Looking for something different to do this summer? Take yourself on a trip to the islands!

There are tons of islands in Ontario that you can visit for a day or a weekend getaway. These destinations boast some of the best nature views in the province, incredible hikes, waterfalls, wineries, and rare animal sightings.

So whether you’re exploring on foot, by bike, or on a paddleboard, these Ontario islands are where it’s at.

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Here are 12 of the top islands worth visiting in Ontario during the warmer months.

St. Joseph Island

Nestled in the channel between Lake Huron and Lake Superior, St. Joseph Island is a little slice of paradise.

There are multiple parks and swimmable beaches on the island, including Women’s Institute Park which has floating docks, a sandy shoreline, and picnic shelters.

Richards Landing is the main part of town with a full-service marina and a shoreline boardwalk, with plenty of places to stop for food and drinks along the way.

Where: St Joseph Island, Algoma District, ON

Amherst Island 

We’ve got the best destination for your next weekend adventure! Amherst Island can easily be described as picture-perfect, and it’s home to a little hamlet that you simply have to see.

Known as the “gem of Lake Ontario,” the island is part of Loyalist Township in Lennox and Addington County and it’s accessible by the Frontenac II ferry from Millhaven.

When you disembark from the ferry, you’ll be right in the heart of the Stella Ferry Wharf, with stunning views and easy access to the island’s beaches, docks, and parks.

Amherst Island is a popular destination for cycling, bird-watching, and sailing.

Where: Amherst Island, Loyalist, ON

Petrie Island Beach

Beach season is in full swing, and our province is full of sandy shorelines to explore. If you’re looking for a new hot spot to cross off your list this summer, Petrie Island is a must-visit.

Located in the Ottawa region of Orléans, this island is home to two beaches that stay popular all summer long for their pristine white sand and calm swimmable waters.

In addition to swimming and sunbathing, visitors can enjoy canoeing, kayaking, and wildlife watching. The island is home to turtles, birds, and wildflowers.

Where: 795 Trim Road, Orléans

Flowerpot Island


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When it comes to Ontario’s picturesque islands, Flowerpot Island on the Georgian Bay is among the most popular. Massive stone structures line the beach that resemble flower pots, making for some fascinating geological sights. The pillars were naturally formed and tower high above the shoreline.

The location also has plenty of caves and hiking trails to explore, as well as a historic light station and rare plants. And we need not mention the pristine waters ideal for a summertime dip!

Where: Fathom Five National Marine Park, Bruce Peninsula

Pelee Island


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Known as Canada’s southernmost populated island, Pelee Island is a popular place to visit for its swimming, fishing, boating, and rare nature sightings. The quiet and friendly island is especially beautiful in the summertime when the pristine Lake Erie waters and lush trails are best enjoyed.

The island is also home to a marina and campground, as well as shops, restaurants, galleries, and a performing arts venue.

Where: Lake Erie Islands

Manitoulin Island 


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This spot is as close to island living as it gets here in Ontario. Manitoulin Island is the world’s largest freshwater island and “northern Ontario’s best-kept secret,” according to its website.

Life moves at a slower pace on this sleepy island, and tourists love it for the endless variety of outdoor activities in every season, from skating and snowmobiling in the winter to magnificent hikes and waterfall adventures in the summer.

Where: Lake Huron

Long Sault Parkway

Why visit just one island when you can hit up nearly a dozen of them in a single day? Long Sault Parkway is a scenic road trip that connects you to 11 islands on the St. Lawrence River between Cornwall and Brockville.

There are beaches and campgrounds to stop at along the way and you can even do the parkway by bike if you’re feeling adventurous.

Where: 22 Long Sault Dr, Long Sault

Thousand Islands

You can island-hop by kayak, canoe, or paddleboard in Thousand Islands National Park. This experience is best enjoyed as a camping trip over the span of several days, but you can choose your own adventure among the many paddling routes.

There’s something fascinating to see around every corner, including sunken ships, historic castles, and maybe a family of turtles or a bald eagle.

Where: Thousand Islands National Park

Philip Edward Island


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The scenery at Philip Edward Island is nothing less than spectacular, with pink granite rocks rising above the pristine blue waters and wide open views all around.

You’ll want to hop in a kayak and take a tour of all the stunning rock formations around the island but be prepared for some choppy conditions if the wind picks up. It’s also a popular place to camp in the summertime.

Where: Killarney

Toronto Islands

Last but not least are Toronto’s ever-popular group of islands — Centre Island, Ward’s Island, and Hanlan’s Point. Hop on the ferry from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal on Queen’s Quay and spend the day biking, beach-lounging, and picnicking with unbeatable views of the city skyline.

There are also events held on the islands throughout the summer, and it’s also home to Centreville Amusement Park, now open for the season.

Where: Lake Ontario

Wolfe Island

Beach days are calling, and Big Sandy Bay on Wolfe Island is one of the more unique beach destinations in Ontario.

Your adventure begins in the Kingston area when you board the free ferry to Wolfe Island, located at the entrance of the St. Lawrence River.

It’s the largest of the world-renowned Thousand Islands and is famous for its spectacular scenery, of which Big Sandy Bay is a big part.

Visitors are also encouraged to leave their cars on the mainland and bike from the ferry terminal to the beach along the 1.3 km nature trail when they arrive on Wolfe Island.

Where: Frontenac County, Ontario

Georgian Bay Islands National Park


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You can go island-hopping at Georgian Bay Islands National Park, an incredible destination two hours north of Toronto.

This national park is only accessible by boat, which is one of many features that makes it such a unique place to visit.

The park is actually comprised of 63 small islands and “islets” in Georgian Bay.

The largest and most popular island to visit is Beausoleil Island, where you’ll find a network of well-maintained hiking trails, as well as waterfront campsites, cabins, and rugged rocky lookout points with panoramic views.