5 affordable, last-minute road trips near Toronto
Published Friday, May 17, 2019 4:49PM EDT Last Updated Friday, May 17, 2019 6:00PM EDT
Collingwood, Ont., just 2.5 hours from Toronto, is perfect for day-trippers. (Mark Bray)
For those who choose to stay close to home this summer, there are many options for easy, affordable weekend or day trips within two hours of Toronto.
A mosaic in every sense of the word, Ontario is one of Canada’s most diverse provinces with something for everyone. “Within a two- to three-hour drive of the city are towns and regions that showcase Ontario’s natural beauty, our rich history, family friendly resorts, outdoor adventures and delicious food along the way,” says Lisa LaVecchia, president and CEO of Destination Ontario.
Here are five suggestions.
An hour-and-a-half from Toronto, just north of Guelph, lies the charming, historic town of Elora. The downtown is home to original stone buildings from the 1800s, which have been transformed into unique gift shops, galleries, and inviting restaurants. Outdoor enthusiasts can check out the Elora Gorge Conservation area famous for its 25-metre limestone cliffs where they can kayak, swim or go tubing down the Grand River. Take your camera.
2. St. Jacobs
The Village of St. Jacobs is a unique place to visit along the Conestoga River, near Kitchener. It’s just a two-hour drive from Toronto.
It's a community known for its originality and its dozens of independent, whimsical shops. Visitors can enjoy the historic St. Jacobs Farmer’s Market, where 300 vendors gather each week.
3. Port Dover
Two hours from Toronto, nestled along the shores of Lake Erie, Port Dover offers family-friendly sandy beaches and romantic piers. Check out the lighthouse and the fishing boats. Spend time strolling through one-of-a-kind shops and boutiques and experience the historic hotels and bed-and-breakfasts. Port Dover’s charm will have you returning, time after time.
4. Warsaw Caves
Just 160 kilometres from Toronto in the valley of the Indian River, the Warsaw Caves Conservation Area offers a range of recreational opportunities for the entire family. There are seven subterranean caves that adults and children alike can explore and discover. Enjoy 1.5 km of hiking trails stretching through mature forests that give way to limestone plains overlooking a disappearing river and “The Kettles,” a natural phenomenon.
(Mark Bray / CTV Toronto)
5. Collingwood / Blue Mountain
About 2.5 hours northwest of Toronto, just outside of Collingwood, Blue Mountain Ski Resort is perfect for day-trippers even in the summer months. Families can enjoy biking, hiking, and exploring the Village of Blue Mountain. Fine dining, shopping and of course the Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster, are also a must-do. Just to the east of Collingwood is the town of Wasaga Beach, a small town with a festive atmosphere and a beautiful stretch of sand that is ideal for any sun-seeker.