Get out of Toronto for the day – 10 Unforgettably Unusual ideas for a getaway – Part 1

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Toronto is the best in terms of the diverse nature of entertainment and culture available within its realms; but traveling just a few hours outside opens up a whole “other” world of unusual possibilities.
All of the following are experiences you can only have outside the city: many afford the opportunity to make a weekend of it

#1
Hot Air Ballooning
Up, up and away with Sundance Balloons, and see the gorgeous Lake Simcoe area of Ontario from a different perspective. Hop into your wicker “gondola”, spend a tranquil hour silently floating over the countryside below and then celebrate your return to earth with one Ballooning’s oldest traditions – a Champagne toast http://www.sundanceballoons.com

#2
Warplane Heritage Museum
Reach for the skies and take a ride in a WW2 warplane. Choose from a Douglas Dakota or a de Havilland Tiger Moth bi wing
at the bottom end of the price spectrum to the chance to fly in the worlds last passenger carrying “Dam-Busting WW2 Lancaster
http://www.warplane.com

#3
St Jacobs Mennonite Story – St Jacobs Ontario
Tuck yourself into the heart of Mennonite -country at the “St Jacobs Mennonite Story” and learn about the fascinating culture of both the Mennonites and the Amish that occupy this part of Ontario. Look out for the ubiquitous black horse drawn cabs that dominate the country lanes round these parts.http://www.stjacobs.com/mennonite-story

#4
Dundern Castle in Hamilton
Immerse yourself in the authentic atmosphere of a 1830,s “Castle”. Once the dynamic home to Canada’s first Prime Minister Sir Allan McNab (and erstwhile ancestor of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and wife to Prince Charles), the clock has been stopped at a time somewhere in the early 1800’s as the house and docent interpreters are “dressed” to represent this historic mansion during its Regency heyday. Christmas is a great time to visit as the house lends itself beautifully to the annual “Victorian Christmas” event.
http://www.dundurn.com

#5
Bell Homestead
Not many people realize that this unassuming white Ontarian house was backdrop to the events leading up to one of the scientific breakthroughs that would reshape History. This was the home of Alexander Graham Bell; the home where he breathed life into his ideas for a “speaking telegraph and the original home of Canadian Telephone operations in 1880.
http://www.bellhomestead.ca

#6
Encaustic Workshop at the beautiful Alton Mills Art Studio
Create amazing tactile artwork at “The Hive” in the stunning Alton Mills Art Studio. Encaustic media is a melted down melange of delicious Beeswax and oil paint. “The Hive” at Alton Mills offers half day and day workshops from beginner to advanced levels with all sorts of variations between.

#7
Collingwood’s Elvis Festival
The king of Rock and Roll may be dead (or is he?) but his spirit is alive and kicking at the annual Collingwood Elvis Festival
“Long live the King”
(http://www.collingwoodelvisfestival.com/)”

#8
From the Bard to “The Biebs”
Everybody knows that Stratford Ontario is famous for its Shakespeare Festival but did you know that you can walk in the footsteps of Ontario’s pop sensation “Justin Bieber” – literally.
This ingenious Justin Bieber Tour of Stratford utilizes a specially created map detailing all his favourite childhood haunts: his favourite ice cream parlour; the schools he went to and the place he took his first date
(http://www.visitstratford.ca/justin/justin-bieber.html)

#9
Tour the Spirit Tree Cidery
Ontario is blessed with scores of great wineries but how about watching a cider press in operation and tasting samples of both hard and sweet cider in the Spirit Tree’s tasting room. Pair your cider sipping with a home baked treat fresh from the wood burning oven.
(http://www.spirittreecider.com/)

#10
Visit Ontario’s Badlands
French trappers called these “les mauvaises terres à traverser” – “the bad lands to cross” and that just about sums up the characteristics of
The Cheltenham Badlands with its
steep slopes and gullies of alternating shale and clay, forming massive spectacularly coloured (red and green) undulating rock striations.
Located on the Niagara Escarpment and by default a part of the Bruce Trail.

Part 2 of this article in a few weeks Enjoy….

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