weekend getaway from toronto

10 fun outdoor winter weekend getaways from Toronto

A weekend getaway from Toronto is what to take when you don't want the lack of sun and extreme cold weather in the city to get you down. There's no reason to have to wait until summer to have some outdoor fun, especially when there is so much to do within a short drive from the city.

Here are some ideas for a fun outdoor winter weekend getaway from Toronto.

Ottawa

The nation's capital has loads of dining, entertainment and activity options, partially by virtue of it being the second-biggest city in the province and partially due to its location along attractions like the Rideau Canal.

Take in the view of the stunning Hotel Fairmont Chateau Laurier while gliding down the world's largest frozen skating rink, visit the National Gallery of Canada, or kick around Westboro, the city's trendiest neighbourhood. You can even sleep over in a creepy old prison if you're looking for a real thrill.

Montreal

Montreal has a distinctly euro vibe and architecture that will transport you to another time and place without having to get on a plane or in a time machine.

The city is known for its nightlife, with cute restaurants and cool bars lining its streets. Grab a coffee and a Montreal-style bagel before hiking up Mount Royal for the best city views.

Stop in a bar you can skateboard in or relax in a state-of-the-art 600,000 square foot thermal spa.

Quebec City

This locale is the ultimate place for a winter mini-vacation. Between its annual winter carnival that has been running for more than 100 years to its giant old toboggan slide overlooking the historic Château Frontenac hotel, Quebec City really knows how to embrace the season.

If you're really in the mood to feel the chill, you can even stay overnight in an epic ice hotel — the only one of its kind in North America.

Colborne

Colborne is a small town known for its giant smiling apple you can see from the highway (and go inside).

After you enjoy the pie shop, petting zoo, mini putt and restaurant on site at the Big Apple, you can go for a brisk winter hike on one of the many trails in the area, visit a railway museum or head over to the iconic St. Anne's Spa for a relaxing massage or yoga class.

For even more outdoor fun, go hangout with a pack of alpacas and watch how alpaca wool is made at Old Mill Alpacas.

Prince Edward County

The home of Sandbanks Provincial Park, this municipality three hours east of Toronto is a prime destination for travelers during the summer months. And during winter, it's no less beautiful.

Shop the area's adorable antique shops, sample and learn about gourmet olive oil or cheese, or take a winter winery tour. The region is full of historic homes, winding country roads and quaint little cafes, restaurants and more for endless hours of exploring.

Grand Bend

Much like Prince Edward County, Grand Bend is a hot spot for a mini vacation in the summer. But, its conservation areas, provincial parks, resorts and spas are still open for fun year-round.

Walk out onto a pier for a sunset on Lake Huron, visit a restored 19th-century schoolhouse-turned-restaurant for a bite to eat or visit a winery for a glass or two.

For the ultimate outdoor experience, get some winter camping in and sleep over in a yurt in Pinery Provincial Park.

Collingwood

Though we don't have the mountains of the west coast, the best skiing and snowboarding we have in Ontario is undeniably at Blue Mountain, less than three hours from the city.

After a full day on the slopes or the cross country trails, relax with a hot chocolate or a boozy beverage in the picturesque little Blue Mountain Village, or let your muscles melt at the renowned Scandinave Spa.

Niagara

Niagara Falls is the country's most popular tourist destination, but if you've never been in the winter, you're missing out because they really are something completely new to behold when they start freezing over.

Unique sites like the indoor-outdoor botantical gardens and butterfly conservatory are open year-round. And if you're looking for a bigger adrenaline rush than the Maid of the Mist, you can even zipline over the falls.

Caledon

Just a one hour drive from Toronto, Caledon and its surrounding area are a nature-lover's dream. Waterfalls, hiking trails and forests abound in the many parks.

Snowshoe in the Belfountain Conservation Area, go on a nature hike in Forks of the Credit Provincial Park, walk along the Humber River or camp year-round in Albion Hills Conservation Park (for a little more of a bougie and Instagrammable experience, you can glamp at a local farm).

If there's not too much snow, it would be a good chance to take in the out-of-this-world Cheltenham Badlands without any crowds.

Bancroft

Museums, art galleries, parks and more abound in this little town near Toronto that has been around since the 1850s.

Rent a cottage on one of its many lakes, trek around Egan Chutes Provincial Park or Silent Lake Provincial Park, shop some charming local stores, visit a restored historic log chute or pet some ponies at the Mountain Creek Ranch.

The local playhouse even has TIFF screenings, live performances, talks and other events, while the Grail Springs Retreat for Wellbeing runs a winter spa fest.

Lead photo by

@itsmrsmarcos


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