Ah, the lure of the open road – especially when it leads somewhere good! As much as I love to travel abroad, it can be expensive. The great news is that we Canadians are lucky to have one of the largest, most diverse and most exciting countries in the world at our fingertips…no passport required! There are so many attractions and major travel destinations right in our own backyard that most of us (myself included) haven’t even scratched the surface.
While awe-inspiring landmarks, breathtaking scenery and world class cultural attractions can be found from the BC coast to the fishing villages of Newfoundland, sometimes it makes sense to stick closer to home. So I’ve compiled a list of my favourite places to travel in Ontario. It’s not a true staycation, because it still involves packing and going somewhere as opposed to just turning off the phone and bingeing on Netflix for a week; but if you prefer to put your precious vacation time to better use than that, just read on for some great places to travel within Ontario. What kind of luggage do we recommend? When staying in province, you don’t necessarily need the big hardside luggage; rolling backpacks like this beautiful Epic Explorer Wheeled Backpack is the perfect gear when you want to travel light and stay flexible.
4 awesome Ontario trips
For wine lovers: Prince Edward County and Sandbanks Provincial Park
PEC is located between Kingston and Trenton, and is comprised of three villages that basically band together to form one perfect spot for vacationing couples. The county is home to award-winning wines, ciders and craft beers, sophisticated food and the kind of quaintly hip businesses you would find on a stroll through Niagara-on-the-Lake. It also boasts the world’s largest bay-mouth barrier dune formation, so you can relax on a spectacularly soft, sandy beach before taking a scenic hike or bike tour, or go antiquing before it’s time for a romantic dinner at a winery with spectacular Lake Ontario views.
For nature lovers: Pelee Island
Pelee Island very much comes to life in the summer season, between May and October. Contrary to popular belief, the whole place isn’t just about hunting pheasants – though the annual pheasant hunt does draw thousands of hunters from all over the world every autumn. Rather, the Township of Pelee is made up of nine islands situated in Lake Erie, making it the most southern point in Canada (and coincidentally warmer than most other parts of Ontario, which is nice with our recently erratic summer weather). Pelee Island itself is the largest of the nine, and is a serenely beautiful area with miles of lovely beaches and natural areas. If you like fishing, camping, cottaging, bird-watching, hiking and enjoying nature, it’s a must-see destination – without the hustle and bustle of more touristy areas.
For history lovers: Kaminstiquia Day Tour
The province offers driving tours of important historical sites, and this is a great day trip you can extend by continuing on to further destinations. The journey begins in Thunder Bay, at the mouth of the Kaministiquia (Kam) River and stops at historical sites like Mission Marsh, Fort William Historical Park and Kakabeka Falls. The tour allows you to experience a view of Canada as it was in the early 19th century – and the thundering Kakabeka Falls makes a nice alternative to the tried and true Niagara.
For families: Fun in the Big Smoke
If heading to Toronto with little kids seems overwhelming in terms of activities, not to mention cost, opt for a tightly scheduled itinerary of attractions to keep the family on track. Ontariotravel.net recommends a 3-day family adventure that includes trips to Ripley’s Aquarium, the Royal Ontario Museum and Canada’s Wonderland before heading to the Niagara area and African Lion Safari. Of course, Niagara Falls wouldn’t be the same without visits to one of its many waterparks and Clifton Hill itself, with all its outrageous tackiness, lights and spectacle!
With so much to do in Ontario, it’s a wonder anybody leaves! Wishing you a wonderful, exciting summer from Capital City Luggage.