Staycations and weekend road trips are one of the best part about the warm Summer months. You don’t need to travel far to find scenic routes and family activities and entertainment, from beautiful beaches to majestic waterfalls, you’ll be amazed to discover all Southwestern Ontario has to offer. Here are 10 of our favourite family road trip stops that the whole family will enjoy.
Pro Tip: Avoid the “Are we there yet?” groans from the backseat by downloading a family friendly audiobook for the ride. Our favourite place to find great audio books is Audible; with thousands of books to choose from, from Harry Potter to The Wizard of Oz, you’ll find something for everyone.
Only an hour east of Toronto, the small town of Orono is the perfect place for a day trip with the family. With a series of trails along the Orono Crown Lands and the Ray Forrester Butterfly Garden, Orono has plenty of activities for the family nature lover. But a trip to Orono wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Jungle Cat World. With dozens of animals from tigers and jaguars to wolves and spider-monkeys, this wildlife park offers everything from educational behind-the-scenes tours to night safaris to see nocturnal species in their element.
Join the hustle and bustle of Toronto on a fun family day to the city. From Ripley’s Aquarium and the CN tower, to Blue Jays games and St. Lawrence Market, Toronto has something for everyone.
Known as The City of Waterfalls, Hamilton is an often-overlooked gem of Southwestern Ontario. With over 100 waterfalls found along the Bruce Trail and Niagara Escarpment, it’s no wonder where the city gets its name. But that’s not all Hamilton has to offer, stroll down the downtown core and enjoy the arts & culture scene, delicious restaurants and beautiful shops.
While Stratford may be most well-known as a theatre hub, it has more to offer than meets the eye. With tons of incredible restaurants and shops, Stratford is the perfect place to explore on a warm summer day. Stroll up and down the main strip and take in the palpable charm and history of the town. But, you can’t go to Stratford and not see a show. With family-friendly productions every season, like the Stratford Festival’s Alice Through the Looking Glass, and costume wardrobe tours which showcase over 55,000 costumes and props, Stratford is sure to be fun for the whole family.
Located on the shore of Lake Huron, Grand Bend is a beautiful summer getaway with everything from sandy beaches to lush hiking trails. Check out this great guide here, for a Grand Bend ‘Beach Bucket’ List and get your vacation started.
Calling all thrill-seekers and nature lovers! Long Point Eco-Adventures offers a variety of fun family activities from ziplining and canopy tours through the Carolinian forest to axe throwing and mountain biking! Or, why not take a zodiac boat tour of Long Point, the world’s largest fresh water sand spit, and then spend the night in a luxury camping pod? The possibilities are endless!
If you haven’t visited Lake Erie yet, this summer is the time to make the trip. With several beaches to choose from, Lake Erie is the perfect weekend getaway. Check out Rock Point Beach, a local provincial park, with ample hiking trails and nature programming for kids, and a dog friendly beach for family pets. If you are in the mood for a quieter getaway, try Port Glasgow Beach, located on the north shores of Lake Erie. It’s just far enough away from the larger beaches to create a tranquil atmosphere.
RONDEAU PROVINCIAL PARK
With over 335 bird species to marvel at, Rondeau Provincial Park is the peaceful family getaway you’re looking for. With beautiful scenery and access to activities like hiking, biking, swimming, camping, fishing and boating, Rondeau is a great place to spend a couple days enjoying the outdoors. Check out the Greenview Aviaries Park and Zoo or head over to the Keith McLean Conservation Area to try and spot some endangered birds.
Located on Lake Erie, Pelee Island is the southernmost inhabited piece of land in Canada and is dubbed the ‘Tip of Canada.’ This quaint island has all the charm of a small-town with the beautiful backdrop of Lake Erie. Take the family on a picturesque canoe ride or enjoy the majestic flocks of migratory birds that can be seen overhead.
Take a trip to the only all-indoor water park in Southwestern Ontario, Adventure Bay Water Park. With over 35,000 square feet of fun, it’s the perfect place to let the kids run wild.