Scenic Drives Through Ontario
We list off some beautiful spots in Ontario, perfect for short (or long) road trips.
Although many airlines are now expanding their roster of flights, COVID-19 has certainly changed the way we travel. And for many of us, hopping on an airplane this summer just isn’t an option. But who says you’re bound to staycations all season? If you’ve got a car, the next best thing is a road trip!
Ontario is full of unique discoveries, especially during the summer months. Although most people are familiar with Toronto and Ottawa, there’s a lot more to explore in this massive province.
From beautiful hiking trails to charming B&Bs, check out our road trip planner for some fun ideas. These destinations also offer scenic drives along the way – after all, half the fun is getting there!
Detour through Algonquin Provincial Park
If you’re driving from Toronto to Ottawa, one of Canada’s most famous parks is the perfect detour. Although not the most direct route between the two cities, Algonquin Park is a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life.
Take some time to stretch your legs with a hike through one of the park’s several trails, or have a picnic while catching glimpses of moose, beavers and rare birds. Despite COVID-19, the park also allows on-site camping as long as you’ve booked in advance. Once you’re back on the road, enjoy more scenic views along the Ottawa River, and check out some pretty towns as you head to the nation’s capital.
Waterfalls in Hamilton
Located an hour outside Toronto, you’ll find more than 100 waterfalls in Hamilton. The region offers a network of parks and hiking trails, so you can experience the thundering beauty of these waterfalls up close.
Hamilton is also surrounded by picturesque towns, which you can access via Snake Road. This winding, tree-lined street begins in nearby Burlington and leads you straight into Waterdown. Stop in for a latte at one of the cafes there, or visit the gourmet shops in Dundas, just a 10-minute drive away.
Wine tasting in Prince Edward County
Love wine? Rather than heading to Niagara, drive east instead. Prince Edward County is one of the country’s top destinations for wine tasting, and also happens to be one of Ontario’s prettiest regions. Gorgeous vineyards intersect with stunning beaches, while tree-canopied roads are sure to delight any nature-lover.
Although you can easily travel to PEC and back in a day, break up your road trip with an overnight stay. Why not book a small cottage along the Bay of Quinte? For a more cost-effective option, try car camping at Sandbanks instead.
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Oxford County Cheese Trail
There’s nothing like professing your love for cheese on an open road through the countryside – right?
Oxford County’s official Cheese Trail features 8 companies showcasing their high-quality goods and offering free samples too. Because you can pick and choose your stops, this cheese-tasting journey can last anywhere from a few hours to several days.
Not a huge cheese fan? No problem. You can still enjoy a scenic drive through Ontario’s famous agricultural landscape. You’ll also discover local artisans and taste some other culinary delights along the way.
Rolling hills and wide country roads make Caledon a pleasant driving destination. You’ll also love the nearby conservation areas, perfect for hikes and birdwatching. Less than an hour from Toronto, Caledon is an easy day trip both parents and children will love.
Be sure to visit the famous Cheltenham Badlands, which feature breathtaking views of exposed Queenston Shale. This is a great opportunity for kids to learn about geological formations, and they’ll be taken aback by the stunning red of exposed shale.
If you love to fish, try catching some salmon or pike in the Humber River nearby. You’ll also find beautiful spaces along the water for a light picnic and leisurely stroll. And no trip to Caledon is complete without a visit to the ice cream shop on the town’s main strip!
Don’t let COVID-19 put a damper on your family’s summer. Hopping in the car and hitting the road is the perfect physical distancing activity – as long as you remember to wear your mask and keep the sanitizer handy during stops, it’s the perfect way to get out, and stay safe.