Welcome to the weekend getaway destination; in Toronto, a vibrant city on the shores of Lake Ontario. Here, you’ll find a diverse multicultural and a wide range of weekend getaway options. Whether you love nature, history, food, or art, Toronto has something to captivate every traveler’s heart.
Join me as we explore the top 20 weekend getaway destinations in Toronto, where adventure, relaxation, and unforgettable experiences await at every turn. So, get ready for a whirlwind tour of this dynamic city and its surrounding wonders. Along the way, we’ll discover hidden beautiful locations, indulge in culinary delights, and create memories that will last a lifetime. So, pack your bags, leave your worries behind, and let’s dive into the enchanting world of Toronto’s weekend getaway destinations!
Where is Toronto?
Toronto is the largest city in Canada and the capital of the province of Ontario. So, it is on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. Furthermore, Its history stretches back thousands of years, with Indigenous peoples like the Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee, and Anishinaabe residing in the region long before European settlement. In the 18th century, French traders established a trading post called Fort Rouillé in the area.
In 1793, the British acquired the land from the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, and the settlement was named York. It became the capital of Upper Canada (now Ontario) in 1796. However, during the War of 1812, American forces captured and burned York.
After the war, the city was reconstructed and renamed Toronto in 1834. It experienced rapid growth as a commercial and industrial center, attracting immigrants from all over the world. Finally, the completion of the Grand Trunk Railway in the mid-19th century further fueled Toronto’s expansion.
Throughout the 20th century, Toronto continued to grow and diversify. It emerged as a prominent financial hub, housing numerous multinational corporations, and fostering a thriving arts and cultural scene. Today, Toronto is renowned for its multiculturalism, vibrant neighborhoods, iconic landmarks, and its status as a global center for business, finance, arts, and entertainment.
Top 20 Weekend Getaway Destinations in Toronto, Canada
1. Toronto Islands
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and embark on a weekend getaway to the Toronto Islands. Just a short ferry ride away from downtown Toronto, these islands offer a tranquil oasis amidst the urban landscape. With stunning views of Lake Ontario, sandy beaches, and lush greenery. So, it’s a perfect place to unwind and recharge.
To start your day, begin with a leisurely bike ride along the island trails, taking in the scenic beauty. Then, head to one of the picturesque beaches for some sunbathing or a refreshing swim. Additionally, explore the charming neighborhoods, filled with quaint cottages and gardens. Moreover, enjoy a picnic in one of the many parks, or indulge in a delicious meal at one of the island’s cozy cafes or restaurants.
As the sun sets, take a romantic stroll along the waterfront, enjoying the breathtaking views of the Toronto skyline. With its serene atmosphere and natural beauty, a weekend getaway to the Toronto Islands promises a rejuvenating and memorable experience.
Fun things to do in Toronto Island
- Explore Centreville Amusement Park
- Rent a bike or kayak
- Visit the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse
- Relax on the beach
- Have a picnic in the park
- Explore the Far Enough Farm
- Take a ferry ride
Places to visit on the Toronto Island
- Centre Island
- Ward’s Island
- Hanlan’s Point
- Far Enough Farm.
- Gibraltar Point Lighthouse
- Franklin Children’s Garden.
- Rectory Café
2. Niagara Falls
You will be amazed by the stunning beauty of Niagara Falls on an unforgettable weekend getaway. So, it is just a short drive from Toronto, this natural wonder is a must-see destination. Furthermore, you can begin your adventure with an exhilarating boat tour that brings you up close to the falls. Feel the mist on your face as you witness the sheer power and grandeur of the cascading water.
Afterward, take the time to explore the charming town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. This delightful place is known for its quaint shops, wineries, and historic sites. Treat yourself to wine tastings, indulge in delicious meals, and enjoy the picturesque views of the Niagara River. Thus, those seeking excitement, try your luck at the lively Niagara Fallsview Casino or take a helicopter ride for a bird’s-eye perspective of the falls.
As the day draws to a close, don’t miss the enchanting illumination of the falls at night. With its breathtaking scenery and thrilling activities, a weekend getaway to Niagara Falls guarantees an unforgettable experience.
Fun things to do in Niagara Falls
- Witness the Falls
- Explore Niagara Falls State Park
- Visit Clifton Hill Known as the Street of Fun
- Experience Niagara’s Fury
- Take a Helicopter Tour
- Explore Niagara-on-the-Lake(a charming town)
- Try your luck at the Casinos
Places to visit at Niagara Fall
- Niagara Falls State Park
- Cave of the Winds
- Maid of the Mist/Hornblower Cruise
- Journey Behind the Falls
- Niagara Glen Nature Reserve
- Whirlpool Aero Car
3. Royal Ontario Museum
For a fantastic weekend getaway, consider visiting the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) located in Toronto, Canada. So, this renowned museum offers a plethora of captivating exhibits and activities that are sure to make your visit memorable.
Furthermore, the location of the ROM itself is noteworthy. Because it is situated in the heart of downtown Toronto, it is easily accessible and surrounded by other attractions, restaurants, and shops. This makes it convenient to explore the museum and enjoy the vibrant city atmosphere.
Additionally, the ROM frequently hosts special exhibitions and events, showcasing rare and extraordinary collections from around the world. These temporary exhibits provide an opportunity to explore specific themes or periods in greater detail, ensuring that each visit to the museum offers a unique experience.
Fun things to do at the Royal Ontario Museum
- Explore the Exhibits
- Participate in Interactive Displays
- Attend Special Events
- Visit the Bat Cave
- Take a Guided Tour
- Enjoy the ROM’s Architecture
- Visit the ROM Boutique
Places to visit at the Royal Ontario Museum
- The Michael Lee-Chin Crystal
- The Galleries
- The Bat Cave
- The Teck Suite of Galleries
- The Schad Gallery of Biodiversity
- The Shreyas and Mina Ajmera Gallery of Africa, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific
- The CIBC Discovery Gallery
4. Distillery District
The Distillery District is in Toronto, Canada. So, this vibrant neighborhood offers a unique blend of history, culture, and entertainment that is sure to make your visit unforgettable.
Furthermore, one of the highlights of the Distillery District is its vibrant arts and culture scene. Hence, the district is home to numerous art galleries, studios, and theaters, showcasing the works of local and international artists. Therefore, you can immerse yourself in the world of creativity, by attending art exhibitions, live performances, and even workshops.
Additionally, the Distillery District hosts various events and festivals throughout the year. From art festivals to music concerts, there’s always something happening in this lively neighborhood. Thus, check the district’s calendar to see if there are any events coinciding with your visit. Because these events add an extra layer of excitement and entertainment to your getaway.
Fun things to do in the Distillery District
- Explore the Boutiques and Art Galleries
- Enjoy a Culinary Adventure
- Take a Distillery Tour
- Attend Live Performances
- Capture Instagram-Worthy Photos
- Visit the Art Installations
- Attend Festivals and Events
Places to visit at Distillery District
- Distillery Historic District
- Art Galleries
- Distillery Tours
- Restaurants and Cafés
- Specialty Shops offering unique and artisanal products
- Outdoor Spaces eg Trinity Square Park
- Festivals and Events
List the festivals and events at the Distillery District
- Toronto Christmas Market held annually during the holiday season
- Artfest Toronto is held during summer. eg paintings, sculptures, etc
- Distillery District Summer Music Series held during summer
- Toronto Light Festival held during winter nights
- The Distillery District’s Artisan Market is held annually
- Distillery District Sunday Market held every Sunday from spring to fall
5. High Park
Fun things to do in High Park
- Explore the Nature
- Visit the Zoo
- Enjoy the Gardens
- Play Sports
- Visit Grenadier Pond
Places to visit at High Park
- Grenadier Pond
- Hillside Gardens
- High Park Zoo
- Jamie Bell Adventure Playground
- Cherry Blossom Trees
- Colborne Lodge
- Walking Trails
6. St. Lawrence Market
St. Lawrence Market is in the heart of Toronto. So, this vibrant market is a must-visit destination for food lovers and culture enthusiasts alike.
Firstly, when you arrive at St. Lawrence Market, you’ll be greeted by a bustling atmosphere filled with the aromas of freshly baked goods and the sounds of lively conversations. Also, in the busy streets outside, you’ll immediately feel the energy and excitement that this place exudes.
One of the highlights of St. Lawrence Market is its incredible selection of food. As you explore the market, you’ll encounter a wide array of vendors offering everything from artisanal cheeses and gourmet chocolates to fresh seafood and organic produce. In addition to the delectable food, St. Lawrence Market also boasts a rich history and cultural significance.
Fun things to do at St. Lawrence Market
- Explore the Market
- Food Sampling
- Brunch at the Market
- Cooking Classes
- Antique Market
- Outdoor activities near St. Lawrence Market. Take a stroll along the nearby waterfront
7. Casa Loma
Casa Loma in Toronto is indeed a remarkable destination for a weekend getaway. So, it’s a magnificent castle that offers a unique blend of history, architecture, and stunning views.
