As the summer’s escaping us—and the business of the first few months of fall consume us—it’s probably safe to say that we could all use a little break, especially for those wrapped up in a busy city life. A weekend getaway to the cottage might be a little bit more difficult to plan for right now; the weather is unreliable, and not to mention, cottage visits at this time of year are a quite different from the sand and sun of weekends past. It’s quite a bit chillier, but the great outdoors are still readily enjoyed during this transitional season, with a little bit of careful planning.
Here are our top three picks for easy GTA weekend escapes that won’t take too much in the way of travel time, and make the most of what fall has to offer us in the way of R&R.
Prince Edward County
Prince Edward County has undeniably become one of the coolest weekend getaways just outside of Toronto. Only a two hour drive, the area offers a variety of activities, sure to please people of all tastes. Called the “gastronomical capital of Ontario,” by the Globe and Mail, and Toronto favourites the Drake Hotel have even made the leap to the county, opening the Drake Devonshire, offering excellent food and drink, unique art and culture offerings, and modern takes on charming country-style accommodations. The area also offers loads of antiquing and shopping, nature trails, and world class birdwatching. It’s all the amazing things that cottage country has to offer, with cozy comforts that make it a perfect fall visit.
It might be a bit too early to hit the slopes, but that’s not all there is to do in Collingwood (South Georgian Bay), Ontario. Thanksgiving weekend at Blue Mountain boasts not only beautiful fall colours, but also the annual Fall Apple Harvest Festival if you’re looking for entertainment geared at the family festival crowd. If you’d rather keep things quiet and relaxing, we suspect that Fall is perhaps one of the best times to try and book an appointment at Scandinave Spa for a massage and soak in their outdoor water circuit; the snow has yet to arrive, but the air is still crisp and refreshing.
Stratford may seem like just a festival town, but it actually has a whole lot more to give than just theatrical offerings, especially during the Fall season. The line-up for Fall at Stratford is excellent: A Chorus Line; The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe; Macbeth; and Shakespeare in Love. If you’re looking for something spookier than Macbeth’s ghost, check out the Ghosts of Stratford theatrical walking tours, or something to tickle your tastebuds, all of the delicious, local, creations on the Stratford Pumpkin Trail are sure to please. Looking to just relax and take in the beauty of nature? Try a walk on the Avon Trail.
Also on RNR: