If there is one thing I hate more than anything it’s winter time. I know, I know, I can’t really complain because it comes every year and I choose to live in Canada. I’ve literally never lived a year without a winter but still every year when it comes around I dread it so much. In normal times I always used to break up the winter dread with hot vacations throughout the winter months, however, in recent years with the pandemic, we’ve had to be creative on how we make the most of the winter season and try our best to embrace it.
To help you keep positive this winter, I’ve compiled a list of some winter getaways so you can enjoy a little “staycation” right here in snowy Ontario this winter.
Located a 2.5 hour drive from Toronto, Haliburton is a popular cottaging area for Ontarians, however, Haliburton is not only beautiful in the summer during cottage season, but also in the winter. A couple years ago my girl friend and I did a little weekend getaway to the area. We stayed in an adorable B&B called Stouffer Mill in the middle of the forest surrounded by some great hiking trails. Our weekend included sleigh rides, snowshoeing, a local brewery stop, and some great food.
You can read about how to spend a weekend in Haliburton here.
The largest town in the Muskoka region, Huntsville is another great destination that isn’t only beautiful in the summer months. Huntsville is only 2.5 hours away from Toronto and is conveniently located right near Algonquin Park (30-minute drive) or Arrowhead Park (10-minute drive). With its close proximity to two provincial parks, you can only imagine there is a ton of winter activities you can partake in such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and even downhill skiing at Hidden Valley Highlands. If you need snowshoe and cross-country ski rentals, I highly recommend Algonquin Outfitters. They can hook you up with everything you need.
Read my full guide for a weekend in Huntsville here
Most people think of Ontario’s wine region, Niagara, to only be a summer destination, but what’s great about visiting it in the winter is your beat the summer crowds and tour buses. Niagara-on-the-Lake also is famous for its ice wine and ’tis the season! Pop by wineries like Wayne Gretzky’s Estate that has a skating rink and outdoor bar outside each winter, or plan your trip around the famous Ice Wine Festival.
Read about my winter weekend in NOTL here.
Strathroy (and area)
Located in Southwestern Ontario, Middlesex County encompasses a large area of popular Ontario towns like London. Although you can always do a trip to London, I’m recommending a lesser known town called Strathroy. Located about 2.5 hours from Toronto, this little, charming Ontario town can be a perfect base for some fun, winter activities. We stayed at the historical Clock Tower Inn, went snowshoeing and even brought some alpacas for a walk.
Read my full weekend itinerary for Strathroy here.
Do you have any Ontario staycations planned for this winter? Let me know where you’re going in the comments below!