Ontario Tourism Blog

6 STUNNING PLACES YOU WON’T BELIEVE ARE IN ONTARIO

By Natalie & Phil Thursday, June 24, 2021

The moment we’ve all been waiting for has come – the Ontario re-opening is in effect [hold for applause].  Now that we are no longer under orders to stay at home and outdoor activites are opeing up, let’s get out there!  We’ve curated a list of 6 places that are so spectacular to behold you won’t even believe they are in Ontario.  There hasn’t been much travel outside of the country this year, but in Ontario we are lucky enough to be surrounded by incredible natural landscapes.  We don’t need to go far to have our jaws drop in awe.  Many of these locations are very popular and require reservations so be sure to plan ahead for your visit especially if you making plans for our upcoming holiday (Canada Day on July 1st).

 

Cheltenham Badlands (Greater Toronto Area)

Rolling red hills

The Cheltenham Badlands in Caledon, Ontario is one of the coolest landscapes in Ontario. The rolling red dirt badlands are extremely rare to see in Ontario and Canada. ‘Badlands’ is a geologic term for an area without vegetation and soil cover. It features exposed Queenston shale that is very soft and easily eroded by water, hence the rolling hills and gullies. The badlands themselves are off-limits to walk on because it further erodes the already sensitive land, but there is a new accessible boardwalk that is easily reached from the road, as well as a trail (The Badlands Trail) that shoots off The Bruce Trail. The Cheltenham Badlands are scheduled to open on June 19th and there is a small fee to visit. Check the website to reserve a spot and plan your visit ahead of time!

 

Killarney Provincial Park (Northern Ontario)

Girl standing at the top of a mountain overlooking a lake

Killarney Provincial Park is a Provincial Park located on Northern Georgian Bay. This Park is known for its huge rounded white Quartzite hills that contrast so beautifully with the pine and hardwood forests. The Park has many lakes and incredible views that rival both East and West coasts of Canada. Killarney only has one campground which makes it mainly a wilderness park, but for those nature lovers who love to go back country camping – this is for you. The Park is home to tons of wildlife such as moose, bear, beaver, deer, reptiles, wolves, lynx, bobcats, and marten. With 645 square kilometers to explore of this iconic landscape, it’s impossible not to feel inspired.  After all, this is the area that was so magical to The Group of Seven artists that they persuaded the government to make it into a protected park!

 

Scarborough Bluffs (Toronto)

Ariel view of a body of water and cliffs

The Scarborough Bluffs spans 15 km long along an escarpment above Lake Ontario in Toronto.  The cliffs are heavily eroded which makes for a gorgeous juxtaposition against the blue waters of Lake Ontario.  There are 9 parks along the bluffs and at its highest, the bluffs are 90 M above the coastlines.  You wouldn’t believe that you were anywhere close to a major city!  Due to the erosion of the cliffs, there are designated areas for viewing as getting too close to the edge can be dangerous.  Bluffers Park is a gorgeous sandy beach along Lake Ontario where you can spend the day in the sun and picnicking by the water!  This is a premier destination for city photographers because of the natural beauty, and it’s conveniently located right in the big city.

 

Sandbanks Provincial Park (Eastern Ontario)

Sandbanks with a body of water

 

Sandbanks Provincial Park located in Picton, Ontario is home to the world’s largest bay-mouth dune formation. With the picture-perfect white sand dunes and sandy beaches, this is one of the provinces most popular parks. In fact, it’s so popular that they recently implemented pre-reserved parking to keep the crowds at bay.  Being a jump off point to explore all the wineries, restaurants, and attractions of Prince Edward County during the summer, it’s no wonder this park is so attractive to visitors. The dunes really are a feast for the eyes that make you feel far from home as soon as you see them.

 

Niagara River’s Whirlpool (Niagara Region)

A photo of water rapids

Get ready to feel the full power and strength of Mother Nature. Do a self-guided walk alongside some of the most dangerous white-water rapids in the world, the Niagara River. Take in the view of 410-million-year-old rock layers of the Niagara Gorge while feeling the sheer force of the rapids whizzing by you at 48KM an hour.  The swirling whirlpool in the middle of the rapids is truly something to behold! Visitors can walk along the riverside boardwalk and step out to the viewing platforms located throughout. If you’re brave, there are even jet boat tours through the rapids and right into the whirlpool (prepare to be soaked).

 

The Grotto (Southwestern Ontario)

Image of a grotto

The Grotto in Bruce Peninsula is by far the most popular place to visit in Bruce Peninsula.  It’s a crystal clear underwater cave & tunnel carved into the limestone cliffs in Tobermory, Ontario.  You truly won’t believe you’re in Canada.  Besides the actual Grotto itself, Bruce Peninsula looks like the Mediterranean because of its diamond clear turquoise waters.  Keep in mind that The Grotto is a major tourist hot spot so you can expect traffic and long waits during the summer; plan ahead and reserve your spot.  Bruce Peninsula National Park is also home to stunning hikes, camping, and not far from sandy beaches.

Ontario is full of diverse and beautiful landscapes that are easy to reach and don’t involve passports! Whichever adventure you choose we wish you a safe and fun summer ahead!

Natalie & Phil

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