The holidays have officially ended and we are now faced with at least three months of winter. Many people deal with the colder temps by escaping down south, but for those of us who can’t vacation to warmer climates for whatever reason, there are ways to make the best of this frosty weather. Planning a mini vacay to Ontario resorts close to Toronto will lift your spirits and help break up the long, cold season. Here are three winter getaways near Toronto that are within one hour and a half’s drive.
If you’re looking for winter getaways near Toronto, you’ll have to drive only an hour north of the city to enjoy a winter weekend escape to The Briars Hotel in Jacksons Point. You can choose a room at the 178-year-old inn or in one of the quaint cottages near the lakeshore. Rooms feature fridges, flat screen TVs with cable, telephones, and coffee makers while some rooms have in-suite fireplaces, and balconies with views of shimmering Lake Simcoe. If you’re looking to amp up your stay, the Briars Spa Experience includes one queen room, meal plan with breakfast and dinner, use of amenities and a $75 credit for the hotel’s spa. Just because you’re on vacay, you can still get your work-out in at the fitness centre, and indoor pool or enjoy some billiards in the games room. Bring your current read to nestle in the library in The Manor House, which has been designated an Ontario Heritage building. If colder temperatures don’t intimidate you, hike or snowshoe along wooded trails on the historic property or get some cardio in on the groomed cross-country ski trails. Satisfy your appetite at the hotel’s first class restaurant with tempting menu items such as Maple Pear and Kale Salad and Duck Confit. If you visit midweek, you’ll receive free ski equipment rentals. Relive childhood fun by whirling down “The Mount” hill in one of the resort’s toboggans.
Oban Inn, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Niagara-on-the-Lake is gorgeous in the summer, but it’s also a lovely getaway from Toronto in winter. If you are seeking the gold standard, you’ll want to stay at the historic Oban Inn, a luxury 4 Diamond boutique hotel. This 194-year-old inn is conveniently located 2 blocks from Queen Street, home to restaurants, shops and theatres. Some of the luxury accommodations in rooms include gleaming wood floors, in-suite fireplaces, Wi-Fi, Flat Screen TVs, in-room safes, as well as irons and ironing boards. You’ll feel like royalty in complimentary luxury cotton robes while sipping bottled spring water. You can also enjoy the view of Lake Ontario from the vantage point of your room. Some rooms are pet-friendly in case you want to bring your fur baby on your romantic getaway. Bookworms will want to reserve the Oban Suite with a library sitting area and floor-to-ceiling shelves stocked with books – the suite also boasts a fireplace, antique light fixtures, oil paintings and an old-fashioned soaker tub. The Oban Inn is famous for its first class dining. Some of the items on its fall/winter menu to tease your taste buds include Autumn Salad with mixed greens, apples, pomegranate and pumpkin seeds; Wagyu Beef Burger and Red Curry Cod. A hearty breakfast buffet will encourage you to throw off the duvet cover on your comfortable bed. Don’t forget to visit the inn’s OSpa for a hot rock massage. If you visit mid-January, you’ll get to taste the latest vintages at the Niagara Ice Wine Festival, which has vendor booths on Queen Street.
Overlooking a soothing waterfall and millpond, the Millcroft Inn in Caledon is an ideal escape from Toronto since it’s a mere one hour away. Choose a charming Main Inn or Manor House room with antique furnishings, renovated bathrooms and queen or king beds. Couples seeking more privacy can reserve a two-storey chalet-style Croft room with wood-burning fireplace, mini-fridge, patio and outdoor hot tub. One of the unique attractions at Millcroft Inn are the hot and cold outdoor pools. Alternate between the 40°C hot spring pool and the 7°C plunge pool to reap the benefits of hydrotherapy including increased circulation and energy, reduced muscle tension and arthritic pain and detoxification. Less courageous souls can enjoy a swim in the outdoor heated swimming pool or the indoor pool. No excuse for slacking off while on vacation as the inn’s fitness facility features treadmills, exercise bikes and free weights. Afterwards, unwind in the Games Room with a game of ping pong, pool or darts. If you’d rather venture outside, strap on complimentary snowshoes to follow the trails along the rolling Caledon Hills; for more hardy exercise, hike at the Instagram-ready Mono Cliffs Provincial Park, 30 minutes north.
Have you visited these winter getaways near Toronto? Do you have any other winter weekend escapes you would like to share? Please let me know about them in the comment section.