Being from Quebec, I’ve been wanting to share my favourites for a while now for our neighbouring province: Ontario.
I love summer in Canada, and I always spend it here for road trips, keeping spring and fall seasons to travel abroad.
As the international travel industry has taken a break due to COVID-19, I have noticed numerous discussions in the Facebook group to find getaway options.
Road Trip in Ontario
Algonquin Provincial Park is vast!
It has thousands of lakes and the forest is endless. So it’s a paradise for canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding. There are also navigable lakes for your motorboat.
I used to go there to find myself in nature on hiking trails and kayaking. The trails are all easy or intermediate, in my opinion, because there is a small difference in altitude and views are beautiful.
Wasaga Beach and Sauble Beach
After the park’s forests and lakes, proceed to the popular Bruce Peninsula.
Along the way, you will come across two classic beach destinations for many Quebecers:
- Wasaga Beach
- Sauble Beach
Their long sandy beaches are well worth a stop. The first is in Georgian Bay, while the second is on Lake Huron. Both are holiday destinations and have several restaurants, shops and kiosks to entertain tourists.
I liked Sauble beach, which is also the longest freshwater beach in the world.
A must-see and a new favourite. I will never get tired of this paradise landscape: crystal clear turquoise waters like in the Caribbean, trails along the rocks with small caves where you get some shade, the most convenient marine park I’ve seen in my life!
The beach (rocks) and the cave are the main attractions of the national park.
You have to get there early for the beach as it will be crowded and book a time slot to see the cave. My favourite in addition to the turquoise waters as far as the eye can see is the Fathom Five Marine Park. It includes several shipwrecks, with snorkelling and scuba diving sites.
You can go down to the pier from the parking lot, and the wreckage is directly in front of you. Another one – almost intact – is accessible by kayak and shallow water.
Tours are also available with a glass-bottomed boat, or for a journey to the Flowerpot Islands. Remember to book your accommodations in advance as they are often full.
Elora, its canyon and its quarry
On your way back to Toronto, take a break in Elora.
From the campsite, you can rent tubes and go down on the Grand River, and this as many times as you like because the rental is for the day.
Personally, this is the most fun tube ride I’ve done! The rapids are sometimes small, and at other times it raises the adrenaline, but never to the point of becoming dangerous, only to rock us gently.
Besides, the river flows into a canyon, so the landscape is enjoyable to watch during the descent. Don’t make the same mistake as I do to run out of time and miss out on a swim in the old quarry. Google photos are beautiful; I’ve no choice but to go back!
A small curiosity that is worth a visit not far from Elora is the Cheltenham Badlands.
These “badlands” are geological formations with different shades of orange. They are like out of nowhere in the middle of the Ontario countryside. They were forbidden to visitors because it caused erosion, but for the past two years, an observation lookout has been built to be able to enjoy it again.
Prince Edward and Sandbanks County
Probably my favourite destination in Ontario because of its proximity to Montreal.
Wine region with country landscapes, the dunes of Sandbanks National Park and the clear water of Lake Ontario.
There are enough vineyards, cider factories, and micro-breweries to appeal to all tastes. What could be better than tasting wines on a sunny terrace with views of the vineyards and finishing your day at the beach admiring the sunset?
My essentials are:
- Norman Hardie Winery and Vineyard where you have to stop to eat a pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven,
- Karlo Estates Winery for its vegan wines and tastings accompanied by snacks,
- Sandbanks Estate Winery: for its full tasting menu, and also because it was the Quebecer Catherine Langlois who built this successful vineyard.
Check out the Visa Infinite benefits list for Ontario’s wine region.
Our partner, Ulysses Guides, offers a variety of guidebooks for exploring Ontario:
- Explore Georgian Bay
- Explore Sandbanks, Kingston and the Thousand Islands
- Explore Niagara Falls and the Wine Route
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