at Lock 44 on the Trent-Severn Waterway, the only inclined-plane boat lift left in North America.
See the map »
By ALINA SEAGAL
Queen Street (Photo: Sean_Marshall)
As one of the best-preserved 19th-century towns in North America, Niagara-on-the-Lake has a lot to reveal—beyond its many nearby wineries. Pretty Victorian architecture, a great lineup of summer festivals, and sidewalks made for strolling and window-shopping are just a handful of the attractions in this charming southern Ontario town. (more…)
By LIZ BRUCKNER
Mapleton's Organic Farm
Just because many large-scale manufacturers prefer to keep their doors closed to public eyes doesn’t mean every food producer follows suit. These homegrown Ontario producers welcome visitors to see their manufacturing process and—best of all—do some unofficial taste-testing. (more…)
By WAHEEDA HARRIS
Photo: Hamilton Conservation Authority
The sap is running early this year, thanks to Old Man Winter’s scarce appearance in Ontario and many sweet maple-syrup-themed celebrations are planned this season. (more…)
By Waheeda Harris
Like chocolate? Like wine? The perfect pairing can be discovered during the upcoming Days of Wine and Chocolate in Niagara on the Lake, held on weekends in February. (more…)