Skip to Content

16 Breathtaking Places To Visit In Ontario

Ontario is a true gem within Canada, boasting both urban and natural wonders. As the country’s largest economic hub and most populated province, it offers a unique blend of cosmopolitan charm and rustic beauty. Spanning over one million square kilometers, the province is home to an incredible array of landscapes, from towering cityscapes to serene wilderness areas.With its 630 provincial parks and nature reserves, 250,000 lakes, and the majestic rock formations of the Canadian Shield, Ontario’s natural scenery is nothing short of breathtaking. The province’s diverse geography creates endless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts, whether you’re looking to hike, camp, or simply take in the stunning vistas.But what truly sets Ontario apart is its four distinct seasons, each offering a unique set of experiences and activities. From winter sports and cozy cabin retreats, to summer festivals and warm-weather adventures, there’s always something new to explore. Whether you’re a city slicker or a nature lover, Ontario has something for everyone, making it one of the most desirable provinces to visit in Canada.

All The Best Places to Visit in Ontario

Discovering the Hidden Gems of Ontario: A Guide to Uncovering its Best Kept Secrets. As we embark on this journey through the province, you’ll get to explore the most spectacular destinations that will leave you enchanted and eager for more.


Ottawa, nestled on the border of Ontario and Quebec, is a charming city that embodies the essence of Canadian culture. As the country’s capital, Ottawa is steeped in national history, boasting iconic landmarks like the Parliament Buildings, which offer free guided tours. The city is also home to a variety of museums, including the Canadian Museum of Nature, the Canadian War Museum, and the Canadian Museum of History, where visitors can delve into the country’s geological, cultural, and historical heritage.Exploring Ottawa’s downtown area is a must-do, with its eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and parks. The Rideau Canal, a 202-kilometer waterway connecting to the St. Lawrence River, is another attraction not to be missed. This natural wonder transforms into the world’s largest outdoor skating rink during the winter months, weather permitting.February visitors can experience Winterlude, a festive celebration featuring intricate ice sculptures throughout the downtown core and a range of seasonal activities. In May, Ottawa hosts the renowned Tulip Festival, where over 300,000 tulips are planted throughout the city – a spectacle that attracts millions worldwide, earning it the title of largest tulip festival globally.


Kingston, a charming city in eastern Ontario, often under the radar for those outside Canada, boasts a rich history that belies its relatively unknown status. As Canada’s capital before Ottawa took over the reins, Kingston’s limestone buildings downtown are a testament to its storied past. The city is also proud to claim a few notable Canadians among its own, including the country’s first prime minister and the lead singer of Tragically Hip. Military history buffs will find much to appreciate in Kingston, with attractions like Fort Henry Historic Site and the former maximum-security prison turned museum, Kingston Penitentiary. When you’re not exploring these relics of the past, head to Market Square downtown, where farmers markets, festivals, and concerts bring the community together throughout the year. From there, stroll along the picturesque waterfront, which offers breathtaking views of the St. Lawrence River. And for a unique adventure, take a ferry ride to Wolfe Island, perfect for hiking, birdwatching, or simply taking in the scenery.

Algonquin Provincial Park

image source

Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park sprawls across a vast 7,630 km² (2,946 square miles), safeguarding an enchanting tapestry of forests, lakes, and trails. This natural wonder is particularly beloved during the fall season, when tourists from all corners of the province and globe converge to marvel at the kaleidoscope of red, orange, and yellow hues that paint the landscape. Yet, Algonquin remains a year-round destination, offering serene winter escapes amidst frozen lakes and snow-draped forests. The tranquil atmosphere is further enhanced by the absence of motorized vehicles on many of its lakes, allowing visitors to connect with nature and spot wildlife in their natural habitats.

Strategically situated approximately 2.5 hours from both Ottawa and Toronto, Algonquin welcomes around 800,000 visitors annually. For those seeking a more immersive experience, various accommodations are available within the park as well as in nearby towns and villages.

