Prince Edward County, Ontario
Why it’s awesome:
PEC is stunning and quiet, with pebbly beaches and wide open fields that’ll make you forget that you’re a mere two-hour drive from Toronto. A book by the beach is the main attraction, but there are plenty of wineries, farmer’s markets and gorgeous bike paths to keep you busy. Bonus: Slickers is a strong contender for the province’s best ice cream.
What to do:
Toronto’s Drake Hotel has a trendy outpost in the town of Wellington that’s been dubbed the “Drake by the Lake,” since it transplants its signature quirky furnishings to the breezy shores Lake Ontario for a grown-up summer camp feel. If you can't reserve a room, visit their restaurant to try dinner and a cocktail — their farm-to-table approach to food makes local produce shine.
When to go:
High season begins in May and stretches through the summer, but even at full occupancy, PEC never feels crowded. Visit in early July — the lake breeze will keep you cool on those hot summer nights.