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Ontario’s Top 15 Summer Hotspots: Your Ultimate Guide to Sun, Fun, and Tan!

By Josiah Brown 

Time to get those tans going—it’s summer, folks! If you’ve been eyeing that clock, itching to ditch work and kick it with friends and family this weekend, Ontario’s calling your name. With beaches, parks, and rivers galore, it’s prime time to tick off those bucket list items.

As for me? Call it my version of a “hot girl summer” (yeah, I’m a dude). I’m gearing up for some whitewater rafting. 

If you’re still on the fence but have those vacation days locked in, you’re in luck. We’ve done the research to serve up a guide on the best places to hit up in Ontario this summer. Let’s make it one for the books!

Wasaga Beach

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Address: Wasaga Beach

Contact details: 705-429-3844

Opening hours: n/a


Wasaga Beach is the ultimate summer hotspot along Georgian Bay. It’s all about those long stretches of soft sand, perfect shallow waters for a dip, and a lively boardwalk scene. 

Whether it’s beach volleyball tournaments or live music gigs, there’s always something fun going on.

The main beach strip is where you want to be, with everything beach-related packed in ice cream parlours, food trucks, cute beachwear shops, and those classic souvenir spots.

And if you’re keen to venture beyond the hustle, there are quieter stretches to explore, hiking and biking trails in Wasaga Beach Provincial Park, and fantastic canoeing spots along the Nottawasaga River.

Pro tips:

Wasaga Beach, located less than a two-hour drive north of Toronto, is most conveniently accessed by car.

While in town, you can also get around using Wasaga Beach Transit, which operates two local routes, or connect to Collingwood via the Simcoe County LINX service.

Grand Bend

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Address: Grand Bend, Lambton Shores


Grand Bend, nestled along Lake Huron, is like Ontario’s gem of a beach. Those rolling dunes? They’re a nostalgia trip for anyone who’s spent summers racing up and down sandy hills. And mark your calendar for July 1st—there’s a fireworks show that’s one of the biggest in Ontario, right from the beach.

When you’re beach-ed out, Grand Bend’s got more to offer. Hit up hiking trails nearby or chill in local art galleries for a change of scene. Beyond the beach scene, the countryside’s ripe for exploring—think vineyards and trails perfect for biking and hiking.

Grand Bend’s all about mixing natural beauty with excitement, so whether you’re after chill vibes or adrenaline kicks, you’ll find it here.

Pro tips:

If you’re into thrills, this place has you covered. Learn to skydive, catch some air parasailing, or get your heart racing with drag racing at the Grand Bend Motorplex.

Chiefswood Park Six Nations

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Address: 1037 Brant County Hwy 54, Caledonia

Contact details: 519-752-3969 | [email protected] 

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM


Tucked away in the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, Chiefswood Park is like a hidden cultural treasure. It’s all about diving deep into Haudenosaunee traditions while soaking up the natural beauty that surrounds it. Plus, there are options to paddle out in canoes or kayaks or wander through nature trails.

And let’s talk accommodations—think cozy log cabins straight out of the 1860s, offering that perfect blend of rustic charm and modern comfort. 

For those who crave the great outdoors, Chiefswood Park’s campgrounds are spot on. You’ve got your pick between sites with all the amenities like water and electricity, or go riverside for a more rugged experience with fire pits and picnic tables.

So whether you’re here for the culture, the nature, or just a peaceful getaway, Chiefswood Park is your spot to unwind and explore a piece of Ontario’s rich history.

Pro tips:

Whether you’re into smaller studios or need a larger spot, there’s something here for everyone, including cabins that are wheelchair accessible and even pet-friendly.

Santa’s Village 

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Address: 1624 Golden Beach Rd, Bracebridge

Contact details: +1 705-645-2512

Opening hours: Saturday to Sunday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM


Have you heard about Santa’s Village in Bracebridge? It’s not exactly what you’ll expect for a summer destination, but that’s what makes it unique! 

It has been a tradition in Muskoka for over 60 years! Picture this—year-round Christmas vibes with Santa, elves, and all the holiday cheer.

Everything’s here, from fun rides for the kids and thrilling coasters to a cool splash pad and even a petting zoo. And the atmosphere? It’s like stepping into a Christmas wonderland with live entertainment, games, and plenty of souvenirs to bring home.

But the best part? You get to meet Santa Claus himself! It’s a magical experience that makes the whole visit unforgettable. Check out their website to see what rides and activities they have—you’ll love soaking up the holiday spirit at Santa’s Village in Muskoka!

Pro tips:

If you’re planning to visit Santa’s Village with a group, they have special rates for General Admission tickets and Group Food packages available.

Flowerpot Island

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Address: Flowerpot Island, Tobermory


Flowerpot Island near Tobermory is this cool spot just 6.5 kilometres offshore. It’s famous for its sea stacks called ‘flowerpots,’ caves to explore, rare plants, and an old lighthouse. 

You can only get there by boat, but once you do, it’s worth it. They’ve got campsites and hiking trails—the whole deal. Spend a half or full day checking out the trails, taking in the views, having a picnic, or jumping into the water for a swim. 

