Must-do Ontario road trip includes a dreamy grotto and shipwrecks (PHOTOS)

May 24 2022, 1:15 pm

Ontario is a province full of hidden treasures waiting to be explored.

Some of them just so happen to be underwater and require a snorkel.

Located in the Bruce Peninsula, Tobermory is a gem that takes you into a different world. From its crystal clear water to the majestic Niagara Escarpment and the Grotto, Tobermory is also home to over 20 historic shipwrecks. Besides immersing yourself in Fathom Five National Marine Park, Tobermory offers hiking on the Bruce Trail, diving, and delicious eats.

So where should you begin your Tobermory adventure?

Flowerpot Island

Flowerpot Island/ Shutterstock

Let’s be honest, Flowerpot Island is so gorgeous it’s almost hard to believe that it’s located here in Canada. Located just off the coast of Tobermory, the island is famous for its natural “flowerpot” rock pillars, caves, historic light station and rare plants. Most guests take a tour boat to the island to hike its trails, view its stunning scenery, picnic or swim. Masks are mandatory on the Blue Anchor Cruise to the island and the Blue Heron Company boats will be travelling directly to Flowerpot Island.


The Bruce Trail near Lions Head/Shutterstock

Check out the ancient cedar trees that spiral from the cliff-edge, and the paths among the green as you hike through the Niagara Escarpment. Listen to the birds and peak at spectacular scenic lookouts, you’ll forget you’re only a few hours away from home.

The Grotto

The Grotto at Bruce Peninsula National Park / Shutterstock

The Grotto, located near Tobermory, is one of the top tourist attractions in Ontario, according to Parks Canada. “A shoreline cave with beautiful blue waters, the Grotto is a unique natural wonder and memorable place to experience,” they state. And we couldn’t agree more. A  reservation system for the four hour Grotto parking time slots allows you to plan your trip in advance. Plan ahead to avoid disappointment!


Shipwreck at Tobermory /Shutterstock

Fathom Five National Marine Park offers some of the best freshwater diving opportunities in Canada, and diving in it is one thing to cross off your list this summer. The area has over 20 historic shipwrecks, and everyone, from snorkelers to advanced divers, will find lots to explore in the region’s clear water.


Aerial image of Cove Island Lighthouse, Bruce Peninsula /Shutterstock

Being a harbour town, there are several lighthouses in the region. From the famous Cove Island Lighthouse to the beautifully located Flowerpot Island Lighthouse, these light stations will remind you of part of the region’s not-too-distant past.


Sunset in Tobermory/ Shutterstock

And while you’re there, be sure to stay awhile and catch one of these epic sunsets.

For more information on how to stay safe while enjoying Parks Canada places please visit their website.

Stay safe and enjoy the great outdoors!

DH Toronto StaffDH Toronto Staff

+ Great Outdoors
+ Curated