9 great Ontario road trips to take in your GM

Budds Ontario road tips

Summer is here, and the roads are clear. That means it’s time to discover the magic of our great province of Ontario.

It also means it’s time for our two favourite words here at Budds’: road trip!

Thunder Bay

As one of Lake Superior’s premier destinations during the summer, Thunder Bay offers different kinds of adventure depending on the type of trip you are looking for. Can’t decide whether you want to enjoy city life or some of the most spectacular nature on offer? Thunder Bay is the perfect compromise.

See the Sleeping Giant, wander the Thunder Bay Musem, or explore any of the city’s other top attractions.

Kincardine

The beautiful town of Kincardine, nestled right on the banks of Lake Huron, boasts some of the best luxury rural living in all of Canada.

Camp right in Kincardine at Inverhuron Provincial Park, or stay in a yurt at nearby MacGregor Point. Either way, a quick jaunt through own will have you watching a Scottish pipe band, laying out at Boiler Beach, or screaming your way through the haunted lighthouse.

The food here is also well known in the area, so come with a big appetite.

Haliburton

This is one of the most scenic destinations in all of Ontario. If you’re an art fanatic, this is the place for you. Local artists rule the scene. There’s also a sculpture forest that is a can’t-miss.

If you happen to be travelling in August specifically, check out the annual Forest Festival for a chance to listen to great music in a 100,000-acre wildlife reserve.

Elora Gorge

A trip to Elora—officially known as the Elora Gorge Conservation Authority—is the perfect excuse to combine camping with high-octane adventure. Cycling, kayaking, hiking or tubing—they’re all available to you here. (And if you’re just getting a taste for outdoor hijinks, classes may be available.)

However, if you just want to kick back after the drive, don’t fret— you can get just as much enjoyment out of a relaxing campfire and the beautiful view.

budds ontario mapSauble Beach

The place to go for those in the know is Sauble Beach, especially if you’re “single and looking to mingle.” There’s plenty of low-cost lodging at the campsites and in the cottages, and—of course—a great beach where you can work on your tan all day before hitting the social spots at night.

That’s the weekend scene, though. If you’re looking for a busy, bustling trip, stick to Friday and Saturday. Conversely, if partying’s not your style, you may prefer to visit on a weekday.

Stratford

No list of Ontario road trips would be complete without Stratford, home of the world-famous Stratford Festival. Go on, give Shakespeare a chance and you’ll see—the plays may be 400 years old but they’re just as relevant today.

It’s not all drama in Stratford however. The annual Blues and Ribfest is about as far away from Bard as you can get. Dig in and get dirty. 

Thousand Islands

Extending for about 80km down the St. Lawrence River from Kingston, the Thousand Islands is a chain of more than 1,800 islands (“thousand” sounds better) on the Canada-US border.

It’s a great road trip for water lovers, with beautiful waterfalls to take in, and lots of boat and lighthouse tours.

Come for the scenery, but bring a swimsuit. As a matter of fact, bring a couple—you’ll be in the water for most of the trip.

Niagara-on-the-Lake

What’s not to love about NOTL? Smack in the heart of wine country—there are more than a dozen wineries within a 10km radius—Niagara-on-the-Lake is a breath of 19th-century bliss.

If you are looking for a girl’s night out, it’s the perfect road trip—with its boutique hotels and grapes everywhere you go, it seems to have been made for bachelorette parties.

If history is more your style, know that the area is the site of several battles in the War of 1812, the original capital of Upper Canada, a settling ground for United Empire Loyalists, and more.

And if you’re interested in theatre but Shakespeare’s not your style, make sure to visit the Shaw Festival.

The Muskokas

This is the premier destination for incredible summer landscapes. But it’s not all just “cottages of the stars.” In fact, there are so many things to do on the Discover Muskoka website you just might decide to visit and never come back.

A word of warning, though—don’t go until August if you want to make sure you miss the ever-present blackflies that annoy visitors from April to July.

Ready to roll?

With a list like this, you’re probably itching to hit the road and get driving.

Not so fast, Clark Griswold. Before you head out on that vacation, bring your vehicle to Budds’ for a tune-up and let us give your car the once-over. Book an appointment today, because after all… you want to hit the open road—not be stranded by the side of it.