Most folks hop on a tour boat from Tobermory to get there and spend the day hiking around, soaking up the scenery, and just enjoying the island vibes. It’s one of the top spots to visit in Fathom Five National Marine Park!

Pro tip:

Pack sturdy footwear (hiking shoes or boots), sunscreen, and a hat. Remember to bring your own water since there’s no tap water available. During summer, you can grab drinks and snacks at the light station to keep you fueled up for exploring!

Blue Mountain Resort 

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Address: 190 Gord Canning Drive, Blue Mountains

Contact details: +1 833-583-2583

Opening hours: 24/7


Blue Mountain Resort is nestled in the stunning Blue Mountains near Collingwood. This place is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts no matter the season.

Winter transforms Blue Mountain into a premier destination for skiing and snowboarding with slopes catering to everyone from beginners to seasoned pros. But when the snow melts, the resort blossoms into a summer paradise.

For thrill-seekers, there’s the Timber Challenge High Ropes course and the Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster, offering an adrenaline fix against a backdrop of breathtaking scenery. 

If extreme sports aren’t your thing, no worries—explore tranquil hiking trails, take a gondola ride for panoramic views, or unwind with beach activities along Georgian Bay.

Pro tips:

If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, snag the Play All Day Pass at Blue Mountain Resort. It gets you access to over 10 thrilling attractions, including the Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster, Canopy Climb Net Adventure, Wind Rider Triple Zips, and much more!

Calypso Waterpark

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Address: 2015 Calypso Street, Limoges

Contact details: +1 613-443-9995

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM


Calypso Theme Waterpark is the place to be for summer fun near Ottawa! It’s Canada’s biggest waterpark, so expect an adventure that’ll leave you buzzing. 

They’ve got everything—awesome water rides, a massive wave pool (as big as three NHL rinks!), themed rivers to float along, and even a wild whitewater experience.

You should also hang out at the Calypso Palace wave pool for some wave action, with different types of waves to keep things exciting. And if you’ve got little ones, the Zoo Lagoon is perfect for them to splash around safely.

Oh, and here’s a cool perk: all the pools are heated, so you can chill and enjoy the water no matter the weather. Just a 20-minute drive from Ottawa, Calypso Waterpark is where summer dreams come true!

Pro tip:

Skip the lines! Grab your e-ticket in advance for Calypso Waterpark and maximize your time splashing around and enjoying everything the park has to offer.

Sauble Beach

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Address: Sauble Beach, Bruce County


Sauble Beach, situated on Lake Huron in Ontario, holds the title of the second-largest freshwater beach worldwide, just behind Wasaga Beach.

What makes it stand out? Well, besides its massive sandy stretch, there’s the nearby Sauble Speedway, where you can catch thrilling NASCAR races and classic car events.

The beach is perfect for families with its shallow, warm waters, thanks to those sandy deposits. And let’s not forget those epic west-facing sunsets over Lake Huron—it’s like having a front-row seat to nature’s show every evening.

Plus, nearby spots like Oliphant and Red Bay offer more sandy shores to explore. From cozy B&Bs and cottages to campsites and hotels, there’s accommodation for everyone. 

Pro tip:

You can launch your boat at the north end of Sauble Beach on the Sauble River. It’s right at 55 Sauble Falls Road, where Sauble Falls Road meets Lakeshore Boulevard. Best part? No fees for launching your boat there!

Canada’s Wonderland

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Address: 1 Canada’s Wonderland Drive, Vaughan

Contact details: +1 905-832-8131

Opening hours: Sunday to Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM; Thursday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM; Friday to Saturday: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM


Canada’s Wonderland in Vaughan is your ultimate destination for an amazing day out. As Canada’s premier amusement park, it’s jam-packed with over 200 attractions that cater to everyone, whether you’re a thrill-seeker or enjoying a family day.

For those seeking thrills, rides like Leviathan and Behemoth are must-tries—they’re guaranteed to get your heart racing. When you need to cool off, Splash Works water park offers the perfect escape, and you can catch live shows and entertainment throughout the park for some downtime.

Families will love Planet Snoopy, where kids can enjoy rides designed just for them and meet PEANUTS™ characters. Plus, with exciting events like Halloween Haunt and WinterFest, Canada’s Wonderland keeps the excitement alive all year round.

Pro tip:

Before you head to Canada’s Wonderland, grab their app. It’s got everything: maps, live ride wait times, show schedules, dining info, you name it. 


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Address: 3004 County Rd 12, Picton

Contact details: +1 613-393-3319

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM


Sandbanks Provincial Park is renowned for its breathtaking sand dunes and expansive golden beaches. Trust me, it’s a paradise waiting to be explored!

When you set foot on Sandbanks’ golden shores, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a summer dream. The beaches here are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and indulging in sandcastle building. Whether you’re a seasoned sun worshipper or just looking to relax, Sandbanks has got you covered.

