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Looking for the best Toronto day trip ideas? Read this article as you’ll discover the best places to visit near Toronto.
These are the best day trips from Toronto, Canada as well as a few longer weekend trips from Toronto. Discover where to go to relax near Toronto or what destinations are perfect for adventure-seekers from this article.
We already showed you the many wonderful Toronto attractions you can discover here, through a local’s guide, and we also showed you that you can take a graffiti tour of the city.
It’s now the perfect time to discover the best things to see and do near Toronto – a city that is among the top 10 safest cities in the world, in case you didn’t know.
All the wonderful recommendations of top-rated day trips from Toronto by a local are provided by Kim from My Global Ways.
The Best Day Trips from Toronto, Canada
Toronto is a huge cosmopolitan city and honestly one of my favourites in North America. There is so much to do in Toronto, but part of the appeal of Toronto is the abundance of things to do in the surrounding area.
Here are the best things to do in and around Toronto!
Included on this list of Toronto day trips:
- Wonderland Theme Park (40 mins)
- Rattlesnake Point (50 mins)
- Hamilton (1 hour)
- Grand River (1 hour)
- Niagara Falls & Niagara on the Lake (1 1/2 hours)
- Blue Mountain & Collingwood (2 h
- Killarney / Georgian Bay (4 1/2 hours)ours)
- Cottage Country – Muskoka & Kawarthas (2 1/2 hours)
- Bruce Peninsula (3 1/2 hours)
- Algonquin Park (3 1/2 hours)
- Longer weekend trips
- French River (3 1/2 Hours)
- Killarney / Georgian Bay (4 1/2 hours)
- Montreal (5 hours)
Wonderland Theme Park (40 mins)
Canada’s Wonderland is Canada’s largest and most popular theme park. It is particularly famous for its two biggest rollercoasters, the Leviathan and the Behemoth.
The Leviathan is Canada’s tallest and fastest coaster, the Behemoth is the second largest. It’s no surprise that these are the first adrenaline rushing activities near Toronto that I’m recommending in this article.
It is very easy to get to, but does get pretty crowded during school holidays.
I’d recommend getting a skip the line pass as sometimes the lines can get pretty long, although not as long as I’ve seen at other theme parks.
Rattlesnake Point (50 mins)
This is a Toronto staple, on a nice day this park will be filled with hikers and climbers.
It has several short trails that overlook the Niagara Escarpment and several have caves to explore. Definitely one of the best day trips from Toronto.
It is also a very popular spot for rock climbers to go and is a great spot to learn if you are interested. Zen Climbing offers lessons for climbers of different levels and is very safety conscious.
Hamilton (1 hour)
Next on this list of best Toronto day trips is Hamilton.
Hamilton is known as the City of Waterfalls as it has over 100 waterfalls within its city limits.
There is a ton of hiking through Hamilton and it is very easy to get to from Toronto. Just pick a waterfall and head out, some of them you can even swim in!
Grand River (1 hour)
The Grand River is a huge flat river very close to Toronto. It offers a large variety of things to do like geocaching, boating or fishing.
A popular option is tubing down Elora Gorge Park, it is a very relaxing way to spend an afternoon.
You can either drive yourself to the Grand River or join the Park Bus that will take you from Toronto to the gorge and back. Easily accessible, fun, and outdoor: the three ingredients that make this one of the perfect day trips from Toronto.
Niagara Falls & Niagara on the Lake (1 1/2 hours)
Niagara Falls is of course one of Canada’s most famous and iconic attractions. Plus it is easily accessible from Toronto which makes this one of the best things to see near Toronto!
During the summer the Go Train offers trains back and forth, but it is easier to drive. Niagara Falls is naturally very touristy and offers several ways to experience the Fall.
The best of which is the Maid of the Mist which is a boat that will take you right up to the bottom of the falls. It can be a bit expensive, but it is worth it!
Once you have seen the falls you can have a look around Niagara the town, but I would suggest not staying too long.
Niagara the town is overrun with cringe-worthy arcades, mediocre restaurants and other tourist attractions. It is interesting to walk through, But Niagara on the Lake is a much nicer way to spend the rest of the day.
Niagara on the Lake is the best-known wine region in Ontario. It is particularly famous for its ice wine which is made from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine.
