If you live in Toronto, you already know you're lucky living in such a fantastic city. What you might not know is how many cool things there are to do within a couple of hours of it. For the most part, city-dwellers don't tend to drive because they don't need to. In a province as full of nature, with breathtaking views around every corner, however, maybe they should. There's tons of beauty just waiting for you to see it, at all times of the year.
If you love goats as much as you love puns, checking out this 200-acre farm might be ideal for you. This exciting and unique farm is home to all kinds of adorable goats. Residents include Nigerian dwarf goats, aka the cutest goats in the world that are the star attraction. There are also alpacas and Icelandic horses. All of these are just over an hour from downtown Toronto. Furthermore, if you pay a little more, you'll get to cuddle and hug the goats as much as you like. And you can buy organic goats cheese even comes up.
Canadians know Hamilton as the city of waterfalls. Stunning waterfalls are all over the Niagara Escarpment, and the Devil's Punchbowl is just one of them. A 37-meter high ribbon waterfall, it sits at the center of a bowl-like canyon. It came to be towards the end of the last Ice Age when melt-water rivers created the gorge. The Devil's Punchbowl is also a prime photo spot for your Instagram snaps.
Just outside of Kitchener is Canada's largest year-round market. St. Jacob's Farmer's Market attracts hundreds of vendors and visitors from all over the province. With wares including farm-fresh foods, local crafts and more, St. Jacob's is the alternative to mall-style shopping. The apple fritters alone are worth driving 1.5 hours from Toronto.
The age-old Finnish tradition of relaxing in outdoor baths is alive and well. Pamper yourselves at a Scandinavian spa that sits in the middle of a serene natural forest. The spa is just minutes from downtown Collingwood. Bathing is also extremely affordable, and a fantastic way to see out the busy work week.
Wander hiking trails, camp under the stars, or try your hand at rock climbing at Rattlesnake Point. Rattlesnake Point is an eco-tourism area in Milton. Thousand-year-old cedars tower into the skies, and if you're lucky, you'll spot turkey vultures from Buffalo Crag lookout. The rock climbing and hiking is for both beginners and enthusiasts, with options for all skill levels.
Cobourg Beach is a mere hour-and-a-half away from downtown Toronto. Locals love it here, particularly during the weekends and holidays. However busy the beach gets, the vibes are always chill, and the gorgeous water stretches on for miles. The best months to make the short trip are during July and August, but it's nice at all times of the year. Stroll the boardwalk with your lover or have a picnic on one of the many picnic tables around the area. Cobourg is a genuinely amazing family day out.
The only way to explore the scenic Algonquin Provincial Park is by canoe or on foot, which makes it more tempting. Its vast interior of maple hills and hundreds of lakes and waterways make it amazing for hiking and camping. The park has eight campgrounds, all of which vary. Some of the campgrounds have cabins, where others have a much more au naturel approach to camping. Keen hikers also have a selection of 14 trails to hike. Other amazing things to do include visiting the Logging Museum and art center, trout fishing, or even moose-viewing.
No selection of fun days out would be complete without a theme park, and Wonderland is just north of Toronto. Kids will love the old school funfair vibe that has over 200 attractions and 70 rides. This includes 16 rollercoasters, which no theme park is complete without. Wonderland also has a 20-acre water park, Splash Works, which has Canada's largest outdoor wave pool.
You might know Muskoka as the Malibu of the North, thanks to the New York Times. They also weren't wrong. This picturesque town is home to the rich and famous, encompasses an area around the size of Rhode Island. Enjoy a beautiful afternoon of wandering the promenade, browsing the local shops, or dining as you watch the lake. If you'd rather be on the water than beside it, you can cruise onto the lake on a steamship. Similarly, if you're a keen land-dweller, there are plenty of beautiful trails on the outskirts of the town. Muskoka is beautiful, and even more so at night when the lights come on all around you and light up the lake.
Niagara is the most inevitable of day trips to take from Toronto. One of the ancient wonders of the world, locals often forget just how close these famed falls are to them. Nothing compares to seeing the water hurtling down when you take one of the Maid of the Mist boat tours. Not even lunch or dinner with the falls as a backdrop or Niagara's enthralling history. Of course, all three can and should be done in a day, and there's always a selection of bougie hotels to stay in overnight.