5 Budget Friendly Road Trips From London, ON

You don’t have to go far or spend a ton to have fun! Here are a five affordable road trip ideas from London, Ontario.

1. Hamilton

Distance: 129 km, 1 h 18 min

Hamilton is a port city, located southwest of Toronto. Being in such close proximity of both London and Toronto, it’s perfect for a one-day road trip.

Waterfalls: Hamilton’s waterfalls are a must-see. With over 100 falls, Hamilton makes up a significant portion of the Niagara Escarpment which runs through Ontario, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Notable falls include Webster’s Falls, Albion Falls, and Buttermilk Falls. While visiting the falls, visitors can enjoy a variety of hiking trails and scenery.

McMaster University: Hamilton is home to McMaster University, a school known for its cozy campus and close-knit student community. Campus is comprised of a mix of old and new buildings, and is located close to downtown Hamilton. If you visit Hamilton in the summer months, you can reserve a McMaster dorm room for accommodations.

Dundurn Castle: Take a break from real life and embark on historical journey. Visit Dundurn Castle, an Italian-style villa built in the 1830s as a British military camp. The castle provides group tours and historical cooking workshops.


2. Tobermory

Distance: 295 km, 3 h 37 min

Tobermory is a beautiful community on the northern tip of Bruce Peninsula. It’s famous for its natural sea caves, coastlines, hiking trails and campgrounds.

The Grotto: The Grotto is a natural sea cave in Bruce Peninsula National Park. The site boasts beautiful views of the Niagara Escarpment, as well as nearby campgrounds and a variety of surrounding hiking trails. Inside the cave itself, visitors can swim in clear turquoise and blue water.

Flowerpots Island: Flowerpot Island is a 6.5 km boat ride from the coast of Tobermory. The island consists of many must-see sites including the Light Station, a lighthouse used and maintained by those living on the island, and several caves from the last age. Perhaps the most notable attraction are the natural rock formations in the shape of flowerpots.

Tobermory’s Foodie Scene: Aside from enjoying the natural wonders that make up Tobermory, there are many restaurants, bakeries, and pubs frequented by tourists and residents. Famous dishes include traditional Canadian Beaver Tails and fish & chips.


3. Niagara Falls

Distance: 200 km, 2 h

Niagara Falls is perfect for a one-day getaway or a few-night escapade. Whether you want to see the falls or take advantage of the exciting nightlife, Niagara is a great place for you.

Horseshoe Falls: The massive waterfalls that separate Canada from the US are a Natural World Wonder and draw in 12 million tourists annually. Visitors can enjoy magnificent views from afar or go straight into the action by taking a trip on the Maid of the Mist.

Niagara-on-the-Lake: A short drive from Niagara Falls is Niagara-on-the-Lake, a charming 19th century village. Niagara-on-the-Lake boasts cute bakeries, gelato and ice cream shops, vineyards and wineries.

Downtown Niagara Falls: From Clifton Hill to the Casino, downtown Niagara’s got you covered. Niagara’s most iconic street, Clifton Hill, hosts the World Records store, a giant ferris wheel and a Fun Factory. At night time, visitors can transition to Niagara’s numerous bars, clubs and casinos by night. You’ll never run out of things to do.


4. Montreal

Distance: 720 kilometres, 7 h 22 min

If you’re looking to go a little further, stay a few nights in Montreal. Immerse yourself in Quebecois culture by visiting major attractions while enjoying music and food.


Old Montreal: This section of downtown Montreal dates back to New France in the 17th and 18th century. The best thing to do in the area is to walk through the cobblestone streets, enjoy cafes, and explore little shops. Old Montreal is truly European in character and reminiscent of historical times.

Mount (Mont) Royal: Falsely believed to be a dormant volcano, Mount Royal is actually a hill overlooking downtown Montreal. Consisting of three peaks and home to Mount Royal park, the hill is a popular hiking and cycling location. Mount Royal is also known for its many restaurants and coffee shops.

Summer Music Festivals: If you love music, you’ll love Montreal. The city hosts numerous Summer Music Festivals, most notably, Osheaga. There’s pretty much a music festival for every genre so if you love to dance and party with live music, drive to Montreal for a summer weekend.


5. Boston, Massachusetts

Distance: 958 km, 9 h 2 min

Cross the border and visit one of the most historically significant cities in the US. Boston has all the attractions of a big city and all the charm of a quaint town.

Boston’s North End: The North End dates back to the 1600s, making it Boston’s oldest neighbourhood. It is home to medieval architecture, Little Italy and historical streets including Hanover Street and Salem Street.  If you have the chance to visit the North End, be sure to hit up the ice cream parlours, Italian restaurants, and boutiques.

Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum: Boston plays a large role in American history and independence. One of the most notable events occurred in 1973 when the Sons of Liberty, staged a political protest and threw over 300 chests of tea overboard. This event became known as the Boston Tea Party and today, road-trippers can visit the floating museum to learn more about the historical event.

Harvard University: Only 15 minutes west of Boston is Harvard University, one of the world’s most prestigious universities. The campus is comprised of picturesque buildings that house libraries, research labs and museums. The oldest and most historical section of campus is the Harvard Yard (Old Yard) which houses the first year residences. If you visit Harvard in the summer, you can stay in the university dorms and experience the magic of campus.