Toronto: Niagara Falls Day Trip
- Duration: 9 hours
An internationally-known landmark, Niagara Falls is one of the most popular day trips from Toronto. People come from both sides of the border to bask in the beauty and power of the falls. All in all, about 30 million people visit every year. The three falls, Horseshoe, American, and Bridal Veil Falls, provide plenty of vantage points to admire the natural beauty of this place. Don’t forget to reserve a spot ahead of time for a chance to get soaked on a boat ride.
Niagara Falls is situated 128 kilometers (79 miles) around Lake Ontario from Toronto. By car or bus, the journey lasts just under 90 minutes with no traffic. On the train, the time increases slightly to a bit over two hours.
Head to the steel town of Hamilton for a calm excursion away from the metropolis of Toronto. With over 130 cascades in and around the city, Hamilton claims itself as the waterfall capital of the world. Visitors to this lakeside town can also tour the Royal Botanical Gardens — the largest botanical gardens in Canada, measuring in at 980 hectares (2421 acres).
Only 68 kilometers (42 miles) from Toronto, Hamilton is easy to reach. Whether you go by car, train or bus, the trip will take around an hour.
For those wanting to get out to the countryside, venture out to Caledon and get a taste of the rural life. The largest settlement by area in the entire Toronto area, there’s plenty to discover in town, like exploring the otherworldly Cheltenham Badlands or learning about World War I aviation at the Great War Flying Museum. Art-oriented travelers will enjoy the Alton Mills Art Centre, with its focus on the local art scene.
The 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Toronto to Caledon is easy to reach by car in just 45 minutes. If traveling by public transportation, the bus is your best bet. The trip takes just over two hours.
A true nature lover’s paradise, Lake Muskoka offers wonderful recreation all year long. During winter, enjoy activities like cross-country skiing and dogsledding. Come summer, the lake takes center stage for fishing, watersports, kayaking, and more. When you need a rest, activities around the lake include visiting the pioneer village and train of Muskoka Heritage Place or riding on one of the Muskoka steamships. In the winter, head to Santa’s Village where they welcome holiday revelers.
At just under 200 kilometers (124 miles) from Toronto, leave plenty of time for your travel to Lake Muskoka. Driving is your best option, taking around two hours. The bus can take up to one hour more.
If you’re searching for scenic small-town Canada, a trip to Cobourg is the perfect choice for the day. For history lovers, the town offers sites like the Marie Dressler House or the Sifton-Cook Heritage Center, which is the oldest building in town. Frolic in the water at Victoria Park Beach on the shores of Lake Ontario. If you’re lucky, you may be able to watch the annual dragon boat races on the lake.
Whether you make the 117 kilometer (72 mile) journey by car or public transportation, it will take anywhere from one to two hours, depending on traffic and schedule.
Though there is plenty of rail service in Canada, many trains may not reach some less-frequented destinations from Toronto.
For many day trips, the bus may be the quickest and most affordable option. Bus travel times tend to be just slightly longer than going by car. Many guided tours will operate by bus as well, with some even including pickup from your hotel.
Having your own car is an excellent way to embark on a day trip. Make your own schedule, customize your itinerary and take your time as you explore the area around Toronto.
A guided tour is an ideal way to maximize your day trip. A tour guide can give you information and fascinating facts about your destinations that truly elevate your outing.
Many guided tours will provide you with just about everything you need for the day, from transportation to food. However, travelers should plan ahead for the seasons. Make sure to bring warm clothes for the chilly Canadian winter and plenty of water during the summer.
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Very friendly driver/guide. We were in town for a medical procedure and didn’t know the city at all, the booking staff could have been a little nicer when I was asking questions. Other than that it was great.
Great trip with a wonderful and friendly guide. Niagara Falls + Niagara-on-the-lake and wine tasting was a perfect way to spend our day in the Toronto region.
Excellent and enjoyable tour. The guide, Nathan was knowledgable and friendly. We thought it was great!
Very enjoyable day. Our driver/guide was excellent and our collection point was close to our hotel.
Such a wonderful experience it was! The guide was really knowledgeable and he's very pleasant!!