If you’re thinking of travelling locally for your next getaway, then here are some spots you’ll want to check out (and take advantage of that Ontario staycation tax credit, too)!
Ontario sisters Christine and Sarah MacLean at @wellnesstravelled are always on the lookout for unique stays and adventures, and this Airbnb getaway stands out as one of their favourite Ontario destinations.
“Birchwood Cottage is a lakefront Airbnb in the Haliburton Highlands,” they tell Narcity. “Upon arrival, we were blown away by the stunning interior design.”
“It has a cozy Canadiana vibe straight out of a design magazine. We loved using the hot tub on chilly nights. We were so impressed by the sustainable cleaning products and toiletries available for guests. And we loved that it was dog-friendly! It’s also close to the famous Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve, which has a ton of activities year round.”
Fairmont Royal York
Marilou Moles, an Ottawa-based blogger at @20ys, is all about a big-city getaway, and her top pick is Toronto’s luxurious Fairmont Royal York. Located in the heart of the city, the historic venue is close to so many attractions, and she mentioned some of her favourite things to do during her stay.
“Whether you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, a new culinary discovery or a cozy night in at one of the city’s fabulous hotels (love Fairmont Royal York, Hotel X Toronto, Toronto Marriott City Centre), Toronto has something FUN for EVERYONE,” she tells Narcity.
“A getaway to Toronto is like a getaway to the world! As one of the most diverse cosmopolitan cities, you can surely find whatever food you are craving for in the SIX. Let’s not forget the world-class tours and attractions, great shopping and of course, that iconic skyline topped with the CN Tower just can’t be beat!”
Glen Oro Farm
Kirsten Wendlandt, who shares dreamy travel inspo and more on her blog, says that Glen Oro Farm is her go-to destination. “There’s one place I’ve returned to every year for the last couple of years, and it’s hands down quickly become my all time favourite Ontario destination,” she says.
“Located in Oro-Medonte, just a 1.5 hour drive from Toronto, Glen Oro Farm is the perfect place for a getaway that combines luxury and nature with a unique glamping experience.”
“Whether you decide to spend your time here in a stargazer glamping dome, or prefer to opt for a luxury explorer glamping tent, this quiet escape really is the ultimate Ontario getaway. It’s also the kind of place that is absolutely incredible no matter what season you visit!”
Blogger duo Stephanie Griffin and Rachel Sawicki at @modernglobetrotters are always off on a new adventure, but one Ontario spot stands out from the rest. “Our favourite destination in Ontario that we have travelled to is Tobermory,” they tell Narcity.
“We love that you can relax at a cottage or the beach and if you are feeling adventurous, you have the chance to explore one of the many nature sights. We highly recommend kayaking in Georgian Bay through the crystal clear water, where you will be able to see many sunken shipwrecks. Tobermory has the perfect balance of activeness and relaxation, whether you’re travelling solo or with friends/family!”
Luis Cabrera, a blogger and creator at @lostwithluis, is all about that old-world feel. “One of my favourite places to visit in Ontario is Stratford,” he says.
“It’s a quaint town only 2 hours away from Toronto, making it super convenient for a day trip. Stratford has an incredible restaurant scene, cute shops and a historic feel to it. The Avon River is picture-perfect for strolls and enjoying lunch by the water. It is hands down one of my favourite towns to visit in Ontario.”
Marriott Fallsview Hotel & Spa
Toronto-based travel blogger Loki Lee shares all her “magical adventures in Canada” on her account @lokiexplore, and when it comes to vacationing in Ontario, she says she “love[s] staying at the Marriott Fallsview.”
With views of the powerful Falls, the hotel is close to tons of attractions and activities in the area.
“I love visiting the Niagara Region because of the breathtaking views and fun attractions they offer all year round,” she explains. “From visiting the Falls to shopping at the Outlet Collection, and to wine tasting, there is always something for everybody. I also love visiting Niagara-on-the-Lake! The picturesque small town is filled with boutique shops and unique charm!”
Fairmont Château Laurier
Travel writer Christopher Mitchell at @travelingmitch has been to 80 different countries, and when it comes to vacationing in Ontario, he’d choose a stay in the nation’s capital.
“Staying in the Château Laurier never loses its charm, and leaves you right downtown to explore,” he says. He also mentions the wide variety of activities Ottawa offers.
“It’s hard to think of a better city in Canada for museums, and if you get tired of museums and want to spend some time outdoors, a walk along the Rideau Canal is always an option. Not to mention, there are great restaurants, nightlife, and some funky neighbourhoods that deserve more love such as Hintonburg!”
Prince Edward County
According to Eleni Kyri, a Toronto blogger at @bijuleni, Prince Edward County is a must-visit spot. “My go-to destination for a fun weekend is always Prince Edward County,” she says.
“This wine region never disappoints and it is the perfect escape all year around. From must-visit wineries and restaurants to quirky antique shops and sand dunes, everyone needs to visit PEC at least once.”
Tiny Lakefront Chalet
Kristine Papilla, a blogger at @tinemeetsworld, had an amazing summer escape at an Ontario Airbnb. “The Tiny Lake Front cottage in Golden Lake I found from Airbnb stood out to me last summer,” she tells Narcity. “The beautiful accommodation had all I needed for an eventful and hassle-free getaway!”
She lists a number of positive features from her stay, like the outdoor grill, supply of linens and beach towels, free equipment rentals, a fire pit, and swimming pool.
“The whole place felt so serene and private; no big parties, no crowding, beautiful cabin full of character, the unique and vintage appliances, […] and the decor that are truly conversation starters and true to the ‘Canadian cabin’ brand. Needless to say, we had such a great time here and we highly recommend!”
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.
In Ontario, a vaccine passport is required to access some events, services and businesses, including restaurants and bars.