Arrowhead Provincial Park

Located in Ontario’s Muskoka region, just an hour from Algonquin Park, Arrowhead Provincial Park offers a serene alternative to its more popular neighbor during the peak summer and fall seasons. In contrast, Arrowhead is a smaller park that provides an intimate experience amidst nature. Its unique charm lies not only in its natural beauty but also in its creative approach to winter recreation. The park’s skating trail, open during the cold months, transforms into a ‘winter wonderland’ under the stars, lit by flickering torches until late at night. As the seasons change, the trails become alive with well-maintained pathways for hikers and campers alike, while kayakers can enjoy the calm waters of Arrowhead Lake from spring to fall.


Located just three hours north of Toronto, Huntsville is a charming small town in Ontario’s cottage country that offers an ideal base for exploring the Muskoka region’s great outdoors. With Arrowhead Provincial Park just 10 minutes away and Algonquin within a 30-minute drive, visitors can easily access a wealth of natural attractions.While staying in Huntsville, you’ll discover a quaint downtown area featuring unique shops, including bookstores, souvenir stores, and boutiques offering high-quality Canadian products. Be sure to visit Muskoka Bearwear, a local business that crafts cozy hoodies and pajama pants. The town is also home to the Muskoka Heritage Museum, which delves into the rich history of the indigenous peoples and early settlers who once called this area home.The picturesque Muskoka River runs through Huntsville, providing a serene backdrop for a relaxing paddleboarding or canoeing experience. Rentals are available, allowing you to explore the river’s tranquil beauty.


image source

Toronto, the largest city in Canada, is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Ontario. This multicultural metropolis boasts an impressive array of record-breaking buildings and activities to enjoy throughout the year, whether you’re visiting during the summer or winter months. The iconic CN Tower stands tall at 1,515 feet, earning it the eighth spot among the world’s free-standing structures. The Royal Ontario Museum, Canada’s largest museum, is another notable attraction, showcasing a vast collection of artifacts and exhibits. Additionally, Canada’s Wonderland, located just outside Toronto, features the seventh-highest roller coaster in the world, reaching a height of 306 feet. Beyond these notable landmarks, Toronto’s unique charm lies in its diverse international neighborhoods, which contribute to its multicultural essence. Explore Greektown, Chinatown, Little Italy, and Little India, among other distinct areas, and you’ll feel as though you’ve traveled the world without leaving the city.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls, a globally renowned wonder, stands tall at 174 feet, and its vastness makes it one of the widest waterfalls worldwide. The sheer magnitude of this natural marvel is enough to captivate anyone’s attention. But Niagara Falls is more than just a visual treat; it’s an entertainment hub that caters to both families and groups of adults seeking adventure. The area is famous for its vibrant nightlife, offering casinos, indoor waterparks, haunted houses, and other adrenaline-pumping activities. If you’re looking for a unique experience, visit the Butterfly Conservatory or Bird Kingdom, the largest indoor aviary globally.For an immersive encounter with the falls themselves, take the Hornblower ferry, which will bring you as close to the base of the falls as possible (be prepared to get wet!). Alternatively, journey behind the falls at Journey Behind the Falls, the closest experience available. Insider tip: Visit after dark when the falls are illuminated in a kaleidoscope of colors – a truly breathtaking sight.

Niagara on the Lake

Niagara on the Lake, a charming town situated on the shores of Lake Ontario, approximately 30 minutes from the iconic Niagara Falls, is renowned for being Ontario’s premier wine region. The area boasts an impressive array of over 50 wineries, each offering unique wine tours and tastings amidst breathtaking hilly vineyard views. In addition to its rich viticultural heritage, Niagara on the Lake features a quaint downtown area characterized by historical buildings, numerous eateries, and boutique stores. Queen Street, the main thoroughfare, is particularly noteworthy for its concentration of upscale restaurants, high-end boutiques, and specialty shops. Winter brings the town’s annual Ice Wine Festival, one of the few global destinations where this distinctive dessert wine is produced. During the chilly season, visitors can brave the elements to sample a selection of locally crafted fruity wines, paired with gourmet finger foods and appetizers expertly prepared by local restaurants.


