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.

Here are 7 of the top islands worth visiting in Ontario this summer.

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