‘Tis the season for getting away and as far as weekend getaways go, Ontario has a lot to offer. Ontario also has some of Canada’s best cities and towns in Canada from Toronto to Paris (named one of the prettiest little towns in Canada) and it is filled with awesome outdoor adventures. In a nutshell Ontario has it all. So if traveling abroad isn’t in the cards this holiday season, you can still take a break to enjoy these best weekend getaways in Ontario.
Ontario offers year-round and there is plenty of beauty and culture to be found. If you are looking for the best weekend getaways in Ontario, rest assured you have many places to choose from. And we’ve rounded them up all in one place for you.
Weekend Getaways in Ontario
We’ll cover all the best weekend getaways – splitting the guide into outdoor, urban, family, and resort getaways. So let’s start with the top weekend getaways in Ontario to enjoy one of these lovely city breaks in Ontario..
Part 1 – Cities and Towns
Ready to support local businesses, explore charming towns, and treat yourself to retail therapy? These are the best cities and towns for weekend getaways in Ontario. From small towns to major cities, we’ve got a fantastic range to suit everyone’s interests.
We may be a little biased with this one because Paris is our home town. We bought a house here during the Pandemic and have fallen in love with the community. We are surrounded by hiking and biking trails, great dining, spas and scenery.
Tiny Paris was named the “Prettiest little town in Canada” and it is certainly is one of the best small towns to visit in Ontario for a weekend getaway. The town is famed for its stone buildings, cafe, and window shopping culture. Paris has that quaint atmosphere ideal for a romantic weekend getaway and has been voted one of the prettiest towns in Canada many times.
Apart from shopping and enjoying cafes, you should enjoy some river activities like tubing, fishing, or kayaking. Paris is located at the junction of the Nith Rivers and Grand River, so it offers lots of outdoor entertainment. Rent a kayak and equipment and hit the river for a few hours.
For a weekend getaway for couples, book a room at the Arlington Hotel and take a stroll through the streets. Pick up a coffee at the Paris Bakery and browse the many boutique shops and the shops at Wincey Mills. Or you can go hiking on the Grand Trail following the river from the portage area at the dam. Book a massage at the Ah Spa in the afternoon located directly across from your hotel and then book dinner at Stillwaters. For a nightcap check out the Paris Beer Company
Best accommodation option in Paris
The best accommodation in Paris is the Arlington Hotel. This central hotel was established in 1851 and offers historical, chic accommodation in the heart of Paris, just opposite the Grand River. Read more: 27 Things to do in Paris Ontario – A Local’s Guide
Ottawa is an all-around golden child and it is our absolute favorite city in Ontario. We’ve been many times and it’s impossible to round up everything in one short paragraph of things to do. It has an abundance of museums, historical sites, landmarks, nature, an exciting food scene, and some great restaurants. Ottawa is a big city with a small-town feel bringing an extra depth of character to the place. It is easily accessed and makes for a rewarding weekend break for anyone looking for an Ontario city experience.
Ottawa is home to thousands of things to do, including the Canadian National Gallery, Canadian War Museum, and Parliament Hill. Visitors can fly straight into Ottawa or drive there from major cities like Montreal (which Ottawa is a two-hour drive from). The capital of Canada is perfect for winter, autumn, spring, or summer adventures.
Best accommodation option in Ottawa
You will have hundreds of accommodation options in Ottawa. Fairmont Chateau Laurier is particularly luxurious if you want to splash out a little. Read more: 33 Things to do in Ottawa – A Complete Guide to the City
3. Prince Edward County
Prince Edward, aka Prince Edward County, is technically an island. The island community is known for its local artists, beautiful beaches, and wineries. And, just a two-hour drive from Toronto, Prince Edward is one of the most charming places for a weekend getaway.
While you eat, drink, and be merry, keep your eyes out for Amelia’s Garden Restaurant. The fine-dining restaurant prides itself on organic, seasonal produce from nearby farms. It even offers accommodation packages too, so you can stay and dine. If you are traveling with children, Cottage Country Factory is more suitable than fine dining. Just a short drive from Prince Edward County, this famed sweet shop is the ultimate place for children to pick up their favorite candy. And with so many outdoor activities on Prince Edward, their sugar rush may come in handy.