Stratford, a charming city nestled approximately two hours west of Toronto in Southern Ontario, is renowned for its annual Stratford Festival, which runs from April to October and showcases Shakespearean plays throughout the summer. This esteemed festival has become a staple of Canadian culture, attracting audiences from far and wide with its impressive productions featuring talented actors, professionally crafted music, and elaborate costumes.

The main theatre at the Stratford Festival boasts an impressive seating capacity of 1,800, yet no seat is more than 65 feet from the stage. This intimate setting allows for a truly immersive experience, as spectators are treated to elaborate plays that unfold before their eyes.

Beyond the Stratford Festival, the town itself offers a delightful weekend getaway destination. Stratford’s historic downtown core is characterized by charming Victorian buildings, while its vibrant restaurant scene features a diverse array of international cuisines, from classic North American fare to exotic delights.


Collingwood, Ontario, is a popular tourist destination, and its appeal is well-deserved. The town boasts stunning scenery year-round, thanks to the picturesque backdrop of Blue Mountain Ski Resort and Village. When strolling through the downtown core, visitors can take in the breathtaking views of the blue mountains. The historic heart of Collingwood is teeming with restaurants, shops, and cafes, offering a unique experience for locals and tourists alike. For those seeking relaxation, the Scandinave Spa – located within walking distance – provides an oasis of tranquility, featuring hot and cool tubs, steam rooms, saunas, and hammocks perfect for unwinding with a good book. Just 15 minutes west of downtown lies Wasaga Beach, boasting the distinction of being the world’s longest freshwater beach.


Located on the Bruce Peninsula, Tobermoy is a charming small town that boasts an impressive array of natural attractions. Its freshwater beaches and rocky shorelines make it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with scuba diving being a particularly popular activity due to its reputation as the scuba diving capital of Canada. The surrounding waters are home to hundreds of shipwrecks within the Fathom Five National Marine Park, offering snorkelers and divers an unparalleled opportunity to explore these underwater treasures. The unique combination of well-preserved wrecks and the cold water allows for a glimpse into history, with some even visible from the surface while swimming or taking a boat tour. Beyond its maritime attractions, Tobermory is also home to two of Ontario’s most visited natural wonders: The Grotto and Indian Head Cove within the Bruce Peninsula National Park. These stunning formations offer breathtaking views of the rocky shoreline and the turquoise lake waters. For a truly unique experience, take a glass-bottom boat tour to Flowerpot Island to marvel at its distinctive ‘Flowerpot’ rock formation. And for those looking to explore further, Tobermory is also the departure point for the Chi Cheemaun ferry, which travels to Manitoulin Island, the world’s largest freshwater island.

Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay, affectionately known as the outdoor city, offers an array of activities both indoors and outdoors. With a population of over 100,000, it may not be a massive metropolis, but it’s the largest in Northwestern Ontario. The city’s picturesque harbor, situated on the shores of Lake Superior, provides breathtaking views, particularly of the iconic Sleeping Giant rock formation that resembles a giant lying on its back. For nature enthusiasts, Sleeping Giant National Park is only an hour’s drive from the city centre and offers opportunities for hiking and swimming. Cultural aficionados will appreciate the Thunder Bay Museum and Art Gallery, which provide insight into the region’s indigenous heritage as well as its early settlement history. While exploring the area, be sure to visit Kakabeka Falls, Ontario’s second-highest waterfall after Niagara Falls. A local secret: don’t miss the chance to indulge in a traditional Persian pastry, a sweet strawberry treat that’s a staple in Thunder Bay.

