When autumn arrives in Ontario, it brings a spectacular show of colours that paint the landscape in gold, red, and orange hues. To truly experience the beauty of the season, we’ve curated a captivating one-day fall drive itinerary for you. Buckle up and embark on a journey that takes you from Whitby to Port Hope, then to Peterborough, and finally through Uxbridge before returning to Whitby. Each destination offers breathtaking views and delightful stops for exploration and indulgence.

Quick note: feel free to add any stops you like along the way. The Brooklin Farmer’s Market is on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and can be a great starting point for your road trip from Whtiby…if you don’t mind hitting the road a few minutes late.

The basic route here is east on the 401, north on County Road 28, then west and south on Highway 7. But feel free to get lost on the side roads!

Destination 1: Whitby to Port Hope

Departure Time: 10:00 a.m.

Our adventure begins in Whitby, a town known for its historical charm and welcoming atmosphere. As you drive towards Port Hope, the scenic route will be adorned with the vibrant colors of autumn foliage, setting the tone for a day filled with wonder.

Must-See Stop: Ganaraska River Trail

Before reaching Port Hope, make a must-see stop at the Ganaraska River Trail. This serene walking trail follows the picturesque Ganaraska River, offering panoramic views of the surrounding fall foliage. The tranquility of this spot is a perfect introduction to the day’s journey.

Shop: Haute Goat

As you arrive in Port Hope, take some time to explore the local shops. One standout destination is Haute Goat, a farm and store offering a unique range of products crafted from goat milk. From luxurious skincare to delectable artisanal cheeses, Haute Goat showcases the ingenuity of local artisans.

Restaurant: Olympus Burger

Fuel your adventure with a delicious meal at the award-winning Olympus Burger. This hidden gem in Port Hope boasts a diverse menu of mouthwatering burgers with a variety of toppings. The combination of flavourful food and the colors of fall outside creates an unforgettable dining experience.

Destination 2: Port Hope to Peterborough

Departure Time: 1:30 p.m.

Leaving Port Hope behind, the next leg of our journey takes us to Peterborough, a city known for its rich history and vibrant arts scene. Enjoy the drive as you soak in the breathtaking fall vistas along the way. If you have a minute, stop by Johnston’s Farm on the way up County Road 28. Their pies are to die for!

Must-See Stop: Jackson Park

En route to Peterborough, make sure to visit Jackson Park. This urban oasis transforms into a wonderland of fall colors during this time of year. Take a leisurely stroll through the park’s walking trails and relish in the beauty of nature’s artistry.

Shop: Whetung Ojibwa Centre

In Peterborough, treat yourself to a shopping spree at Whetung Ojibwa Centre. This unique gallery and shop showcases Indigenous art, crafts, and jewelry. Supporting local Indigenous artists while admiring their work is an enriching experience.

Restaurant: St. Veronus Café & Tap Room

Indulge in a delectable meal or a hearty snack at St. Veronus Café & Tap Room, a charming restaurant that combines European flair with a warm ambiance. Their diverse menu, featuring Belgian-inspired dishes, is the perfect way to recharge before continuing your journey.

Don’t Miss: Naked Chocolate

We can’t do our fall drive without taking a pause at the coolest chocolate shop around. Naked Chocolate offers incredible handmade artisan chocolates in a variety of exciting flavours and combinations. We make sure to grab at least a six-pack of these amazing truffles.

Sometimes they even make it all the way home.

Destination 3: Peterborough to Uxbridge

Departure Time: 4:00 p.m.

As the sun begins to set, our route takes us to Uxbridge, a town known for its artistic spirit and natural beauty. The drive itself is a feast for the eyes, with the fall colours casting a warm glow over the landscape.

Must-See Stop: Elgin Park

Before arriving in Uxbridge, make a stop at Elgin Park. This picturesque park offers a tranquil escape with its walking trails and serene pond. It’s an ideal spot to pause and take in the stunning fall scenery.

Shop: Blue Heron Books

In Uxbridge, a visit to Blue Heron Books is a must for book enthusiasts. This charming bookstore offers a curated selection of titles across various genres. The cozy atmosphere and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee make it a haven for literary souls.

Restaurant: Urban Pantry

Conclude your day’s culinary adventure with a visit to Urban Pantry. This farm-to-table restaurant in Uxbridge prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients to create dishes bursting with seasonal flavors. It’s the perfect finale to your fall drive.

Reflections on a Day Well Spent

As the day draws to a close, you’ll find yourself reflecting on the myriad colours, tastes, and experiences that filled your journey. From the breathtaking fall foliage to the charming towns and hidden gems, this one-day drive encapsulates the essence of autumn in Ontario.

Share Your Adventure

aDo you ever embark on a fall drive? We’d love to hear about your favorite moments and discoveries along the way. Share your thoughts, photos, and stories in the comments below!

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