The province of Ontario has much to offer families looking for unforgettable vacation experiences whether you're heading towards the big city or looking to relax in the countryside. Ottawa and Toronto can be found here, along with Niagara Falls, multiple rivers, and virtually endless outdoor adventure. The key to creating a memorable experience for your family is planning a vacation that everyone will enjoy whether you're looking to focus on one kind of activity or diversify your adventure.

Travel tips for the best family vacation in Ontario

1. Driving to the best family vacations in Ontario

The first step on your trip is getting to Ontario. If you live in Quebec or Manitoba, it may be little more than a short drive to get where you need to go, but given the sheer size of the province, you'll most likely have quite a journey ahead of you. Fortunately, you'll find yourself with quite a few options for travel no matter where you're coming from. There are major east-west routes coming out of the province with highways that get you close to most popular cities in the region. The 400-series highways are the core of the primary network.

2. Flying to the best Ontario vacations for families

If you don't have a car or don't want to drive all that way, flying may be your best bet. You'll find no shortage of airports in the region that can help you get to any destination in the province. Toronto Pearson International Airport is the busiest airport in the country with connections to the rest of Canada and the world. You'll also find Ottawa International Airport and several additional options around Thunder Bay, Hamilton, and London. Regional airports are also common in most cities in the province.

3. Taking a train to your family vacation in Ontario

The rail network in Canada is quite expansive, offering easy access to Ontario from virtually anywhere in the country. The Canadian rail service is transcontinental with tracks from Vancouver to southern Ontario. If you're already in Ontario and looking to explore other areas of the province, you'll find regional rail networks as well that are also useful if you're arriving via the main rail network and want to travel somewhere more remote within the province.

4. Getting around during your family vacation in Ontario

Once you're in Ontario, the best way to get around largely depends on where you're visiting. If you visit one of the big cities, you can rely solely on public transportation for the vast majority of nearby attractions. Trains and buses can get you virtually anywhere. If you're travelling to the countryside, however, you may want to get your hands on a car. Fortunately, car rentals are quite common throughout the province if you don't have one of your own.

Things to do for the best family vacations in Ontario

5. Explore the natural wonder of Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is one of the most recognizable parts of Ontario and is known around the world. These massive waterfalls reach heights of 57 meters where torrential amounts of water drop down creating a misty and magnificent pool below. Seeing the sights is easy thanks to multiple viewing areas and boat rides to the foot of the falls.

6. See the spectacle of Parliament Hill

Parliament Hill is the seat of government in Ottawa where you'll find a small island populated by impressive and massive buildings. You can book tours of these buildings whether you're looking to see the Peace Tower, Centennial Flame, or the House of Commons. This is also where you'll find what might just be the biggest Canada Day celebration in the entire country.

7. Explore the breathtaking Algonquin Provincial Park

Located about 2 hours from Toronto, Algonquin Provincial Park is a popular destination for outdoor adventurers with plenty to see and do for the whole family. You'll find stunning lake waters with opportunities for boating and fishing in addition to an extensive hiking trail network. While some of the hiking trails can be tough, you can easily find paths tame enough for you and your little ones to enjoy.

8. Explore the world in the Royal Ontario Museum

The Royal Ontario Museum is a legendary museum covering a wide range of topics including natural history, science, and cultures from all over the world and throughout history. Even the building itself is quite impressive as the architecture looks as if it's mixing old and new building designs to work together as one, showcasing how the exhibits connect the present to the past.

9. Find fun in Canada's Wonderland

Canada's Wonderland is a massive theme park that the whole family will enjoy. While it's most often frequented by Toronto natives, its wonders draw in visitors from all over the country and beyond. Your little ones can enjoy a variety of rides including high-speed coasters. Additionally, this theme park features live shows, a dinosaur exhibit, and a water park perfect for those hotter summer days.

10. Relax around Lake Muskoka

If your family is looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Lake Muskoka is one of the best options in the province. This massive lake is surrounded by a tranquil forest and plenty of cottage rentals. You and your family can embark on hikes, go fishing, or head out to the water on a boat. Whatever you decide to do, you won't have to worry about crowds other than occasionally on the roads in during the weekend.

11. Step back in time at Fort William Historical Park

When you and your family visit Fort William Historical Park, you'll find a detailed recreation of the inland headquarters of the Northwest Company and its fur trading business as it was in the early 19th century. Families on vacation in Ontario who want to explore history will want to make a stop here. You can learn all about fur trading along with normal parts of life back then including medicines and muskets.

Ontario family vacation accommodation

12. Top resorts for a family vacation in Ontario

If you want to make your Ontario family vacation downright luxurious, there's nothing quite like booking your stay at a resort. These facilities are tailor-made to make your experience as comfortable and as easy as possible with high-end amenities available for the whole family. Resorts offer plenty of space and feature on-site spas, pools, and restaurants most of the time.

13. House rentals for a family vacation in Ontario

Whether you're headed to the city or the countryside, a house rental is one of the best options available. This is the best way to get that home-away-from-home feel on your vacation where you'll find plenty of room along with amenities like integrated WiFi, a full kitchen, and central heating and cooling. Plus, if it's similar to what you have at home, it'll be easier for your kids to make the adjustment upon arrival.

14. Cottages and quaint accommodation

Ontario's Cottage Country is known for its outdoor adventure, relaxing landscapes, and range of cottages. Many of these cottages are available for rent, so you can take part in a common pastime here of spending your summer near the lake away from the hustle and bustle of the city. These cottages function much like house rentals, though you may find some additional features such as a pier and small boat with a select few lakeside rentals.

15. Condos and apartments for city exploration

A family vacation to Ontario that includes visiting a big city like Toronto or Ottawa may be best suited by booking one of the local condos or apartments. These rentals can put you right in the middle of the action in town while also offering a surprisingly generous amount of space. You don't have to hesitate to bring your family along, as local apartments often come with 3 bedrooms and occasionally even more. Plus, they tend to be more affordable compared to other accommodation options.