Living in the city is incredible – there are constantly new things to do and see, and new people to meet around every corner. But sometimes you just want to escape. The hustle and bustle of busy city life can get to be too much, and the urge to reconnect with nature ever-growing. With options like Algonquin Park and Tobermory in road trip distance, weekend getaway options are plentiful. But what if you just have time for a day trip? Thankfully, there are tons of options if you’re just looking for a quick getaway.

Here are 5 Hidden Gems to Explore in the GTA!


Elora Gorge – Elora


Image via George Vnoucek on Flickr

Just outside Guelph lies the Elora Gorge. A beautiful natural area in the Grand River Valley with clean water rushing past 22 metre-high cliffs. With scenic overlooks, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, camping, tubing, and picnicking options you’re sure to have a full day of fun activities!


The Cheltenham Badlands – Caledon


Image via Phil on Flickr

If you’ve never visited the Badlands before, you’re in for a pleasant surprise – they’re like nothing you’ve ever seen before! The rolling landscape of reddish soft rock will make you feel as though you’re walking on the surface of Mars, but nope, you’re still in Ontario! The photo opportunities are endless, not to mention the scenic drive to Caledon.


Spencer Gorge Conservation Area – Hamilton

spencer gorge

Image via John Vetterli on Flickr

Enjoy the panoramic views offered from being atop the brow of the escarpment. The Spencer Gorge Conservation Area has lots of natural wonders to explore, including a forested gorge, and two waterfalls – Webster and Tew Falls. Tew Falls stand tall at a glorious 41 metres – only slightly shorter than Niagara Falls! Spend the day hiking, and taking in the views!


The Bluffs – Scarborough


Image via Joseph Morris on Flickr

The Scarborough Bluffs are a 15 km stretch along Lake Ontario – from the Eastern Beaches to East Point Park. This significant geological feature, just past the city limits is quite magnificent, and makes you feel as though you’re much further from the city than you actually are! Explore the many parks and gardens or enjoy a relaxing day on the beach – there’s something for everyone to do!


Rattlesnake Point – Milton

rattlesnake point

Image via Ian Muttoo on Flickr

Visiting Rattlesnake Point will be worth the trip to Milton – trust us. The incredible views of the escarpment from the Buffalo Crag look-out-point and ecological rarities, such as 1000 year old cedars are reason enough to make the trip! You can hike, enjoy yoga in the park, rock climbing, or camping under the stars. Definitely take a day this summer to explore all there is to see and do at Rattlesnake Point!