You may have noticed that Christmas music has reached all the malls. You know what it means? Retail stores play Christmas early today. Yes, that is correct. But also, the holidays are fast approaching.
If you are lucky, you may have some free time during the holidays. If you’re exceptionally lucky, you might even have a day off where you’re not running around like crazy trying to entertain or visit all the family members you have. You know what it means? You have a great opportunity for a winter road trip. I’m a huge fan of road trips, especially the variety of day trips. We are very fortunate to live in such a beautiful province, which has so much to offer.
Here’s my list of the best 5-day road trips in Ontario.
This is a no-brainer for ski / snowboard enthusiasts: Blue Mountain, enough said. I’m not one of those, but I love Collingwood. Blue Mountain Village and downtown Collingwood have tons of fun, unique shops, and many great places to eat. If you’re taking the trip on the weekend, check out Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster in Blue Mountain; I’ve never done this, but it’s definitely on my bucket list! If you’re on a family road trip and can stay a bit longer, there’s also an amazing 4-season indoor water park called Plunge. Do you want a more relaxing or romantic getaway? Visit the Scandinave Spa and take a relaxing day before the Christmas stress storm hits.
Port Perry is a tourist destination known for its beautiful Victorian-era downtown, with many restaurants, cafes, bookstores, galleries, antique shops, and other outlets. Scugog Lake, located in Port Perry, is also a fantastic and popular destination for ice fishing and snowmobiling.
Elora bills itself as “The Most Beautiful Town in Ontario.” I get it. There is the famous Tooth of Time waterfall and Old Mill in the center. The Elora Mill, which was once powered by the waterfall, is the only remaining five-story mill in Ontario and has now been renovated into a beautiful inn and restaurant. Elora is famous for its epic gorge – in the summer months, many people take an exciting ride through the gorge on an inner tube. I doubt you want to be on the water in December unless hypothermia is on your bucket list, so check out the various boutiques and art galleries. If you are a movie buff, watch a movie at The Gorge Cinema; The oldest operating repertory theater in Canada.
Niagara on the lake:
There are many shops and specialty stores in Niagara-on-the-lake. You can even take a romantic horse carriage ride. However, perhaps most popular is visiting an Ontario winery and enjoying a wine tasting. There are many fun winter wine events in Niagara, like Christmas days. Make sure if you plan to get your wine to designate a sober trip to take home OR stay at one of Niagara’s dream hotels, inns, or spas.
Another item on my bucket list is going dog sledding. I mean, I love dogs, I love sledding, it seems like an obvious activity that I would love. Winterdance is an Ontario dog sled tour company in the Haliburton Highlands. One of the amazing things about Winterdance is that they actually teach you how to drive a team of dogs. They offer 2 hour, 1/2 day, full day, moonlite, or multi-day dog sledding trips. Also in Haliburton Highlands is Sir Sam’s Ski & Bike, offering many fun winter activities like snowboarding / skiing and snowshoeing.