What better way to celebrate the nation’s 150th birthday than by exploring the gems in your own backyard? For Torontonians on a budget, there are plenty of getaway options within a two-hour drive of the city.
Here are our picks for 4 weekend escapes that won’t break the bank.
Getaways for foodies:
Prince Edward County
Location: 212 km from Toronto
Destination inspiration: Head east to Prince Edward County and you’ll find an area that’s booming with more dining options than you could ever try in a single weekend. Grab a bike and hit the “Taste Trail,” a route linking the County’s restaurants, artisanal food producers, wineries and spirit purveyors. You’ll soon seen why this area is called the “gastronomic capital of Ontario".
The June Motel | Lauren Miller, Toronto Brand Photography
Accommodations: The Drake Devonshire hotel is the star of the area, but its accommodations can be pricey, especially on weekends.
Consider staying in at a traditional property such as the Claramount Inn in Picton; for a boutique option, stay at the indelibly hip June Motel (pictured above).
Budget: Suites at the Claramount Inn start at $215 (plus tax) per night. Add in $35 for gas there and back. Total: $465
Getaways for the outdoorsy:
Location: 115 km from Toronto
Destination inspiration: The picturesque village of Elora is nestled on the edge of an impressive gorge. Surrounded by rolling hills and Mennonite farmland, it’s the perfect place for outdoor enthusiasts: Hikers can explore trails that snake through the 22-metre-high limestone cliffs and caves in the Elora Gorge; cyclists can peddle the Trans-Canada Trail through Elora and surrounding rural communities; swimmers can tube down the Grand River.
Accommodations: Campsites are available in the Grand River Conservation Area, but for some comfier digs, check out Moonlight Glamping, which offers fully-furnished canvas tents and tipis.
Budget per person: Tipis and tents from $125 per night on weekends. Add in $21 for gas there and back. Total: $271
Getaways for those who swoon:
Peller Estates Winery courtesy of Ontario Travel
Location: 132 km from Toronto (to Niagara-on-the-Lake)
Destination inspiration: The Niagara region’s abundance of wineries, restaurants and cultural activities make for the ideal romantic getaway. There’s no shortage of cycling routes in the area: Picture you and your loved one biking right beside Niagara Falls or along the famous Welland Canal. Couples can also opt to cycle and sip—there are bike routes and tours that give you front-door access to the region’s wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake and St. Catharines.
After all that cycling, unwind at one of the many restaurants and wine bars in the Region, or grab a spread from Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Cheese Secrets boutique and head outdoors for a picnic by the lake. At night, take in a show at the renowned Shaw Festival, the second largest repertory theatre company in North America.
Vinifera Inn | Photo: William HooshmandiAccommodations: Consider staying in one of the charming bed and breakfasts in the area. Vinifera is a 1.5-acre property on the wine route in Grimsby, Ontario. Relax by the pool with a glass of wine from one of the fifty local wineries, or enjoy a complimentary wine tasting experience in their cellar.
Budget: Rooms at Vinifera start at $159 per night. Add in $24 for gas there and back. Total: $342
Getaways for the adventurous:
Location: 157 km from Toronto
Destination inspiration: Norfolk County is made up of several ports, villages and the towns of Port Dover, Turkey Point and Long Point. Visitors can choose from a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing and camping. The more adventure-minded should check out a Zodiac boat tour, mountain biking around Turkey Point or kayaking on Big Creek. Not enough adrenaline for you? Check out axe throwing at Long Point Eco-Adventures, to see if you have what it takes to be a real lumberjack.
Long Point Eco-Adventure
Accommodations: For a unique experience, stay in one of Long Point Eco-Adventure’s camping pods—essentially a rustic cabin with beds.
Budget: Camping pods cost $129 per night on weekends during the high season. Add in $24 for gas there and back. Total: $282.
Are you stay-cationing this summer?
Let us know where you're headed.
Tweet us or leave a comment below!
More southern Ontario on Canadian Traveller: