Sure, the crisp air and bright foliage may be enough to entice us off the couch in the fall, but for local or long-distance travellers looking for great places to visit in Ontario, autumn has way more perks to keep us happy: no summer crowds, better deals and some of the best experiences of the year. From harvest-inspired food festivals to 1000 Islands helicopter trips, there’s plenty of things to do in South Eastern Ontario this season.

Here are a few ideas in 9 destinations across the South Eastern Ontario region.

2.5 hours from Toronto
2 hours from Ottawa
3 hours from Montreal

Maybe you know Kingston as the home of The Hip or as Canada’s first capital or as the place to find Kingston Pen. The point is, this vibrant city on Lake Ontario, home to over 100,000 people, has been famous since before Confederation. At Fort Henry, for example, it’s the story of Canada’s beginnings up close. Today, its world-class restaurants, bustling downtown and renowned arts hubs like The Grand Theatre, The Tett Centre keeps it on the map.

3.5 hours from Toronto
1 hour from Ottawa
2 hours from Montreal

With attractions like Canada’s oldest railway tunnel, Fulford Place, and the Brockville Museum, you might think Brockville’s population of 22,000 is all about its history. But you’d be wrong — there’s far more. The “City of the 1000 Islands” also celebrates its present and future at places like the Brockville Arts Centre, which is one of the finest medium-sized theatres in Canada, and the Aquatarium, a state-of-the-art, 27,000-square-foot learning centre all about the waters and wildlife of the region.

4 hours from Toronto
1 hour from Ottawa
1.5 hours from Montreal

Anchored by the City of Cornwall, population 46,000 and one of Canada’s oldest permanent settlements, this region includes six other townships: North Stormont, South Stormont, North Dundas, South Dundas, North Glengarry and South Glengarry. When taken together, they all show off the history of Upper Canada, the beauty of the Saint Lawrence and the vibrancy of small-town Ontario. Highlights here include Upper Canada Village, a 19th-century replica village; Upper Canada Village’s Pumpkinferno is one of the most anticipated festivals of the year. Cornwall’s Waterfront Trail, a multi-use trail that spans the city’s entire waterfront; and the Glengarry Highland Games, the largest highland games celebration outside of Scotland.

Cornwall & SDG Counties Fall Activities

Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Hike Glengarry Trails
Wineries/Breweries Tour
Apple and Pumpkin Picking
Historic SDG Jail
Upper Canada Playhouse

READ ALSO: Things To Do This Fall In Cornwall & SDG Counties

2 hours from Toronto
3 hours from Ottawa
3.5 hours from Montreal

Home to more than 200,000 people between Quinte West and Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, the Bay of Quinte region is known for its fishing and love for the cheese, veggies and other bounties their farmers produce. But insiders also know that Bay of Quinte is a hotspot for golfers, gourmands and theatregoers. Throw in an 85-kilometre waterway, 30 conservation areas, crafter breweries and cideries, and you’ve got the makings for a fall trip for the ages.

Bay of Quinte Fall Activities

Black Bear Ridge Golf Club
Belleville Farmers’ Market
Hike a Conservation Area
Batawa Trails

READ ALSO: How To Be Fall Adventure-Ready In The Bay of Quinte

2 hours from Toronto
3 hours from Ottawa
4 hours from Montreal

Though recently dubbed the “gastronomic capital of Ontario” for its 30-plus wineries and gourmet eateries, the County has always been a hidden gem of Ontario travel. Why? Because of gems like Sandbanks Provincial Park and its three sandy beaches or The Regent Theatre and its ever-improving lineup of movies, music and festivals. Whatever your reason for going, expect tasty eats and drinks sourced from stunning local farms, a thriving arts community, and laidback rural island vibes.

Prince Edward County Fall Activities

Harvest Season
Farm to Table Culinary
Wineries & Breweries Galore
Beach Strolls
Bird Migration
Art Trails
Fall Drives

READ ALSO: Picture Perfect Things To Do In Prince Edward County This Fall

2.5 hours from Toronto
2 hours from Ottawa
3.5 hours from Montreal

With over 5,000 lakes, almost 600 trails and a population scattered across small towns like Napanee and Tamworth, this area allows you to experience the best of the Canadian outdoors. And when you do, you’ll discover a few of the 356 native bird species. Not the outdoors type? Hit up MacKinnon Brothers Brewing, the Lennox & Addington County Museum and Archives or the United Empire Loyalist Heritage Centre and Park.

Lennox & Addington Fall Activities

Dark Sky Viewing Area
Agri Tourism Experiences
Wineries & Breweries

READ ALSO: Explore Fall In Lennox & Addington

Discover rolling farmlands and beautiful provincial parks that include the 5,000-hectare Frontenac Provincial Park.

3.5 hours from Toronto
1 hour from Ottawa
2.5 hours from Montreal

Stretching over 200 kilometres between Kingston and Ottawa and incorporating 47 locks, 16 rivers and 2 lakes, the Rideau Canal is a gorgeous marvel of engineering might. And up and down its banks you’ll find quaint villages and welcoming locals wanting to show and tell its story. At Rock Dunder, near Morton, a snippet of the Canadian Shield’s four-billion-year-old tale. While Jones Falls Locks is a testament to the ingenuity that went into building this waterway.

Rideau Canal Fall Activities

Hike Rock Dunder, Foley Mountain Conservation Area, and the Rideau Trail
From the Farm Cooking School Class
Tour the waterways with Rideau Tours
Old Stone Mill
Art Galleries

READ ALSO: 5 Things To Do Along The Rideau This Fall

3 hours from Toronto
1.5 hours from Ottawa
2.5 hours from Montreal

Called “The Gateway to the 1000 Islands” because it sits close to where the 1,864 islands begin, Gananoque is an ideal jumping-off point for a cruise, hike, scuba diving trip, a round of golf or even helicopter tour. And though it has a population of just 5,000, Gananoque boasts a surprising range of fantastic dining options, not to mention acclaimed theatre and musical productions at the Thousand Islands Playhouse on the banks of the Saint Lawrence.