Toronto is packed full of fun activities with kids; however, sometimes you just want to escape the busy city life and check out the other amazing attractions in Ontario. So pack up the car and the kids and head out to explore these scenic drives from Ontario that are truly “Yours to Discover.”
There are so many road trip ideas from Toronto, and it can be hard to narrow down the choices, so our goal is to provide you with some insight to make the best choice for your family based on your interests. We also have included the distance and time it takes to reach that destination from Toronto, as depending how much time you have to explore will impact which road trip you choose.
If you are looking for fun and adventure, check out these 10 Road Trips from Toronto, including One Day Road Trips and Weekend Road Trips!
- You’ll find all our favorite Canadian Road Trips here!
Easy One-Day Road Trips From Toronto
There are lots of nice drives from Toronto that allow you to truly discover how different the rest of Ontario is from the city center hub of Toronto.
Ontario is such a beautiful province to explore and discover, and there are so many scenic drives from Toronto that can be completed within a day and don’t require an overnight stay. All of these drives are 200 kilometres and below.
Check out some of the best scenic drives near Toronto that will help you escape the loud noise and busy atmosphere of Downtown Toronto, even if you don’t have a few nights to spare for a weekend getaway.
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Distance from Toronto ~ 128 KM via The Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) (1 hour and 20 minutes)
Known as one of the world’s top natural wonders, Niagara Falls is beautiful to visit, no matter the season. Enjoy watching the thunderous waterfall by boat, or get an up-close look with Journey Behind the Falls. For those who love thrill and adventure, then you will want to try the zipline over the falls over the Niagara River Rapids.
As you walk along the pathway near the falls, you can also stop at one of the many local restaurants, shops, or breweries that are located only minutes from the falls. In the summer, you can enjoy a peaceful walk through Canada’s largest rose garden in Canada at the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens.
The fun doesn’t stop there as Niagara Falls is home to many family-friendly tourist attractions, including Safari Niagara, Butterfly Conservatory, Whirlpool Aero Car, Ripley’s Wax Museum, Ferris Wheel, outdoor mini golf, and much more! There is an activity for families of all ages.
Pro Tip: Search for coupons online before heading out, as many attractions offer discounts, including Attractions Ontario.
Distance from Toronto ~ 220 KM via Highway 400N and Highway 11 (2 hours and 30 minutes)
Enjoy the picturesque scenery of forests and over 1000 lakes in the Muskoka region, making it a popular destination in the summer for boating, swimming, paddling, and fishing. The lush natural forests are perfect for hiking and mountain biking.
Muskoka is home to a connection of small lakes, rivers, and streams that bring many tourists in the summer to enjoy a relaxing time by the water in one of many charming small towns. Many people enjoy renting boats to check out caves and small private islands.
Muskoka is a great place to visit in the winter as it offers amazing winter activities, including sledding, snowmobiling, ice fishing, skating on frozen lakes, and dog sledding. There is nothing better than stopping by a local restaurant to warm up with hot cocoa and a yummy snack.
Pro Tip: No trip to the Muskoka’s is complete without trying local Kawartha Dairy ice cream which is one of the best ice creams ever. Also, on the way up to the Muskokas, make sure to stop for a snack at Weber’s BBQ, where you can enjoy burgers, fries, and milkshakes in a converted train car.
Distance from Toronto ~ 162 KM via Highway 400N and Highway 26 West (2 hours)
Nestled along the shores of Lake Huron, Collingwood is an outdoor wonderland year-round, as the area offers both summer and winter outdoor activities. Collingwood is a great getaway from city life as it offers a relaxing environment not too far from home.
In the winter, check out Blue Mountain for some awesome skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, and skating. Once you are ready to relax after a long day of winter sports, then check out the Scandinave Spa, which encourages a cycle of saunas, hot and cold plunge pools, hammocks, and fire pits.
The summer offers multiple outdoor fresh air experiences, including beautiful beaches, local hiking trails, and a gondola. Families can enjoy playing mini putt, ziplining, and the ropes courses or stop by the Scenic Caves to explore the unique caves and Southern Ontario’s longest zipline.
Prince Edward County, Ontario
Distance from Toronto ~ 204 KM via Highway 401 East (2 hours and 11 minutes)
Prince Edward County is known for picturesque small towns that have unique boutique shopping and tasty local restaurants. Some of the best local Ontario wines are created in the countless vineyards in Prince Edward County. Wineries, craft breweries, and cideries are open year-round to grab a drink.
Stop by for a visit to Picton and stroll through the main street of antique stores, small boutiques shops, and check out the historic Regent theater. Stop by the Beacon Bike and Brew coffee shop for a beverage and a snack.
This small island can be accessed by one of 4 bridges or the small ferry. This cluster of hamlets and villages offers beautiful wineries to visit, farm-fresh farm-to-table meals, and nature and art experiences.
The region is deeply rooted in agriculture, and whether you stop by a vineyard, farm stand, or local restaurant, you are sure to experience ever-changing menus inspired by the season. Take your time and check out the Taste Trail to discover the best food and ice cream around!
Prince Edward County is home to beautiful shallow beaches that are perfect for kids to take a dip and splash around. Check out the Bay mouth barrier sand dune formation at SandBanks Park and explore the different rolling sand dunes along the branch. Sandbanks is a beautiful park to explore the hiking trails throughout the park.
