Elora, Ontario, is a small town located north of Kitchener, exactly 1.5 hours outside of Toronto. This small town sits on the shores of The Grand River and is home to plenty of cafes, shops, and campgrounds. Surrounded by wildlife and plenty of nature, Elora is an explorer's dream. Whether you enjoy sightseeing, thrill-seeking, or sun tanning, Elora has something you're sure to love.

Elora has been my day trip destination of choice for more than 10 years. This lovely little town has some of the most scenic spots in Southern Ontario. The quaint feel of Elora mixed with its old fashion architecture and spectacular natural beauty creates an oasis that is perfect for spontaneous road trips.

The Elora Gorge 

The Elora Gorge is one of the most breathtaking and spectacular locations along the Grand River Valley. Owned and protected by the Grand River Conservation Authority, the Elora Gorge runs along 22-meter high limestone walls with hiking trails, campgrounds and lookouts along its banks. Visitors are even able to rent tubes and kayaks on to use on the river. A typical tube ride down the river can take up to an hour. Sit back, relax and enjoy as you float along.

The Quarry 

The Elora Quarry can be found just up the road from the main village centre. Unlike the gorge, the quarry is a still body of water similar to a lake. Originally used for mineral extraction, this quarry is now home to one of Ontario's best-hidden swimming spots. This turquoise coloured water, enclosed by 12-meter cliffs, is like taking a quick trip to paradise. Although cliff jumping is not permitted, visitors are able to swim and play at the beach located within the quarry. 


Friends eating lunch in diner photo by Dan Gold (@danielcgold) on Unsplash

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Looking or a bite to eat after a day of adventures? Elora is home to many wonderful bars, restaurants, cafes and bakeries. If you're in the mood to sit on a patio and enjoy the day, The Cellar Pub and Grill has you covered. The Cellar offers a loaded menu of pizzas, burgers and sandwiches sure to satisfy your taste buds. 

If you're in the mood for cold local craft beer, try stopping by the Elora Brewing Company located in the village centre. The Elora Brewing Company is a local microbrewery offering an array of IPA's Ales and Lagers. If you're in the mood for diner style greasy food or bakery sweets instead, The Lost and Found Cafe or Box Social will be the perfect places to indulge.

Music Festivals 

Extério | Montebello’s Rockfest 2017 photo by Marc-Olivier Paquin (@marco_blackboulevard) on Unsplash

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Elora is home to the Riverfest Music Festival, an annual music festival in Elora that runs from August 17th-19th. The festival was started just 10 years ago and takes places along the banks of the Grand River. This year's line up includes Blue Rodeo, Carly Rae Jepsen, July Talk and Flaming Lips. The festival is exclusively for Canadian artists to showcase their talent will fellow Canucks. As if the music isn't enough, Riverfest will also have plenty of food trucks and local arts and craft vendors for you to check out.

Picnic basket photo by Bonnie Kittle (@bonniekdesign) on Unsplash

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Whether you're looking for a thrill-seeking ride down a river, a relaxing day of floating in the gorge, a fun place to hang out with your friends or even a place to take your significant other, Elora is sure to excite. The town is jam-packed with loads of fun things to do, places to see, and food to eat. The next time you feel like getting out of the city or are in need of a little adventure, just remember that Elora is right around the corner.