First and foremost, Casa Loma boasts a rich history that dates back to the early 20th century. So, it is Constructed in the Gothic Revival style, this architectural masterpiece stands as a testament to the grandeur and opulence of a bygone era.
Moreover, Casa Loma offers breathtaking views of the surrounding cityscape, its towers, and turrets. Additionally, Casa Loma is home to meticulously, beautiful gardens that provide a tranquil oasis amidst the urban bustle.
Furthermore, Casa Loma hosts various events and exhibitions throughout the year, ensuring that there is always something new and exciting to discover. Thus, from art exhibits to live performances, there is no shortage of cultural experiences to indulge in during your visit.
Fun things to do at Casa Loma
- Explore the Castle
- Visit the Stables
- Enjoy the Gardens
- Attend Special Events
- Escape the Tower
- Dine at the Liberty Café
- Shop at the Gift Shop
Places to visit at Casa Loma
- The Great Hall
- The Library
- The Conservatory
- The Sir Henry Pellatt Suite
- The Secret Passages
- Climb up to the top of the tower
- Explore the stables
- Take a leisurely walk through the beautiful garden
8. Toronto Zoo
Toronto Zoo is in Toronto, Canada. So, this renowned zoo offers a unique and unforgettable experience. Firstly, the Toronto Zoo boasts an impressive collection of over 5,000 animals from around the world. As you explore the zoo, you’ll encounter majestic lions, playful dolphins, graceful giraffes, and many more fascinating creatures.
Additionally, the Toronto Zoo offers numerous activities and attractions to enhance your visit. You can embark on a thrilling safari tour, where you’ll get up close and personal with some of the zoo’s most iconic animals.
Fun things to do at Toronto Zoo
- Explore the exhibits
- Attend animal feedings and demonstrations
- Take a ride on the Zoomobile
- Visit the Splash Island
- Enjoy the Discovery Zone
Places to visit at Toronto Zoo
- Tundra Trek: This area showcases Arctic animals like polar bears, Arctic wolves, and reindeer.
- African Savanna: Experience the sights and sounds of the African Savanna, where you can see giraffes, zebras, rhinos, and lions.
- Indo-Malaya: This section of the zoo features animals from the tropical rainforests of Asia, including orangutans, tigers, and Komodo dragons
- Americas: Explore the diverse wildlife of the Americas, from the Canadian lynx to the South American capybara.
- Canadian Domain: Discover the native wildlife of Canada, including moose, beavers, and Arctic foxes.
9. Kensington Market
if you’re looking for an exciting weekend getaway, I highly recommend visiting Kensington Market. Located in the heart of Toronto, this vibrant neighborhood offers a unique and unforgettable experience. First and foremost, Kensington Market is renowned for its diverse and multicultural atmosphere. If you’re a fan of live music and entertainment, Kensington Market has got you covered.
Fun things to do at Kensington Market
- Explore the vibrant streets
- Try international cuisine
- Visit the local shops
- Enjoy live music
- Attend a street festival
- People-watching at cafes
10. Ontario Science Centre
Ignite your curiosity at the Ontario Science Centre. It is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway, in Toronto. So, this renowned institution offers a unique and immersive experience for visitors of all ages.
The Ontario Science Centre is renowned for its engaging and informative live demonstrations. Here, talented scientists and educators will lead captivating shows that showcase the marvels of science in action. Hence, you can witness mind-boggling experiments, learn about the latest discoveries, and even participate in some of the demonstrations yourself. These interactive presentations ensure that learning becomes an exciting and memorable experience.
Fun things to do at Ontario Science Centre
- Catch a movie at the IMAX theatre
- Explore the exhibits
- Participate in hands-on activities
- Check out the special exhibitions
- Attend a live demonstration
- Visit the planetarium
11. Toronto Botanical Garden
For an enchanting weekend getaway, consider visiting the Toronto Botanical Garden (TBG) in Toronto, Canada. So, it offers a tranquil oasis in the heart of the city, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers and garden enthusiasts. In addition, one of the highlights of the Toronto Botanical Garden is its commitment to education and sustainability. Thus, the garden offers a range of educational programs, workshops, and guided tours that provide visitors with valuable insights into gardening, horticulture, and environmental conservation. So, whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a curious beginner, you can expand your knowledge and learn new skills during your visit.
