Seems like everyone's just shacking up nowadays, huh? Well don't fret-- cuffing season is pretty much around the corner, so this list of magical secret places in Ontario could come in handy. 😉
If you already have a girlfriend, you'll be happy to hear that you can wow her by taking her to someplace super unique that you both probably haven't visited yet. Women love romantic gestures (whether they like to admit it or not), so it doesn't come as a surprise that these secrets destinations in Ontario make for the perfect backdrop.
Wine And Dine In Paris, Ontario
Paris is known as the "Cobblestone Capital of Canada" for its historic cobblestone buildings, which not only adds to the visual aesthetic of this charming town but also provides a 'small town feel' when you're walking the streets in the rustic countryside. Paris is even sometimes referred to as "Canada's Prettiest Little Town" with its abundance of trails that weave through the town's outer core to its natural scenery and downtown area. If you want to roam downtown with your beau, you'll find lots of cafes, bakeries and dessert shops!
It never ceases to amaze me how tall this waterfall in St. Catherine's really is. Situated on the outskirts of St. Catharines, Decew Falls kind of reminds you of all the towering falls in tropical Hawaii. Seriously-- pose and situate your camera at the right angles, virtually no one will notice a difference.
This is because this giant waterfall magically cascades at 22 meters down into a pool of water, with the veil of the waterfall actually allowing travellers to walk inside, if you can make the steep climb into the gorge. Ever seen the comedy movie Just Go With It with Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston and Nicole Kidman? There's a scene in the film where they hike to a waterfall in Hawaii, dive in and explore behind the waterfall. Decew Falls looks just like that. ALSO-- that scene is one of the first moments when Adam Sandler's character falls in love with Jen Anniston's character, so... nonetheless, this waterfall is a must-go.
Located in Wawa, Ontario, Katherine's Cove offers splendid fall views of Lake Superior Provincial Park and some much needed alone time. This park isn't too touristy which makes it great for a secluded, romantic picnic with some hot chocolate, Irish coffee or a glass of pinot. Katherine's Cove has endless hiking trails and hideaways, making room for picture-perfect sightseeing and some cute fall couple pics.
Bathtub Island is situated in Katherine Cove and it's just about a 15-minute walk, and it is a short walk worth taking. This special island is surrounded by rocks that secure clear pools of water in, looking like a fairy pool or a bathtub.
Winter Garden Theatre
The Winter Garden Theatre is a botanically-themed auditorium that blooms within the world's LAST operating double-decker theatre. Talk about charming! In this theatre, beautiful leafy plants and flowers gracefully spiral downstairs, virtually blanketing the entire theatre ceiling with vibrant petals and flora. Nature scenes decorate the walls of this large two-tier space, making you feel like you've stepped inside an enchanting dream.
This theatre was designed to bring the outside in, so the walls are beautifully hand-painted with murals of plants, trellises, and flowers. This space truly looks like a whimsical fantasy, especially with playful lantern lighting and the original theatre columns that now resemble tree trunks. The stage itself is made to look like the blue sky, complete with clouds and a giant, illuminated moon.
This spot located just about 30min from Toronto is a great place to take your girlfriend, if you both don't want to venture too far from the city, or you don't have ample amounts of time to drive to like, Muskoka. Rouge Park makes for a great day visit during the fall months, as you can really take in the sights and smells of the changing seasons.
The lookout is surrounded by massive trees, bushes and large plants alike along with a beach and BBQ area, a marsh, a sizeable pond where people actually fish and go kayaking. The best part is there's a man-made boardwalk that will lead you and your GF up to top the lookout, and the short hike up there will give you nostalgia vibes, especially if you notice all the aged love notes scribbled against their iron walls, trees or wooden fences.
Bon Echo Provincial Park
Located in Cloyne, Ontario, Bon Echo Provincial Park is home to the astounding 100-meter-high Mazinaw Rock. Only about 3 hours from Toronto, this impressive rock displays more than 260 Aboriginal pictographs.
If you guys are nature lovers, there are outdoorsy activities at Bon Echo like hiking, biking, swimming, canoeing and bird-watching. There are several endangered wildlife species that live on Mazinaw Rock like the peregrine falcon. Turkey vultures and red-tail hawks are also known to soar the skies at Bon Echo.