If you’re up for an adventure, the park’s warm waters are ideal for a refreshing dip. And for the thrill-seekers among us, why not give windsurfing a try? It’s the perfect way to add excitement to your day.

Pro tips:

The park boasts some fantastic hiking trails that offer stunning landscape views. These trails are perfect for a leisurely stroll, letting you soak in the natural beauty of the area at your own pace.

African Lion Safari

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Address: 1386 Cooper Rd, Cambridge

Contact details: +1 416-392-5900

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM


This place brings the thrill of encountering exotic animals right here in Ontario. Imagine driving through vast habitats where majestic lions roam free, elephants splash around, and giraffes tower above you—it’s like stepping into a different world.

And there’s so much more than just the drive-through safari. Hop on the African Queen Boat Cruise for a unique view, enjoy some captivating bird and animal shows, and cool off at the Misumu Bay Wet Play water park. It’s a mix of excitement and relaxation, perfect for a full day of adventure.

What’s great about African Lion Safari is that it’s not your typical zoo visit. You get to see these incredible animals up close, in environments that mimic their natural habitats. It’s a chance to learn about wildlife in a whole new way and appreciate the beauty and behaviour of these amazing creatures. 

Pro tips:

Get there early to see the animals at their liveliest and avoid the crowds. Kick off your day with the drive-through safari to get up close to the wildlife, then catch the animal shows and cool off at the waterpark in the afternoon when it gets hotter.

Thousand Islands National Park

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Address: 1121 Thousand Islands Pkwy, Mallorytown Landing

Contact details: +1 613-923-5261

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM


Ready for an adventure at Thousand Islands National Park? One of the coolest ways to explore is by boat—rent a kayak or canoe or jump on a guided tour and cruise through a maze of islands just waiting to be explored.

There are over 20 islands out there, each with its own vibe. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife like osprey and herons as you paddle along the clear waters—it’s like a nature safari right here in Ontario!

If you’re more of a land explorer, no worries! The park has awesome hiking and biking trails for all levels. Whether you’re up for an easy stroll or a challenging hike, you’ll find trails that suit your style.

And hey, fishing fanatics, listen up! The park’s waters are packed with bass, pike, and perch, making it a hotspot for casting your line. 

Pro tip:

Just a quick heads-up: don’t forget your passport if you’re planning on hopping on those boat tours. Some of them will take you right over to the U.S. side!

Sunset Country

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Address: 619 9th St N, Kenora


Ever heard of Sunset Country up in northwest Ontario? It’s a real hidden gem stretching from Lake of the Woods to Thunder Bay. Picture this: pristine lakes, dense forests, and sunsets that’ll knock your socks off—it’s like nature’s masterpiece.

Whether you’re into fishing, boating, or just camping under the stars, this place has it all. Imagine casting your line into tranquil lakes or exploring through the lush forests. It’s all about soaking in that natural beauty and finding your slice of paradise in Ontario’s wilderness.

Pro tip:

Quetico Provincial Park offers some of the best canoeing routes in the world. So don’t forget to pack your paddle and explore the serene waterways.

Plunge! Blue Mountain

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Address: Unit AY1, 220 Gord Canning Dr, The Blue Mountains

Contact details: +1 705-444-8705

Opening hours: Friday to Sunday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM


Hey, let’s check out Plunge! Blue Mountain, right in the heart of Blue Mountain Village. It’s not just any water park—it’s all about epic adventures with amazing mountain views in the backdrop.

Think about racing down the Ridge Runner slide, heart racing and wind in your face. And when you’re not screaming down slides, chill out in the outdoor heated pool, soaking in Ontario’s natural beauty. Families can hang out in the relaxed resort-style pool while the daredevils tackle those crazy Plunge! slides.

And when you’re all tuckered out from the excitement, head over to the hot tubs with killer views. It’s the perfect mix of thrills and relaxation, making Plunge! Blue Mountain is a total must-visit for anyone who loves a good time.

Pro tips:

They operate on a first-come, first-served basis. If they reach their 350 guest limit, they’ll add you to a waitlist and give you a call when there’s an opening.

Ottawa River (OWL Rafting)

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Address: 40 OWL Lane, Cobden

Contact details: +1 800-461-7238

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM


Looking for an adrenaline-packed adventure not too far from Ottawa? OWL Rafting on the Ottawa River is your ticket to thrills and relaxation all in one trip.

Located just 90 minutes northwest of Ottawa, OWL Rafting offers some of the longest rafting trips on the mighty Ottawa River. Whether you’re up for a day of heart-pounding class III to V rapids or a more laid-back family outing, they’ve got something for everyone.

After conquering the crashing waves and foaming rapids with their expert guides, unwind at their scenic riverfront resort. Picture this: kicking back with a great barbecue, then diving into activities like kayaking, beach volleyball, stand up paddle-boarding, and even disc golf.

Pro tips:

And hey, if you want to extend the adventure, you can stay overnight in a tent, cabin, or cabana right there at the resort. It’s the perfect blend of excitement and relaxation, making OWL Rafting a top pick for your next outdoor getaway.

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