No matter where you live, it is safe to believe that the world has changed, especially when it comes to travel. And while so many are antsy to indulge in their wanderlust for exploring new experiences and adventures, it may come as a surprise that so many amazing places are actually quite close to home. Over the next year, day-trips may become the new normal, creating a whole generation of “weekenders” to pack up for only a few days and find excitement close to home. For those who live in and around Toronto, there are literally dozens of incredible experiences just waiting to be found!
1. For the Ambitious Adventurer: Winter Sports
Weekend trips from Toronto can bring a whole new world of excitement only hours away, and the options for unique experiences are for every age and every vacation preference. In Collingwood, for example, the chill of winter can equal the excitement of skiing and snowboarding around some of the region’s most beautiful mountain ranges.
Only a few hours from downtown Toronto, city natives and tourists alike can take in the beauty of Blue Mountain, a popular spot that touts 365 acres of options, both for the beginner or the most advanced skier. Aside from the breathtaking views along both the bunny hills and the challenging black diamond terrains, there is also the Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster (offering a more controlled experience for thrill-seekers), and a whole village of quaint cafes, restaurants, and day spas. If shopping is, indeed, more your speed, then you can find everything from art galleries, antique stores, boutiques for sporting apparel and womens underwear or evening attire, and farmers markets right nearby.
2. For the Antique Seeker: Shopping
If antiquing is up to your alley, then venturing a little further to Kingston can have a lot to offer for a full weekend’s worth of treasure-hunting. Kingston’s famous Antique Alley is not only adored with local color (the backstreet itself is characterized by paintings, murals, and retro decor among the town’s brick architecture), but the charm of the little village gives visitors all the quaint beauty of walking into a life-size snow-globe. In the many stores lining the streets, family members of all ages can browse and find everything from strange and unique collectible items and vintage home-goods to specialty consignments shops offering vintage clothing from decades past.
If you’re traveling with a canine companion, you can take a break from the crowds, hiking up to Martello Alley, and helping your pet cope with noise. Here, you and your whole family will find a hidden outdoor art gallery, which is open year-round, giving your group a little bit of a relaxing breather and making your day-trip all the more memorable and unique.
3. For the Foodie: Dining In (and Out)
No matter how long your day-trip from Toronto is, be it one day or a full weekend, you’ll have to stop for a bite to eat. For those foodies out there, there are numerous ideal spots for a wide variety of eclectic snacks and cultural cuisine. Head over to Stratford and choose one of many offered “food tours,” tourist trails that hit a bunch of the town’s hipper eateries. Children and adults of all ages may have a sweet tooth, and for that, the Stratford Chocolate Trail is ideal. Here you’ll have your pick of everything from Bavarian chocolate coffee (a sweet pick-me-up!) and aged balsamic vinegar.
For older food enthusiasts who prefer their treats on the savory side, there is the unique Stratford Bacon & Ale Trail, and many more stops just as diverse and delicious. Hike with your fellow tourists for lunch, dinner, or dessert and truly get a taste of the local offerings!