• Kara

Winter Road Trip : 5 affordable winter getaways

It isn't always easy to find time to escape the hustle of everyday, and it can be even harder to finance a real vacation, but that doesn't mean you don't deserve a little relaxation. We've rounded up the top five actually affordable and super romantic getaways that will make you want to pack your bags and ship off for a weekend of bliss with your partner.

When people think winter in Ontario, a few key places often come to mind: Blue Mountain, Ste Anne's Spa, Langdon Hall, Niagara Falls, etc. Well known hot spots with a lot to offer, and no arguing that they are great getaways- but the price tags can be daunting. Sometimes, you just need to get away, without months of planning and scraping your pennies together, and that's exactly who this list is for.

1. Arrowhead Provincial Park

This might seem unconventional, given we are well into winter by now, but you can totally go camping in February! There are several Ontario Parks that offer heated yurts and cabins throughout the winter, but my favourite is Arrowhead Provincial Park. Settle in to your rustic cabin, then head out to explore the wonders this park has to offer. Try your hand at cross country skiing on the 33 km of well groomed trails, go tubing or skate through the stunning snow covered forest on the ice trail. Feeling adventurous? Try skijoring! Don't forget to warm up at the fire pit! To top things off, Arrowhead offers rental equipment for all activities.

These cabins fill up quick, so a little advanced planning is advised.

2. Explore Old Montreal

photo : @tallistepics

Is there anywhere more romantic than Montreal? Short of flying to Paris, not likely. You can scoop up an Airbnb right in the Old Port for pretty reasonable rates during the winter months, like this stunning loft. Spend the day wandering the Port, taking in the architecture, checking out the boutique shops, and then grab a bite to eat at any one of the countless restaurants than line the cobblestone streets. The city is also brimming with urban art, use this map to find your way, but don't be afraid to get lost in all that the city has to offer.

3. Chase Waterfalls in Hamilton

Hamilton may not sounds like an exotic destination but it is home to over 100 waterfalls and is known as the Waterfall Capital of the World. The icy cascades are just as beautiful as their warm weather counterparts and because Hamilton boasts so many waterfalls, it's easy to see quite a few in one trip. Want to make a weekend of it? Grab an Airbnb in Dundas, and explore the quaint little community nestled right next to Hamilton.

4. Visit Elora

Elora is an absolutely adorable little village nestled into one of the most picturesque parts of Ontario. Stay at the enchanting Drew House, and take advantage of the cooking classes offered by the Chef & Owner, or use this page to help you find another charming B&B. If you are up for a splurge, the Elora Mill Hotel is stunning, and offers delicious dining and a spa. Rested and ready for adventure? Head over to One Axe Pursuits and go ice climbing!

Elora is also lined with one of a kind shops, wonderful restaurants, and all kinds of little art studios, so there is certainly something for everyone. Natural beauty is abundant here too, all it will take is a stroll along the Grand River or through Victoria Park, will have you feeling at ease in no time. On the flip side, if the weather is bad you can always take in a movie at The Gorge Cinema. No matter how you spend your days, Elora will have you under its spell before your stay is over!

5. Stay Close to Home

As fun as it is to pack your bags and head out of town for a few days, there is no reason you can't unwind right on your own doorstep. Toronto has a lot to offer, and we take take most of it for granted, so slow your pace a little and spend the weekend seeing the sights in your own backyard. Head downtown, grab a hot chocolate and hit up the skating rink. Meander around St Lawrence Market, or the Distillery District and grab yourselves some Margaritas from El Catrin. If you are feeling brave then layer up and take on the Brunch Challenge. If you'd rather spend the day indoors, choose from the ROM, AGO, aquarium or Castle Loma (among others) and walk through the exhibits hand in hand for a lazy day of learning. Still craving a getaway? Take a ferry to the Islands and spend the day outdoors, where you can ski, snowshoe and skate without leaving the city.

The best part? You can head out for a romantic dinner to top things off, or grab take out and spend the night in the comfort of your own home.

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