Dying to get out of Toronto for a bit but it's not in your budget? We've all been there. We're all incredibly lucky to be living in such a giant city like Toronto, sometimes we forget there's even more beauty to be seen and explored outside the city.
The best part is you don't need to venture far to experience these breathtaking destinations. If you're willing to drive less than 2 hours from the city, you will find some seriously Pinterest-looking, Instagram-worthy travel spots. Ontario adventures are waiting for you this fall!
Take A Hot Air Balloon Ride with Air Display
If you haven't taken a hot air balloon ride near Toronto yet, you should definitely consider it. This epic experience is not only a romantic date idea but also an adventure of a lifetime. This is definitely something to cross off your bucket list. Just think of how beautiful Ontario looks up in the air, during sunset!
At Air Display, you can enjoy a comfortable and professionally chauffered hot air balloon ride. They usually take small groups carrying no more than 5 people (BFF or group date), but they also offer private balloon charters if you want to surprise that special someone! Remember to pack your camera or GoPro! You'll want to remember these special moments.
These super orange and desert-looking badlands are located in Caledon, about an hour from Toronto. The Cheltenham Badlands are super unique rock formations that are not only rare but especially picturesque, and the perfect backdrop to take professional fall photos. This unique spot is only 1 hr 15min from the city!
This spot has been closed for a while now while they were conserving the natural environment but last month they officially opened again for visitors! This fall is the perfect time to finally visit this iconic Ontario spot.
The 2.3km Singhampton Caves Trail will lead you to a MASSIVE cave climb, giving you the perfect view of their lush forests. It's a sight most people have never seen before, and with the fall weather striking, the forestry will be even more breathtaking from the lookout point at the top.
If you're a hiker, you'll want to feast your eyes on the Devil's Punchbowl in Hamilton. At this spot, you'll discover two waterfalls at the Devil’s Punchbowl Conservation Area, the larger of the two falls is an actual 33-meter waterfall. The waterfall is covered with stacks of layered coloured stones, which makes for a seriously pretty view. The hiking trail within the conservation also has a not-to-be-missed lookout point that gives a gorgeous view of the Hamilton Harbor.
Perched on the edge of a rushing gorge and settled next to the Grand & Irvine River is Elora, a town that looks like something straight out of Pride and Prejudice. Although it's a quaint town, they also offer very exciting outdoor activities that you can't find in downtown Toronto like ziplining, tree hopping (imagine how beautiful that would be with all the changing leaves), rock climbing, tubing and scenic hot air balloon rides!
Pamper your troubles away at the vintage hotel called Millcroft Inn & Spa, a beautiful and award-winning wellness resort that features 17 state-of-the-art treatment spaces. They also have 11 private rooms, 3 hydrotherapy rooms, indoor and outdoor baths and a fabulous gym. For only $70, you can get access to the spa's gorgeous hot spring so you can unwind and chill this fall.
If you hike through the stunning Spencer Gorge Conservation Area along the Dundas Peak Trail, you'll be rewarded with absolutely breathtaking views from the top of the Dundas Peak lookout point.
At the lookout point above, you can admire the panoramic views of stunning lush forests and vibrant coloured autumn leaves. Dundas Peak is a very popular roadie spot for city-goers and travellers but just because it's well known, doesn't mean it's any less fascinating and marvellous!
The Scenic Caves Nature Adventures is just outside of Collingwood and it makes for the perfect fall road trip. There are suspension bridges, caves to explore, zip lining and so many more adventures to be had. Scenic Caves offers more than simply thrilling caves and definitely more than spectacular scenery and awe-inspiring views.
Their ziplining is highly recommended at this spot-- it is a professionally guided treetop canopy walk with zip cables gliding at the highest point of the Niagara Escarpment.
The Peller Estates Winery is by the stunning town of Niagara-On-The-Lake and we all know wineries and vineyards are a thing of the fall season. If you're looking for a nearby travel destination with beautiful views, this is a totally do-able trip. The Peller Estates Winery tours are free and the wine tasting is totally affordable. Wine not? They also have a fabulous fine dining restaurant as well as a chilled ice wine bar that adds to the intrigue.
Located just a short drive outside of Toronto in Caledon, is the beautiful Belfountain Conservation Area. It is the perfect area to go exploring this fall. The drive leading up to this earthy spot is scenic and fun and once you're actually there, you'll notice their beautiful conservation area full with various historic sites, various hiking trails, and suspension bridge. You can walk across their magnificent suspension bridge situated above a flowing waterfall, as well as through lush forests and fun hiking trails.
Picton is another one of Ontario's lively wine regions: Prince Edward County. Main St. encompasses many small-town attractions like tea shops, historical landmarks, parks, bakeries and boutiques. On the other spectrum, Prince Edward County's countryside includes scenic fall greenery, famous vineyards and the beautiful Sandbanks Provincial Park. In other words, you'll have an endless list of things to do while indulging on wine and cheese.
Some shops you'll want to peruse around are City Revival, which is a massive designer consignment store featuring brands from Gap to Gucci, all sourced from Toronto. Books and Company is a captivating bookstore where you can enjoy a latté from Miss Lily's (an adorable coffee shop right next door), read or play with the bookstore's cat. If you go here, don't miss out on their world-famous wineries & vineyards (check out Taste Trail and Arts Trail).
One of the most spectacular aspects about Picton in my opinion, is its unassuming yet GORGEOUS June Motel. I know what you're thinking-- motel? The June Motel isn't just any motel, it has 16 staycation rooms that looks like an interior design Pinterest board just spit out. If you plan a getaway here, this motel is highly recommended!
Rattlesnake Point is one of the most beautiful places in Ontario! You can spend the day here during any Canadian season and admire crazy turkey vultures that soar through their steep slopes from Buffalo Crag look-out and study their thousand year-old cedar trees. You can camp under the stars, rock-climb on their cliffs, practice some yoga in the nature or just enjoy the great outdoors with your family and friends.
Decew Falls is located in the St. Catherines area on Decew Rd., and is a stunning swimming spot in Ontario for those hot summer days! This huge 22-metre high waterfall plunges into a refreshing turquoise pool of water below.
This beautiful waterfall is below a historic mill, the perfect hidden spot for waterfall lovers to explore. DeCew Falls is home to two main waterfalls: the Upper DeCew Falls (22m plunge waterfall) and a Lower DeCew Falls (25 ft. steep cascade waterfall).
Forks of The Credit Provincial Park is notorious for scenic hiking trails and picnics. This beautiful provincial park is situated on Ontario's famous Bruce Trail-- it is one of the most relevant and closest major parks to Toronto that will be gorgeously displayed this fall. It is also a popular spot for fishing, so remember to bring your gear!
The boardwalk beside the Niagara River offers a first-hand experience of the peril and raw adventure of their 6 white-water rapids. It is the perfect vibe for your walk and you can stop to admire the view at many viewing platforms, right at the river's edge. You won't want to miss this, because it's truly an exhilarating experience.
There is a stunning conservation area near Milton, Ontario that is just waiting to be explored. It has a 1.4 km elevated boardwalk that takes you through their beautiful forests, eventually leading you to a turquoise coloured lake. I know, right?
This unique, turquoise coloured lake is a meromictic lake, which means the layers don't mix. The bottom layers have been literally untouched for centuries, and you can also see tons of cute turtles swimming around among other cool wildlife in the conservation area.