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Best Road Trips From Toronto | Weekend Getaways & Scenic Drives

road trips from toronto

Looking to get out of the city for a day or two? Here are some of the best road trips from Toronto, perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer vacation.

Last Updated: June 27, 2023

While Road Trip Ontario is based in Toronto, we’d be lying if we said we didn’t love that bright lights, big city feel. However, when it starts to get a bit overwhelming, nothing beats that small-town feel, open empty roads and gorgeous nature.

Renting a car is an option if you don’t have a car or have friends with cars. With so many car rental options available in Toronto, it shouldn’t be hard to find one that fits your needs.

Another great option is Park Bus, a shuttle bus service that runs between Toronto and various locations throughout Ontario. Such as Algonquin Provincial Park, Elora Gorge, Bruce Peninsula,  Georgian Bay Islands National Park, Rockwood Conservation Area & Rattlesnake Point & Crawford Lake

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Short Road Trips From Toronto

You could easily visit these road trip destinations from Toronto in one day, but if you want to extend your trip, you can always stay overnight. 

One-way trip times and distances are listed, so be sure to take into account the return journey when planning your trip.

Niagara Falls

Driving time from Toronto: Approx. 1 – 2 hours

The Niagara region is a popular tourist destination in Canada and is only a short drive from Toronto. The Falls themselves are an impressive sight, but there are also plenty of other things to see and do in the area. Visitors can go wine tasting, explore old fortresses, or ride the Maid of the Mist boat tour. 

Niagara Falls are located at the border between the United States and Canada and were formed by three different waterfalls – the Horseshoes Falls (On the Canadian side), the American Falls, and the Bridal Veil Falls (both on the American Side). Over six million cubic feet of water drop fifty meters from Lake Eerie into Lake Ontario every minute.

About 25 minutes from The Falls is the cute town Niagara-on-the-Lake, known for its charming streets lined by B&Bs and independent boutiques as well as small bakeries, ice cream shops, and stylish restaurants. The entire Niagara-on-the-Lake area is surrounded by several award-winning wineries making the region one of the top wine regions in Ontario and one of the best road trips from Toronto for local wine aficionados.

a view of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls | best road trips from toronto

Halton Region


Driving time from Toronto: Approx. 45 minutes – 1 hour

Burlington, Ontario, is a beautiful city located between Toronto and Niagara Falls in Halton Region. Located on Lake Ontario’s north shore, Burlington’s culturally lively city is an easy day trip from bustling Toronto. The Canadian city is full of fun family-friendly activities, charming alleyways, trendy boutiques, and delicious culinary treats. So finding fun things to do here shouldn’t be too difficult.

As one of the most popular destinations in northwestern Ontario, you’ll find a wide range of activities to do in Burlington. One of the most visited gardens in Canada is not just any garden; it’s the largest botanical garden in Canada. It boasts beautiful landscapes that are divided into different sections and spread across 900 acres of land with over 1 thousand plant and flower species.

School of Fish sculpture in a pond in the park | best road trips from toronto


Located in the beautiful surroundings of the Halton Region and just 30 minutes away from downtown Toronto, Oakville offers so much to see and do. Although it’s often overlooked as a tourist destination, it has much to offer, from a vibrant arts scene to natural scenery waiting to be explored. 

The main street of Old Oakville as well as the communities of Bronte and Kerr has incredible mom-and-pop shops, high-end boutiques, phenomenal restaurants with delicious menus and some scenic trails either by Lake Ontario along Sixteen Mile Creek or in Bronte Provincial Park.

Oakville, Ontario sign in the winter | road trip destinations from toronto


Located in the heart of the Halton Region, Milton isn’t typically the first place that comes to mind when thinking about road trips from Toronto. But it’s definitely worth checking out if you love nature! You could go hiking, relax at a picnic spot or even hit the slopes for skiing!

butterfly sculpture in the forest | short road trips from toronto

Durham Region

Driving time from Toronto: Approx. 45 minutes – 1:30 hours

East of bustling Toronto lies the County Durham region, the economic heartland of Ontario. It’s part of the Golden Horseshoe that stretches from Oshawa to the famed Niagara Falls. There are so many things to do in Durham Region! During its fall season, Durham bursts in reds, oranges, and golds or gets its winter warmers on and heads out to discover the city’s snowy period (winter).

