The summer season is short but sweet in Ontario. There are only a handful of weekends to take advantage of the warm weather and the abundance of activities on offer throughout the province, but that becomes a bit more challenging without a car on hand to plan a fun day trip.
Luckily, there’s more than one way to travel across the province. There’s still time to soak up the summer sun and enjoy the season before the return of the dreaded ‘F’ word: fall. Whether you’re after a wine tasting, a bike tour or just a relaxing day on the water, Ontario has plenty of beautiful destinations perfect for a weekend day trip.
No car? No problem! Here are five picturesque locales in the province that you can reach by bike or train:
All it takes is a one-and-a-half hour bus ride on the Parkbus, which has resumed service from various Toronto locations to a few parks across the province, to get to the Elora Gorge. The bus service offers a round trip, with an early morning pick up and late afternoon drop off, so all you need to worry about planning is what you’re going to do when you get there. Try hiking and tubing along the banks of the Grand River, shopping in the town of Elora and visiting one of the many local restaurants and cafes.
Fancy a wine tour? You can head to the Napa Valley of Ontario on the GO Train ($25) or via a seven-to-10 hour bike ride along the waterfront trail if you’re feeling adventurous (and comfortable getting a little sweaty in the process).
Cycling along the waterfront trail to Port Credit is a beautiful way to admire the scenery and check out all that the charming town has to offer including restaurants, a lighthouse, gardens and more. The ride will only take you about an hour and 20 minutes, so you won’t need to exert yourself too heavily to enjoy this day trip in Ontario.
Prince Edward County
If you’re willing to go a bit further on your journey, it’s worth it to go the extra mile (well, about 200 kms to be exact) to visit Prince Edward County. You’ll first need to take the train to Belleville (this will cost $59 to $110) before hitching a 25-minute cab ride ($100) to reach Wellington, but once you get there, there are loads of wineries, restaurants, and hotels that will make it well worth the trip. Spend the day poolside at the Lakeside Motel, where you can get a lounge chair and towel service for the day for just $25.
The train ride ($32 to $88 for business plus) from Toronto to the charming town of Port Hope will take less than an hour, while biking along the waterfront trail will be just over a six-hour trip. Whatever mode of transportation you use to get there, you’ll want to spend the day checking out local shops like Tall Birches for vintage and artisanal goods, restaurants like Trattoria Gusto in the Waddell Hotel, and of course enjoying beautiful views of the Ganaraska River.