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3 Awesome Last-Minute Ideas for a Long Weekend Escape

Read on to see which of these three mini-break destinations near the GTA is right for you

Shoppers speak with a Mennonite farmer at the St. Jacobs Market

Squeeze the most out of long weekends with fun-filled destinations that are just a short drive from the GTA. The best part? These spots require little prep work and are perfect for spontaneous road trips.

For couples: Port Hope

Outside the Cameco Capital Arts Centre in Port Hope, Ont. 

Just over an hour east of Toronto is the idyllic town of Port Hope. Head to The Social Bar and Table for lunch from an eclectic menu with everything from a braised brisket sandwich to Thai noodle salad. Peruse charming shops in the Walton Street Heritage District such as Ed Hepburn Jewelry, and G. Facey Clothing. From there, delve into some great antiquing at Primitive Designs, which is stocked with treasures from around the globe. Grab an early dinner at the riverside Trattoria Gusto before wrapping up the day at the award-winning Cameco Capitol Arts Centre. Upcoming shows include Tuesdays With Morrie in July, The Hobbit in October and Cinderella in November.

For families: Kitchener-Waterloo Region

Shoppers browse at a flower stand at the St. Jacobs Market 

Stop at St. Jacobs Market, where you’ll find fresh local produce, baked goods, flea-market treasures and a petting farm. Enjoy a horse-drawn tour of the area, complete with a visit to a Mennonite farm. Be sure to visit the St. Jacobs and Aberfoyle Model Railway for an up-close look at intricate hand-built model railways. Adventure seekers won’t want to miss ziplining and tubing at Chicopee Tube Park.

For everyone: Briars Resort and Spa

The exterior of the Briars Resort and Spa, near Lake Simcoe 

Located on the southern tip of Lake Simcoe, the Briars Resort and Spa is a great year-round escape for couples, families and groups of friends. Choose from a variety of packages that include kayak expeditions, cooking demos, entertainment, golfing, swimming and more.

Explore the quaint grounds of this traditional English-style country inn, whose historic buildings date back to the mid-1800s. Head to the lookout for a stunning view of the lake and relax in the lounge where board games are plentiful. See more of the area on a hike at Sibbald Point Provincial Park and the bike trails at The ROC.

Looking for more ideas?

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Plus, check out our list of podcasts and audio books to keep you entertained on the road.

Image credit: Courtesy of respective businesses