The weekend is fast approaching and with summer almost ending, it’s time to soak up the sun while we can and escape to the great outdoors!

Ontario is home to some beautiful places that offer the perfect weekend retreat from the city. Here are my top 3 getaway spots!

May love and kindness spread like the rising sun, extinguishing darkness and casting light upon those who need it the most ❤️

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THE KAWARTHAS

Now I may be a little bias because I grew up spending my summers jumping into the rapids at Burleigh Falls, eating Kawartha Dairy ice cream on the boat docks, eating burgers at Bob’s Burgers roadside trailer, and building bonfires by Buckhorn Lake, but the Kawarthas is my oasis and for those who love the outdoors I have full faith that you’d love it here as well. There’s great fishing in the lakes, better tanning spots on the rocks, and the best ice cream…anywhere. Honestly, if you haven’t tried Kawartha Dairy ice cream, you’re missing out!

The Westwind Inn is a Kawartha Resort located on Buckhorn Lake. It’s the perfect location for people looking to unwind and escape to somewhere peaceful with a loved one. You can get out on the water with their complementary equipment including kayaks, canoes, and other fun water activities. You can sit back and relax in their Jacuzzi overlooking the lake and just take in the beautiful scenery. Cottages and cabin rentals are also an option via vacation rental sites like Airbnb.

You can escape to the little town of Lakefield and go shopping at Cottage Toys, have fish and chips over a pint at Canoe & Paddle, devour a cone of that delicious ice cream I’ve been speaking so highly of at Stuff’d, and enjoy the small town life (SIDE NOTE/PRO TIP: if you’re in town over the long weekend, Cottage Toys holds a massive tent sale where I admittedly buy a vast majority of my bikinis and summer clothing)

If you’re looking for an adventure, get out to Burleigh Falls and go swimming in the rapids! If you’re not an experienced swimmer, bring a life jacket as the rapids are no joke. Also, if you are not familiar with the area, ask someone who is swimming there for helpful tips regarding the best jumping in point as the rocks shift year to year due to the current. Don’t be shy to ask – remember, you’re living the small town life for the weekend, most people will smile and jump right on in with you!

There are also some amazing hiking trails in the surrounding areas. Spending the weekend in the Kawarthas is an amazing retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.

GRAND BEND

Grand Bend Main Street is the centre of live entertainment and nightlife fun! Gables Tavern is perfect for an ice cold beer or blended beverage over live music. Oakwood Resort has a lovely patio, pub, and public golf course, making this resort the perfect combo for a weekend getaway. The beach stretches along the coast where you can swim along the sandbar. Rent a jet-ski, play beach volleyball, kite board, or even snorkel and SCUBA dive here – there’s definitely some summer fun for everyone to enjoy!

ELORA GORGE

While in town, you can enjoy the beautiful 19th century architecture and quaint little shops. Getting hungry? There are tons of small restaurants to try like the Elora Brewing Company or The Cellar! If your a gambler, the Grand River Raceway will be your paradise. Bet on your favorite horse during the races or test your luck on the slot machines. They also have different theme nights if you’re into murder mysteries or trivia games!

This picturesque destination is the perfect location for an overnight retreat but also serves as an amazing daytime adventure as it’s just over an hour drive from Toronto.

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