Toronto is an amazing place to live, but sometimes it’s nice to escape the familiar, and explore all that the neighboring cities surrounding the six have to offer. Even though Toronto is a bustling metropolitan area, you will find charming small towns located within a couple of hours from downtown. Have more time? Extend your trip and experience the magic that surrounds the city. If you drive within a five-hour radius of Toronto you will experience a world-class cities, peaceful rural areas, cultural hot spots, and amazing outdoor areas.
Want to learn more about beautiful Ontario and its surrounding areas? It’s easy to plan weekend escapes and this article will show you how to do just that.
1. Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is a quick and easy weekend getaway from Toronto and due to the short drive time, it is also the most popular. Simply drive 1.5 hours down the QEW Interstate and make your way to New York State’s magnificent waterfall that everyone should see at least once. Niagara Falls is a truly the scenic wonder of America. 3160 tons of water flows over Niagara Falls every second. While you are there be sure to visit down beneath the falls, where you’ll really appreciate the splendor and power of the falls as it the ground shakes beneath you.
2. Scarborough Bluffs
Just 30 mins from Toronto, Scarborough Bluffs Park offers dramatic views of Lake Ontario. The eroding sand cliffs form what locals call the Scarborough Bluffs. The park is so high above the water that it also offers stunning views of sunrises, sunsets, and shooting stars. The Bluffs are a popular destination during the spring and summer months. Residents enjoy the Bluffers Park Marina for dog walking, soccer, frisbee, tennis and the park’s playground. Benches that are located close to the fenced edge of the park, provide park users with a place to sit and enjoy the view of Lake Ontario. During your visit make sure you are careful and aware of your surroundings. Stay aware from cliff edges and don’t go off the beaten path to avoid risk of falling while visiting this scenic location. Bluffs erode over time so practice caution and do not cross protective fencing and stay within the boundaries of all walking areas.
Elora is called Ontario’s most beautiful village and it is just one quick hour from Toronto. Home to delicious eateries, cute shops Elora has something for every member of the family will enjoy. Elora is well known throughout Ontario for its 19th-century architecture, Elora Gorge and Elora Gorge Falls—a roughly 25ft tall waterfall located upstream from the Elora Gorge. The town of Elora flourishes with natural and artistic culture, it is and a haven for concerts and music. There are also plenty of scenic areas for photographs and art galleries to visit. If you are a music lover and foodie check the calendar to visit during the Riverfest—a 3 day music, art and food festival that is hosted in Elora annually.
4. Cheltenham Badlands
The Cheltenham Badlands are red clay hills of wonder that are located an hour away from Toronto. These red rock hills and valleys will evoke the inner geologist in you as you observe the over 400-million-year-old formations. The Cheltenham Badlands are one of the most recognizable and visited natural heritage landmarks in southern Ontario. Over 450 million years ago this geological wonder was formed. It is a truly unique natural wonder and a must see for anyone living on Ontario and Canada. Read this overview to learn more about the Badlands before you visit.
5. Port Dover
If the beach is calling your name head to Port Dover! Just an hour and forty five minutes from Toronto, Port Dover is a seaside community in Norfolk County. This town in Ontario, Canada is located on the north shore of Lake Erie. It is known for its quiet surrounding and easy to navigate roads. Perfect for a summer trip, Port Dover has restaurants and nightlife to enjoy after your day at the beach. Tourism has always been strong in this famous fishing town that was originally home to the Algonquins. You can spend the day out on a boat exploration, on the beach, or walking down the strip of quaint and unique shops that call Port Dover home. While you are there be sure to walk down the pier to see the lighthouse and magnificent waters of Lake Erie. Pro Tip: Plan your visit on Friday the 13th and experience the true quirkiness of this lakeside town. Every Friday the 13th since 1981 Port Dover has closed main street and hosts a biker celebration honoring the events founder and celebration and rock and roll, bikes, and of course—Friday the 13th. Vendors line the street making this one of a kind event a must go!
We hope you enjoy your vacation! If you’re extending your trip and need a place to store your belongings (or all that winter or summer gear when you get back), contact the professionals at Secure Self Storage located throughout provide the best storage experience in Ontario, Canada.