Pro Tip: If you plan on taking the ferry, then plan ahead, as the ferry only holds 21 cars
Distance from Toronto ~ 115 KM via Highway 401 East (1 hour and 15 minutes)
Check out one of Ontario’s Most Beautiful Villages in Ontario, as this small town offers an activity for everyone in the whole family. The shopaholic of the family will enjoy checking out the local unique small businesses that offer unique products and gifts located in Elora Mews which is a quaint little shopping area.
The foodie of the family will enjoy local restaurants and cafes, including the famous Lost and Found Cafe, which serves coffee that has been roasted to perfection and offers a small-town community vibe as it is a gathering place for the local community.
Elora Gorge is a natural area in the Grand River Valley area and offers a beautiful lookout point on the Elora Gorge Trail as the Grand River cuts through the area surrounded by high rock cliffs. Down below, you will often see tubing and paddling kayakers navigate the rough waters. Another unique trail to check out is the Trestle Bridge which is a 1KM loop that is suitable for younger kids.
No day is complete without visiting the Elora Quarry, which is a 12-meter-high limestone quarry that offers beautiful swimming conditions and tree-covered picnic spaces.
Pro Tip: The Elora Quarry tries to limit environmental impacts, so they have a 1300-person maximum daily, so arrive early to beat the rush.
Weekend Road Trips from Toronto
Weekend Road Trips are a great way to explore unique parts of the province of Ontario and explore different regions and local activities.
Expect lots of different attractions, including wineries, outdoor activities, museums, and much more! Embrace all that Ontario has to offer by exploring on weekend road trips.
Distance from Toronto ~ 404 KM via 400 North (4 hours)
Sudbury offers beautiful scenery and has a rich mining history, and is known as “Nickel City.” Sudbury has beautiful hiking trails at Onaping Falls, where you will find a 55-meter waterfall.
However, the best viewing point is from A.Y. Jackson Lookout. Explore dense forests and beautiful bridges that cross the riverbed, or stop by the visitor center to learn more about local geology.
Sudbury is home to Science North, one of the Top 10 Science Centres in Canada, and has four levels of interactive displays for kids to do what they do best – explore and learn through play.
Be sure to check out the planetarium and Imax theater, as it’s an unforgettable experience for kids. Don’t forget to take an Instagram-worthy photo with the Big Nickel, which is over 9 meters tall.
Dynamic Earth is also great for kids, as the hands-on displays will teach kids about mining and rocks. Kids will enjoy panning for gold during Mine Training. The main attraction will take you deep below the earth to truly explore more about mining, including simulated explosions.
Distance from Toronto ~ 273 KM via Highway 10 and Highway 6 N (3 hours and 22 minutes)
Bruce Peninsula park is located on the traditional lands of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation in Tobermory, so the land is rich in history and offers a naturally beautiful environment to explore.
Tobermory has multiple beautiful beaches, and a popular attraction called the Grotto that takes you through ancient cedars and a limestone cave that leads you to the beautiful beaches that have turquoise waters to swim.
Nearby is the Fathom Five National Marine Park, which has 24 historical shipwrecks that can only be viewed by scuba diving or taking a glass bottom boat tour.
Don’t miss out on taking the ferry and exploring Flowerpot Island, a natural sea stack in the shape of a rock pillar. While on the island you can explore caves, hiking trails, and a historic lighthouse.
Point Pelee Island, Ontario
Distance from Toronto ~ 350 KM via 403 West and 401 West (3 hours and 30 minutes)
Pelee Island is a great location for adventure while enjoying beautiful surroundings. To access Pelee Island, you will have to first drive to Leamington and then catch a ferry to Pelee Island, which takes about 90 minutes. Point Pelee offers the perfect amount of history, fun, and relaxation for families of all ages.
Visit the southern point of Ontario, known as one of Canada’s Best Kept Secrets, and experience all the island has to offer. If you enjoy outdoor activities, you will love biking around the island, hiking along the trails, and swimming at one of the beautiful beaches.
Pelee Island is a calm and relaxed environment that offers new sights and sounds to explore, including historic sites, boutiques, and amazing food and drinks to enjoy! If you enjoy wine, stop by the Pelee Island Winery, as the weather in the area is perfect for winemaking.
Top Tips For Planning Road Trip Ideas from Toronto
- Ontario has 23 On Routes which are travel plazas that offer food and beverages, restrooms, and gas, all in one convenient plaza located just off the highway exit, perfect for road trips and planning out emergency pit stops.
- Highway 407, a 150 Kilometers long toll highway, encompasses the Greater Toronto Area and may be faster to take when heading out on a road trip but be prepared; you will be billed for tolls if you don’t have a transponder.
- You can check road conditions and traffic with CP 24 before heading out on your road trip.
- Never forget an important road trip item again! Use our Downloadable Road Trip Essentials List before your next family road trip.
Exploring More Of North America By Road
The fun doesn’t end in Ontario; we also have detailed guides to:
- Taking on a Toronto To New York Road Trip
- Explore more of Upstate New York and the northeast USA on this drive Boston to Toronto
- Heading east, try these 5 Incredible Scenic Drives in Nova Scotia
- Heading west, discover the best of BC and Alberta Road Tripping From Vancouver To Banff
- Or for an even longer adventure, you can even drive all the way from Toronto to Vancouver!
- Skip some of the long stretches and focus on these 13 Sensational Stops From Calgary to Vancouver
- Get deeper into the Rockies, explore Banff to Glacier National Park (USA) By Road
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