This one is for the adventurous (and honorary) Ontarians. If you're thinking of new ways to see your home province with an Ontario staycation, look no further.
With this guide, you can trade your daily routine for an extraordinary vacation without crossing the border. From Lake Ontario’s enchanting beauty to Toronto’s bustling metropolis, we unlock the secrets of the Heartland Province, one staycation at a time.
Whether you're seeking the serenity of nature, the thrill of urban exploration, or a little bit of both, Ontario has got you covered. This is our list of the top 6 staycations in Ontario, but first, what is a staycation?
What is a Staycation?
A staycation is when you take a vacation relatively close to your home. You can discover places you never even knew existed in your home city or province, whether you choose to be pampered at a nearby luxury hotel for the weekend or seek out hiking trails to areas of natural beauty.
What’s more, with a staycation, you don't need to check you have your passport ten times before you head out the door. There's no need to book expensive flights or secure a visa.
There are always new adventures to embark on close to home. So, get ready to discover the hidden gems, secret treasures and endless possibilities that await you right in your own backyard.
The 6 Best Ontario Staycation Ideas
1. Explore Niagara Falls
If you live in Ontario, chances are you've seen Niagara Falls before. However, we can guarantee you won't have experienced it like this! Niagara Falls is a bucket-list destination for people worldwide, and you're lucky enough to have it in your backyard. Why not take full advantage of that?
Niagara City Cruises
Hop on a Voyage to the Falls boat tour to see stunning views of the Niagara Gorge, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. Finally, you'll come face-to-face with the famous Canadian Horseshoe Falls, where things will get a little misty. We're sure you know this, but bring your best raincoat!
After a quick stop at your accommodation to dry off, why not head to Clifton Hill? The promenade is packed with arcades, mini-golf and quirky attractions. Catch a breathtaking live performance at the Greg Frewin Theatre, or try your luck at the dazzling casinos.
The Niagara region is a culinary haven, boasting many farm-to-table restaurants and delectable local specialties. Savour farm-fresh produce and treat your taste buds to gastronomic delights at a fine dining restaurant, such as AG Inspired Cuisine or Massimo's Italian Fallsview Restaurant.
Where to stay
- Sheraton Fallsview Hotel: Situated right across from the falls, this luxury hotel offers stunning views, upscale amenities and easy access to all the attractions. Pamper yourself with spa treatments and savour delicious meals at their on-site restaurants.
- Great Wolf Lodge: Perfect for families, this indoor water park resort guarantees endless fun with its vast indoor and outdoor pools, water slides, wave pools, and interactive activities.
- Niagara Falls KOA: For nature lovers and camping enthusiasts, this beautiful campground offers a range of options, from traditional tent sites to deluxe cabins.
2. Go Glamping in Ontario
If you're not big on camping, why not try its luxury but rustic sibling, glamping? Glamping combines the best of both worlds, allowing you to unwind and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature without sacrificing those little luxuries you don't want to leave at home.
Glamping allows you to stay in picturesque locations, awakening to breathtaking views and exploring the natural wonders that Ontario offers right outside your accommodation.
Where to stay
Most Ontario glamping properties include a private tent or teepee and include a cozy bed, outdoor kitchen and shower.
- Whispering Springs Wilderness Retreat: Nestled in Northumberland County, this secluded retreat features safari tents and charming cabins. Unplug from the world, soak in a hot tub under the stars and meditate in the forest chapel.
There's plenty to see during your Whispering Springs stay. Enjoy hiking and exploring over 4 km of well-maintained trails that wind through the pristine wilderness of Northumberland County. Wander through a rare prairie-savanna ecosystem or an awe-inspiring old-growth Canadian forest.
- Algonquin Eco-Lodge: Set in the heart of Algonquin Provincial Park, this eco-friendly lodge offers cozy accommodations ranging from cabins to canvas tents. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Algonquin's wilderness, hike scenic trails and canoe on pristine lakes during your staycation.
During the summer months, you can get involved in several outdoor activities, including hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. They also have a private 30-acre lake, Moffat Pond, which is excellent for swimming, canoeing and fishing. If you want a digital detox, this is the place for you.
3. Discover the Beautiful Ontario Provincial Parks
Ontario, Canada's second-largest province, is home to a whopping 330 Provincial Parks. It makes for a beautiful road trip destination, even if you're a Canadian local.
From towering cliffs and pristine beaches to lush forests and sparkling lakes, these parks offer diverse natural wonders to explore. Immerse yourself in the beauty of untouched wilderness and reconnect with the awe-inspiring nature surrounding you.
Algonquin Provincial Park
Thanks to our glamping options, you already have the perfect place to stay; now it's time to explore one of Ontario's most iconic parks, Algonquin. Expect a sprawling playground of unspoiled wilderness showcasing the best of Ontario's natural beauty. The park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, from dense forests and serene lakes to rugged hills and idyllic rivers.
So, lace up your hiking boots or grab a paddle and embark on an adventure. Remember to keep your eyes peeled for moose grazing by the water's edge, playful otters floating in the streams and graceful loons gliding across the lakes.