Best accommodation option in Prince Edward County
There are plenty of great options, but Angeline’s Inn is the quirkiest. The historic inn has bold, colorful decor and warm service.
4. Niagara on the Lake
Niagara-on-the-Lake is a brilliant small-town getaway for both summer and winter. It is packed with culture, from post-1812 war buildings to world-class theater productions. Many people liken visiting Niagara-on-the-Lake to stepping back into the 19th century, which gives you a strong idea of the town and its aesthetic. As a weekend destination, it sure packs a punch.
When you aren’t visiting historical attractions, squeeze in a winery or two. Niagara-on-the-Lake is well-known for its successful wineries, and you can experience its produce with wine tasting. Just plan it around the driving time, as Niagara-on-the-Lake is an hour’s drive from Hamilton and an hour and a half’s drive from Toronto.
Best accommodation option in Niagara-on-the-Lake
The Pillar and Post Inn and Spa – is a Niagara on the Lake institution renovated in a historic building. It has full modern amenities with indoor and outdoor pools, and exotic hot springs pool at 100 Fountain Spa. Read more: 15 Amazing Things to do in Niagara on the Lake – Canada
5. Niagara Falls
Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls are as different as salt and pepper. Niagara Falls is, of course, located right next to the Niagara Falls waterfall, however, the town has a much livelier atmosphere, with tourist attractions like wax museums and casinos.
Niagara Falls is our favorite weekend getaway in Ontario because we always find something new to do. We have barely missed a year in the past 25 years of visiting Niagara Falls for at least one weeend. And we always love it! If you are looking for fun weekend getaways with a bit of adventure, nightlife and excitement, Niagara Falls is an excellent idea. Plus, there is romance to be found if you know where to look.
You can visit the falls and get up close and personal in Journey Behind the Falls, the Clifton Hill entertainment arcade to ride the awesome ferris wheel, and the butterfly conservation area. A weekend in Niagara Falls will be fast-paced, with dramatic views, bright lights, and a packed itinerary. Niagara Falls is an hour’s drive from Hamilton and an hour and a half from Toronto. Read more: The Best Things to do in Niagara Falls
Best accommodation option in Niagara Falls
This town offers many great accommodation options, many of which provide waterfall views. Niagara Falls Marriott Fallsview Hotel & Spa is a good one, and we’ll attach a link here if you’d like to take a look. Read more: Where to Stay in Niagara Falls – Best Areas
6. Grand Bend
Grand Bend is another small-town gem, perfect for a getaway. My family had a cottage here growing up and my parents retired here for about 10 years, so we know Grand Bend well. Plus, I spent a season at Huron Country Playhouse singing in one of their shows. This place is rockin’!
Set on the shores of Lake Huron, Grand Bend town lives and breathes anything water-related. You could go swimming, kayaking, or mix things up with a parasailing experience. Its beach is always packed with people and activities.
The best things to do in Grand Bend are to enjoy the water – whether you go fishing, swimming, parasailing, or another activity that catches your eye. There’s also Pinery Park to enjoy, which we will chat about further down. The town is approximately two hours from Hamilton and one hour from Windsor and is ideally situated for a relaxing getaway. Check out: 25 Best Places to Camp in Ontario, Canada
Best accommodation option in Grand Bend
Amber Hotel is the best accommodation option and is an excellent mid-range choice. You can check the property out on TripAdvisor here.
Toronto is the best of the city scene in Ontario and we called it home for 20 years only moving out of the city in 2020. We still get into Toronto as much as we can as it is our favorite weekend escape. Its cityscape is recognized worldwide – from the CN Tower to its famed Lake Ontario waterfront. If you want one of Ontario’s most iconic weekend getaways, Toronto is easily one of the top three. As the province’s metropolis capital, it has stacks and stacks of things to do and is a breeze to access by flight.
