Just because the lake’s now in polar bear mode and summer road trips have become a distant memory doesn’t mean that weekend getaways have to end with the onset of fall.
Especially when there are some pretty amazing options less than a two-hour drive from the city.
Here are just 5 of them.
Warning: these will make you want to go there.
The Country Inn: Drake Devonshire
Two years in the making, the beloved Drake Hotel brand has opened up shop two hours southeast of the city.
An extensive restoration of a late 1800s foundry building has resulted in ‘Drake-by-the-lake’, a full-service in Wellington, Prince Edward County that’s complete with all the eclectic charm we know and love from the brand.
You can choose between 11 hotel rooms and two suites. The most notable of which is the Owner’s Suite; above the beach with lake views and a custom brick fireplace (perfect for fall nights), and a two bedroom loft-like space on the top floor with a cozy living room.
In signature Drake style, the Inn also features a full-service dining room, a rotating art collection, and a covered bar and deck to soak up those final summer rays. Oh – and did we mention the outdoor patio space reminiscent of The Drake Hotel’s famous Sky Yard?
The Drake Devonshire opened its doors on September 15th, so be the first of your friends to check it out.
The Spa Weekend: Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa
Calling all couples: if you’re looking for a warm and romantic getaway set among multi-coloured fall leaves (just an hour drive from downtown Toronto), you can find it at Langdon Hall.
If you’re in the mood for some royal treatment (warning: it comes complete with a regal price tag) and being pampered in an amazing spa, you’re also in luck. Year round, the hotel offers a little something for every mini-vacation-needing young professional – from the nature-lover to the precious spa-regular, athlete, wine enthusiast, and foodie.
You may just feel like Kate and Will when you pull up to the main house; a grand country estate rich with history and an elegant, classic design with no shortage of wood-burning fireplaces. Your weekend can include gourmet dining, wine tasting, the full spa, tennis courts, a croquet lawn, and 12 kilometres of woodland trails throughout the property. Off-site, an active day can be spent golfing, hiking, biking, canoeing, or exploring and antiquing the nearby towns and farms and Mennonite villages.
And the spa will always be waiting when you return.
The Golf-Filled Muskoka Experience: Taboo Resort.
Muskoka can be just as great in the fall as in the summer – only the traffic up the 400 is way better.
A 90-minute drive north of the city you’ll find Taboo Muskoka, located on the picture perfect Lake Muskoka. The year-round resort offers championship golf on a course carved out of the Canadian Shield (voted one of Canada’s top 50), a world-class spa, yoga, a cuisine that can rival top Toronto restaurants, wine tasting, and, of course, Instagram-worthy shots of the lake and soon-to-change leaves.
Other fall activities include bicycle rentals, fishing, canoe and kayaking, tennis courts, and hiking trails.
Glamping: Oakwood Escape
If you want to tap into your down-to-earth side, just drive an hour and a half out of the city toward the Niagara Peninsula.
Oakwood Escape offers refined camping (or glamping) that requires little work on your part.
Though you need to bring your food and drinks, there’ll be no annoying (and potentially disastrous) pitching of tents as you’ll get to stay in one of their canvas prospector style tents instead.
As opposed to just a sleeping bag and air mattress separating you from the ground, you may just have the best sleep you’ve had in months in these tents, which are complete with comfy, plush queen beds, and handmade furniture. Each has a view as well, which can be enjoyed (drink in hand) on a personal deck with its own BBQ and picnic table. And because a camping experience wouldn’t be complete without one, each tent also has its own fire pit.
In the surrounding area, there are various outdoor activities, ample wineries, sightseeing, and quaint dining (if cooking on your own isn’t your idea of a vacay).
Now, that sounds like camping to us.
The best of wine country: 124 on Queen Hotel and Spa
If you’re looking for a weekend of wine tasting in Niagara-on-the-Lake and a bed and breakfast isn’t your thing, book a suite at 124 on Queen Hotel and Spa.
The award-winning luxury hotel is located right on the main street of Old Town, with the restaurant-filled heart of the quaint Niagara-on-the-Lake just steps away.
In addition to the ample number of sprawling wineries that lay a short drive or bike ride away, hotel perks include a bend-over-backwards concierge service (just ask them to), a 24-hour fitness facility, and a world-class spa. The accommodations range from Deluxe and Premium rooms to one, two, and three bedroom villas (with the option of an in-suite chef). No matter what, you’ll eat well and enjoy the best local offerings from its Treadwell Farm-to-Table Cuisine.
So, if you’re into local food and wine (and what YP isn’t?) book a weekend while you can still enjoy spending time outdoors.