It’s a region dotted with charming towns, stunning countryside, rolling hills, and a series of major bodies of water. There’s plenty to enjoy, from exciting things to see and do in Oshawa and Uxbridge to Pickering and Beaverton. One of our personal faves is the cute town of Port Perry, where during the winter months, you can go ice fishing on Lake Scugog

close-up view of an ice fishing hut | road trip from toronto
several ice fishing huts out on the ice | toronto road trips

Wellington County

Driving time from Toronto: Approx. 1 hour – 2 hours


There are lots of things to do in the Elora area. You can go tubing down the river, hike the Elora Gorge, and swim in the Elora Quarry. There are also plenty of mom-and-pop stores to browse around in and restaurants to dine at. Many art classes are available to learn how to paint, draw, sculpt, etc.

view of downtown Elora, Ontario | road trips from toronto


Fergus is a scenic town with many green spaces and activities. Visitors come here to enjoy the Scottish festival and games. There are many shops and restaurants in the town. People also go there to see the scenery and participate in various outdoor activities.

large brick building in Fergus, Ontario | best road trips from toronto

Overnight Road Trips & Weekend Getaways From Toronto

Now that we’ve got you thinking about some of the popular day trips from Toronto, maybe you have an extra day off for a long weekend getaway? With an extra day, we can go further and stay longer!

Top 5 Road Trip Destinations from Toronto

There are plenty of places to drive to from Toronto, making it the perfect city to start a road trip. These destinations provide a beautiful journey, fantastic things to do, and places to see once you reach your endpoint. 

Here are some of the best road trips within 2-4 hours of Toronto.


Driving time from Toronto: Approx. 2.5 – 3 hours

The Muskoka Region has a population of approximately 1 million people. Within Muskoka are six municipalities: The Town of Huntsville; the Town of Bracebridge; the Town of Gravenhurst; the Township of Muskoka Lakes; the Township of Lake of Bains; and the Township of Georgian Bay.

It has some 1.6 thousand small lakes, several villages, towns, farming communities, lakeside vacation hotels and resorts near golf courses, country clubs, and a marina. It’s one of Canada’s most popular cottage destinations, attracting over two million annual visitors.

If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of big cities and want to return to nature, this is the place to visit. However, if it’s currently summer where you are right now, then booking a cottage might already be too late.

lookout view at Arrowhead Provincial Park | scenic toronto road trip

The Bruce Peninsula 

Driving time from Toronto: Approx. 4 hours

If you are looking for road trip ideas form Toronto that cater to the outdoor lover, the Bruce Peninsula is a must-see. It is made up of forests, cliffs, and beaches. It’s great for camping, hiking, and swimming in the summer months. To get to the peninsula, you must drive through some of the most scenic parts of Ontario. Be sure to stop at Tobermory, one of the prettiest towns in the province, before reaching your final destination.

Algonquin Provincial Park 

Driving time from Toronto: Approx. 4 – 5 hours

Algonquin Provincial Park is one of the largest parks in Ontario and is a great place to go for a hike or a canoe trip. The park is also home to some interesting wildlife, including moose, wolves, and bears. There are several campsites in the park and lodges and cabins if you want to stay overnight.

bridge over a large body of water surrounded by trees | road trips within 4 hours of toronto

Prince Edward County 

Driving time from Toronto: Approx. 2 – 3 hours

Prince Edward County is a beautiful area located on Lake Ontario. The county is known for its wineries, beaches, and quaint small towns. There are also several art galleries and museums to check out. Prince Edward County is the perfect destination if you’re looking for a place to relax and enjoy some great food and wine.

several people on the beach on a sunny day | best road trips from toronto

Lennox & Addington County

Driving time from Toronto: Approx. 2 – 3 hours

If you’re looking for beautiful landscapes, endless nature, and clean lakes, then a road trip to Ontario’s Lennox and Addington County is what you need. From the quaint town of Napanee (the place where musician Avril Lavigne grew up) and Greater Napanee to Bath, Amherst Island and the beautiful Bon Echo Provincial Park

Lennox & Addison County is located in southeastern Ontario, just two hours outside of Toronto and three hours away from Montreal. From Amherst Island in the Great Lakes to Lower Madawaska County Road 41, stretching between the two parks. 

water feature with a waterfall and stones | road trips from toronto

More Short Road Trips from Toronto

Toronto road trips mean gorgeous landscapes on your way to splendid towns, cities, and national parks. Picking a spot within a few hours from the city also means you can make several pit stops.