You can check out amazing restaurants with multi-course meals, historic buildings like the parliament buildings, and delicious local craft beer at bars across the city. Plus, there are museums like the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada and the Gardiner Museum. And when (or if) you’ve exhausted all that, there are fantastic day trips to places like Niagara Falls.
Best accommodation option in Toronto
There are many fantastic accommodation options in Toronto, but the Ritz Carlton is our favorite. It’s close to Roy Thompson Hall and the Princess of Wales Theatre, The CN Tower, Entertainment District and Harborfront.
If you are looking for more affordable accommodations, The Chelsea is located at Dundas Square and is central to everything. Plus, it’s where we spent our honeymoon night 25 years ago! Don’t worry, it’s been renovated since. Read more: Where to Stay in Toronto – A Guide to the Best Neighborhoods
Kingston wasn’t on our radar until we revisited it last summer and fell in love with Kingston all over again. This small city on Lake Ontario, The Rideau Canal and St. Lawrence River is just a three-hour drive from Toronto or two hours and twenty minutes by train.
Kingston is one of the few weekend getaways linked to a major city with public transport in Ontario – so jot it down if you don’t drive or don’t want to rent a car. The city is nicknamed the ‘limestone city’ after its signature limestone architecture. It is a stunning place to just explore on foot.
We’ve planned a full ultimate itinerary for Kingston. So follow that to make your own weekend getaway perfect. As a quick note, make sure to visit Kingston Penitentiary, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Bellevue House National Historic Site, and Murney Tower National Historic Site of Canada. Read more: Things to do in Kingston – Don’t Miss This Ontario Gem
Best accommodation option in Kingston
There are lots of options when looking for places to stay in Kingston. Delta Hotels by Marriott Kingston Waterfront is beautiful, though. The three-star hotel features an indoor rooftop pool and an onsite restaurant.
For a romantic weekend, we recommend Secret Garden Inn, a beautiful boutique manor home is located within walking distance from the waterfront, Princess Street, and many of Kingston’s top attractions it is a great choice to stay and the breakfasts are delicious.
Elora is another of our favorite small towns and is best known for its 19th-century architecture and striking limestone buildings. The town was founded by Roman Catholic missionaries, and its name translates as ‘sun ray’ or ‘god is my light’ in Hebrew. Today it remains enticing for visitors wanting a romantic getaway to a pretty, small town. It is just an hour and a half from Toronto, so it is a straightforward destination to reach by car. Plus, my Great aunt lives there too!
Elora is also located next to Elora Gorge – a dramatic gorge cutting through cliffs with the Grand River running through the middle. You can admire the gorge from multiple viewpoints. If you feel nice and inspired afterward, go tubing or kayaking on a different section of the Grand River. Read more: 25 Day Trips from Toronto to Escape the City
Best accommodation option in Elora
The best accommodation option is Elora Mill Hotel & Spa. The historic hotel is set in an old riverside mill and features a full spa, gym, and yoga facilities.
Part 2 – Wine Region Weekend Getaways in Ontario
There’s something special about visiting wine regions; wine tasting at top-rated vineyards is a romantic way to spend a weekend. These are the best wine regions to visit in Ontario for a weekend getaway. Get ready to sample some stunning wines.
10. Lake Erie North Shore
Did you know that Lake Erie and Pelee Island are at the same latitude as Tuscany in Italy and Bordeaux in France? The region is the oldest wine-producing area in Canada. The first winery opened in 1866. Since then, the region has been carving an ever-growing name for itself in the international wine industry.
Some of the best wineries are Pelee Island Winery Pavillion, Copper’s Hawk Vineyards, Viewpointe Estate Winery, and Mastronardi Estate Winery. Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery is also Ontario’s only beachfront winery – a unique selling point, you’ll agree. The variety of vineyards makes Lake Erie North Shore a wonderful weekend trip. Depending on which area you visit in the region, you can either drive a short distance from London or a few hours from Hamilton or Toronto.
