Elora is a small town (population under 10,000) in Ontario, just over an hour’s drive northwest of Toronto. It is often dubbed as “Ontario’s best kept secret” and this beautiful, bucolic town was the backdrop for our little weekend getaway to celebrate our 5-year wedding anniversary.
My husband and I love traveling abroad but we also love discovering little hideaways in our local province. The more we travel the more we tend to appreciate where we live and see the beauty in our own backyard. As you may remember, we have a little one so getting away for a weekend can prove to be challenging, so we had to squeeze as much out of this little trip as possible. My sister graciously agreed to babysit so that we could leave first thing Saturday morning, stay overnight and leave middle of the following day to head back. It would be a short visit, but we would enjoy every second of it!
We woke up early Saturday morning and I packed a week’s worth of clothes for a 36-hour trip (ha); we mentally disconnected from our devices and we were finally on our way. It’s been a couple years since we’ve been able to go away without Charlotte and leave the parenting responsibilities behind for just a little pause in time. I can’t describe how euphoric it felt to drive down the open road again with the warm sunshine streaming through the car windows. I was in heaven and we hadn’t even arrived yet.
I highly recommend everyone (if you get a chance) to visit Elora. It was hands down the best Ontario town I’ve been to so far. I loved every bit of it. It was everything you would want in a small town: cute shops, great patios, pedestrian-safe streets, bridge overlooking a river, museum, old heritage buildings, breweries, and nature. The streets were closed for foot-traffic only which made such a difference. Pedestrians were able to walk freely with strollers, dogs on leashes and enjoy the historic views without car traffic and loud engines in the background. There was a show of unity in the town and it was so obvious wherever you went with signs of inclusivity, love and acceptance- it was beautiful to see. While the town is small (you could park or stay anywhere in Elora and the maximum walking distance would have been 15 minutes from one end to the other), we were never short of things to do and places to see. At times, I forgot I was in Ontario; I was utterly charmed- it had Old Montreal and small European town vibes!
Our packed weekend activities included:
- Brunch at The Gorge Country Kitchen
- Antique shopping
- Therapeutic massages
- Lunch at the Elora Brewing Company
- Wellington County Museum
- Tasting at the Elora Distilling Company
- Dinner at The Cellar Pub
- Ice cream at The Scoop
- Hiking the Elora Gorge trails
What follows is a thousand photos of our short weekend trip. Sorry, not sorry!
It wasn’t an extended vacation on a tropical island at a 5-star resort (far from it), but it was paradise to us and just what we needed!
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