getaway toronto

The top 5 weekend getaways three hours from Toronto

The three hour getaway from Toronto allows you to leave city life completely for backwoods adventures and islands retreats. There are a ton of gems across Ontario within this driving distance. From scuba diving to voyageuring to just plain relaxing, weekend escapes abound when you're willing to put the city this far in the distance.

Here are my picks for the top weekend getaways three hours from Toronto.

Get back to nature at Algonquin Provincial Park

Get the metropolis out of your system by visiting this amazing provincial park. Algonquin offers a variety of experiences, from interior canoe trips to ranger cabin rentals and even car camping for those feeling less adventurous. This is the rugged northern landscape at its finest, where almost every vista looks like a Group of Seven painting.

Take in the rugged beauty of Tobermory

This amazing spot at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula is packed with ways to explore the beautiful landscape, from cave systems to hidden grottos to shallow bays filled with shipwrecks. With so much to do, it's best to book at least three days off for exploration here.

Sail and scuba at Amherst Island

This little island on Lake Ontario just east of Kingston is a great place to spend some time on the water. Sail around the island and stop at its many ports (the hamlet of Stella is one of the prettiest towns in the province), or explore underwater (there's a shipwreck graveyard at the south shore). There's a host of picturesque B&Bs; at which to stay.

Be a voyageur in French River

Rent a trailer or cottage or pack a tent and retreat to this scenic spot that's far enough north to feel rugged and completely removed from urban life. Explore the water, and stop by the French River Trading Post, one of the country's oldest gift shops. Camping is a good bet, but so too are cottage rentals.

Press your refresh button at Grail Springs

This holistic wellness retreat centre is located in an old, ivy-covered, castle-like estate near Bancroft that'll win your heart before you even step inside. They offer three to 22 day retreats with various goals, like the "Body Detox Cleanse," the "Energy Regeneration," and even the hefty "Life Transformation."

Lead photo by

Kevin Morris. With files from Amanda Storey.


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