Plus, this was my stomping grounds as a teenager. I’d wash my car every Sunday morning and cruise the beaches of Lake Eerie with my friends Lorri and Kathy for horuse on end. Dave and I still head out for sunday drivces to this part of Ontario on a regular basis.
Best accommodation option in Lake Erie North Shore
The region covers such a span of towns and different hotels that this is a hard choice. Retro Suites Hotel is located in the center of Chatham, just a short walk from the Chatham Downtown Mall and Milner Heritage Home. Guests get complimentary breakfast on weekdays, a gym pass, and a golf course pass. Plus, you are just a ten-minute drive from Early Acres Estate Winery.
11. The Niagara Peninsula
When you think of the word Niagara, your mind very likely jumps to Niagara Falls. Draw your mind away from images of crashing waterfalls. Instead, picture a glass of Riesling, pinot noir, or even a chardonnay if you wish. The Niagara Peninsula is home to over fifty wineries and is one of Ontario’s most prolific wine-producing regions.
Some of the best wineries are Inniskillin, Peller Estates, Calamus Estate Winery, King’s Court Estate Winery, and Flat Rock Cellars. If you want a romantic getaway, book a wine tour and a relaxing hotel for you and your significant other. The best part about the Niagara Peninsula is that it’s on the doorstep of major cities like Hamilton and Mississauga. It is one of the most accessible weekend getaways in Ontario.
Best accommodation option in the Niagara Peninsula
There are plenty of luxurious AirBnBs in Niagara on the Lake. This one is a lovely cottage that is two blocks from downtown’s main street of Niagara on teh Lake.
For a modest budget, A Vineyard View Bhttps://theplanetd.com/recommends/niagara/vineyardwithviewTAed and Breakfast ticks many impressive boxes. The Victorian B&B has a stunning communal patio with vineyard views, and select bedrooms overlook private views of the unique scenery.
12. Hamilton’s Region of the Niagara Escarpment
The Niagara Escarpment is a long slope, and it is famed as Niagara Falls falls over one part of the escarpment. It actually spreads throughout Canada and the United States. Still, for the purpose of this section, we will be concentrating specifically on Hamilton’s section.
Hamilton’s section of the escarpment is a fantastic Ontario weekend getaway. The region is prime for fruit growing, making it ideal for wine production – plus, it lies in the accessible shadow of many major cities.
Best accommodation option in Niagara Escarpment (Hamilton Area)
You can make a base in Burlington to explore the Hamilton portion of the Niagara Escarpment and we recommend The Pearl Hotel & Spa is Burlington’s latest luxury escape that is perfect for pampering. Located directly on the waterfront with beautiful views of Lake Ontario,
Part 3 – Resort Weekend Getaways in Ontario
A resort getaway ticks a box that not much else can. These are the best resorts for weekend getaways in Ontario.
13. Sir Sam’s Inn and Spa
Sir Sam’s Inn and Spa is a relaxing weekend getaway in a dramatic stone-and-timber mansion. The resort features every luxury – from an indoor waterspa, to an outdoor heated pool with Eagle Lake views to snowmobile parking and private fireplaces.
Guests receive a free cooked breakfast each morning. And when you aren’t enjoying outdoor activities around Haliburton, you can enjoy complimentary spa access. Sir Sam’s is a three and a half hour’s drive from Ottawa, so well-placed for a weekend of luxury.
You can enjoy hiking and boating in the summer and snowmobiling and cross country skiing in the winter. Haliburton is a beatiful small town in Ontario and you can visit our friend Dana’s gorgeous photography studio to pick up stunning metal prints of the Haliburton region. Book your weekend getaway here
14. Fern Resort
Fern Resort in Orillia is a beautiful family-friendly resort but also romantic for couples too to choose from in Ontario. The resort sits next to Lake Couchiching, and its all-inclusive package includes complimentary meals and activities. You can explore the local area or enjoy onsite entertainment like cross-country skiing, giant chess, a spa, or ice skating.
