Guide: 10 gorgeous day trips near Toronto to take this winter
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It may not feel like it outside right now, but it’s almost winter time in Toronto. Which means we’re on the hunt for all the best easy day trips to fill our snowy days. Just because it’s not summer anymore, doesn’t mean we won’t be making the most of every second of free time! We’ve already packed the car and we’re raring to go to any and all of these fabulous spots.
Here are 10 gorgeous day trips to take near Toronto this winter.
This adorable little spot is known as Ontario’s most beautiful village, so it’s no surprise it makes our list. Elora, Ontario is a sight to see any time of the year, but when it’s decked out with Christmas lights it’s even better. With just a short drive from the city, you can spend the day roaming the old-timey streets, enjoying the gorgeous natural landscape, and sampling all the cute little coffee shops.
Distance from Toronto: 114 km (1.5-hour drive)
There’s no end to the spectacular activities you’ll encounter with a trip to Prince Edward County. For starters, the area is simply adorable. There are loads of beautiful parks, delicious restaurants, and incredible hikes to explore. But on top of all that, it’s wine country. So whether you hit up the whole town, or just stick to one vineyard, you’re sure to be in for a grand old time.
Distance from Toronto: 203 km (2 hours and 15-minute drive)
You can take a hike like no other at this incredible day trip destination. Snowmobile or snowshoe into the winter wonderland that is the Sand Lake Ice Caves. Once you’re there, you can tuck away into actual caves made of ice! As if the incredible photo op isn’t enough, being surrounded by all the snow is sure to make you feel in touch with the Canadian in you.
Where: Sand Lake, Kearny, Ontario
Distance from Toronto: 265 km (2.5-hour drive)
Of all the day trips on our list, this one might be our favourite. You can head to Torrance Barrens Dark-Sky Preserve to catch a beautiful display of Northern Lights. The area is made up of 4,700 acres of Crown Land, that’s uninterrupted by any light pollution. Because of this, you’ll be staring into incredibly clear star gazing views. There are also loads of snowshoeing trails to keep you occupied before the sun goes down, making this spot a number one choice for a winter date.
Where: Torrance Barrens Dark-Sky Preserve, Southwood Rd, Gravenhurst, Ontario
Distance from Toronto: 181 km (2 hour drive)
Speaking of outdoor nature adventures, head to the Scenic Caves for the ultimate winter fun. This beautiful nordic centre is nestled in a unique mountaintop location. You can explore the 12 km of trails on cross country skis or by snow shoe. They’ve even got a 420-foot suspension bridge, for all the thrill-seekers out there.
Where: 260 Scenic Caves Rd, The Blue Mountains, Ontario
Distance from Toronto: 161 km (2 hour drive)
Who can resist a good old fashioned ski trip when winter rolls around? Everyone knows the best spot nearby is the Blue Mountain Resort, and since it’s so close by you can even squeeze it into a day trip. These beautiful slopes are perfect for getting into your winter grove. Plus, the cozy village below is perfect for when you need to warm up.
Where: Blue Mountain Resort, 190 Good Canning Dr, The Blue Mountains, Ontario
Distance from Toronto: 160 km (2-hour drive)
Not into all these outdoor winter spots? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered too. Head over to the Scandinave Spa for a gorgeous outdoor relaxing experience. They have pools, massage packages, and more that are tailor-made for your R&R. This day trip is perfect if you’re looking to treat yourself or if you’re in the mood for a girl’s trip.
Where: 152 Grey Rd 21, The Blue Mountains, Ontario
Distance from Toronto: 160 km (2-hour drive)
This winter, Niagara Falls is being transformed into a gorgeous outdoor light display. As per usual, you can hit up the spot to explore their famous 8 km trail of twinkling lights. They’ll have sculptures, art pieces, the iconic Zimmerman Fountain, and more. Even the falls will be lit up! But the best part is you have the option to enjoy it on foot or from the comfort and COVID-19 safety of your own car.
Where: Queen Victoria Park, 6075 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, Ontario
Distance from Toronto: 128 km (1 hour 20-minute drive)
Speaking of gorgeous holiday lights, you can also take a day trip over to Kitchener to explore the annual Gift of Lights display. This drive-through exhibit contains multiple light tunnels, 300 animated and static display, and, of course, loads of holiday tunes. We think the best way to enjoy it is with a cup of hot cocoa in your hand.
Where: Bingemans, 425 Bingemans Centre Dr, Kitchener, Ontario
Distance from Toronto: 109 km (1 hour 10-minute drive)
Last, but most certainly not least, is the Winter Wonders display at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington. This gorgeous outdoor oasis is packed with the magic of nature and light. You can take a day trip here to explore picturesque pathways, magical displays, and loads of delicious on-site eats. They’ve even got a seasonal Winter Wonderland menu full of tasty treats like assorted cookies, a candy cane bundle, and more.
Where: Royal Botanical Gardens, 680 Plains Rd W, Burlington, Ontario
Distance from Toronto: 62 km (45-minute drive)
Enjoy your winter day trips, everyone! With amazing spots like these ones, not having fun is simply not an option.