Here are a few more Canadian road trips from Toronto. 

Georgian Bay Coastline: Grey County & Simcoe County 

Driving time from Toronto: Approx. 3 hours

Grey County

Grey County is one of the best places to go if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of big cities. A little less travelled than other counties and regions make it a hidden gem. Hiking, kayaking, cycling, and fishing are great activities in this region while you enjoy delicious food and drinks.   While Owen Sound is the last city in Canada that ended prohibition, the main attraction is The Blue Mountains and the Blue Mountain Resort

The Blue Mountains

Driving time from Toronto: Approx. 2-3 hours

Blue Mountain is located on the shores of the Georgian Bay and is a popular skiing destination in the winter months (the third busiest in Canada) attracting millions of skiers and snowboarders.

Visitors can enjoy the many activities available during summer. Kayaking, caving, hiking, and jet-skiing are some of the things visitors can do while visiting.

The autumn colours are gorgeous and there are many apple orchards for apple picking. You can relax in a Scandinavian spa, go zip lining, or ride the Ridge Runner mountain coaster.

landscape view of small town Ontario, Canada | road trip destinations from toronto

Simcoe County


Driving time from Toronto: Approx. 2-2:30 hours

If you’re planning a weekend ski trip to Blue Mountain, the town of Collingwood, a beautiful city known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant arts scene. The city is also home to many great places to eat and shop, with a few museums, art galleries and a vibrant art scene.

brick building with a clock tower | short road trips from toronto

Wasaga Beach

Driving time from Toronto: Approx. 2-2:30 hours

If you grew up in Toronto, Ontario, going out to Wasaga Beach with friends as a young adult was a rite of passage. Wasaga Beach is a great beach located near Collingwood and  is one of the longest freshwater beaches in the world, measuring 14 kilometres along the southern shore of Georgian Bay.

Georgian Bay Islands National Park

Driving time from Toronto: Approx. 2-2:30 hours

One of the main draws to Georgian Bay Islands National Park is that it is only reachable by boat, making it the perfect place to explore this pristine wilderness and unspoiled beaches. This park was one of the inspirations for the Group of Seven.


Driving time from Toronto: Approx. 2 – 3 hours

Kingston is another great option for a Toronto road trip. It’s located on Lake Ontario and is full of history. Visitors can explore Fort Henry, visit the Kingston Penitentiary Museum, or take a leisurely stroll through Confederation Basin Park.

soldiers in historic uniform at Fort Henry | road trip from toronto

Frontenac Provincial Park

Driving time from Toronto: Approx. 3 hours

Located just north of Kingston is Frontenac Provincial Park. The park offers many activities, including hiking, camping, fishing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, bird watching, biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing.

There are over 200 campsites available at Frontenac Provincial Park. Each site includes electricity, water hookups, fire pits, picnic tables, and grills. If you’re more of the glamping type,  there are also cabins available for rent.


Driving time from Toronto: Approx. 4 – 5 hours

The capital of Canada, Ottawa, is a beautiful city located along the Ottawa River in Ontario, Canada. Ottawa is a great city for a road trip and weekend getaway because there are many things to do, starting with taking a tour of Parliament Hill. The National Capital Region is home to Canada’s Parliament, where you can learn about Canadian history and politics.

If politics bore you, then you can explore the Byward Market. Located just north of downtown Ottawa, this historic market features hundreds of vendors selling everything from fresh produce to antiques.

You also don’t want to miss the Rideau Canal – This canal was constructed in the early 1800s to connect Lake Ontario with the Ottawa River. As the longest skating rink in the winter and a scenic boating journey in the summer, it’s a popular tourist attraction.

Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | toronto road trips


Driving time from Toronto: Approx. 5 – 6 hours

Toronto is a great city, but Montreal is a unique destination with its hip French influence found in its food, culture, and nightlife. With so many things to do, including visiting the famous Notre Dame Basilica, taking a tour of Old Montreal, strolling through many beautiful parks and gardens, take a boat ride along the St Lawrence River.

If you’re looking for a day trip from Montreal, consider going to Quebec City. The Chateau Frontenac is a must-see, and you can spend the afternoon exploring the cobblestone streets of Old Quebec. Montreal is the perfect destination if you’re looking for a romantic weekend away. And if you’re looking for a family vacation, Montreal is the ideal location.

Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal, Quebec, Canada | toronto road trip

Final Thoughts: Plan Your Road Trip From Toronto

There are plenty of great scenic drives near Toronto, making it the perfect city to start a road trip. Whether you’re looking for a short weekend getaway or a longer vacation, there are plenty of options to choose from. So what are you waiting for?

Do any of the destinations included here make your list of the best road trips from Toronto? Let us know which location you plan on visiting next!


How Can I Make a Road Trip More Comfortable?

Driving for long distances can be uncomfortable if you aren’t prepared. Before you head out, take the time to adjust your seat to the most comfortable and supportive position. This includes ensuring the headrest is in the right spot for your height. Check the height of your seatbelt and adjust it if needed.

Tidy up any clutter that may be around your vehicle, hindering your comfort, especially those that may be rolling around at your feet.

Dress comfortably and bring a pair of sunglasses. Depending on the angle of the sun and the direction you are driving, it can be challenging to block out the bright light using just your visor.

Most importantly, make sure you plan for regular breaks to get out and stretch. This could be a quick stop at an ONroute along the highway or even a short hike. The important thing to focus on is moving your body to prevent aches and pains from sitting in the same position for too long.

How Often Should You Rest on a Long Road Trip?

As I mentioned, taking regular breaks is essential for a successful road trip. But how often you should stop will vary from person to person. A good rule of thumb is to stop for at least 15 minutes every two hours. But you should discuss this with your passengers ahead of time in case someone needs to stop more frequently for any reason.

How Can You Prevent Fatigue on a Long Road Trip?

Fatigue is one of the biggest dangers when driving long distances. Here are a few easy steps you can take to help prevent it and stay alert for the duration of your trip:

  • Get plenty of sleep the night before your trip
  • Regular breaks to get up and moving
  • Don’t eat large or heavy meals
  • Prioritize good body posture while driving
  • Pay attention to the temperature in the vehicle (Warm temps can make you drowsy)
  • Keep yourself entertained with conversations or good music

Can I Bring My Pets on a Road Trip?

Yes! Many pet owners successfully road trip with pets. But you will need to do some extra planning to ensure that your furry family member can enjoy a safe and comfortable trip. Always travel with your pet secured in a carrier or pet seatbelt. Before leaving, ensure that the locations you are considering visiting allow pets to visit, including any planned meal stops. You may have to change your plans slightly to accommodate your travel companion.

What Essentials Do I Need for a Road Trip?

Each traveller will have their own unique list of essentials, depending on their travel style and the activities they enjoy. However, a few of my must-have items include:

  • Hiking gear like hiking boots, a raincoat, bug spray, a water bottle, and a baseball hat (There will always be an opportunity to explore nature or do a quick hike when road-tripping around Ontario)
  • Good pair of sunglasses both for driving and for exploring outdoors
  • Battery charger for your phone
  • CAA (Maybe because my Jeep Wrangler is 2007, with over 200,000 km. I take care of it, but it’s great peace of mind. Plus 3% off fuel at the pump at Shell via CAA)
  • Snacks, water, and more snacks
  • Great playlist of music or podcasts
  • Old school paper maps for your destination
  • Lots of cash (machines and the internet can be sketchy in remote places)

The more you road trip across Ontario, the better you will understand what your must-have items will be. Keep a list and revisit it after each trip to make any changes that you discover along the way.

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