Four Days

Get yourself oriented in Toronto with a visit to Yonge & Dundas Square, then scoot down to scan the scene from atop the CN Tower. When you've got your bearings, head out to explore the sights, sounds and smells of Toronto's neighborhoods, starting with Queen Street West and Kensington Market. On day two, focus on King St: from the Entertainment District to St Lawrence Market and the Distillery District. You'll barely scratch the surface of what's on offer.

On your third day, take a tour with Chariots of Fire for the most comfortable and affordable way to cram the best of Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake into a single day. Or rent a car, drive yourself and stay a night. On day four, head west to the pretty riverside villages of Elora and Fergus, step back in time to the Mennonite community of St Jacobs and onward to arty-foody Stratford for the night, catching a play at the festival before hotfooting it back to Toronto.

Two Weeks

In the warmer months, Ontario does road trips well. You could combine both our Nature Loop and Culture Loop itineraries, but you'll be covering a lot of ground.

Nature Loop

Head north to explore the beauty of the Muskoka Lakes, then through the West Gate of Algonquin Provincial Park for a few days' canoeing and moose spotting, before crossing toward Georgian Bay. Avid kayakers, hikers and campers should follow the peninsula to Killarney Provincial Park, while those who prefer creature comforts with their isolation will delight in Manitoulin Island. If you're feeling adventurous, head north to parks such as Lake Superior Provincial Park, but you'll have to backtrack to catch the Chi-Cheemaun ferry down to magical Tobermory, the magnificent Bruce Peninsula and back to Toronto, via Collingwood.

Culture Loop

Start with a few days in vibrant Toronto, and don't miss the nearby highlights of Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Stratford, before heading east along Lake Ontario. Stop first to sample the rustic charm of a Prince Edward County B&B and the region's fine food and wine. Stop by the county's Sandbanks Provincial Park for a swim, then spend a night or two in historic Kingston. Journey on to Gananoque for a cruise around the delightful Thousand Islands, then continue along the St Lawrence River through quaint Brockville and the historic Upper Canada Village. Finally, turn north to Ottawa, the nation's proud capital, for a bounty of museums, gourmet restaurants, hip bars and the 185-year-old Rideau Canal, a Unesco World Heritage Site for its cultural significance.