You just left the holiday season behind you and now is the stretch where it’s colder and darker outside and there just isn’t a day off in sight. You don’t have to take a full vacation to have an amazing break. Why not create your own long weekend by taking a Friday or Monday off work and make the most of it?
Here are six places for a quick long weekend getaway without leaving the city comforts you know and love.
Chilliwack is a 30-minute drive from Abbotsford International Airport, and it promises to be one of the best quick outdoor getaways you can experience. If you prefer to take things a bit more extreme with a side of relaxation, it’s perfect for you.
There are a number of extreme activities in Chilliwack. Home to the popular Elk Mountain Trail, test your skills and endurance on a challenging 7-kilometre snowshoe trek. The views of Chilliwack and the Chilliwack River Valley are well-worth it. And you can recuperate in the hot tub when you get back to your hotel. Chilliwack River also offers the opportunity to go winter fishing. And you can even find companies that will do guided fishing tours for you.
For something a little more low-key, don’t miss out on the local craft beer and wine scene. You can also have a full British experience at Dicken’s Sweets & Chocolates, which is a British grocery store and museum.
St. Jacobs Village, ON
An hour west of Toronto, St. Jacobs Village is an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. While it may be quieter and more laid back, it doesn’t lack in character and experiences.
The Village is nestled among 80 kilometres of walking/skiing trails, but St. Jacobs is also known for its unique and local shopping opportunities. Shops offer a variety of antiques and locally handcrafted items. And with locally produced maple syrup, meats, cheeses, breads, pies, and craft beers, it’s a culinary lover’s dream. Cap your day off by dining at one of the local restaurants and taking in a show at either the St. Jacob’s Schoolhouse Theatre or the St. Jacob’s Country Playhouse.
The history of St. Jacobs Village tells the story of the local Mennonites. And the Mennonite Story Interpretive Centre is an interesting exhibit that helps share that story.
They even make it really easy for you by creating suggested itineraries for a 3-day stay!
It’s the nation’s capital, and it’s an often-overlooked travel destination. Ottawa has both a rich history as well as modern activities to keep you entertained for a great long weekend getaway whether you are traveling on your own, with a group of friends, or with your family. An easy drive from Toronto and Montreal, there is also direct flight access across the country.
If you’re in the city during early February, you’ll experience everything the city has to offer with ice sculptures and a celebration of Canadian culture at Winterlude, the city’s winter festival. A trip to Ottawa in the winter isn’t complete without a skate (or walk) down the Rideau Canal. At 7.8 kilometres long, it’s the world’s largest naturally frozen skating rink. Winding through many of Ottawa’s neighbourhoods, it’s one of the best ways to see the city. The Byward Market offers unique and local shopping, dining, arts, and entertainment. There are also lots of family-friendly activities too like the Canadian Children’s Museum.
For something a little more unique and away from the city, be sure to check out Parc Omega. Just one hour from Ottawa, you can explore trails and observe some of Canada’s best-known wildlife in their natural habitat. Snowshoe among the deer and make your way to a sugar shack for some delicious maple snacks.
If you prefer to take it easy for the weekend, treat yourself to one or two days at the spa. Studio 157 Spa is the perfect opportunity to relax. With stunning views and surrounded by nature, this hotel and spa is less than ten minutes away from downtown Ottawa giving you the perfect mixture of peaceful relaxation and the hustle and bustle of the city.
Niagara Falls, ON
Niagara Falls makes it onto a lot of lists. It’s because it’s so easy to just slip away for a couple of days without trying too hard to plan an amazing trip. From one of the world’s top natural wonders to endless wineries to spa trips, Niagara Falls has a lot to offer for a quick getaway. And it’s under two hours away from Toronto.
Spend your days exploring some of the activities that make Niagara Falls unique like the haunted houses, indoor mini golfing, and the Butterfly Conservatory (the best for those Instagram-worthy shots!). In the evenings experience all that the city has to offer with live entertainment, the Niagara Speedway, fun and unique attractions on Clifton Hill, world-class dining with the most gorgeous views of the falls, and casinos! Pick the right hotel and you don’t even have to go outside to get to the casino for 24 hours of fun. And with two major casinos to choose from you can flip back and forth between them to try your luck.
Check out this article for more winter fun for your long weekend getaway in Niagara Region!
Elliot Lake, ON
With a history steeped in uranium mining, Elliot Lake is now known for its beautiful scenery, making it a popular destination for cottage goers and retirees alike. With over 4,000 lakes and surrounding forests in the area, Elliot Lake is a nature-lover’s dream – even in the winter. And it’s close enough to the city you can get there for a quick long weekend away.
The Sheriff Creek Wildlife Sanctuary is an incredible protected habitat for local wildlife. Perfect for winter hiking and snowshoeing, the 182-hectare area gives you the opportunity to see Canadian wildlife such as wolves, moose, fishers and beavers, and snowshoe hares. For even more hiking, skiing, or snowshoeing, explore one of Ontario’s largest trail networks.
Offering three beginner runs, one intermediate, and three advanced runs, Mt. Dufour Ski Area is perfect for skiing and snowboarding regardless of your age or skill level. Boasting no line-ups, you can spend more time actually skiing and snowboarding than waiting.
Charlottetown is best-known to many as the setting for Anne of Green Gables. But those that know it well, know it has so much more to offer. From rich historical experiences to unforgettable culinary and arts scenes, the cherry on top is the famous east coast charm. It’s the perfect place for a quick weekend getaway.
With all of your favourite winter activities available, you can skate outdoors, enjoy snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and snowmobiling. The best part is, in February, a group of locals started a month-long festival celebrating all things winter called Winterlove PEI. If you like spending time outside having fun in the winter, it’s the perfect time to join the fun. There are tubing parties, group snowshoeing tours, and even snoga (outdoor yoga)!
If you don’t want to spend as much time outside in the picturesque, snow-dusted streets and nature trails, there are plenty of activities indoors like the Charlottetown Farmer’s Market, and brewery tours of local craft brewers. PEI is the birthplace of Canada and you can experience some of the incredible historical experiences such as The Story of Confederation, which is a replica of the Province House where Canada all began. You can also check out the PEI Regiment Museum, an exhibit showing the military history of the beginning of Canada dating back to 1775.
Regardless of your selected destination, Canada has some pretty great places to choose from for a quick long weekend getaway.