With summer approaching, several Canadians are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. When planning a summer getaway, most people tend to look at destinations that are far away; like some island in the Caribbean or a countryside in Europe. But a quick look into Ontario would lead them to discover that there are several locations within the province that would offer them the same calibre of vacation as those options.
Here are 15 cute small towns you can visit in Ontario:
Photo cred - lesongiang
Bracebridge is a community in the Muskoka region that possesses a lot of small town character. It features several lakes and trails where one can go to escape the hecticness of the city. It is particularly known for Manitoba Street, an area in its downtown core that is filled with several great restaurants and cute boutiques.
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Creemore is much more than just a farming town. The community is teeming with character; featuring many art galleries, bookshops, cafes and Victorian homes along its streets. The area also has several green areas, as it is located on the edge of the Niagara Escarpment (which is a World Biosphere Reserve).
Photo cred - Kivas Tully
Cobourg is a historic port town situated on the edge of Lake Ontario. The area is full of wooded areas where visitors can go on hikes and nature strolls, as well as a lively downtown with vintage shops and restaurants. A popular site during the summer is the town's boardwalk by its beach and marina.
Photo cred - Wikipedia
Cochrane is situated on the beautiful Lake Commando, which is a popular site for both locals and tourists to visit. Many summer activities take place by the beach, including canoeing, kayaking, swimming and beach volleyball. Cochrane is also home to Canada's famous Polar Bear habitat, which is a must-see for first-timers to the area.
Photo cred - Envision-Tatham
Collingwood is most famously known for being near the Blue Mountain Resort. However, the town is still a great place to visit in the summer months - there are several outdoor activities for visitors to do, including eco adventures, ziplining, camping and short boat cruises in the nearby Georgian Bay.
Photo cred - gocanada.about.com
Dundas is not only a great place to visit, it's also a popular town for urban dwellers to relocate to when they're ready to leave the city. Dundas is situated in a valley, and has several amazing natural trails, waterfalls and cliffs to explore.
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Elora is a hub for art and food. It is a popular site for music, art and food festivals, as well as for outdoor exploring. Nature lovers will appreciate the Elora Gorge, where fly fishing, river tubing, camping and swimming activities often take place.
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Gananoque is known as one of Ontario's most beautiful waterfront communities. The town is located in the heart of the 1000 Islands, and offers several restaurants, pubs, shops and galleries by its riverside.
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Goderich was once coined "the prettiest town in Canada" by Queen Elizabeth the II. The town sits on a hill overlooking Lake Huron and features small parks, three beaches and a central community hub that its residents call "The Square".
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Gravenhurst is a small town in the Muskoka region that is often the location of choice for cottaging. The town offers some of the best views of the Canadian landscape, and also has a bustling downtown core filled with shops, galleries, markets, restaurants, and more. Make sure to stop by the Muskoka Wharf, Gravenhurst's beautiful lakeside area, and snap a few pictures.
Photo cred - prestigeniagaratours.com
Niagara-on-the-Lake is most known for its wineries and breweries, which is why several people flock to this town just for its vineyard tours. Aside from the wine, you can also enjoy a great selection of eateries and nearby provincial parks during your visit.
Photo cred - arlingtonhotel.ca
Paris, like Goderich, has also been referred to as "the prettiest town in Canada". The nickname is well-deserved, as the town offers breathtaking natural scenery as well as a charming historical downtown area. Several small shops, restaurants, cafes and outdoor trails are available for tourists to explore.
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Picton is located in Prince Edward County near the Sandbanks Provincial Park. During the summer months, many tent vendors set up shop for various food and cultural festivals. Shops, art galleries and beaches are also busy areas during the summer season.
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Port Hope is located on the north side of Lake Ontario. The town has several waterfront trails, historic buildings and scenic routes. The town is also known for its amazing restaurants and vibrant food scene.
Photo cred - smithsfalls.ca
Smiths Falls is located in eastern Ontario by the Rideau Canal and is known for its parks, breweries, museums and historic buildings. The town has several specialty shops and restaurants that are must-trys for any first-timers.
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