A winter getaway has a certain magical charm that no other vacation can match. Crisp, snow-covered landscapes, mugs of hot cocoa, and evenings spent relaxing in the soft glow of holiday lights - bliss!
Ontario is one of the most popular provinces in Canada for winter breaks, and for good reason. It offers visitors a wealth of thrilling activities, pristine wilderness, and some of the best luxury resorts in the country...so choosing where to go is far from an easy task.
If you're searching for your dream winter getaway to Ontario, you've come to the right place.
Here, we ask the Genie to reveal the creme de la creme of Ontarian winter vacations, so whether you want to go ice skating, cross-country skiing, ice climbing, or just relax in a cozy cabin by a roaring fire, you're sure to find your perfect destination in our list.
The Best Winter Getaways in Ontario for Outdoor Lovers
Want to hit the slopes or do some cross-country skiing this winter season? Or maybe you fancy stepping into those hiking boots and heading up one of Ontario's peaks? Whatever outdoor activities you feel like doing, northern Ontario has the perfect winter getaway for you.
Blue Mountain Resort
Blue Mountain Resort is the largest mountain village resort in the province, boasting a variety of ski and snowshoe trails catering to all abilities, from beginners to experts. Visitors have various lodging options, from cozy chalets and condos to luxurious suites, ensuring a comfortable stay amidst this winter wonderland.
As well as offering an abundance of fun outdoor activities, Blue Mountain Village is a vibrant community featuring shops, restaurants, cafes, and boutiques. It's a perfect place to unwind, shop for souvenirs, or savour delicious meals after a day on the slopes.
Other highlights include:
- Ridge Runner mountain coaster: Enjoy a unique adventure as you twist and turn down the mountain on this gravity-fuelled roller coaster, offering scenic views along the way.
- Snowshoeing trails: Join guided snowshoeing tours that take you through scenic trails, offering insights into the local flora, fauna, and natural beauty of the area.
- Indoor aquatic centre: Enjoy Plunge! - the indoor aquatic centre features pools, hot tubs, water slides, and more, offering a perfect retreat from the winter weather.
- Axe throwing: Experience the thrill of throwing axes at designated targets under the guidance of skilled instructors. It's a unique and engaging activity suitable for individuals, groups of friends, or families looking for something different during their stay.
Fern Resort, Orillia
Next on our list is an all-inclusive resort perfect for families and couples looking to spend quality time together. Starting as a quaint log cabin known as "Fern Cottage" in 1867, the place eventually snowballed into one of the best winter getaways Ontario has to offer.
Fern Resort prides itself on its family-friendly environment, offering various activities and accommodations suitable for all ages. From outdoor hockey and ice fishing to relaxing spa sessions and romantic fine dining, Fern Resort has everything you need for an epic winter getaway.
Other highlights include:
- Diverse winter activities: From classic winter activities like ice skating and snowshoeing to more unique experiences such as horse-drawn hayrides and tobogganing, there's something fun for everyone.
- An indoor pool: Just because you're on a winter adventure doesn't mean you must constantly brave the cold weather. Spend afternoons in the games room or getting crafty at the workshop.
- Winter events: To make your stay extra special, Fern Resort hosts a number of themed activities that'll get you in the spirit of the season.
Algonquin Log Cabins, Algonquin Provincial Park
Fancy a spot of hygge? These cozy cabins offer a rustic and laidback winter getaway in Ontario, as you will be immersed in the natural beauty of Algonquin Provincial Park (and believe us when we say it’s simply breathtaking).
Whether you're taking a break from the city or need a change of scenery this winter, these log cabins are perfect for couples seeking romantic winter getaways in Ontario as you get the opportunity to gaze at the starry night sky and relax by the fireplace.
Don't think that rustic means you'll compromise on luxury, though. The log cabins in Algonquin spare no expense when it comes to providing guests with premier experiences, offering catering services and guided excursions.
Other highlights include:
- Winter hiking: Explore the various groomed trails that surround the resort by setting off on a winter hike from your doorstep. Get ready to marvel at the incredible vistas of the national park.
