11 Places To Visit In Ontario For a Weekend Getaway
Are you planning a quick weekend trip in Ontario but unsure of which places to visit? Being such a massive province, it can be overwhelming when you set out to plan a vacation here.
Lucky for you, we’re a cross-Canada tour company with roots in Ontario and we know a thing or two about travelling this magnificent region. So, we’ve compiled this list of eleven key destinations for you to investigate on a weekend away.
Below is our list of the best places to visit in Ontario for a weekend getaway:
Algonquin Provincial Park
Prince Edward County
Niagara On The Lake and Niagara Falls
1. Algonquin Provincial Park
If you’re looking for a weekend trip filled with adventure, while still being surrounded by nature, one of Ontario’s most beloved national parks, Algonquin, is the perfect place to visit.
It’s host to a variety of activities for the whole family, including whitewater canoeing, dog sledding and even bird watching. With so much to do, there will never be a fear of boredom during your stay.
With both drive-to and backcountry camping options available, your time in the park is highly customizable. The destination gives you the freedom to tailor a quick getaway to your camping preferences!
Learn More: http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/index.php
2. Bruce Peninsula
Out of all the places, there are to visit in Ontario, the Bruce Peninsula offers the most variety. Being such a vast region means there are so many smaller destinations to choose from!
Looking to go swimming? Check out Sauble Beach, the second-longest freshwater beach in the world.
Prefer to sight-see or go rock climbing? Visit Lion’s Head, where you won’t be able to resist updating your Instagram feed with pictures of the area’s unique cliffs.
Love Groundhogs? Book your weekend getaway in February and take a trip to Wiarton. There you can witness the classic annual Groundhog Day decision being made live!
If all of that sounds a little too hectic for you, try Tobermory. This destination guarantees a relaxing weekend away. It’s home to two national parks, filled with stunning scenery that will leave you feeling refreshed and reconnected with nature.
Learn More: https://saublebeach.com/
3. Prince Edward County
Another ideal weekend destination that everyone living in Ontario must visit at some point is Prince Edward County. This area is bustling with local events and culture, providing many unique experiences to fill your time!
Take a walk through Sandbanks Provincial Park, home to red sands you won’t see anywhere else in Ontario. Then, stroll through the area’s local Taste Trail, where you can enjoy local food, wine and ciders.
Maybe you’re in the mood for a little shopping? The Arts Trail may be right up your alley, with unique artisan pieces you can pick up to remember your visit. Alternatively, the more traditional shopper will want to check out the Wellington and Picton Markets.
Any visit won’t be complete without checking out the Lake On The Mountain. This viewing platform provides the perfect opportunity to experience the grand scale of the region's natural environment while relaxing and watching a beautiful sunset!
Learn More: http://prince-edward-county.com/
4. Niagara On The Lake and Niagara Falls
These two destinations are in the same area of Ontario, so if you’re feeling adventurous, you could visit both places in one weekend. Each location has a unique atmosphere and offers different experiences to tourists.
Niagara On The Lake is a small, charming city, bursting with a connection to the past. The perfect destination for romantics and history buffs.
Take a walk through downtown and you’ll see everything from quaint local shops to fine-dining
restaurants. Those with a passion for the performing arts have to check out the Shaw Festival which programs unique live theatre entertainment each year.
Carve some time out from your weekend to explore the city’s many monuments and historic sites. There, You’ll be able to read about Ontario’s involvement in many major wars throughout history.
When it’s time for a break, take a relaxing stroll along Lake Ontario’s calming waters. While you’re here, be sure to book a wine tour through the local vineyards!
Those who want to spend time in the Niagara Region, but would rather a more hustle-and-bustle atmosphere have to visit Niagara Falls! Beyond the natural wonder of this famous waterfall, the city offers plenty of tourist attractions.
With everything from wax museums, to arcades, fine dining, casinos and more, you could spend a whole week here and still not see everything! This is such a popular destination that we included it in more detail in our list of The Best Places To Travel In Canada.
Learn More About Niagara on The Lake: https://www.niagaraonthelake.com/
Learn More About Niagara Falls: https://www.niagarafallstourism.com/
Home to the landscapes that inspired Canada’s famous Group of Seven artists, Killarney, Ontario is the perfect sight-seeing destination to visit for a weekend getaway.
The area hosts one of the most acclaimed provincial parks, making camping an essential part of any stay.
Up for a hike? Check out the Crack Trail, for four hours of exercise and glorious sights. If you feel like going for a dive, stop by Topaz Lake. With shimmering glacial waters from dizzying heights, you’ll find both relaxation and excitement here.
Spending hours outdoors is a surefire way to work up an appetite. So, once you’re done, grab a bite at one of the many local places serving fresh-caught fish and chips!
Learn More: http://www.municipalityofkillarney.ca/
Perfect for a slow-paced weekend getaway, Bayfield, Ontario boasts many nature sites that are guaranteed to refresh any visitor.
