Ontario road trips

5 essential Ontario road trips to take this summer

Ontario road trips are such a great way to see the province's natural beauty, and getting there can be almost as much fun as the destination itself.

With so many places to choose from, summer is the perfect season to drive through charming small towns, past sparkling lakes, and rolling hills. 

It's time to curate that perfect Spotify playlist and get the GPS ready - here are 5 essential Ontario road trips to take this summer.

Thousand Islands

For a jaw-droppingly beautiful ride, head to the Thousand Islands region, found on the border between Ontario and the United States. Drive along the Thousand Islands Parkway, which offers panoramic views of the St. Lawrence River and its multitude of islands.

One of the prettiest roads in the province is the Long Sault Parkway, connecting a chain of eleven islands which are home to a fascinating and significant history. While in the area, consider a boat cruise through the archipelago, where you can spot beautiful cottages, historic castles, and diverse wildlife.

Niagara's Wine Country

Just 1.5 hours from the city you'll find Ontario's Niagara region, a must-do road trip for Toronto residents. Besides the obvious major attraction of Niagara Falls nearby, exploring Niagara-on-the-Lake's wine country will immediately instill a sense of relaxation.

Drive past the area's lush vineyards and pop into a winery for a tasting, and be sure to stop and explore Niagara-on-the-Lake's charming historic town center, quaint cafes, shops, and boutiques.

Tobermory

For a destination that will transport you to a whole new world, head to Tobermory, approximately a 4.5 hour drive from Toronto. With its tropical-esque blue waters (beware, they are ice cold), rugged rocky shorelines, and towering pine forests, you can't help but be mesmerized by the natural beauty.

One of the area's main attractions is the Grotto, a unique geological formation that you can actually swim in (if you can handle the cold water). Its beach also recently ranked as one of the best in the world. In town, grab an ice cream and stroll around the harbour, or take a glass-bottom boat tour and explore the many shipwrecks in the area.

Manitoulin Island

Often referred to as "Ontario's best-kept secret," Manitoulin Island on Lake Huron is brimming with natural beauty, as well as a rich history and culture. It's also the largest freshwater island in the world, located roughly 6.5 hours north of Toronto.

Along you're route, you'll come across everything from natural wonders to inviting beach towns. Stretch your legs with a pitstop at Mono Cliffs Provincial Park and walk through a canyon, or grab lunch in Sauble Beach, home to the second longest freshwater beach in the world. 

Algonquin Provincial Park

Offering breathtaking rugged terrain, pristine lakes, forested trails, and plenty of wildlife, Algonquin Provincial Park is the perfect year-round road trip destination, although it's arguably more fun in the summer when you can also swim and paddle around.

The drive to get there along Highway 60 is strikingly beautiful, featuring a number of lookout points to take in the view. At the park, go for a hike or rent a canoe and explore the lake. Camping is also one of the park's most popular activities, as you can stargaze under a sky free of city light pollution.

Lead photo by

Parks of the St. Lawrence


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5 essential Ontario road trips to take this summer

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