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Epic weekend adventures just outside Toronto

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The ultimate weekend itinerary in Durham Region, with or without kids

Epic weekend adventures just outside Toronto

Whether you’re looking for a weekend escape with your partner or some kid-friendly fun for your family, Toronto’s neighbour combines urban excitement with country charm with tons of exciting activities across its eight municipalities.

More than three million tourists flock to Durham Region each year, and for good reason—from exciting road trip destinations and beautiful rural landscapes to famous historic sites and indoor playgrounds, there’s something for everyone.

We’ve rounded up the best the region has to offer into two expert itineraries.

Perfect for two

Share a romantic weekend with your partner while visiting heritage sites and enjoying breathtaking natural spaces.

At The Robert McLaughlin Art Gallery in Oshawa, an incredible sculpture by artist Douglas Coupland welcomes you in to view the largest collection of works by the Painters Eleven in Canada.

Follow up at the nearby Canadian Automotive Museum to view the world’s most significant selection of cars made right here at home.

Epic weekend adventures just outside Toronto

Then, discover what life was like in the early 20th century by touring Parkwood Estate—home of the late R.S. McLaughlin, founder of General Motors of Canada. This 55-room national treasure has pristinely preserved its art, architecture, gardens and original furnishings.

Next, take a scenic drive to Archibald’s Orchard & Estate Winery through the rural pastures of Bowmanville. Enjoy a complimentary wine tasting, then take part in the Durham Region Apple Adventure, a tour of 22 locations where you can sip on craft ciders, pick your own fruit and try many types of tasty apple fritters.

Continue north to Port Perry, a quaint community on the shores of Lake Scugog. Palmer Park is a great spot for a picnic by the sunset with spectacular waterfront views, or there’s a number of eclectic diners close by to grab a bite.

Check in at The Piano Inn & Cafe for an overnight stay in a refurbished 18th-century landmark and wake up on day two in the heart of this historic town, which is teeming with cute shops and boutiques.

Finally, no weekend getaway would be complete without an Instagram-worthy shot at The Sunflower Farm in Beaverton. Dance and twirl in a 20-acre field filled with golden blooms starting in July.

Epic weekend adventures just outside Toronto
Fun for the whole family

Adventure and play is the heart of Durham Region, and delicious food is always around the corner.

Take a trip to the Trail Capital of Canada, Uxbridge, known for 220 kilometres of hiking and mountain-biking trails that wind through forest, wetlands and small villages.

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The two-hour self-guided Uxbridge Historical Walking Tour takes you through 37 heritage sites, from the library and the music hall to churches and homes of prominent figures. Or opt to take everyone for horseback riding lessons and embark on a peaceful trail ride with Pathways on Pleasure Valley.

Next, challenge your family’s strength and endurance at Pinnacle Indoor Climbing in Bowmanville.

Relax and recharge by booking a stay at the nearby family-friendly Residence Inn Whitby by Marriott. There’s a whirlpool and indoor saltwater pool for a quick dip, too.

Start day two with a mouth-watering meal at Butchie’s, which serves up comfort foods like hot Nashville chicken, smoked pork shoulder and mac and cheese, with portions large enough to share!

A final stop at Playdium will delight younger day-trippers with an evening of arcade games, virtual reality experiences and bowling.

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No matter what part of Durham Region you visit, the drive from Toronto is about an hour. Your weekend adventure awaits.

For more information on attractions in Durham Region, check out the Discovery Guide.

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