Fun things to do in Toronto Botanical Garden
- Take a leisurely stroll through the various themed gardens within the TBG.
- Attend Workshops and Classes
- Join a guided tour led by knowledgeable garden experts who will provide insights into the TBG’s collections, history, and sustainable practices.
- Explore the Garden Shop, where you can find a variety of unique and botanical-themed items.
- The TBG hosts special events throughout the year, such as plant sales, garden tours, and seasonal celebrations.
Places to visit at Toronto Botanical Garden
- Start your visit at the Entry Garden, a vibrant and welcoming space filled with colorful blooms and lush greenery
- Kitchen Garden
- Water Garden
- Woodland Walk
- Terrace Gardens
- The Greenhouse
- The Garden Shop
12. Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is at 288 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3L9, Canada. So, this captivating attraction offers a unique underwater experience that is sure to leave you in awe.
Once inside Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, you’ll be immersed in a world of aquatic wonders. So, the aquarium boasts a remarkable collection of marine life from around the globe. Hence, from vibrant tropical fish to majestic sharks and graceful stingrays, there is a diverse array of species to discover. Additionally, the highlight of the aquarium is the mesmerizing Dangerous Lagoon, a moving walkway that takes you through an underwater tunnel surrounded by sharks, sea turtles, and other fascinating creatures.
Fun things to do in Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
- Explore the Exhibits eg colorful fish, graceful rays, and majestic sharks
- Walkthrough Dangerous Lagoon
- Attend Animal Feedings
- Touch and Interact with various marine creatures, such as stingrays and horseshoe crabs.
- Discover the Discovery Centre
- Sleep with the Sharks
13. Art Gallery of Ontario
The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is at 317 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 1G4, Canada. So, this renowned cultural institution offers a diverse collection of artwork that is sure to inspire and engage visitors.
One unique aspect of the Art Gallery of Ontario is its commitment to engaging visitors through interactive experiences. Hence, the gallery offers workshops, talks, and guided tours that provide deeper insights into the artwork and artists. Therefore, you can participate in hands-on activities, attend artist talks, or join a guided tour to enhance your understanding and appreciation of the art.
Fun things to do at the Art Gallery of Ontario
- Explore the Artwork
- Join a Guided Tour
- Participate in Workshops
- If you’re visiting with children, make sure to check out the Kids’ Gallery.
- Attend Special Exhibitions and Events
- Relax at the Café
14. Evergreen Brick Works
For an exciting weekend getaway, consider visiting Evergreen Brick at 550 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4W 3X8, Canada. So, this vibrant destination offers a unique blend of nature, culture, and sustainability that is sure to make your visit memorable.
Once at Evergreen Brick Works, you’ll discover what makes it truly unique. Thus, the site seamlessly combines heritage buildings with modern design, creating a dynamic and visually appealing space. In addition, the highlight of Evergreen Brick Works is its commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. Hence the site features numerous green initiatives, including rainwater harvesting, renewable energy systems, and urban agriculture.
Fun things to do in Evergreen Brick Works
- Explore the Nature Trails
- Visit the Farmers Market
- Take a Workshop
- Enjoy Outdoor Activities eg Skiting
- Visit the Children’s Garden
15. Canada’s Wonderland
Canada’s Wonderland is the perfect destination for a thrilling weekend getaway. Located in Vaughan, Ontario, this amusement park offers an unforgettable experience like no other.
Firstly, Canada’s Wonderland boasts an impressive array of exhilarating rides. Thus, from the heart-pounding roller coasters to the stomach-churning drop towers, adrenaline junkies will find their fix here. Additionally, Canada’s Wonderland is home to Splash Works, a massive water park that offers a refreshing escape from the summer heat. Thus, dive into the wave pool, race down thrilling water slides, or relax in the lazy river.
Fun things to do in Canada’s Wonderland
- Thrilling Roller Coasters
- Water Park
- Live Entertainment
- Planet Snoopy
- Dining and Shopping
- Games and Arcades
- Seasonal Events
16. Royal Botanical Gardens
The Royal Botanical Gardens is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway. Located in the heart of the city, this enchanting oasis offers a unique experience that will leave you in awe. The Royal Botanical Gardens offers a range of activities for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a photography lover, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, there is something for everyone. So, you can embark on guided tours to learn about the diverse plant species or participate in workshops to enhance your gardening skills. Also, for the little ones, there are interactive exhibits and educational programs that make learning about nature a fun and engaging experience.
