This summer is (unofficially) the summer of the road trip. With travel restrictions still in flux, the easiest way to escape this summer is to pack up your car and drive.
But with limited vacation time and wanting to make the most of your time away, finding nearby escapes will give you more time to relax at the destination instead of spending your weekend driving.
To help you plan your next escape, here are the best destinations to travel to that are three hours away from Toronto or less.
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1000 Islands (three hours from Toronto)
Situated on the St. Lawrence river along the Canadian-American border, the 1000 Islands was once a retreat for the elite in the late 19th century, and is now a waterside haven for cottage-lovers and adventure-seekers. Begin your trip in Gananoque and explore the region by cruise or by helicopter. You can even scuba dive to see these unique formations up close.
Sauble Beach (three hours from Toronto)
Known as Ontario’s beach escape, Sauble Beach has 11 km of white sand just waiting for you to dig your toes in. Book your stay at The June Motel’s Sauble Beach for a ’70s-inspired stay that is just steps away from the warm, shallow waters of Lake Huron.
Prince Edward County (2.5 hours from Toronto)
One of the fastest-growing tourist regions in Ontario is Prince Edward County, where the rolling rural countryside meets 800 km of beachside escapes and the dune-filled Sandbanks Provincial Park. Make the Drake Motor Inn your home base as you spend your weekend wine tasting.
Stratford (two hours from Toronto)
Known for being the home of the Stratford Festival, travel back in time to explore this historic town named after the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Stroll down the Avon River to catch a glimpse of the swans or wander around town past the Victorian buildings for some of the best views in town.
Elora (1.5 hours from Toronto)
The beauty of Elora is that you can get the best of both worlds in a short drive from the city. Spend the day hiking through scenic overlooks, 22-metre high cliffs and riverside trails or hop in a water tube down the Elora Gorge. For an upscale escape, stay the night at the luxurious Elora Mill Hotel & Spa.
Leaskdale Village (one hour from Toronto)
In the quaint village of Leaskdale, 16 small artisans and businesses have joined together to create a tourist trail, the Leaskdale Loop, to make the perfect day trip from Toronto. Within the loop, there is everything from artisans, farm markets, museums, and places to eat and drink, all within a 15-minute drive from each other.
Where will you drive to this summer?