Fall is a special time of year, with temperatures cooling and vibrant fall colours bringing our surroundings to life. It’s an incredibly beautiful and rejuvenating time. With the kids going back to school and summer holidays winding down, autumn can also feel a bit nostalgic – it’s a time of new beginnings and also of endings. To make the most of this season, there’s nothing like a quick trip out of the city to get refreshed and re-energized. Here are our top 5 favourite fabulous getaways within a 2-hour drive from Toronto to bask in all this wonderful season has to offer:
1. Elora Mill & Spa
Set in a stone 19th-century mill with annexes, this elegant hotel straddles the Tooth of Time waterfall on the Grand River. It’s located 2 kilometres from hiking trails in the Elora Quarry Conservation Area, where you can hike the Elora Gorge, one of the most spectacular natural areas in the Grand River valley, and visit the Elora Quarry.
Extravagant rooms at the Elora Mill & Spa have marble bathrooms and feature fireplaces and soaking tubs, while some have river views and terraces. Suites feature stunning floor-to-ceiling windows, and there’s also a 2-storey private villa. Enjoy dining at the upscale restaurant and spending time at the elegant bar, with its weekly live music. The spa contains a gym, yoga room and an outdoor pool, plus saunas, steam rooms and a hot tub. This is an amazingly relaxing and beautiful place to spend the weekend! Hike the beautiful natural areas, visit the charming town of Elora, and unwind at the spa for a truly luxurious getaway.
2. Blue Mountain
Autumn is a magnificent time to visit the Westin Trillium House Blue Mountain. A fall getaway at this hotel includes a tour of the Georgian Hills Vineyards, Thornbury Cidery, and Northwinds Brewery for a delightful lunch. Looking for something more family-friendly? The Westin also offers an exclusive package to experience the largest apple growing region of Ontario, known as the Apple Pie Trail. Free family activities and live music are provided during the Apple Harvest Festival and an annual Halloween festival transforms Blue Mountain into a Haunted Hill.
Also located nearby is the Cranberry Golf Course and the world-renowned Scandinave Spa. This resort maintains a quiet atmosphere that allows guests to fully disconnect from the noise and stress of daily life. The Scandinave Spa features Scandinavian baths and hydrotherapy, which are known for their relaxing yet invigorating, effects – combine this with the changing colours of leaves and you’re bound to be in bliss.
3. Ste. Anne’s Spa
Fall weather doesn’t only need to be enjoyed by hiking outdoors – simply changing your scenery can do you a world of good. Escape to Ste. Anne’s Spa, where the Fall Cottage Escape package will leave you feeling refreshed. This getaway includes a cottage-style accommodation, a seaweed body wrap, a 4-course dinner, and a selection of sweet and savoury treats. During your stay, be sure to explore the beautiful countryside and visit the property’s farm and horses, which will have the most vibrant fall colours on display in October!
4. Whispering Springs Wilderness Retreat
Prepare for a new way of experiencing the great outdoors: king-sized beds instead of sleeping bags, mood lighting instead of flashlights, and a wine glass instead of a canteen – this is camping like you’ve never experienced before. Whispering Springs Wilderness Retreat, located an hour and a half east of Toronto, is a luxurious and low-impact establishment. Experience elegant hotel-style amenities nestled within the Canadian wilderness. Choose from lavish safari tent accommodations, comfortable amenities, and participate in low-impact wilderness activities. Health and body wellness retreat and rejuvenations packages include three days of engaging yoga classes with a qualified instructor, evening wellness classes, live music by the campfire, and fresh farm-to-table meals provided by a top chef.
Cottage country isn’t the only place to experience the wonders of the fall season in Ontario. The GTA is a fantastic place to enjoy all that autumn has to offer.
Begin your weekend staycation with a visit to a local GTA café, where autumnal flavours come in the form of decadent coffees (hot chocolate for the kids!) and pumpkin-flavoured pastries. Afterwards, take the kids on a classic autumn adventure to one of the GTA’s many farms. From apples to pumpkins, squash and other seasonal produce, get your fill of fall fruits and vegetables.
End your weekend in the city with a day full of traditional fall fun at one of the GTA’s yearly fall fairs. Enjoy family activities, tasty treats, live music, arts and crafts, petting zoos and more!
We wish you all a wonderful fall season!