The Perfect Day Trip From Toronto

When I travel, I love big cities.

I also love the smaller towns, a day trip away, where a different world awaits.

If you live in or are visiting the Toronto area, then this is one day trip that should be on your list.

Go one hour east of Toronto and you will find two of the quaintest towns ever – Port Hope and Cobourg, side by side.

Port Hope has a charming name and plenty of adorable scenery to match. A main street filled with flowers, cute stores and delicious restaurants combined with a rolling river with a path along side makes this town perfect for strolling and relaxing.This is the kind of place that you search for high and low when you travel. And when you find it, you don’t want to leave.

Port Hope is filled with great restaurants but if you are coming, be sure to check out Olympus Burger, a favourite destination for locals filled with a wide range of burgers with Greek names and the best sweet potato fries ever. Any burger place that also includes 3 veggie burger options is also top-notch in my books!

If you are in the mood for Thai, our favourite is The Bualai Thai restaurant where friendly service and a beautifully designed interior meets amazing food and equals major satisfaction.

For shopping, you must visit a one of a kind store just outside Port Hope called Primitive Designs. This is not just shopping, it is sight-seeing around the world! With an inventory from Buddha statues to Tiki bars to wood carved furniture to even transformers made from recycled parts, it makes shopping a delight for even a non-shopper such as myself!

If you are in the mood to swim, drive a few minutes more to Cobourg where the loveliest beach and harbour await.

Port Hope and Cobourg are 2 towns that look like they walked off a Hollywood movie screen. So charming and adorable to look at that you can’t believe they are real!

When you travel do you like to find smaller places outside larger cities to explore? 

32 comments

  1. SD Gates · August 1, 2015

    One of my favorite little towns is Carmel – Central Coast if California. So many unusual little shops (Sock shop with cashmere socks – yumm), little hidden alley ways. They leave water and snackies out for the puppies outside the shops for the dogs. How could you not love a place like that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · August 1, 2015

      We have driven through it and it is postcard perfect… along with every other place along that infamous highway of beauty.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SD Gates · August 4, 2015

        It’s great over there – it really is. Can’t wait to go – with the puppies. Carmel will never be the same after Maxie and Mikey hit the town!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sarah Ferguson · July 28, 2015

    Primitive Designs looks like a place not to take the hubby. Unless I want to come home with something…interesting…for the house!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · July 28, 2015

      Yes, so right… if you are a shopper or even not ( I am not) then you will definitely leave with something.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Petal and Mortar · July 27, 2015

    My dad has been to Port Hope ages ago and sent me a postcard from there, lovely memory brought back with your post. I love smaller towns, and un-touristed neighbourhoods of cities. I like seeing the ‘real’ rhythms of places.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · July 27, 2015

      That is wonderful how you put that…the real rhythms of places…so true! I agree that the off the beaten path less touristy places have a definite appeal when wandering and wondering how others live and work.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. unfinishedtravel · July 24, 2015

    I’ll have to visit these towns next time I’m in Toronto!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Faraday's Candle · July 23, 2015

    What an adventurous lot you guys are. Great photos….thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You bet we do! I’m seeing Port Hope and Cobourg with fresh eyes. We’re trying both of those restaurants next time. Okay. Maybe two trips.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Donna · July 22, 2015

    Next time I go visit my sister in Mississauga I will have to check that store out

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · July 22, 2015

      Port Hope is on the other side of Toronto from Mississauga so you might have a bit of a longer hike to get there.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Donna · July 22, 2015

        Yes but not a big deal as we do day trips all around that area. Family in New Market, st. Catherine’s, Parry Sound and Fort Erie..oh and wasaga beach

        Liked by 1 person

      • lovetotrav · July 22, 2015

        Oh then you will find it very fascinating then. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. WhenInTurkey · July 22, 2015

    Can I like both? 🙂 I’m from a small-ish town, so going to big cities do have their allure…but I’m still a country girl at heart, so when I’m looking to relax I always go for the po-dunks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · July 22, 2015

      I like both too. Need to mix it up and get the best of both worlds. Are there some good small towns around Istanbul for you? or for me when I get there? 🙂

      Like

      • WhenInTurkey · July 22, 2015

        Hahaha small town in Turkey has a different meaning I’m afraid. While there are very rural areas called köys, the “small towns” aren’t like US (or Canadian, I’m assuming) ones, in that Turks typically build up and close… So a small town is very densely populated over a small square mileage. I remember when we went to my hubbies “small town”… Nothing but rolling rooftops in all directions. But it is charming in a different way. You should see Orta köy in İstanbul, they have the sweetest mosque.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lovetotrav · July 22, 2015

        Oh I see… maybe no small towns in the way we understand it then. Orta koy sounds interesting. I have only visited Morocco so haven’t been inside a mosque as you are not allowed to enter in them there. I am looking forward to seeing them in Egypt as there, we are allowed to enter.

        Like

      • WhenInTurkey · July 22, 2015

        In Turkey they sometimes require you be appropriately dressed to enter

        Liked by 1 person

      • WhenInTurkey · July 22, 2015

        Hubby says see the islands in Istanbul, e.g. Prince island, İstanbul island, etc… And we won’t be anywhere near Istanbul lol, we will likely be in a small town ourselves

        Liked by 1 person

      • lovetotrav · July 22, 2015

        I have heard nice things about the islands.

        Like

  9. dcliffz · July 21, 2015

    My fave “get out of toronto NOW” spot is Elora! Just around the Guelph area.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · July 21, 2015

      Yes, I have heard of it and read a little bit about it. Need to check it out myself. Sounds like a great spot.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Dawn in MI · July 21, 2015

    I live north of Detroit. We’ve driven to Toronto a few times, taken the train a few times…never went further east though. Now you have given us reason to. Love that Primitive store, so much cool stuff there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · July 21, 2015

      It really is unique. It is one of those places we take visitors – we treat it as sightseeing as it is so different from other stores.

      Like

  11. any1mark66 · July 21, 2015

    I love the horse in the pic. I’m a road less traveled person. Good luck with the bike rally. I hope you’re doing nothing but driving

    Liked by 1 person

  12. joannesisco · July 21, 2015

    They both have 2 thumbs up from me 🙂
    Port Hope will be our first overnight stop on the Toronto to Montreal People With Aids Foundation Bike Rally which starts on Sunday. I will be a driver with the medical crew. So if you see a large (> 200) group of riders all wearing the same jersey and a huge support team of trucks and other vehicles, wave to us!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lovetotrav · July 21, 2015

      I will! Good luck driving and hope that it all goes really well!

      Like

      • joannesisco · July 21, 2015

        As long as all the riders are safe and the weather is cooperative, all will be good 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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