Fern Resort is just under a two-hour drive from Toronto. It is ideal for those wanting an action-packed, family-friendly resort experience. See more details here.
15. Couples Resort
Looking for a romantic Ontario weekend getaway? Couples Resort is a beautiful resort, only open to couples and situated overlooking Galeairy Lake in Algonqin Park. The all-inclusive package includes breakfast, five-course dinners, activities like horse riding and ice skating, and access to facilities like a saltwater swimming pool.
Being in the middle of nature there are plenty of hiking trails, paddling and canoe options in the summer with cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. We visited this pre pandemic and see that it is a bit rundown now. Hopefully by the 2023 season they will have given it a refresh because we loved its tranquil setting.
The resort is three hours from Ottawa or nearly four hours from Toronto. If you want somewhere surrounded by Canadian wilderness, Couples Resort is the one. See more availabiltiy and rates on TripAdvisor
16. Deerhurst Resort
Deerhurst is an upscale resort with a lot to offer. The Ontario resort is tucked up near the Hidden Valley Highlands. Come winter, it is an ideal base for a ski holiday. For the rest of the year, though, Deerhurst Resort stands out for its two golf courses, hot tub, spa, and outdoor activities.
Deerhurst is a flexible weekend getaway; it can be considered family-friendly or one of the best romantic weekend getaways – it’s up to you to decide which. Deerhurst is a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Toronto, so nice and feasible as a weekend base. Check out details here.
Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville is 2 hours and 45 minutes drive from Toronto You can book a weekend stay at Deerhurst Resort.
17. Severn Lodge
Severn Lodge is a lovely lakeside resort on the shores of Glouster Pool in Port Severn Township. The property dates back to the 1800s and still has traditional features like beamed ceilings and historical decor. Severn Lodge’s facilities are as extra as it gets, including a heated pool, onsite beach, private dock, and patios or balconies overlooking the lake.
Severn Lodge is just forty minutes by car from Barrie and two hours from Toronto. It is the ideal weekend getaway for anyone wanting a traditional, historical base for a few days. Make reservations here.
18. Idlewyld Inn and Spa
Idlewyld Inn and Spa is the number one destination for an elegant weekend getaway in Western Ontaro. Located in London Ontario Idelwyld Inn and Spa is set in a classic mansion, the property features a full-service spa, onsite restaurant, courtyard garden, and stained glass windows throughout. It is perfect for anyone wanting an inspiring property for a relaxing city break. Get ready to step back in time.
Apart from its facilities, Idlewyld Inn and Spa also offers an all-inclusive package with a complimentary breakfast. And located in the heart of London, it is a deluxe base for a city break. See more details here.
19. Langdon Hall – Cambridge
Another complete Romantic Ontario getaway is Langdon Hall in Cambridge. My friend Kelly had her wedding here and we had the chance to experience the spa and luxury fireplace suites.
This property has the distinction of being recognized by Relais & Châteaux for a standard of excellence. The Five Diamond dining experience is the perfect romantic evening out and its spa packages include a half-day retreat of a Swedish massage, facials, and manicure and pedicure.
Add a glass of champagne and lunch and you have a full day of luxury with the one you love. There is a huge hot tub, saunas, and steam rooms to chill out in for the afternoon. Check availability and rates for Langdon Hall on TripAdvisor
Part 4 – Family Getaways in Ontario
Ontario is fantastic for family fun. The whole state is excellent for families that love adventure and bonding time, with lots of green spaces, children’s attractions, and great accommodation options. But some places are even more exciting and special for families than others. We’ve picked these extra-special places for our next section; these are the best family weekend getaways in Ontario.
20. Blue Mountain Ski Resort
Blue Mountain Resort is one of the most adventurous and romantic getaways. We put this under family weeked getaways in Ontario because there is so much to do for the whole family. But Dave and I have had many a romantic weekend here on our own. So, it has the best of both worlds!
The resort a year round retreat and, in winter, offers skiing and snowboarding galore. When you aren’t zipping down the slopes, you can be in the spa or enjoying one of the great restaurants onsite.