10 Great Road Trips From Toronto
Posted on September 3, 2021
Just when it started to feel like it would never happen, summer landed on us. The next thing you know, we’re smack dab in the middle of it. If you’ve been holding back on the fun, it’s officially time to let loose and hit the road! Take your CarHub-purchased vehicle out and see what this province has to offer.
It’s been tough to find benefits from the pandemic but one is that it’s forced people to explore their backyard rather than hopping on a plane to get out and experience some fun.
If you’re new to the road-tripping scene though, perhaps a refresher of the finer points of Ontario summer travel is in order. From stunning provincial parks to great sights and tourist attractions in between, Ontario has a lot to offer. Let’s check out a few of the best spots!
A quick hour and a half out of Toronto jaunt out of the city will take you to the famous Elora Gorge, a conservation area that features the stunning landscape of the natural anomaly that is the Elora Gorge. The town of Elora offers the picture of quaintness and activities such as Grand River tubing or for the craft beer lovers out there, a trip to the Elora Brewing Company.
2. Niagara Falls
Even people who have seen the falls many times in their life find themselves awestruck by the power of one of the seven natural wonders of the world that just happens to reside right in our backyard. Whether you’re in it for the tourist attractions that Niagara offers or just for the scenic view of some massive waterfalls, Niagara has a little something for everyone. Boat rides or restaurants, the Falls have you covered in the fun department.
For the hikers amongst us, CarHub recommends the Niagara Whirlpool Trail. It’s a moderate-difficulty trail that runs parallel to the striking blue and perpetually swirling Niagara river. It’s a fun drive from the Falls to the river and the river makes for a great precursor for the main event!
3. Sandbanks Provincial Park
These days, every Torontonian has heard of Prince Edward County. What was once Ontario’s best-kept secret is a secret no more. Wineries abound and bars/restaurants such as The Drake Devonshire and The Hayloft Dancehall round out the entertainment options but if you’re more into the nature side of excursions, a jaunt to Sandbanks Provincial Park will offer a chance to enjoy a serene setting with options for swimming and hikes. The most striking feature of the park though is its namesake, three huge, white sand dunes that coincide with the park’s beaches. Sandbanks will be about a 2.5-hour drive from Toronto, but hey, isn’t the drive part of the fun??
4. Point Pelee
This one’s a bit of a jaunt at 350 km from Toronto but fire up the tunes, get the car snacks prepared, and enjoy the views offered by a fine stretch of Southern Ontario. Point Pelee is famous as the southernmost point of Ontario and it’s a strip of land that juts out into Lake Erie. It’s a mecca for birders as it strides a migratory route. There’s a twenty-kilometer beach, a boardwalk, and marshlands all available to be taken advantage of.
Visit the southernmost point of mainland Canada at Point Pelee National Park. This park juts down into Lake Erie and is one of Canada’s most ecologically diverse parks. Thousands of birds flock here on their migratory routes. You can paddle in the marshlands, walk along the boardwalk, or stroll along a 20-kilometer beach.
You can walk to the very tip and stand at the southernmost point. But did you know the tip is always moving? The shoreline shifts and alters its shape with the constant berating of waves and storms.
5. Cheltenham Badlands
At only 65 kilometers from Toronto (but conveniently located close to our CarHub Caledon location), the Cheltenham Badlands are a quick jaunt that is worth some attention. The geological anomaly mimics the larger, more famous badlands in Alberta at a fraction of the travel time. For those of you who are unaware, Wikipedia defines the badlands as ‘a type of dry terrain where softer sedimentary rocks and clay-rich soils have been extensively eroded by wind and water’. The direct translation of that is that they are neat things that are worth a visit to. Be aware though, this is a look but don’t touch situation. The Credit Valley Conservation Authority has issued a plea to stay off of the landscape feature for fear of damage. No worries there though because the Badlands are still magnificent from afar!
6. Grand Bend
If you’re in the GTA it’s easy to plan your getaway along the shores of Lake Ontario but why not branch out a little? A fun little 200 km jaunt down the highway will take you to beautiful Grand Bend, where you can bask in the waters of Lake Huron. Known for its vibrant sunsets, this patch of Ontario also has a Blue Flag designation, which means that it has set high standards for water quality and environmental management. Good to know when you’re wading in!
7. Hamilton Waterfalls
When most Torontonians think of Hamilton, waterfalls are not the first things that spring to mind. Beyond the Hamilton cityscape and smokestacks that line the Hamilton waterfront there lies an avid naturalist's dream. Trails abound that will run you to no less than 100 waterfalls which vary in size and scope in and around the Hamilton Escarpment. And best of all, you’re only looking at about a 45-minute drive from the city.
8. Ferris Provincial Park
Ferris Provincial Park offers many incredible natural vistas but the big draw to the park is the Ranney Gorge Suspension Bridge which runs over the Trent River Gorge. It offers some brilliant scenery but it’s definitely not for people with a fear of heights. You’ll also get ten kilometers of hikes around the park that offers amazing views of the falls and other viewpoints.
9. Algonquin Provincial Park
No list of Ontario destinations would be complete without mention of Algonquin park. At about a 3.5 hour drive out of the city, it will take the intrepid traveler to get up early enough to get a full day out of this one but it is definitely worth it. The classic way to do Algonquin is actually to camp though, so why not make a few days out of it? There are no less than fourteen designated trails in the park, as well as canoeing and kayaking for those who want a water experience out of their trip. The park is also a great place for animal sightings, with everything from wolf to moose that call Algonquin home.
10. Alpaca Farm
Ok, ok, this one may not be quite as majestic as some of the other options on this list but it is a fun and wholesome fat trip adventure that’s suitable for families or friend groups alike.
There are many alpaca farms in Ontario and the majority of them welcome visitors as a side tourism business. One excellent one, located in Markdale, Ontario, which will be about a two-hour drive from the city is called Kickin’ Back Alpaca Ranch. A visit to the ranch will get you up close and personal with about 60 alpacas in a fun, clean setting. It may be unconventional but it’s a great way to spend a day out of the city!
You’ll need a car to get out of the city, right? Well, we’ve got you covered! Want to check out the options available at the CarHub lots today? You can visit us in-store or on our website at CarHub.ca!