2020 has been a year for the books. Between scrambling to change our day-to-day routines as we knew them and not knowing what to expect next, being “flexible and adaptable” has become more than a skill you might want to boast about in a job interview--it’s become a means of survival. For many families in particular, 2020 has been the perfect opportunity for quality family time. Young children and family pets can’t believe they are getting so much time with their parents. Teenagers, on the other hand, are also in disbelief. But for decidedly different reasons. 

Whether you have kids at home and have had to navigate working from home with kids full-time, or whether you’ve been cooped up at home and are looking for a reason to rekindle some romance between you and your significant other, I’m sure the prospect of a romantic getaway is pretty exciting. If a romantic fall escape is what you’re looking for, check out this list of five great ideas across Ontario’s Southwest for you to enjoy.

Idlewyld Inn exterior

Spa Weekend Escape
London, ON

Your escape begins with a stay at the Idlewyld Inn & Spa. This historic boutique hotel was built in 1878, and the inn’s Victorian character has been tastefully brought into the modern day. It’s filled with original details and uniquely designed rooms, each with their flare. 

The on-site spa at Idlewyld offers a variety of massages, manicures and pedicures for you to choose from during your stay. If you’re interested in making the most of your stay, consider checking out their Romance Package. This includes a bottle of bubbly, chocolate covered strawberries and a deluxe breakfast for two. 

If spa-surfing is to your liking on this spa getaway weekend, be sure to check out Fayez Spa or ReVita Medi-Spa during your visit. Both are highly regarded spas in the area, each with their own relaxing atmosphere. Once you’re totally relaxed on your romantic weekend, consider making a dinner reservation at Michael’s on the Thames. It’s been recognized as the “Best Romantic Restaurant” in London. 

Alton Farms wine and board

Rustic-Chique and Wine Retreat
Sarnia-Lambton, ON

Your rustic-chique escape begins with a stay in the unique accommodations at Moorhouse Estates. Unlike some of the other suggestions on this list of romantic escapes, you won’t be sleeping indoors at Moorhouse. Instead, you’ll be inside your own luxurious glamping tent.As a nod to the pioneering heritage of the farm, they’ve created unique glamping rooms inside of historic chip wagons! Yes, you read that right. These glamping tents are just as neat as they sound. You’ll have to head to their glamping page to see exactly how special these trendy “tents” are. 

With Sarnia-Lambton at your fingertips on this escape, you have so many different options for things to do and see on your weekend away. Make sure you plan for a dinner and cocktails at Alternate Grounds Dockside for beautiful views of the Sarnia Bay Marina and surrounding waters. 

Don’t worry, I didn’t forget the wine part of this escape! Start by heading to Shale Ridge Estate Winery & Cidery. It’s set on a charming farm and they are especially well known for their tasty ciders. Then, head to Alton Farms Estate Winery for a tasting and a bite to eat on their homey patio. 

Reeve rooftop patio

A Sweet Retreat 
Dunnville, ON

Start your sweet retreat by checking into The Reeve Bed & Breakfast in Dunnville. This historic home (built in 1869) has a lot of charm and three luxurious suites to choose from on your stay. Consider booking their “Romance Package”, which includes two three-course breakfasts and one three-course dinner, a couple’s massage workshop and wine and sweet treats, all for you to enjoy on site.

From The Reeve, there are some great places you can head to and enjoy your time together. A short walk away is Debb’s Cuisine on Queen. This would be the perfect place to head for a lunch or dinner on the weekend. After lunch, drive to Bains Road Cider Company to sample some of their delicious fruit ciders. Finally, you can top off your sweet retreat by heading to The Minga Cafe for a tasty treat before heading back for the evening.  

Couple at clocktower inn

A Foodie’s Paradise Escape
Middlesex, ON 

This escape starts when you check into the charming Clock Tower Inn in Strathroy. Built in 1889 by Thomas Fuller, the same man who designed Canada’s Parliament Buildings, the old charm of this inn is palpable from when you first set foot inside. During your time in Middlesex, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to delicious food. A good place to start is at the Clock Tower’s own Bistro, which is perfect for lunch, dinner, cocktails or dessert. 

On Saturday morning, head straight to the Strathroy Farmers Market. This market takes place every Saturday until the end of October, from 8am to 12pm. There will be farm fresh produce, baked goods and tasty treats galore! 

After your visit to the market, consider heading to Rusty Wrench Brewing Company to sample some beer, or have a bite to eat. From here it’s your choice--you can continue sipping and sampling, or head to Art’es Bakery for coffee and some sweet treats. After heading back to the inn to freshen up, you can wrap up your foodie’s tour of Strathroy with a delicious dinner at Tia’s Place.

Rusty Wrench Brew co

Escape to the Countryside
St. Thomas, ON

Your weekend escape to the countryside begins at Conny’s B&B on The Farm, just outside of St. Thomas. This warm and inviting bed and breakfast is owned and run by Conny and Juerg. It sits on its own running farm, which you’ll be reminded of when you munch on homemade croissants, breads and farm-fresh eggs during your stay. The farm sits overlooking a valley, farmland and bush, so you’ll definitely feel like you’ve escaped to the country during your stay. 

As you’re digesting your tasty breakfast from the morning and you venture beyond the B&B, plan to take a stroll through Pinafore Park central St. Thomas. This will be a great place to take in the beautiful fall foliage during this time of year. 

After walking through the park, you can head to Las Chicas del Cafe. This fourth-generation family-owned business sells and distributes their own coffee beans from their home of Nicaragua. If you’re a coffee lover, you won’t be disappointed by what they have to offer! 

Head back to the B&B to freshen up for the afternoon, and then head back into central St. Thomas to Caps Off Brewing Company to sample some of their delicious beers. After your tasting, make a dinner reservation at Le Cafe Siam for some tasty Thai food for dinner. 

Country Pumpkin Field

Bri Mitchell Bio

Bri is an Ontario native who has spent many years living abroad, but has been happily rooted back in this beautiful province for the past three years. She loves writing about travel experiences to discover in Ontario, including all things nature, food and culture. You can find her canoeing, swimming and visiting farmers markets across Ontario in the summer, and snowshoeing or curling up with a good book and an Ontarian Pinot Noir in the winter. You can follow along with her journeys on Instagram @mstravelingmitch.