5 Small Towns You Have to Visit Outside of Mississauga

You’ve caught shows at the Living Arts Centre, browsed art and artifacts at the Art Gallery of Mississauga, taken in the consumer culture at Square One, and strolled through the cherry blossoms at Kariya Park - it’s no secret that Mississauga is charming. But if you’re looking to get outside the city for awhile, there’s something extra special about small town charm, too.

Ontario is filled with small towns, many of them just a few hours’ drive from Mississauga. Whether you’re looking for a culture-filled escape or an adventure into the great outdoors, cute small towns outside of the city are both a joy and a treasure.

Here are five small towns you have to road trip to outside of Mississauga:

5) Picton

Picton is a town in Price Edward County full of heritage homes, live theatre, a stunning harbour, and six municipal parks. It was incorporated in 1837, and it’s now quite the tourist hotspot. You can take a stroll down Main Street for some shopping and good eats, catch a show at the Regent Theatre, or even explore one of the town’s many breweries and wineries. In the summer, it’s a great idea to take a tour of the entire County’s lighthouses which are pretty spectacular. All in all it’s bound to be a chill trip with small town vibes and you’ll likely learn about some fun history, too.

4) Huntsville

Huntsville is a beloved and gorgeous little community in the heart of Muskoka, great for renting a cottage or just a day trip for a break from the city, about two hours north. Ideal for anyone in need of a quaint town on the water with home-grown shops scattered around the community, Huntsville is sure to charm you. Catch some live entertainment at Algonquin Theatre, learn more about Muskoka at Muskoka Heritage Place, or just peruse one of the town’s many parks and beaches.

3) Niagara-on-the-Lake

This scenic destination isn’t just for wine lovers (although it’s really, really perfect if you are into VQA vinos). Located about an hour and a half outside of the city, you can go for the day or stay overnight in one of the area’s cozy B&Bs, cute country inns or pricey villas (good if you’re taking a large group with you). The area is full of well-known wineries (obviously) and also boasts some craft breweries, fine-dining and casual restaurants, golf courses, bicycle tours and historical attractions and museums. If you visit the area, you can also check out the Shaw Festival to enjoy a little more arts and culture.

2) Perth

The beautiful town of Perth will not disappoint you with its heritage and scenery. On the one hand, it teems with adorable bed and breakfasts and cafes and historic architecture, and on the other, a river runs through the downtown and you’re sure to find lush greenery here - you could say there’s something for any small town buff in Perth. Be sure to scope out the events calendar before you head over so you can slate in fun events like the annual fair, the kilt run, the festival of the maples. You’re bound to have a very cute trip.

1) Paris

No - not Paris, France, silly! Paris, Ontario! Previously voted “The Prettiest Little Town in Canada”, a trip to Paris, Ont. is one you’ll want to plan ASAP. The picturesque community in the County of Brant is sure to steal your heart with its European feel - it’s full of cobblestone roads, open-air cafes and restaurants, and Victorian, Edwardian, Gothic and Post Modern architecture - and it’s where the Grand and Nith Rivers meet. Spend your days here lounging by the river, go kayaking or canoeing, or even take a hike - there’s lots to do in the quaint town of Paris.

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