Fun things to do in Royal Botanical Gardens
- Take a leisurely stroll
- Visit the glasshouses
- Attend a guided tour
- Enjoy a picnic
- Participate in workshops or events
- Explore the children’s garden
- Capture the beauty
17. Ontario Place
Ontario Place is in the heart of Toronto, at 955 Lake Shore Blvd W, Toronto, ON M6K 3B9, Canada. So, it is home to the iconic Cinesphere, the world’s first permanent IMAX theatre. Here, step inside this architectural marvel and immerse yourself in a larger-than-life cinematic experience. Thus, the state-of-the-art technology and awe-inspiring visuals will leave you in awe.
Furthermore, Ontario Place features a vibrant atmosphere with various entertainment options. From live music performances to outdoor festivals, there’s always something happening at this lively destination. Therefore, you can indulge in delicious cuisine at the waterfront restaurants or enjoy a picnic in one of the many green spaces.
Fun things to do in Ontario Place
- Explore the Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail
- Catch a movie at the iconic Cinesphere, the world’s first permanent IMAX theatre
- Explore the underwater-themed pavilion, which features interactive exhibits and displays about marine life.
- Enjoy the Water Park
- Try out the Adventure Park
- Attend Events and Festivals
Places to visit at Ontario Place
- The iconic Cinesphere
- Trillium Park
- William G. Davis Trail
- Vista Eatery
- Atlantis Pavilion
- Echo Beach
18. Aga Khan Museum
Fun things to do in Aga Khan Museum
- Explore the Exhibitions
- Attend a Concert or Performance
- Visit the Gardens
- Participate in Workshops and Classes
- Enjoy the Museum Café
- Attend a Lecture or Panel Discussion
- Shop at the Museum Store
19. Scarborough Bluffs
For an adventurous weekend getaway, consider visiting Scarborough Bluffs located in Toronto, Canada. So, this stunning natural wonder offers a unique combination of breathtaking views and outdoor activities that are sure to make your visit unforgettable.
What makes Scarborough Bluffs truly unique is its geological significance. So, these majestic cliffs were formed over 12,000 years ago during the last ice age, resulting in a striking landscape of layered sedimentary rock. Also, the vibrant colors and intricate patterns of the bluffs create a mesmerizing sight that is a photographer’s dream.
Fun things to do in Scarborough Bluffs
- Hiking and Nature Trails
- Beaches and Water Activities
- Picnicking and BBQ
20. Toronto’s Music Scene
For an unforgettable weekend getaway, immerse yourself in Toronto’s vibrant music scene. So, it is in Canada, Toronto. It is renowned for its diverse and thriving music culture, offering a unique blend of genres and venues that cater to all musical tastes.
What makes Toronto’s music scene truly unique is its diversity. Hence, the city embraces a wide range of genres, including rock, pop, hip-hop, jazz, electronic, and world music. Whether you’re into indie bands, underground DJs, or classical orchestras, you’ll find a vibrant and thriving community that caters to your musical preferences.
So, plan your weekend getaway in Toronto and immerse yourself in the city’s music scene. So, catch a live performance at one of the many venues, dance the night away at a club, or explore the local music festivals that take place throughout the year. With its diverse range of genres and talented artists, Toronto’s music scene promises an unforgettable experience for music enthusiasts of all kinds.
Toronto offers an abundance of weekend getaway destinations that cater to a variety of interests. Whether you’re a nature lover, history enthusiast, foodie, or art aficionado, this vibrant city has something for everyone. From the serene Toronto Islands to the awe-inspiring Niagara Falls, the cultural wonders of the Royal Ontario Museum to the charming streets of the Distillery District, each destination promises a unique and memorable experience. With its diverse attractions and vibrant energy, Toronto invites you to explore its hidden gems, indulge in culinary delights, and create lasting memories. So pack your bags, leave your worries behind, and embark on a weekend adventure in Toronto, where unforgettable experiences await at every turn.
Why is Toronto the best place to visit?
Toronto is considered one of the best places to visit for several reasons. Firstly, it is a vibrant and multicultural city that offers a diverse range of experiences. You can explore places like Chinatown, Little Italy, etc. Secondly, Toronto is home to iconic landmarks such as the CN Tower, which provides breathtaking views of the city with other interesting places like the Royal Ontario Museum, etc. Furthermore, Toronto is known for its thriving arts and entertainment scene. Lastly, Toronto is a great destination for sports enthusiasts.
Why is it called Toronto?
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