Famous for Niagara Falls, world-class cities and thousands of lakes, Ontario has over 400,000 miles to explore. Brimming with culture and packed with gorgeous natural vistas, this Canadian province is made for road-tripping.
Something for Everyone
Looking at a map of Ontario, Canada may be overwhelming, and for good reason. It is Canada’s largest province so there is a lot of ground to cover. From cities loaded with culture and festivals to sweeping wilderness, there are endless options no matter what type of vacation you are looking for. We’ve narrowed it down to a few key destinations connecting some of the best attractions Ontario has to offer.
Niagara Falls should be on everyone’s bucket list, so we are starting with this iconic locale. With stops at waterfalls, quaint towns, world-class cities and expansive provincial parks, there will be plenty to see and do along the way. We’ll cover approximately 450 miles on this 10-hour drive, but stops of at least one day are encouraged at each location. The route is reversible, so choose your adventure and let’s get started!
Niagara to Toronto
Whether you view the falls by boat or air, these iconic falls are a must-see. The surrounding areas are worth exploring as well, like local wineries and famous attractions like the Clifton Hill Skywheel. The two hour drive to Toronto has a perfect pit stop along the way. Known as the City of Waterfalls, Hamilton, Ontario is the middle point between Niagara and Toronto. Outside the industrial city are myriad hiking trails and parks encompassing over 100 waterfalls. Head to Bruce Trail Conservatory where many trails intersect. Hike for the day, then head to Toronto for dinner.
Toronto is a world-class city and for good reason. Cultural festivals, museums and conservatories, fine dining and incredible attractions make Toronto a great place to settle in for a few days in order to take in everything the city has to offer.
Diverse cuisine defines this international city. Find “Haute French” cuisine at Scaramouche Restaurant, an upscale bistro with gorgeous city views. Go for tapas and wine at Chiado, serving elegant wines and refined Portuguese in a classic dining room. For a more casual vibe, try Harry’s Charbroiled Dining Lounge where Christmas lights are hanging year round.
The World’s Longest Street?
No trip to Toronto would be complete without driving on what is said to be the world’s longest street — Yonge Street. Pick it up in downtown Toronto, and head straight north through the suburbs before arriving in Newmarket. Stay busy for the afternoon at Holland Marsh Winery, visit the Elman W. Campbell museum, or spend some time at the Newmarket Riverwalk Commons.
After refueling in Newmarket, get back in the car to make the three-hour drive up to Algonquin Park. While not the most efficient way to head to Ottawa, it is worth the diversion. Over 2,900 miles of natural beauty offer all sorts of outdoor adventures. Depending on the season and weather, you can choose to canoe, camp, spot wildlife like moose and wolves or view the Northern Lights from Radio Observatory.
A Bustling Capital City
After recharging in the pristine wilderness of Algonquin, you are just three more hours from the busy capital city of Ottawa. Home to galleries, museums, more museums and yes even more museums, there is plenty to learn and explore. Parliament Hill is not only a beautiful government building, but a community center for culture and activities. Don’t miss the Rideau Canal pathways that run along both sides of the river. There is also a series of eight massive locks that connect the Ottawa River with the Rideau Canal. If visiting during the summer, be sure to check out the locks in operation!
Endless and diverse dining options are scattered across the city, making visitors truly spoiled for choice. Tick a few of these old favorites off your list, and you won’t leave town disappointed.
Now that cannabis is legalized in Canada, it’s never been a better time to visit the beautiful province of Ontario. Urban lovers, wilderness experts and everyone in between will find something to love in Canada’s largest province.