It’s only 30 minutes from Toronto, but this large and tidy city right on the shores of Lake Ontario has enough attractions to keep you in town. First stop – Canada's Royal Botanical Gardens, with 2700 acres of gorgeous flowers from around the globe, including the world's largest collection of lilacs.
Should you visit in summer (and yes, you should!), you won't be able to stay away from lakefront Spencer Smith Park. It has oodles of crowd-pleasing features like a pier, a beach, an observatory and playgrounds with water jets designed for frolicking.
The park hosts special events like Ribfest, a Labor Day weekend tradition, and the Sound of Music Festival, Canada's largest free music event. Held over Father’s Day weekend, it incudes a carnival, a parade and over 100 bands from wide range of genres – and, no, none of them are the Von Trapps. Everyone from Devo to the Cowboy Junkies to Carly Rae Jepsen has played the event, which attracts over 200,000 people.