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Best Day Trip Destinations from Toronto

Khoa Le
Aug 11 9 minutes read

Hey there! Ever feel like you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city? Well, guess what? I've got some incredible day trips from Toronto that will absolutely make your day! Just imagine: sandy beaches, breathtaking waterfalls, thrilling amusement parks, and so much more – all just a short distance away.

Toronto Islands

Escape the chaos of downtown Toronto and discover the peaceful paradise of the Toronto Islands. Just a short ferry ride away, you'll find sandy beaches, lush parkland, and breathtaking views of the city skyline. Whether you enjoy picnicking, kayaking, or cycling, the islands offer the perfect escape for a rejuvenating day trip.

Imagine a car-free neighborhood made up of 15 stunning islands connected by bridges and walkways. Toronto Islands is the largest car-free neighborhood in North America! With attractions like Centreville Amusement Park, clothing-optional beaches, and charming parks, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Don't forget to explore the bike paths, rent a boat, and indulge in the island's cafes, bars, and restaurants.

Scarborough Bluffs

Scarborough Bluffs is an impressive cliffs stretch along the shoreline for 15 kilometers, offering stunning views and picturesque park areas. While exploring, be sure to visit Bluffers Park, the only formal beach in the area. Take caution near the cliff edges, as erosion has made it dangerous to cross over the fence.

Getting to the Scarborough Bluffs is a breeze if you have a car. With various park areas and parking lots to choose from, it's easy to find the perfect spot. The drive from downtown Toronto will take around 20 to 40 minutes, depending on your starting point. Follow Queen Street East to The Beaches and continue along Kingston Road until you reach Brimley Road South. Don't have a car? No problem! Public transit options are available, including the GO Train and TTC subway.

Hamilton Area Waterfalls

Located just west of Toronto on Lake Ontario, Hamilton is home to an abundance of natural waterfalls, all thanks to the magnificent Niagara Escarpment. But here's the thing - while you can spend some time exploring the city of Hamilton itself, we highly recommend checking out the conservation areas, parks, trails, and waterfalls scattered throughout the entire region. Trust us, it's totally worth it!

You can explore a mix of popular waterfalls like Albion Falls, Buttermilk Falls, Devil's Punchbowl in Stoney Creek, and the iconic Tiffany Falls. Each one offers a unique experience, whether it's a stunning view, a short hike, or a thrilling adventure.

If you're planning to embark on this epic day trip, having a car is pretty much a must. You can easily get to Hamilton by driving on the QEW/403 from Toronto, with a travel time of about an hour to an hour and a half, depending on traffic. Once you arrive, it's a good idea to have a game plan for which waterfalls you want to visit, as there are different areas to explore, such as Dundas, Downtown Hamilton, and Stoney Creek. Oh, and don't worry about parking - most of the park areas have parking lots available, and most of them are free!

Now, if you prefer public transit, you can take a GO Bus from Toronto Union Station Bus Terminal to get to downtown Hamilton. However, keep in mind that relying on public transit to visit multiple waterfalls might be a bit tricky and time-consuming. This is definitely one adventure that's best suited for a road trip.

Algonquin Provincial Park

Algonquin Provincial Park! This park has it all - lakes, forests, rivers, and an abundance of wildlife. Picture yourself paddling on the lakes, spotting moose by the roadside, or exploring the hiking trails with breathtaking views.  Bring your canoe or rent one to explore the stunning lakes and rivers. Don't forget to keep an eye out for wildlife – moose, bears, and wolves are just some of the creatures that call this park home.

Depending on the time of year, the park offers different attractions. Spring brings moose sightings near the roadside, while summer is perfect for canoeing and camping. Hiking trails will take you to stunning viewpoints and the fall foliage is simply breathtaking. For a longer route back to Toronto, consider taking Highway 127 towards Bancroft and passing through Peterborough.

So, if you're itching to get away from the hustle and bustle of Toronto, make sure to add Algonquin Provincial Park to your must-visit list. And who knows, you might even get the chance to join in on the magical experience of a nighttime wolf howl.

Niagra Falls

Get up close and personal with the majestic falls as water cascades down, creating a mesmerizing display that will leave you in awe.

Experience the power of the falls with a thrilling boat tour, where you can feel the refreshing mist on your skin. Or, explore nearby attractions like Clifton Hill and the Butterfly Conservatory for even more excitement.

Just a short two-hour drive from Toronto, Niagara Falls has been captivating visitors since the 1600s. 

With a variety of ways to see the falls, you can choose to take a boat excursion to get an up-close encounter with the mist, or venture behind the falls for a unique perspective. For a panoramic view, head to the Skylon Tower and take in the breathtaking scenery.

If you prefer a hassle-free trip, numerous tour options are available from Toronto. Some even offer night tours, allowing you to see the falls illuminated after dark. And if you're driving yourself, there are convenient paid parking facilities near the falls, so you can easily explore the town and attractions on foot.

Even in the winter, Niagara Falls has its own special charm. The mist rising from the falls creates a stunning sight, with railings and structures covered in icicles. Plus, there are usually fewer visitors, making it a peaceful and magical experience.

Whether you choose to drive or take the train or bus, getting to Niagara Falls is a breeze. If you're driving, the primary route is via the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW)/403. And if you'd rather take the train, both the GO Train and ViaRail offer options, although they may be seasonal. The Megabus also provides direct bus service from Toronto to Niagara Falls, with departures from the new Union Station Bus Terminal.

Canada’s Wonderland

Canada's Wonderland is a premier amusement park, just an hour north of downtown Toronto in Maple, Vaughan. It is a haven for adrenaline junkies and families alike. Get ready to experience exhilarating rides, captivating shows, and a refreshing water park for those scorching summer days. With some of the best roller coasters in Canada, along with games, circus performances, and the aroma of candy and carnival food in the air, this place is a dream come true. Don't forget to make a splash at Splash Works, where you can enjoy water rides, laze around in a lazy river, and dive into the largest outdoor wave pool in the country. From acrobats to stunt shows, there are special events happening regularly to keep the excitement levels sky-high. But here's the catch - this adrenaline-packed experience is only available in the spring and summer making it the ultimate summer destination that kids eagerly wait for. But don’t fret, during the winter months when the park is closed, there are still plenty of activities to enjoy in the surrounding areas such as winter festivals, ice skating, and snowshoeing and Cross-Country Skiing. 


So there you have it, the lowdown on these kickass day trips that are practically in our backyard! Whether it's kicking back on Toronto Islands, exploring the stunning Scarborough Bluffs, chasing waterfalls in Hamilton, getting lost in the wilds of Algonquin Provincial Park, or being mesmerized by Niagara Falls, these adventures are calling your name. Time to swap the city noise for the sounds of nature, the thrill of roller coasters, and the awe of breathtaking landscapes. So grab your daypack, and bring your sense of adventure.

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It was my great pleasure to list our home with Khoa & her team of her husband and brother. They were able to get us the best record price in our area, which is a great help towards our new home purchase.
Being a parent with 2 little ones at home, I greatly appreciate the help with renovation, staging and the closing process. It was so well done that we got 5 multiple offers with no condition and short closing time.
I strongly recommend Khoa and her team.

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