A province bursting with culture, nature, gastronomy and urban hotspots, Ontario is also home to some of Canada’s most beautiful hidden gems. From islands, beaches and coves only accessible by boat, to vineyards stretching as far as the eye can see, here’s a round-up of some of Ontario’s best kept secrets.

Toronto Islands

Toronto Islands

Toronto Islands

With breathtaking and unbeatable views of Toronto’s skyline just a short 10-minute ferry ride from the city, a trip to Toronto Islands is the perfect way to spend a day appreciating the cityscape from a different angle, and just so happens to be one of Toronto’s most Instagrammable locations! Full of tree-filled picnic spots, picturesque beaches and waterfront attractions, and comprising three main islands of Centre, Ward’s and Algonquin – all with connecting paths, bridges and boardwalks – there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Point Pelee

Point Pelee National Park is world-renowned for bird watching with more than 390  species recorded during migration in the spring and autumn months. As such, the park is internationally recognised as an “Important Bird Area” and a UNESCO designated “Wetland of International Significance”. Every autumn Point Pelee’s skies come alive with the fluttering of thousands of amber wings in the annual migration of the spectacular Monarch butterfly, which is an unmissable spectacle for visitors and natives alike. Point Pelee National Park is also one of Canada’s premier stargazing destinations. Tourists to the park can be lucky enough to spot Orion, Taurus, and all the other constellations with cold, clear nights.

Thousand Islands National Park

Located in the beautiful region of Gananoque, Thousand Islands National Park is just three hours’ drive from Toronto. Accessible only by boat, the park is spectacular and offers 61 campsites as well as activities such as sailing, kayaking and hiking. Visitors can also explore hidden gems such as Boldt Castle while boat tours are amongst the most popular activities in the park, offering an insight to the area’s past including tales of pirates and bootleggers. For a truly memorable experience, see the islands from above on a helicopter tour.    


Muskoka is consistently named as one of the best places to visit in Canada. This quaint and charming region affectionately known as Canada’s cottage country and is host to the ultimate family holiday destinations. Families flock to the picturesque lakeside locations to celebrate summer on the water. Muskoka is also one of the most romantic places to visit in Canada. Couples can wake up lakeside to the sound of loons and sip their morning coffee while overlooking the crystal-clear waters that Muskoka is famous for.

Prince Edward County

Named ‘the gastronomic Capital of Ontario’ and one of Canada’s most exciting wine regions; Prince Edward County is a great holiday destination throughout the year. Home to many passionate winemakers producing some of this country’s best wines, Prince Edward County is a hotspot for any wine-lovers out there. With over 45 wineries to see, travel Prince Edward County's Taste Trail and visit vineyards, breweries, and restaurants inspired by the county's agricultural heritage and farm-to-table food movement.

Flowerpot Island

Flowerpot Island, lies just 6.5 kilometres off the coast of Tobermory within Fathom Five National Marine Park, is famous for its natural sea stacks (flowerpots), crystal clear waters as well as its caves and a historic lighthouse. The island has a number of campsites and hiking trails for visitors to explore as well as opportunities for kayaking with stunning views in every direction.

St Jacobs

The Village of St. Jacobs is a beloved destination steeped in history and set in a charming location along the Conestoga River. This small community is a fabulous destination for food and drink – every week, hundreds of vendors bring farm-fresh foods, crafts, and amazing ready-to-eat foods. St. Jacobs Farmers' Market is host to an enormous selection of food products for all cultures and tastes. Choose from delicious cheeses, breads, grass-fed beef, unique gluten-free pastas and more. A foodie’s heaven.


The history of Canadian music is told across each stage in Kingston, Ontario. Steeped in history, yet always changing – Kingston is where culinary, culture and creativity meet. One of the main cultural venues in the greater Kingston region, the City of Kingston's Grand Theatre serves as the prime performing arts venue for hundreds of professional and amateur performances annually including ballet, modern dance, theatre, variety, musicals, comedy and more.

Manitoulin Island

Manitoulin Island is a beautiful, unique scenic region, where Native life and legend meld with European history to provide an unforgettable holiday experience. Enjoy the Island's stress free holiday environment, where life moves at a slower pace. Wake up to the stunning sunrise over crystal clear lakes, and hike the scenic roads within this paradise for outdoor adventurers.

Rural Ottawa

Ottawa's Countryside is a haven for those who love the outdoors. From biking through beautiful fields to eating pancakes in a Maple farm, visitors will not be short of anything to do. A short road trip in any direction takes visitors to craft breweries, artisans, farms and museums that are sure to impress. The Prescott & Russell region hugs the South shore of the Ottawa River. Enjoy the great outdoors, festivals and events where friendly people and great scenery await.

All images courtesy of Ontario Travel