Thousand Islands

The Thousand Islands region, situated along the St. Lawrence River that borders the United States, comprises approximately 1,800 islands. This unique landscape boasts varying island sizes, with many being inhabited and characterized by lush vegetation, rocky shores, and crystal-clear waters.

For thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts alike, Thousand Islands offers a range of activities such as boat tours, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, and even scuba diving. The region’s pristine water is renowned for its exceptional clarity, and the riverbed is home to numerous 19th-century shipwrecks.

Beyond its breathtaking natural beauty, Thousand Islands also provides opportunities to delve into local history. The 1000 Islands Museum offers insight into the area’s pivotal role in the War of 1812, while Boldt Castle – originally built by a millionaire for his wife – now serves as a popular tourist attraction.


Sudbury, situated in Northern Ontario, proudly holds the title of Nickel Capital of the World. A testament to its rich history in nickel production is the iconic ‘The Big Nickel’ landmark, built in the 1960s, which serves as a popular spot for photo opportunities. The city’s cultural landscape is also marked by museums that delve into the region’s geological and historical heritage. Science North and Dynamic Earth, two interactive science museums, cater to both adults and children, offering an engaging experience for all. Beyond its urban core, Sudbury is surrounded by numerous lakes, including Lake Ramsay, which becomes a hub of recreational activity during the warmer months – think swimming and kayaking. As the seasons change, the lake transforms into a skating haven, with the Lake Ramsay Skating Path drawing in locals and visitors alike. Interestingly, the city’s linguistic fabric is woven from both English and French, making it an ideal destination for those seeking to hone their bilingualism.

Owen Sound

Located approximately three hours north of Toronto, the charming city of Owen Sound boasts a picturesque setting on the shores of Georgian Bay. The city’s artistic side shines through its vibrant street art and eclectic galleries that line the main strip. A must-visit is the Tom Thompson Art Gallery, a testament to the renowned Canadian artist who was part of the esteemed Group of Seven. When it comes to exploring the great outdoors, Owen Sound offers easy access to breathtaking waterfalls – Inglis Falls and Jones Falls are just 20 minutes away from downtown. For foodies and shoppers alike, the main street is filled with an array of eateries and boutiques. And for those seeking a summer retreat, Sauble Beach, a popular destination, is only a 30-minute drive away.

Manitoulin Island

Manitoulin Island stands out as the largest freshwater island globally, boasting over 100 lakes within its borders. The island’s unique charm lies in its stunning beaches, well-maintained hiking trails, picturesque vistas, and remarkably mosquito-free summers. This haven is also home to a significant indigenous population, offering various opportunities to delve into their rich cultural heritage. During the summer months, visitors can participate in Pow Wows or explore local art galleries that dot the island’s landscape.

To fully immerse oneself in the island’s natural splendor, embark on the Cup and Saucer trail, a 1 hour and 20 minute excursion culminating in breathtaking vistas. Alternatively, Bridal Veil Falls is another must-visit attraction, accessible via a nearby parking lot. Here, visitors can marvel at the falls’ grandeur and even take a refreshing dip in the natural pool at its base.

Getting to Manitoulin Island is straightforward – simply hop aboard a ferry departing from Tobermory.

Places to Visit in Ontario

image source

Ontario is a treasure trove of experiences, seamlessly blending urban excitement, historical richness, and breathtaking natural beauty. The province’s varied seasons are particularly noteworthy, as each one brings unique charms. Fall paints the landscape with vibrant hues, while spring and summer arrive with warmth and sunshine, perfect for outdoor pursuits like swimming and hiking. In winter, Ontarians revel in snow-covered landscapes, indulging in activities such as ice skating, skiing, and snowshoeing. The season also sees various towns hosting festive celebrations throughout January and February. From the awe-inspiring Niagara Falls to the serene shores of Lake Huron, Lake Superior, or Lake Ontario, and the tranquil retreats of Cottage Country – there’s an endless array of destinations to explore in Ontario.