You don’t have to travel far or spend extravagantly to have an awesome escape!
Need an excuse to leave your desk on a Wednesday afternoon? Luckily, Ontario is home to many small towns perfect for a quick – and delicious – escape. Whether you’re looking for a staycation or something more adventurous, there are plenty of options—and you won’t even have to leave the province.
Get out on the water in Thunder Bay
What to do: NatriBros Surf and Sup is the perfect place to get your paddleboard on. They offer lessons, rentals and tours, and their friendly and knowledgeable instructors will help you scope out the best spots to explore the beautiful coastline.
What to eat: For elevated comfort food, stop by Tomlin, where they use seasonal, local ingredients to create an ever-changing menu of delicious tasting plates.
Where to stay: Located in the heart of downtown, The Courthouse Hotel offers a great base to explore the city, plus breathtaking views of the iconic Sleeping Giant and Lake Superior.
Enjoy the outdoors in Waterloo
What to do: For a quick escape from your daily routine, Conestogo River Horseback Adventures offers guided horseback rides, as well as day trips and overnight adventures sure to please any outdoor enthusiast. You’ll be able to explore trails, take in the scenery and enjoy time with friends and family while basking in all that nature has to offer.
What to eat: Whether you’re craving garden-fresh gazpacho, seared fish or vanilla bean brûlée, Solé has you covered with their wide assortment of Mediterranean cuisine. Bonus: The restaurant boasts stunning exterior design.
Where to stay: If you’re looking for a memorable hotel experience, end your day at the mod Walper Hotel in nearby Kitchener, where they’ve decked their suites out with record players and a hand-picked selection of vinyl.
Try some of the country’s best wine in St. Catharines
What to do: You deserve some time away from your busy life, so why not bask in beautiful vineyard views while sipping on some of the best wine in Canada at the award-winning 13th Street Winery. Enjoy delicious wine samplings and artisanal pizza, and make time to take in the gorgeous sculptures and artwork scattered about the expansive property.
What to eat: To get your fill of torched sushi, sashimi and Japanese yakitori, head on over to East Izakaya and unwind with a glass (or two) of sake.
Where to stay: Extend your time at 13th Street Winery by booking a night in their charming cottage or farmhouse for an elevated staycation.
Take a tasting tour of Collingwood
What to do: Side Launch Brewing Company specializes in handcrafted, unfiltered beers with an emphasis on quality ingredients. Their beer ranges from light to dark, hoppy to malty, and everything in between. So, head out of the office early this summer and enjoy some flights at their outdoor beer garden.
What to eat: For dinner, Bent Taco is a must-visit for flavourful tacos, boozy cocktails and seriously delicious spiced tater tots topped with queso fundido and crema fresca.
Where to stay: If you want to stay in a historic hotel full of charm, check into VanderMarck Boutique Hotel. Originally built in 1912 as the private home of doctor and onetime Collingwood mayor Joseph Arthur, it’s now the perfect place for a chic, luxurious getaway.
Take in the sights and sounds of Ottawa
What to do: If you’re looking for the ultimate summer experience, there’s no sound sweeter than Ottawa’s annual Jazz Festival. This year, the festival includes both virtual and pop-up concerts in unexpected venues across the city from August 19 to 22 (COVID-depending).
What to eat: Stop by Supply and Demand, where you’ll enjoy vibrant raw bar dishes, vegetable-focused small plates and hand-made rustic pasta.
Where to stay: Complete your trip by booking a stay at the luxe Andaz ByWard Market. Be sure to check out the 16th floor bar, Copper Spirits & Sights. It’s the tallest rooftop bar in the city, so you can expect stunning views of the skyline.
CONTENT FROM GLOBE CONTENT STUDIO
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AUGUST 20, 2021
as part of the Great Taste of Ontario Special Report