It’s no secret- fall is an amazing time to get out and about in Ontario. From the beautiful fall foliage to the warm and hearty dishes on menus, the season is bursting with colour and flavour.
This fall, why not take the path slightly less travelled to beautiful South Eastern Ontario where a world of tastes, smells and gorgeous sites awaits?
Wait, where is South Eastern Ontario?
This region is massive and starts way up, just south of Ottawa in the area affectionately known as SDG (Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry) then moves through Cornwall, Brockville, The 1000 Islands and Gananoque. That’s where we spent most of our time and this itinerary specifically takes you to Brockville, Rockport and Maitland.
However, continuing south you’ll also find that the 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Area, Kingston, Frontenac County, Lennox and Addington, The Bay of Quinte and Prince Edward County are all part of this area too!
Want to know more? Check out the map on South Eastern Ontario’s website.
Alright let’s roll.
Stop 1: Grab Lunch from the north or south
Starting from North of Gananoque? We recommend stopping for a delicious lunch along your way. We love the dill pickle pizza from Esca Bar in Cornwall, a town known for its pizza. This tasty ‘za has fresh dill, house-made dill pickles, an aioli base and mozzarella. It’s tangy and delicious.
Coming from the south? We got you there too! Stop into Kingston, a beautiful town on Lake Ontario where restaurants abound.
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This city has SIX Feast On-certified restaurants that range everything from pizza and burgers to fresh seafood, fine dining and café-style eats. Check them all out on our Feast On page using the map.
Stop 2: Discover Fall Colours on the St. Lawrence
Where: Rockport Boat Cruises, book in advance
Next up, it’s time to hit the St. Lawrence River for a boat cruise of the 1000 islands. This cruise will offer stunning views of fall foliage against the blue waters that you just can’t get from land.
Book a spot with Rockport Boat Cruises for an easy-to-find spot to launch and kick back for the afternoon. With boat cruises that range from 1-6 hours, there are lots of views to take in and choose from. Want a castle tour? They have that. Food on board? They have that too!
We loved cruising through the islands and seeing stunning views of the landscape and tiny cabins (as well as not so tiny!) perched atop them.
Stop 3: BUSL Cider
Where: 75 Quabbin Rd, Mallorytown, ON. (View Map)
Next stop: cider town. Population: you.
Cider-lovers will adore the range of inventive ciders on deck at BUSL where you can take a glass or flight out onto a beautiful granite slab overlooking the 10-acre apple orchard. You can even book a tour of the cidery with the cider maker.
We loved their many ciders but our favourites were the pomsecco (think a dry cider-prosecco mix) and the pumpkin spice which gives off alllll the fall vibes.
Stop 4: Dinner and Beer at Arbru
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Down the road, Arbru is Canada’s first solar brewery and great spot for a pint of beer and an early summer. Their menu has a range of rotating taps as well as a wood fired pizza oven to be enjoyed and savoured as well as woodfired pretzels!
Nestled into the countryside, their patio is an awesome spot to enjoy a bit more fo the fall colours and take in a crisp autumn day!
Did you have pizza for lunch? No worries. Check out 1000 Islands Brewing Company in Brockville for a delightful menu full of great eats like deconstructed cabbage rolls, gourmet grilled cheese and antojitos.
Stop 5: Settle in at the 48 King West by Rob Thompson Hotel
Where: 48 King St W, Brockville, ON. (View Map)
When you’re ready to tuck in for the night, check into the Rob Thompson Hotel in downtown Brockville. This charmingly swanky bank-turned-hotel is a perfect place to unwind with a hot bath or shower (and maybe a beer? No judgment).
They have a great assortment of complimentary snacks in the room as well as a variety of teas if that’s more your thing. Then wrap up in that warm robe and just relax. Sigh.
Stop 1: Coffee Along the Brockville Railway Tunnel
Where: Downtown Brockville
Alright grab that morning java and hit the dusty trail! The Rob Thomas hotel has a delightful French press right in the room to pick your morning perk or if you prefer something prepared for you (it’s vacay after all), head right across the street to Tait’s Fresh Start Bakery and grab a little bite and a coffee.
From there, the railway tunnel is just a 7-minute walk or 1-minute drive. Walk through the tunnel as far as your heart desires for fun music, interesting light displays and a taste of history. This is Canada’s oldest railway tunnel (built between 1854 and 1860) and it runs right under the downtown core.
We loved walking down here to start our morning!
Stop 2: Maison Maitland Cooking Class
Where: 1258 County Rd 2, Maitland, ON. (View Map)
Finally, it’s time for a cooking class (hope you’re hungry)! Join Cynthia or a guest chef at Maison Maitland to really cook with the flavours of fall.
Together, Cynthia will walk you through cooking a fantastic meal with aromas that will knock your socks off in her beautiful Palladian home (soon to also have accommodations). This fall, you can discover anything from Tuscan Farmhouse cooking classes to Dinner with Julia Child!
Don’t see a date that works for you? No worries. Cynthia also offers private bookings for groups of 4-10.
You can even book an all-day culinary adventure with Cynthia visiting various farm stands and foodie stops before coming back to cook together, enjoying a wine tasting and doing a bit of harvest from Cynthia’s garden! How perfect is that for a fall day?
Fall for South Eastern Ontario
There you have it! Our version of the perfect fall getaway to South Eastern Ontario.