Best Road Trips to Take in Ontario

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Not sure where to take a road trip to this season? Here’s a round-up of the best road trips to take in Ontario.

by Mary Wimmer

It’s been a very long and cold winter, but the warmer weather is finally here to stay. Here in Ontario, there’s no better time than spring and summer to start exploring our own backyard. Whether it’s a peaceful escape to cottage country or an exciting city break that you seek, satisfy your urge to explore just by getting behind the wheel – no passport required. Here’s a round-up of the best road trips to take in the province…this long weekend, and all spring and summer long.


Think you’ve got to fly down south to find sparkling sand, surf and sky? Good news, you don’t have to fork over the price of a plane ticket to find powdery beaches – just grab a swimsuit and a packed cooler…and go! From Sauble Beach’s 11-km stretch of the soft stuff on Lake Huron to the sandy strip of Lake Superior’s Pancake Bay, our province is blessed with sandy beaches perfect for frolicking on. And let’s not forget Wasaga Beach on Georgian Bay, which proves that you don’t have to travel too far to see white-sand beaches. They may be a few hours’ drive away, but half the fun is getting there.


City-dwellers know well how difficult it can be to see the starry night sky due to light pollution…the solution? A road-trip, to the less densely populated parts of our province, like the North Frontenac Dark Sky Preserve, which offers some of the darkest skies in the province (as well as public washrooms – always a bonus). There’s also the Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Preserve that lets visitors camp for free during meteor showers and when the Northern Lights appear at sub-arctic altitudes.


When it comes to enjoying rest and relaxation, there are few places as pleasurable for a little “R and R” than Ontario’s cottage country. Whether you’re headed to Rideau Lakes, the Kawarthas, or Muskoka; picking up food, friends and family, en route to the cottage is a time-honoured long-weekend tradition that everyone looks forward to at the first sign of spring.


It may defy logic but road-trips have a funny way of stimulating one’s appetite. Who knew that sitting for hours could be so…hunger-inducing? Replace the empty calories of fast food, and feast your eyes instead on the open road.  Whether that’s to the foodie capital of Toronto, or to smaller towns like Gananoque in the 1000 Islands, you’ll find everything from fine-dining to family-friendly restaurants. Don’t forget to check out Ottawa’s Atelier. As this year’s recipient of the much-coveted AAA Four Diamond Rating, which marks it as one of North America’s best dining experiences, it’s definitely worth the road trip if you live outside of the city.


If there’s one thing we should be glad that Ontario is, it’s green. We’re lucky to have such an abundance of wilderness surrounding our towns and cities. Having such easy access to green space is a gift that all Ontarians should treasure. So, make sure that you find the time to take a road trip out to our province’s spectacular provincial parks and conservation areas.

No matter where you’re headed to this spring and summer, your CAA Membership card gives you access to the best Roadside Assistance program in Canada, so you can be as comfortable on the road as you are at home. Don’t forget to visit your nearest CAA Travel Store to stock up on travel necessities like guide books, maps, and luggage, as well as trip planning advice from our team of dedicated Travel Professionals.

True to its license plates, Ontario really is yours to discover…happy road-tripping, readers!