- Photography: For photographers, the cabins provide a perfect base for capturing the breathtaking winter scenery, from snow-laden trees to frozen lakes and wildlife.
- Self-catering: The cabins are equipped with self-catering amenities, allowing guests to prepare their own meals. Enjoy cooking together in the cabin's kitchen, adding a touch of intimacy and convenience to the getaway experience. This also offers flexibility in dining times and menus tailored to personal preferences.
The Best Winter Getaways in Ontario for Couples
Cuddling up by the fire during the winter season makes for the perfect romantic getaway, and Ontario has some fabulous resorts to ensure your trip is sensational. Whether you want to kick back and relax in luxury or go off in search of thrills, here are some of the best winter getaway options for couples.
The Inn at Cobble Beach, Kemble
On the shores of Georgian Bay, ten inn suites and five cottages offer one of the best Ontario winter getaways. The Inn at Cobble Beach is a great destination for those seeking secluded luxury with exceptional five-star service, outdoor hot tubs, hiking trails and year-round entertainment.
Indulge in gourmet dining experiences with locally sourced ingredients and pamper yourself silly with top-quality spa services and wellness facilities. Celebrate the holiday season in style with this spectacular winter getaway.
Other highlights include:
- Golf resort: If you're partial to a round or two (or ten...who's counting, right?) of golf, The Inn at Cobble Beach should be at the top of your winter getaway list. The resort has some of Canada's best greens, with courses designed by award-winning golf course architect Doug Carrick.
- Spa treatments: With a couples massage room, hot tub, plunge pool and full menu of luxury treatments on offer, you'll have no trouble easing away those aches or pains after a day packed full of winter activities.
- Fabulous dining: Indulge in fine dining at the resort's Sweetwater Restaurant, which has a menu that changes seasonally and celebrates the region's produce.
The Dorchester Hotel, Collingwood
Retreat to the lap of luxury with your special someone by booking a winter getaway at The Dorchester in Collingwood. This 28-room hotel has a fabulous range of things to do to make your romantic trip unforgettable.
For thrill-seekers, explore the ski and snowshoe trails or set off on a hike through the Pretty River Provincial Park to see some of the most picturesque vistas in central Ontario.
The South Georgian Bay area also has a fabulous calendar of cultural activities and events - perfect if the weather forecast isn't to your liking!
Other highlights include:
- Downhill skiing: Collingwood is a stone's throw from the Blue Mountain area, so some of the finest downhill ski slopes and cross-country ski trails in the country are on your doorstep.
- Ice fishing: The ancient practice of ice fishing is part of Canada's rich cultural heritage, and you have a go yourself in Collingwood!
- Brewery and winery tours: Sample the region's finest beers, wines and ciders by booking a tour around local breweries and seeing champion winemakers hard at work.
Deerhurst Resort, Muskoka
On the shores of Peninsula Lake sits Deerhurst Resort - a luxury getaway in the heart of Canadian cottage country. Deerhurst is renowned for sparing no expense when it comes to offering visitors world-class experiences, so much so that it played host to world leaders at 2010's G8 Summit!
The hotel's 760-acre site is located within walking distance of the tourist-oriented town of Huntsville, where guests can take part in more winter activities, and near Arrowhead Provincial Park, where you'll find the famous 1.3km ice skating trail.
Other highlights include:
- Winter disc golf: Try your hand at the unique sport of disc golf at the resort's own playing field. If disc golf doesn't tickle your fancy, then don't worry; there are several award-winning golf courses as well.
- Fat biking: If cross-country skiing isn't your thing, you can take part in fat biking instead. These special bikes have thick snow tyres to make pedalling across snowy terrain a breeze.
- Craft beer festival: Each March, Deerhurst plays host to Beerhurst - a craft beer festival celebrating the province's finest ales, lagers and pilsners.
The Best Winter Getaways in Ontario for Culture
Ontario isn’t just a top destination for the thrills and spills of winter sports, though. The province’s cities have a wealth of cultural experiences to offer, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a fan of the theatre, or a foodie through and through, Ontario’s cities won’t disappoint.
