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Savour Ontario’s Scenic Routes: Best Road Trips with AIR MILES®


The road trip is a time-honoured Canadian tradition and a great way to experience a true sense of freedom. As you head out on the highway, you feel your worries slip away, and a sense of excitement builds in anticipation of what lies ahead. Hop in as we tour you around both classic and hidden gem road trips in Ontario and show you how the AIR MILES Reward Program can help bring your road trip plans to life.

Ontario Road Trip Destinations You Can Drive to from Toronto 

While Ontario offers many special road trip routes, let’s focus in on day and weekend trips you can take from Ontario’s capital city. Whether you’re trying to escape for a quiet weekend or you’re visiting Ontario for the first time, there are plenty of options for trips that will give you a taste of something new. Here are some of the best road trips from Toronto:

The Long Route to Ottawa

If you long for a road trip but don’t want to miss out on the vibrant city life you love, Ottawa is your ultimate destination. To infuse Northern Ontario beauty into the mix, take the long route through Algonquin Park. Trust us, this is the best road trip to take you from one exciting city to another. You get to experience the joy of driving through nature to refresh your mind before heading on to the attractions in the nation’s capital.

The Other Wine Route: Prince Edward County

Most wine lovers know about Niagara-on-the-Lake wine tours, but we suggest setting your sights east to discover the wine country of Prince Edward County. Located on the Bay of Quinte and accessed via lovely Belleville, The County, as it’s affectionately known, is one of the best Ontario road trips from Toronto. The short and easy drive east on the 401 leads to The County’s impressive destination cider houses, breweries, and wineries. The area also boasts beautiful views from atop the hills of the County, overlooking the Lake or Bay. Play it safe and use your AIR MILES Dream Miles™ to book a sweet hotel room where you can park your ride and enjoy a long day or night of tasting.  

Feast on Dairy on the Oxford County Cheese Trail

A quick 90-minute drive from Toronto, Oxford County is known for its dairy—it is the dairy capital of Ontario, after all—and it’s where you’ll find the delicious Cheese Trail. Be your own guide through this collection of cheese factories, restaurants, and boutiques, consuming all the creamy dairy you can handle along the way. There are 24 unique stops on the trail, making this a choose-your-own-cheese-adventure that can last a whole long weekend. 

Indulge Your Sweet Tooth on a Butter Tart Route

If cheese is not your thing and you’re looking for something a whole lot sweeter, look no further than the Canadian-original butter tart. If you aren’t familiar with this gooey tart filled with buttery brown sugary goodness, what better way to introduce yourself than by sampling the province’s best versions? There are two butter tart routes in Ontario:

Wellington County Butter Tart Trail: This is the original tour, with 17 stops between North Wellington and Guelph. This trail features some unusual butter tart destinations, including gas stations and grocery stores, making it the quirkier experience of the two.  

Kawarthas Northumberland Butter Tart Tour: You’ll find over 50 bakeries featuring their best-selling butter tarts along this sweet route. You might consider booking an overnight stay using your Dream Miles to rest up after the first 25 stops and see if you can handle another 25 in the morning.   

Drive to Your Heart’s Content with the Lake Superior (Half) Circle Tour

This is a road trip where every kilometre reveals more majestic vistas, taking you around Lake Superior, the world’s largest fresh water lake. This seven-hour self-guided tour takes you from Sault Ste Marie to Thunder Bay and back. If you want to do the full circle, make sure you bring a valid passport as it goes through both Canada and the US.

Go Chasing Waterfalls in Hamilton

Hamilton is Ontario’s waterfall capital, just an hour from Toronto. Venturing to Hamilton is the perfect day trip that can take you to over 100 waterfalls, depending on the time of year and weather. Some require a bit of a hike, while others require little effort to get a beautiful view of the cascading waters. One of the main attractions is the 37-meter ribbon waterfall known as the Devil’s Punchbowl. If you want to make it a whole weekend, you can do some local sightseeing, including antique shopping, catching the views at Dundas Peak, touring Dundurn Castle, exploring the Steam and Technology Museum, and enjoying lunch at any of the many exceptional restaurants and craft breweries in Hamilton.

Head for the Beach

Lake Ontario offers many beaches that are an easy drive from Toronto. Some favourites include:

Presqu’ile Provincial Park: Located in lovely Brighton, Presqu’ile offers camping, picnic areas, and beautiful beaches with shallow waters for miles.

Sandbanks Provincial Park: If you don’t know Sandbanks and have never visited Prince Edward County, this is your chance to cross two items off your travel bucket list. You can spend a day swimming and basking in the sun at the beach and the evening sampling local beers, wines, and ciders throughout The County. 

Victoria Beach in Cobourg: This little town is plenty pretty with some excellent dining spots. However, its main attraction is the beach. Although small, the lovely, cove-like beach offers safe waters, white sand, and a large picnic area in the shade of Victoria Park.

Grand Bend Beach: This beach is one of Ontario’s cleanest, located on the shores of the mighty Lake Huron. Its shallow waters quickly warm up, making it a pleasant place to swim. The beach has a north and south location, with the south being favoured by families.    

Port Dover Beach: Be prepared to be surprised by actual Palm trees swaying in the breeze on this small, white sandy beach on the shores of Lake Erie. The water is warm, the town is small, and the beach is rarely crowded.

Killbear: Located in Killbear Provincial Park on Georgian Bay, the beach located in the Beaver Dam campground is a beautiful sight to behold. Shallow, crisply cool waters lap against golden sand flanked by massive boulders great for sunning or exploring.

How to Get More Out of Your Ontario Road Trips 

Book Your Stay

Once you choose your route, you can book your stay through AIR MILES Hotels that has options for every budget.

Budget For Fuel

We don’t have to tell you that fuel is an essential part of any road tip. When you earn and redeem AIR MILES Cash Miles™ at Shell Gas Stations across the province you can lighten the load and road trip longer.

Stock Up On Snacks

There will always be stops along the way, but having snacks in the car makes every road trip better. Stopping at Metro for healthy (or not-so-healthy snacks) will curb the hanger until you reach your destination.

Rent a Car

You don’t need to own a car to enjoy a good road trip. Budget Car Rental has excellent options suitable for every budget and earn Miles went you rent.

Bring Your Shades Along for the Ride

Grab your sunglasses and take in all those scenic views. Earn Miles shopping Sunglass Hut through and find fashionable, high-quality sunglasses from leading brands like Oakley, Ray-Ban, Prada, Versace, and more.

Upgrade Your Ride

Consider accessorizing your car with a few choice products from Action Car and Truck Accessories to make your road trip more comfortable.

Earn Extra Miles

Keep your BMO AIR MILES Mastercard with you at every stop, from campsites to hotels, restaurants to gift shops. And don’t forget that when you show your BMO AIR MILES credit card and AIR MILES card at a partner you get Miles from both.

Hop on the Road to Adventure

With so many ways to earn, your next reward is never far away. Join now and check “extras” off of your road trip to-do list.   

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