While you’re here, make time to go for a dip in one of the area’s three beaches, each with its own stunning view of Lake Huron.
If you want to do some hiking, there are six separate trails to follow. To make the experience more engaging, you’ll find plaques to read along your walk, filled with information about local wildlife and history.
When it’s time for a break from all the physical activity, grab your picnic basket and head to Pioneer Park. Famous for its brilliant sunsets, the experience is sure to be relaxing and romantic when shared with a special someone.
Learn More: https://www.villageofbayfield.com/
If you’re looking for an action-packed weekend away, then Gananoque, Ontario is the perfect destination for you to visit.
This fun-filled Ontario town gives visitors access to all sorts of thrilling activities. So, if an adrenaline fix is what you’re after, you’ll find it here. Vacationers can go skydiving or take a helicopter tour for a birds-eye view of the city.
Those who enjoy water sports can rent a Sea-Doo to race around the waves in or rent a boat and spend the day fishing.
If you prefer some solid entertainment, check out the Thousand Islands Playhouse which offers thrilling live theatre programming.
When it’s time for a break from the commotion, head to the local park on a Saturday night to take in some live music, or visit one of the area’s acclaimed museums.
Learn More: https://www.travel1000islands.ca/
If you’re in need of a trip full of excitement, Muskoka may be your answer. Spend a weekend visiting this gorgeous area of Northern Ontario to experience thrills ranging from ziplining to outdoor concerts.
Line up your visit with the annual RibFest to get a chance at sampling some delicious food. Then, take a few hours out to catch the area’s local water ski show.
If you’re a theatre lover, make sure to catch a performance at the Gravenhurst Opera House. The historic theatre features exceptional live shows by renowned performers every year.
If you find yourself getting overwhelmed by all the thrills, no need to worry. It’s easy to unwind by visiting Dorset Lookout Tower, where you can see mind-blowing natural views at your leisure.
Learn More: https://www.discovermuskoka.ca/
Are you seeking a well-rounded destination for your getaway? Elora might be the ticket. Only one and a half hours from Toronto, this Ontario township is bursting with glorious sights and charming weekend activities for every visitor to enjoy.
During your stay, be sure to check out the Elora Mill. There you can travel back in time and experience the town’s unique history while visiting their spa and hotel.
If you’d prefer to spend time near the water, check out the area’s unique limestone canyons and waterfalls. Then, experience one of the area’s serene quarries.
Those in need of a once in a lifetime experience, have to visit nearby Fergus for their annual Scottish Festival. This yearly celebration takes place over three days and allows attendees to take part in traditional Scottish games and food.
Winter months will not disappoint the weekend tourist either. During this time of year, visitors get the chance to scale the area’s cliffs, which are covered in ice during colder months.
Learn More: https://elorafergus.ca/
10. Port Hope
Out of all the places to visit in Ontario for a weekend, Port Hope is among the most quaint. Known for their excellent local antique shops, you will be sure to find more than a few unique knick-knacks while there.
If you’re looking for a snack, there are many cozy cafes to experience. We recommend checking out the Sugar Dust Bakery & Café for fancy cakes, sweets and tasty drinks.
Those wanting to connect with nature should take in the area’s prominent fishing scene. You can find spring trout and summer salmon in the beautiful Ganaraska River that runs through the town.
If you’d prefer a more exciting activity on the river, enter in the Ganny River Race. In this annual event, contestants race a 10km track in rafts competing for big prizes. While you’re racing down the current with your friends, you’ll be glad you chose Port Hope as your destination!
Learn More: https://www.visitporthope.ca/
For a group of friends looking to relax during a weekend away, Collingwood, Ontario is the perfect spot to visit. Just a short drive outside of Barrie, Collingwood boasts many fun small town activities and hot spots that will keep you entertained for your entire stay.
Plan a quick beer tasting adventure by visiting the area’s two local breweries, The Collingwood Brewery and Side Launch Brewing Company. After a couple drinks, history buffs will want to take a day to visit the town’s historic local buildings, as well as the Collingwood Museum.
Those with an eye for visual arts have to visit Tremont Studios. There, guests can meet with a local artist to watch and discuss their work!
If you’re looking to unwind in nature, spend some time in Sunset Point Park. The spot hosts plenty of outdoor activities including swimming, trails or good old fashioned sightseeing. With restaurants and shopping opportunities within walking distance, this gorgeous spot near Georgian Bay is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!
Learn More: https://www.collingwood.ca/
Conclusion: Best Places To Visit In Ontario For The Weekend
Whether you are looking for a calming weekend in nature, or an action-packed trip with friends, there’s something for everyone in the province of Ontario.
As a recap, here is our top recommended places to visit in Ontario during your weekend away:
Algonquin Provincial Park
Prince Edward County
Niagara On The Lake and Niagara Falls
We hope this list helps you plan your fun-filled weekend adventure! Remember to share stories of your vacation in the comments below or let us know if we forgot a favourite destination.
Written by Emma Ratcliffe of FML Adventures