If you're a culture vulture at heart and love nothing more than a trip to museums, art galleries, shops and theatres, then you have to head to Canada's largest city, Toronto. This is the cosmopolitan centre of the country, home to the CN Tower, countless winter festivals and festive markets, and more cultural activities than you can imagine.
Two of our favourites are the Royal Ontario Museum and Art Gallery of Ontario - both treasure troves of historical artifacts and artistic masterpieces that offer a welcome escape from the cold weather.
For the foodies, Toronto is a gastronomic delight, with gourmet meals at world-class restaurants around every corner.
Better yet, why not extend your stay in Toronto by spending a few nights at Niagara on the Lake, taking in the spellbinding views of Niagara Falls by day and relaxing in one of the town's many casinos by night? Just be sure to get some practice under your belt first by playing the best online casino games and slots in Ontario!
Check out our other Toronto travel guides for more luxury inspiration.
- The Best Places to Visit in Winter in Toronto
- The Most Expensive Hotels in Toronto
- The 11 Most Expensive Restaurants in Toronto
If the bright lights and big city aren't quite your thing, we recommend Canada's capital city, Ottawa. This makes for a great weekend getaway year-round, but the winter months offer something truly special.
We recommend planning your trip around Winterlude - the three-week winter festival that takes place annually. It includes an ice sculpture competition, a winter market, and even ski races through the city's streets!
The Andaz Hotel in Byward Market has, without a doubt, one of the best views of the city's skyline and Ottawa River. Head there at sunset to enjoy mesmerizing colours with a glass of something sparking in hand before moving on to one of the renowned restaurants for a gourmet meal.
Is Ottawa the destination for you? Explore The Best Restaurants in Ottawa to begin building your dream itinerary.
Spend Winter in Ontario with Spin Genie
Why not make your trip to Ontario's winter wonderland one to remember by giving yourself a little extra cash to splash?
Before you book anything, be sure to check out our other Canadian travel guides for Spin Genie’s recommendations on how to vacation in style.
- The Best Christmas Markets in Canada
- The Best Christmas Markets in Ontario
- 11 of the Best Places to Spend Christmas in Canada
- 15 of the Best Things to Do in Vancouver Right Now
- The Best Cities For a Luxury Getaway in Canada
- The Best Ski Resorts in Canada
What Are The Best Winter Resorts in Ontario?
The best winter resort for you will depend on your personal preferences, including the activities you hope to do on your vacation and the type of accommodation you want to stay in. For outdoor enthusiasts with a taste for the finer things in life, we recommend visiting either Dimensions Algonquin Highlands or Fern Resort. Both of these offer unparalleled luxury amid breathtaking scenery and plenty of winter fun, too!
Are There Any Special Winter Events or Festivals in Ontario?
How Cold is Ontario in Winter?
During the winter months, Ontario's temperatures regularly drop as low as -15ºC (sometimes even to -30ºC in January). For our friends across the border, these translate as 5ºF and -22ºF, respectively. Pretty chilly, right?! These temperatures can be dangerous if you're not wearing the appropriate clothing, so be sure to layer up in thermals and insulating outerwear if you plan on spending prolonged periods outdoors.
Is a Winter Getaway in Ontario Suitable for Children?
Absolutely! There are plenty of resorts and self-catering accommodations in the greater Ontario area that are ideal for families with both younger children and teenagers. Many of the region's winter destinations, including mountain and ski resorts, have their own kid's clubs with activities and entertainment tailored to younger audiences - perfect for keeping the little ones happy and giving the parents a well-earned rest.
Which of Canada's Great Lakes Does Ontario Border?
If you're looking to book an idyllic lakeside vacation for your next winter getaway, then Ontario is the province for you. It borders four out of Canada's five Great Lakes - Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Ontario, and Lake Erie.
Can You Go Winter Camping in Ontario?
If you're brave enough, yes! To immerse yourself in the snow-covered evergreens and icy lakes of Ontario, you can head to one of several winter camping grounds across the region. Popular destinations include Mew Lake Campground in Algonquin Provincial Park and Killarney Yurts in Killarney Provincial Park. Some of the tents even have wood-fired heaters, so you can still sleep in total coziness.
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