Pinery Provincial Park
Sat on the shores of Lake Huron, Pinery is known for its beautiful beaches, towering sand dunes and ancient oak savannahs.
From swimming and kayaking in the lake to exploring picturesque hiking trails and witnessing breathtaking sunsets over the water, Pinery Provincial Park promises an unforgettable escape that will ignite your sense of wonder. Stay in one of the park's campsites or opt for a cozy cabin in forested areas.
Killarney Provincial Park
With its stunning pink granite cliffs, crystal-clear lakes, and pristine wilderness, Killarney Provincial Park offers endless excitement. From hiking the famous La Cloche Silhouette Trail to paddling through serene waters, every moment in Killarney is an adventure waiting to unfold.
For accommodations, you can stay at one of the park's campgrounds, such as George Lake Campground or Bell Lake Campground, where you can immerse yourself in nature and wake up to breathtaking views at your doorstep.
4. Pamper Yourself At a Luxury Ontario Resort
Staycations in Ontario can include something other than jam-packed itineraries and tiring activities. You can make the most of your break with opulent retreats, top-notch amenities and world-class service, all without the hassle of travel. These are some of Ontario's best luxury hotels:
The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto
Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, the iconic Ritz-Carlton hotel offers luxurious rooms and suites, a world-class on-site spa - including an indoor pool - and exceptional fine dining options in their on-site restaurant. The Ritz-Carlton sits on our list of the most expensive hotels in Canada. Take a look at our blog to see the rest!
Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa, Cambridge
This Relais & Châteaux property, nestled in a picturesque estate, offers exquisite rooms, a full-service spa, an outdoor pool and award-winning farm-to-table dining. It's the perfect spot for a romantic getaway or solo stay.
The Four Seasons Hotel, Toronto
A renowned name in luxury hospitality, the Four Seasons Hotel offers elegant rooms, exceptional service and a rooftop pool with breathtaking city views. See Toronto like you've never seen it before from one of the most expensive hotels in Toronto.
If you’re looking at booking a luxury staycation, our list of the most expensive restaurants in Toronto should make planning much easier.
5. Staycation on the Shores of Lake Ontario
Lake Ontario is a haven for Ontario staycation-ers. The lake’s picturesque views and serene beaches will transport you to a coastal paradise that feels a million miles from home. From golden sunsets to gentle waves lapping against the shore, the lake is a captivating backdrop for your stay.
Prince Edward County
Prince Edward County offers a memorable escape to Ontarians and visitors alike. Indulge in farm-to-table foodie experiences, soak up the sun on sandy beaches and discover hidden gems in artsy boutiques to take back home.
Stay at luxurious accommodations like The Drake Devonshire, a stylish lakeside hotel with a vibrant atmosphere, or the Angeline's Inn, a cozy and historic inn located in the heart of the county.
This charming town on the shores of Lake Ontario is known for its vineyards, historic sites and scenic beauty. Choose from elegant boutique hotels like the Pillar and Post or the Prince of Wales Hotel, where you can relax and unwind after exploring the picturesque Old Town.
6. Chase Waterfalls in Hamilton
Hamilton is known as the "waterfall capital of the world". The scenic province features over 100 stunning waterfalls, each with its own unique charm and beauty. From powerful cascades to serene plunges, Hamilton's waterfalls are just waiting for you to discover them.
This stunning cascade is one of Hamilton's most famous waterfalls, boasting a drop of over 22 meters (72 feet) and a picturesque setting you can enjoy for hours.
Known for its impressive height and rock formations, Albion Falls is a must-see. Its tiered cascades create a truly mesmerizing sight.
With its slender drop and serene atmosphere, Tiffany Falls offers a peaceful and enchanting experience. The surrounding forest adds to the charm of this beautiful waterfall.
This natural amphitheatre and waterfall combination offers a dramatic sight. Marvel at the breathtaking view from the lookout, and remember to snap some pictures.
Where to stay
For a luxurious experience, consider staying at The Barracks Inn, a boutique hotel in the nearby town of Ancaster. It offers elegant rooms, exceptional service and easy access to the waterfalls.
Hamilton has various hotels and motels if you prefer a more budget-friendly option. Some examples include the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel, Homewood Suites by Hilton Hamilton and the Visitor's Inn.
Make Your Dream Staycation a Reality With Spin Genie
There you have it, some of the best Ontario staycation ideas. If you want to make the most of your Niagara Falls tours and retreat to the best hotels the province offers, go to some online slots in Ontario or check out the best online casino in Ontario to make your staycation one to remember.
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What is the Ontario staycation tax credit?
The Ontario staycation tax credit was a government scheme designed to encourage Ontario families to explore the province while helping the tourism and hospitality sectors recover from the financial impacts of the COVID‑19 pandemic.
The scheme is now over, but it encouraged Ontarians to explore their hometowns and province in a way they might not have considered before while helping cherished local businesses that make Ontario what it is to stay afloat. Although the scheme has ended, it's always a good idea to support your local hospitality sector to thrive while saving yourself money and travel time is always a good idea!
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