Can’t take too much time off over the summer? Local getaways especially within Ontario are often overlooked. From white-water rafting and bungee jumping to historic forts and majestic castles, here are 5 local getaways perfect for that summer weekend.
1. Tobermory: Snorkeling, Ship Wrecks & Caves
Getting there: From Toronto, Tobermory is around 4 hours and 40 minutes away (about $40 in gas one-way)
Budget (under $50/night): Fathom Five National Marine Park (campsite)
Best Value (under $150/night): Grandview
✓ Fathom Five National Marine Park, Canada’s first National Marine Conservation Area is one of the best freshwater dive sites in the world
✓Toberymory’s clear, clean waters are perfect for snorkelers and advanced divers to explore underwater cliffs and caves
✓ Take a glass-bottom boat tour to see sunken shipwrecks and the renowned Flowerpot Island
It's hard not to jump into water that blue! Moment captured at the Grotto in the Bruce Peninsula National Park by @somegoodnoise. #ExploreCanada #ParksCanada Difficile de résiter à la temptation des ces eaux enchantresses! Moment capté à la Grotte du Parc National de la Péninsule-Bruce par @somegoodnoise. #DiscoverON
2. Prince Edward County: Vineyards, Sand Dunes & Beaches
Getting there: From Toronto, Prince Edward County is around 2 hours and 25 minutes away (about $20 in gas one-way)
Budget (under $50/night): Sandbanks Camping (campsite)
Best Value (under $150/night): Isaiah Tubbs Resort
✓ Check out The Drake Devonshire, owned by the Drake Hotel (in Toronto)…a huge hot spot for Torontonians and locals
✓ For wine head over to Norman Hardie Winery and Vineyard, where you can try their amazing pizza from an outdoor wood-fired oven while on the small dining patio
✓ When the sun’s out, you NEED to head over to Sandbanks Provincial Park, where you can hang out on a white-sand beach or hike the massive sand dunes at Dunes Beach
Spring is at our doorstep 🌷Visit our website to see how you can book a #drakeescape. ⠀ 📷 @jungotron⠀ .⠀⠀ .⠀⠀ .⠀⠀ .⠀⠀ .⠀⠀ .⠀⠀ .⠀⠀ #xoh #drakedevonshire #thedrake #pec #princeedwardcounty #countyup #springhassprung #springequinox #spring #wellington #thehappynow #flashesofdelight #discoveron #nature #escapetoronto
3. Bon Echo: Incredible Nature, Hiking Trails & Canoeing
Getting there: From Toronto, Bon Echo Provincial Park is around 3 hours and 20 minutes away (about $25 in gas one-way)
Accommodations: For accommodation, you can reserve and book on the Ontario Parks site. They have everything from traditional back country camping to rustic cabins and yurts.
✓ Check out a parks map for hiking trails ranging from one to 17 kilometres long
✓ Kayak, canoe or hike to one of Bon Echo’s three natural sand beaches
✓ The park’s main attraction is Mazinaw Rock, a massive granite formation that features the country’s largest collection of Aboriginal pictographs, which are best seen by canoe and kayak.
4. 1000 Islands: History, Castles & Culture
Getting there: From Toronto, Gananoque (1000 Islands area) is around 3 hours away (about $30 in gas one-way).
Budget (under $50/night): 1000 Island Campsites
Best Value (under $150/night):Glen House Resort
✓ Check out a sunset ceremony on Saturday and Wednesday nights at Fort Henry. An impressive military fortress built after the war of 1812
✓ Hope on a boat cruise to experience many of the 1000 islands including Boldt castle island, beautiful lighthouses, and haunted mansions. All while listening to some of the most bizarre stories of the island’s history.
✓ Take a boat over to Wolfe Island and rent a bike- one of the largest of the thousand islands.
One of the BEST vantage points for photos of Boldt Castle is from above. This shot captures the splendor of the Thousand Islands, including Heart Island, on the St. Lawrence River. #islands #castles #boldtcastle #stlawrenceriver #upstateny #tilandtrust #old #ny #goldenage #thousandislands #1000islands #NY #Canada #Montreal #historicalsite #touristy #tourism #sightseeing #fun #romance #vintage #photography #history #historialsite #explore
5. Ottawa River Valley: White-Water Rafting, Kayaking & Bungee Jumping
Getting there: From Toronto, Ottawa is around 4 hours and 30 minutes (about $40 in gas one-way).
Accommodations: For accommodation, you can reserve and book a campsite or cabin starting at $36/night with Wilderness Tours here.
✓ Ranging from gentle to extreme, Wilderness Tours offers the best white-water rafting this side of Canada. Check out one of their camping packages to save money while rafting and staying over.
✓ If you want to take your kayaking to the next level, this is the place to learn. With warm water and the best instructors around, you’ll pick up white-water kayaking quickly.
✓ It’s a great place to stay busy with the kids- fishing charters, horseback riding and mountain biking tours can also be organized at the Wilderness Tours Adventure Resort.
Written by Ali K