Romantic holiday getaways in Ontario
Whether you and your partner are seeking a winter adventure or looking for a relaxing retreat, some of the best places to visit in Ontario during the Christmas and holiday season are charming small towns and cities. Find the ideal balance of luxurious accommodations, warm hospitality, local holiday shopping, enchanting cafés and awe-inspiring winter landscapes. From small towns near Toronto to bustling communities further north, we’ve found the perfect places for your memorable holiday experience.
Here are the best Ontario Christmas towns to consider for your next romantic holiday getaway.
Lots of Hallmark Christmas movies have been filmed in Almonte, Ontario, making this a popular holiday destination for couples. Check out the handmade holiday wares by more than forty different Canadian makers at Cheerfully Made. Browse quaint shops inside the Almonte Heritage Court & Mall on Mill Street, where you’ll find shoes, clothing, accessories and holiday gifts.
Walk down the street to Almonte Antique & Collectibles for a wide selection of unique antiques and festive decorations. Bundle up for a scenic stroll over the Mississippi River at the Almonte Riverwalk or go for a refreshing hike in the vast 152-hectare Mill of Kintail Conservation Area.
Stay: The Almonte Riverside Inn is located in a historic building in the heart of the town and offers six unique boutique rooms with picturesque views of the Mississippi River.
A historic town near Cambridge, Galt is also a frequent filming location for Christmas Hallmark movies. Shop for unique gifts and seasonal food and soak up the cheery Christmas atmosphere at the Cambridge Christmas Market. Stop by Reids Chocolates for your favourite holiday treats, then stroll through the Cambridge Sculpture Garden for a romantic winter walk. Warm up afterwards with a coffee at Monigram Coffee Roasters.
Stay: Nestled in a Carolinian forest, Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa offers spacious rooms, rejuvenating spa treatments and fine dining.
Kick off the festive season at the Holiday Sip ’N Shop, nighttime artisan market in St. Jacobs’ Market District with over 90 vendors selling holiday crafts, gifts and drinks. Be sure to visit the Christmas Spirit Store in the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market for gifts, ornaments and Christmas-themed décor. Order hot cocoa and apple cider at the Village Biergarten and enjoy your drinks in a heated igloo-like dining dome.
Stay: Hotel 52 is a trendy boutique hotel located near the scenic Conestogo River and close to charming small-town shops and restaurants. If you’d prefer a place within walking distance of the Market District and St. Jacobs’ Outlet Mall try the Homewood Suites, which offers cozy hotel rooms and daily hot breakfast.
Known as one of Ontario’s most beautiful villages, Elora is a great spot for a romantic holiday getaway. Take advantage of Christmas sales and festive entertainment at local shops with Starlight Shopping, a special late-night shopping experience on Thursday and Friday nights during the early winter months. If you and your partner don’t mind braving the cold, be sure to check out the famous Elora Gorge for stunning views.
If you prefer to stay indoors, browse the gallery or book an art class together at the Elora Centre for the Arts. Then enjoy a delicious meal at the Friendly Society with creative takes on your favourite classic dishes.
Stay: Indulge in first-class comfort and take in incredible panoramic views at the Elora Mill Hotel & Spa, located in the heart of the village and just steps away from the Friendly Society.
Experience amazing interactive art and light installations at Lights On, Stratford’s annual winter festival of Christmas lights that features work by internationally renowned artists. Stratford is also your one-stop holiday shopping destination for all your Christmas gift needs.
The Christmas Trail invites you to tour through the town’s unique, artisanal shops with six gift vouchers (redeemable at participating local businesses). Enjoy the festive atmosphere while crossing off all the names on your shopping list.
Stay: Find historic charm and luxury amenities at The Parlour Inn, a landmark hotel in downtown Stratford.
This small town boasts a long Christmas tradition with its list of annual holiday events, including the Festival of Lights, Farmers’ Christmas Market, Polar Bear Plunge and Christmas Festival of Good Cheer. Explore dozens of local shops in a historic building at Code’s Mill shopping centre, then wander west to the Stone Cellar Restaurant for dinner. Sample local artisanal chocolate at Perth Chocolate Works and fine quality cheese at the Perth Cheese Shop.
Unionville is located in Markham, just a 30-minute drive from Toronto, making Christmas in Unionville a perfect holiday trip for city couples. Step into a picture-perfect winter wonderland in the Unionville Christmas Market on Main Street, a popular annual event. Singing carollers, sparkling tinsel, glowing art installations and Christmas lights turn this charming village into a fairy-tale holiday scene.
A romantic gazebo decorated with lights and fresh garlands makes for a great couples’ photo spot. After browsing the market, enjoy a date night at Ambiyan for fine Indian cuisine or Il Postino for upscale Italian dining.
Stay: The Toronto Marriott Markham and Hilton Toronto/Markham Suites are both eco-certified four-star hotels with an indoor pool, exercise facilities, lobby bar and comfortable accommodations for couples.
Witness the Gardens at Pillar and Post transform into a beautiful holiday landscape with the Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Christmas Wonderland stay package. This romantic getaway includes complimentary hot drinks and snacks, holiday movie watching under the stars, access to the ice rinks and more.
Take a one-kilometre stroll through the annual Holiday Magic at Blue Mountain, which offers visitors an illuminated trail of lights, interactive holiday installations and quaint shops decked out in bright bows and garlands.
Admire the village’s beautiful scenery on an open-air gondola or ride down the village’s famous slopes at the ski resort. Local boutiques, clothing shops and home decor stores provide a wealth of holiday shopping options.
Stay: With a gorgeous view of the surrounding nature, Mosaic – Boutique Suites is minutes away from Blue Mountain Village’s busy shopping streets. Soak your worries away in their year-round heated pool and hot tubs.
Take a romantic walk through the magical Simcoe Christmas Panorama, where hundreds of trees in Simcoe’s downtown parks illuminate the winter sky with lights and Christmas decorations. Shop at the festive Christmas Market in Grant Anderson Park for arts, crafts and tasty treats.
Hot chocolate, apple cider and cookies are sold as part of the event, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Tumaini Children’s Foundation. Browse local art at the Capitol Arts Market, catch a fun flick at the Strand Theatre and warm up with some drinks at the Wooden Bear L Winery.
Stay: Head to the Best Western Little River Inn for affordable à la carte breakfasts and easy access to local shops and restaurants, as well as the Simcoe Christmas Panorama. Travelodge by Wyndham Simcoe is another great hotel with quality accommodations.
Though technically a city, downtown Thunder Bay can feel a little like a small town in winter.
Check out over 200 artist vendors at the Holiday Craft Revival in Thunder Bay, where artists and makers from across Northwestern Ontario gather to display their festive creations. The event takes place at pop-up Christmas markets across downtown Thunder Bay.
Browse local boutiques, stores and restaurants together, and then warm up with a meal. For steak and seafood, try the nearby Lot 66 Restaurant & Wine Bar or walk down towards the lake to Bight Restaurant & Bar for contemporary Canadian dining.
Stay: Overlooking the beautiful waterfront, the Prince Arthur Waterfront Hotel features stunning views of the city, sophisticated hotel suites and a historic ballroom.
Here are some more great holiday events and Christmas activities in Ontario to enjoy as a couple:
Last updated: November 23, 2022