Start the car: Top 3 cottage destinations near Toronto

While you may get a hint of that stunning autumn foliage in the city, there’s no better way to experience the beautiful changing of the leaves than with a vacation to a cottage near Toronto.

Summer is over and the leaves are beginning to change.

Fortunately, you don’t need to actually own a cottage to fully enjoy everything that cottage country has to offer. Cottage rentals near Toronto are easy to come by and can be surprisingly affordable. Below is a look at three popular cottage destinations that provide spectacular scenery and are within three hours of Toronto.

Collingwood

Located just two hours from Downtown Toronto, Collingwood is the closest destination on this list. Situated between the Blue Mountain Ski Resort and Wasaga Beach, Collingwood has things to do no matter what time of year you visit.

While autumn might be too early for ski season and too late to enjoy sandy Wasaga Beach, the area has other great activities. Rock climbing, hiking, and caving at Blue Mountain are popular and so is kayaking and canoeing down the Nottawasaga River.

Prices are affordable, especially during the autumn season. You can get a cottage on Georgian Bay or near Blue Mountain village for less than $200 per night. Places slightly away from those two popular areas offer even lower prices.

Muskoka

For many Ontarians, cottage country and Muskoka are simply two terms to describe the same thing. If it’s shimmering lakes, the call of the loon in the morning, and a beautiful array of red, orange, and golden leaves that you’re looking for, then Muskoka is your destination. The district includes the picturesque towns of Gravenhurst, Huntsville, and Bracebridge as well as thousands of lakes.

Because this is such a popular destination, it offers a dizzying array of cottages for rent near Toronto. You can find everything from tiny cabins tucked away in the woods for less than $100 per night to luxurious waterfront cottages featuring boathouses, kayaks, boats, saunas, and more at over $1,000 per night.

Prince Edward County

Finally, if you want the tranquility of nature but are unwilling to leave the sophistication of the city behind then Prince Edward County is your best bet. A peninsula jutting into Lake Ontario, Prince Edward County is just a little over two hours away from Toronto and has become a major destination for foodies and wine lovers in recent years.

The area is home to countless wineries, distilleries, organic farms, and hard-cider companies, many of which offer tours and tastings. Prince Edward County is also known for its arts and culture, with plays and musicals put on throughout the year.

Prices depend on the size of the cottage you are renting as well as the location. For a small cottage away from the waterfront you can expect to pay between $100-150 per night. For a more spectacular waterfront setting with all the amenities you are more likely to pay $250 and up per night.

There are thousands of cottage rentals near Toronto and each one offers a unique and unforgettable experience. Whether you want the fun and excitement of Collingwood, the quintessential cottage lifestyle of Muskoka, or the culture and sophistication of Prince Edward County, there is bound to be a cottage near Toronto that meets all of your expectations.