Visit The Scenic Caves in Collingwood
Collingwood isn’t JUST a wintertime hotspot, known for only skiing, snowboarding and lounging in the chalet hot tub. Before true Canadian weather hits, you can visit the Scenic Caves, which is an equally exciting travel destination in Collingwood.
If you travel here with your GF, you can zipline, go hiking or take a walk across the LONGEST suspension bridge in Southern Ontario, while enjoying the view. The Scenic Caves extend up to 70ft. deep and also gives you an expansive view of Ontario's beautiful Georgian Bay and countryside. Another sweet spot in the Blue Mountains is 'Lover's Rest' where you and your SO can rest with some apple cider and pretty views.
Go 'Glamping' in Muskoka In A Boujee Resort
Sometimes camping just isn't the most romantic setting even though this outdoor activity seems fitting for the fall months. Another great outdoorsy alternative to WOW your girlfriend is to take her to a resort, that way you can enjoy all that Muskoka has to offer without all the messy camping nonsense.
At Deerhurst, you can golf, go ATV riding, treetop trekking as well as more low-key stuff like drinking a glass of chardonnay against their cozy fireplace or sightsee the area.
The Grotto is a magical looking pool of water inside a large sea cave at Tobermory, Ontario. There's an underwater tunnel that stretches from the miniscule pool INSIDE the cave through the cliffs to Georgian Bay, which is why the water looks so glowy.
Diving enthusiastics are still seen snorkeling and diving in these magical waters during the month of September in Ontario. When October hits, it will probably be too cold, even if you have a wetsuit on. It takes about a 30min hike to get to this beauty spot, and Tobermory's stunning autumn foliage will give you and your GF something to admire along the way.
Rent A Rustic Retreat Cabin For A Weekend Getaway
There's a great double (or maybe triple) datespot in Haliburton, about 2 hours from Toronto, accommodating seven. This unlimited wifi spot is the perfect weekend getaway, and the best part about this cabin is that it's nestled on top of a cliff, above a river. It's the perfect setting to admire the changing season. It is $224 per night.
Bonnechere Caves is a super unique destination that guides enthusiastic visitors UNDERGROUND to explore a spectacular network of passageways, small waterfalls, grottos and bat sanctuaries. The guided tours last about an hour and are offered every 20-30 minutes.
These caves are located in Eganville and contain some of the world's finest natural-solution caves. Over the years, this secrets spot has become an award-winning attraction in the Ottawa Valley area but most city folk haven't heard of this place yet.
Petroglyphs Provincial Park
You can study 900 interesting Aboriginal rock carvings of the First Nations petroglyphs at Petroglyphs Provincial Park. These ancient carvings are the largest collection in Canada and is referred to as "The Teaching Rocks," considered a symbolic art that displays sketchings of humans, animals and other subjects.
About 60km east of Thunder Bay is the magnificent Ouimet Canyon, a stony gorge with upright cliffs capped in rich green foliage that falls about 100 meters down to the canyon. There is a trail and cute boardwalk taht connect two lookouts at Ouimet Canyon and will give you guys INCREDIBLE panoranimc views of the entire natural phenomenon.
The French River is actually one of the first designated Canadian Heritage rivers, and was used by the First Nations, French Explorers, Voyageurs and fur traders. Super Canadian, right?
The river is a whopping 65 MILES in length and flows from Lake Nipissing to Georgian Bay. You can kayak, canoe, fish, swim, camp and even birdwatch at this provincial park.
Thousand Islands National Park
The Thousand Islands National Park is the anchor to 21 islands and miniature islets in Ontario and it is a truly captivating sight. Although it's onyl accessible by water, the surroundng waters are kayak and powerboat friendly. There are lots of rare species of birds and turtles that live here, so you'll be sure to spot a few while kayaking, picnicing, barbecueing and sightseeing. There is a great picnic area by the river at Mallorytown Landing which is equipped with ample BBQ's, an adorable gazebo and exhibits with visitor-friendly animals!
Fall might be one of the more extravagant seasons where you can trek around with your SO and enjoy an outdoor adventure together. For those who want to enjoy a traditional and irresistable fall with brisk air, colourful leaves, an abundance of pumpkins and apple cider, you'll want to add some of these places to your bucket list!