Looking for great places to visit in Ontario? Luckily we have something for everyone to experience, from stunning scenery to world-class culture and food. Most of it is just a quick hour or two drive outside of downtown Toronto.
Here are some great ideas for your ultimate Ontario travel bucket list. So grab your crew, hop on your minibus rental in Toronto, and go have an adventure.
- Winery Tour
Ontario wines are making a name for themselves, and luckily two of the best wine regions are right outside Toronto.
- Prince Edward County – or “the county” as it is known to the locals, is a beautiful area east of Toronto on the shore of Lake Ontario that boasts over 35 winemakers including Sandbanks, and Hillier Creek Estates. Most wineries offer tours of their operations and vineyards and because there are so many to choose from you can hit several in one day.
- Niagara on the Lake is another famous Ontario wine region and beautiful little town featuring shops, restaurants serving local produce and a world-class theatre, The Shaw Festival. Famous wineries in the area include Inniskillin, Peller Estates and Cave Springs.
- Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is one of the natural wonders of the world and it still attracts thousands of visitors each year for good reason. Hike along the Niagara River and experience the thundering water, or take a tour behind the falls to get up close and personal. The Hornblower takes visitors into the river and up close the falls, just be sure to wear your rain poncho.
- Stratford Festival
The Stratford Festival is one of North America’s largest repertory theatres and has a season that features world-class talent in Shakespearean classics, musicals and modern contemporary theatre. The season runs May – October. The town of Stratford is worth a visit as well, with amazing restaurants and shops and a beautiful park featuring swans and geese swimming along the Avon river in the center of town.
- Skate on the Rideau Canal
What could be more Canadian than skating along Ottawa’s iconic Rideau Canal? Glide down this 7.8-kilometer trail through downtown Ottawa and stop at the food and heated huts along the way to keep your energy up and your toes warm. The canal also hosts the Winterlude Festival every winter, which is a great way to chase away the winter blues with a winter playground, snow and ice sculptures, food, and games.
- Algonquin Park
Just a few hours north of the city is the beautiful Algonquin Park. If canoeing is your thing, this is the place to get out into nature. Visit Algonquin in the winter for some amazing cross country skiing with kilometers of open trails just waiting to be discovered.
- Visit National Parks
Ontario is spoiled with beautiful provincial and national parks. Many just a few hours outside the city limits. Bruce Peninsula National Park is a popular destination in the summer months. Known for its big attraction – The Grotto, which is an underwater cave that features breathtakingly blue water that leads out to the cave opening. The Bruce Peninsula also features fantastic hiking, camping, and scenery along its trails.
- Pow Wows
Summer is pow wow season, and pow wows are a great way to learn about and celebrate indigenous culture in Ontario. Bring your group to witness some of Turtle Island’s finest world-class singers and dancers as they compete against one another. Eat delicious food and sample the on-site arts and crafts of the vendors. Pow wows are great family events and all are welcome.
There are Pow Wows happening all over Ontario during the summer. Here are a few to check out:
- Annual Rama Pow Wow at the John Snake Memorial Multipurpose Grounds in Rama, Ontario, hosted by the Chippewas of Rama First Nation.
- Annual Eelūnaapéewi Lahkéewiit Competition Pow Wow happens every Labour Day Weekend in Moraviantown, ON.
- Grand River Champion of Champions Pow Wow is hosted by the Six Nations of the Grand River, every year on the fourth weekend of July.
Use these ideas to get started on your next travel adventure, and start crossing off your Ontario bucket list.