It is a very sweet wine, but it is very indicative of the region. Ontario is one of the biggest producers of ice wine in the world.
There are a ton of different wineries in the region, you can either drive between them, bike between them or join a tour (so you don’t have to worry about driving drunk).
Blue Mountain & Collingwood (2 hours)
Calling Blue Mountain a mountain is a bit of an exaggeration, by normal standards, it is quite small, but by Ontario standards, it is pretty large.
It is known for its skiing and snowboarding in the winter, but there are things to do in Blue Mountain and Collingwood all year round.
There is a well-known spa and a ton of hiking and biking trails. There is also good outdoor climbing available at Metcalfe Rock.
It is slightly higher and harder then Rattlesnake Point, but is still good for beginners and is not as hard as other climbing spots in Ontario. For sure one of the top things to do near Toronto!
Cottage Country – Muskoka & Kawarthas (2 1/2 hours)
If there is one thing that Torontonians love it is a good cottage! There are thousands of lakes relatively close to Toronto and each has its own character.
While you can technically go and visit Muskoka and other cottage country areas to get the full experience you should spend a night.
Depending on which lake / region you choose depends on what activities are available. Hiking, water skiing, paddling and cliff jumping are all very common.
Some lakes will even have golf courses or fancy restaurants available.
Remember that the real appeal of cottage county is relaxing and slowing down after a visit to Toronto.
Kick back, grab a beer and some sun cream and enjoy the Canadian sundown on the dock and you’ll see why this is one of the best places to visit near Toronto.
Bruce Peninsula (3 1/2 hours)
It is possible to do the Bruce Peninsula in a day, but a lot of people will choose to spend a night or two exploring the region as there is a lot to see.
The Bruce Trail starts (or ends) at the Bruce Peninsula. The trail is 885km long, but most people will only walk segments of it.
The parts that run through Bruce Peninsula are particularly gorgeous.
While you’re there check out the Grotto.
It is a cave that you can swim in during the summer and the water is crystal blue. Book in advance during the summer months as it is quite popular – which makes this one of the best things to do near Toronto.
Algonquin Park (3 1/2 hours)
Another great Toronto day trip is to Algonquin Park. This is one of Ontario’s oldest and largest parks.
It is the highest region in the area and is protected as the water from Algonquin’s lakes flow down all over the region. It is dotted with lakes and rivers and is particularly popular in the fall when people flock to the park to see the fall colours change.
A great spot to see the fall colours is from Dorset Fire Tower, just to the west of the park. It is also a great spot for wildlife sporting, hiking, and camping.
Longer Weekend Trips
Ok so I know that is all about day trips, but there are a few longer weekend length trips near Toronto that excellent!
None of these are doable in a day, but they are worth mentioning because they are THAT good! Here are the top three weekend trips from Toronto.
French River (3 1/2 Hours)
Paddling and canoeing are an iconic Canadian pastime and played a fundamental role in the early days of our country. While going paddling for a day is a lot of fun you don’t really get the full experience until you do an overnight trip.
The French River is a very easy river to paddle so it is perfect for beginners and it is absolutely gorgeous! Look of for Aboriginal drawings on the banks of the river. One of the best things to do around Toronto!
Killarney / Georgian Bay (4 1/2 hours)
Killarney Provincial Park is located on the North Shore of Georgian Bay and in my opinion, is probably one of the most iconic landscape in Ontario and one of the best weekend trips from Toronto.
You can really see the Canadian Shield landscape all over the place. It is a popular spot for camping, sea kayaking, hiking, and paddling.
Montreal (5 hours)
Montreal is an incredibly diverse and beautiful city easily accessible from Toronto by train or car.
Read here the complete insider’s guide to Montreal to discover all the best things to see and do in the city.
Unlike Toronto, Montreal is a pretty historic city and you will find plenty of older churches and streets. It is also well known for its food – make sure you try the Montreal bagel and poutine!
As you can easily see there are plenty of things to see and do near Toronto. If you were wondering what to do near Toronto, I hope that this article showed you that you have plenty of options for all preferences!
No matter how many of these amazing Toronto day trips you will be able to take, each and every one of them will prove memorable!
About the author:
Kim is a 20-something, adventure seeking, bikini wearing, rock climbing, beer drinking girl from Toronto Canada. She shares her travel stories at My Global Ways and you can follow her on Pinterest and Instagram.