Every year, approximately 14 million tourists visit Niagara Falls to witness one of the world's most powerful waterfalls. The falls are about a two-hour drive from Toronto and are located on the border between Ontario and New York.
Niagara Falls was formed at the end of the last Ice Age more than 12,000 years ago and has captivated visitors for centuries.
There are several ways to see the mesmerizing falls today. Boat rides beneath the falls are a great way to get up close and personal with them, or if you prefer not to get wet, you can head up to the Skylon tower for a bird's-eye view of the entire area.
Now if you want to extend your day trip and spend the night, the area around the falls is also a great place to stay. There are many excellent hotels and restaurants nearby, as well as two huge casinos, several nightclubs, and Clifton Hills, which is a fun destination for families with children.
Niagara On The Lake
Take a 20-minute drive from Niagara Falls to visit what was once the capital of Upper Canada. The picturesque town of Niagara-on-the-Lake is a popular tourist destination and a wonderful day trip that will transport you to another era.
Almost all of the town's structures date back to the 18th century, were constructed after the War of 1812, or were constructed to look like they were from that time. Rounding out the old timey vibe are regular horse-drawn carriage sightings around town, and streets that are always decked out for the season.
Niagara-on-the-Lake is also home to some of Canada's oldest and most established wine producing vineyards, and as a result, there are several excellent wineries in this area that offer great tours and tastings.
The 7000-square-kilometer Algonquin Park, Canada's first national park, was established more than 120 years ago and is home to iconic Canadian wildlife like deer, loons, wolves, moose, beavers, and bears. The park is about a three-hour drive from Toronto and offers a variety of things to do throughout the year.
Moose can be spotted along the sides of the road in the early spring. Summer is the best time to visit the park's lakes and rivers. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are popular winter activities in this area. And autumn is unquestionably the most beautiful time to visit Algonquin Park, with all of the leaves changing colours and the weather being just right.
Blue Mountain is about a two-hour drive from Toronto.The winter appeal is obvious; it's Southern Ontario's best ski hill and also offers a variety of other winter activities like skating, snowshoeing, fat biking, and tubing. While the winters are spectacular, Blue Mountain is truly a great day trip year-round. Visitors can enjoy shopping in the village, outdoor events, wall climbing, ziplining, and a variety of other activities during the summer, spring, and autumn months.
Tobermory is the farthest destination on this list from Toronto, at about a three-hour and thirty-minute drive. It's undeniably worth it.
Located at the top of the Bruce Peninsula, Tobermory is a gorgeous lakeside holiday destination surrounded by Lake Huron's crystal blue water, the majestic Niagara Escarpment, and Flowerpot Island.
Tobermory is the Scuba Diving capital of the Great Lakes, with roughly two dozen shipwrecks to explore either through a glass-bottomed boat or up close by getting in the water.
The towering cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment are picture-perfect and provide some of the most stunning views of the area. Hikers will appreciate the world-famous 700-kilometer Bruce Trail, which offers the best hiking on the Peninsula.
Milton is about 40 minutes from Toronto and is also located right along the Niagara Escarpment.
There are several conservation areas here, including the Kelso Conservation, where you can go snowboarding and snowshoeing in the winter or hiking, mountain biking, and paddle boarding in the summer.
The family-friendly Crawford Lake Conservation Area is an excellent place to learn about local indigenous history by visiting the Iroquoian village. You can also learn about different endangered species in the area like the Monarch Butterfly, Hooded Warbler, and Jefferson Salamander.
If you're feeling adventurous, you can head over to Rattlesnake Point and try your hand at rock climbing. Don't worry, even if you're a beginner, you can take lessons here and get started right away.
Caledon is only 45 minutes from Toronto and is a great place to visit for a one-of-a-kind photo opportunity. The Cheltenham Badlands are a popular tourist destination due to their vibrant red colour and unique topography of exposed shale. In fact, it is regarded as Ontario's best example of "badlands topography." You can also spend the day cycling or mountain biking in the area. There are numerous excellent hiking and biking trails here.
Another significant aspect of Caledon is the popular Spirit Tree Cider. This brewery is ideal for a day trip, it includes a bistro, a bakery, and delicious cider.
Gravenhurst is a small town on the southern shores of Lake Muskoka and is a little less than a 2 hour drive from Toronto. This is cottage country in southern Ontario, and it is home to many well-known celebrities and actors. Take a cruise out on the lake while you're here and enjoy boating through Ontario's beautiful wilderness landscape.
The lakefront promenade has excellent shopping and dining options, but if you prefer doing something more active during your day trip, there are several hiking trails in the surrounding countryside to explore.
Elora is only an hour and 20 minutes from Toronto and it's a great place to spend an afternoon.
Head to the Elora Gorge to enjoy picturesque hiking trails with beautiful views of the Grand River, which is one of the most popular places in Ontario for tubing and kayaking.
Elora Quarry has appeared in a number of Hollywood films, most notably Stephen King's IT.
Before returning to the city, stop by Elora Mews to do some shopping and grab a bite to eat, or simply stroll down the street and take in the beautiful scenery.
St Jacobs is a charming little village surrounded by beautiful scenery that is just an hour and 15 minutes away from Toronto.
The main attraction here is the year-round farmers market which is open on Thursdays and Saturdays and sells everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to handcrafted arts and crafts. The food court also serves a variety of regional delicacies, so don't leave town without grabbing a tasty bite to eat.