(WATERLOO, ON) – Just because summer is drawing to a close it doesn’t mean you have to put the travel bug to bed. Sure, the kids are back in school and most people wrapped up their holiday time in July and August, but there is a lot to see and do across Ontario in autumn.
Whether for an overnight weekend getaway or a simple day trip, there are festivals and restaurants, wineries, distilleries, breweries, events, and the gorgeous fall countryside waiting to be discovered and enjoyed.
“Autumn is simply beautiful in Ontario,” said Minto Schneider, CEO of the Waterloo Region Tourism Marketing Corp. “The weather is not too hot, not too cold, the panorama of colours on the trees is unquestionably stunning, and there is so much going on in communities across the province.”
When travelling around Ontario in the fall, Schneider offers the following tips to make the most of your excursions.
- Celebrate. Between Labour Day and Thanksgiving, there are festivals and fall fairs in communities all across the province, many of them celebrating the harvest and fall’s bounty. Of course, one of the biggest seasonal celebrations in the province is Kitchener-Waterloo’s Oktoberfest — the largest Bavarian-style festival this side of Munich — happening October 6th to 14th in various locations around the community.
- Enjoy some culture. Besides the festivals celebrating our agricultural heritage, check out local community theatres for their latest production, enjoy some Ontario art at local galleries and partake in the history of our province and country at museums and historic homes that open their doors to the public.
- Be romantic. The colours of the changing leaves are something to behold, and are an amazingly romantic backdrop for a date outing. Spice it up with a visit to Ontario’s last wooden covered bridge — aptly known as Kissing Bridge — spanning nearly 200 feet across the Grand River in West Montrose, or enjoy the colours with your loved one from the vantage point of a historic train on the Waterloo Central Railway.
- Get outdoors. Squished in between summer’s humidity and winter’s snow, the fall is the ideal time to get outside. Take a hike on some of stunning trail systems, visit a local farmer’s or artisan’s market or view Ontario’s countryside from the vantage point of a bicycle.
- Eat local. Autumn is harvest season, and local chefs and restaurants will be stocking their menus with ingredients from local farms. It is a great time of year to sample the food in your own backyard, paired with some incredible Ontario wines, beers and spirits.
“Last but not least, check the weather forecast before you head out,” said Schneider. “There isn’t a typical weather pattern for autumn in Ontario. Some days could be hot. Others downright chilly. Have a look ahead and plan your dress appropriately. Jeans and a light sweater may be enough, but it doesn’t hurt to have a warm jacket if the temperature dips, or a t-shirt under that sweater if you need to shed some layers.”