10 Places to Take Out-of-Towners This Summer in Toronto

While it’s fun to have out-of-town guests for the weekend, it comes with a lot of pressure. Luckily, Toronto has no shortage of great options of things to do in the summer.

While it’s all fun and games (usually) to have out-of-town friends and family in town for the weekend, it comes with a lot of pressure – especially if they’re not familiar with the city.

The good news is that it’s a lot easier to find options of things to do in the breezy summer months (and easier for them to fall in love with the city than it is in the dark depths of winter).

So, here are 10 no-fail places to take visiting guests this summer in Toronto.

The St. Lawrence Market

If you have a west-of-Yonge-only policy, you’ll need to break it if you have a foodie friend in town and hit the St. Lawrence Market. Grab one of the famous Carousel Bakery peameal bacon sandwiches, a lobster roll from Buster’s Sea Cove, or a fresh bagel from St. Urbaine and eat outdoors at a picnic table on the wraparound terrace.

The Bata Shoe Museum

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In the exhibit “Manolo Blahnik: The Art of Shoes”, Mr. Blahnik’s sources of inspiration flow throughout the gallery. In the coming weeks, we will be highlighting some of these inspirations, as well as looking at artefacts from the BSM collection which share similar themes. Today we’ll begin with one of the major influences on Manolo Blahnik's designs – nature. From the beginning of his career, the natural world has been a perennial source of inspiration for Manolo Blahnik. From lizards to coral, flowers, leaf shapes and palm leaves, nature is everywhere in the work of Manolo Blahnik. Today for #ManoloMonday, on the first day of #NatureWeek, on let’s take a minute to stop and smell the rosettes on this delicate, floral-inspired shoe, 2016’s Clizia. #theartofshoes . #batashoemuseum #BSM #shoemuseum #shoehistory #manoloblahnik #manolo #blahnik #designinspiration #museum #museumexhibition #shoesassrt

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If your fashion-loving friends have a thing for fancy footwear, make sure you hit the Bata Shoe Museum this summer to check out the Manolo Blahnik: The Art of Shoes . The Manolo Blahnik-filled exhibit makes its final and only North American stop until January 6, 2019. The must-attend, world-class affair offers a stunning retrospective of the iconic shoe we all wish we owned more of.

A Mariposa Cruise

There is no better way to take in the stunning (and ever-photo worthy) Toronto skyline than from the water. Whether you and your guests want to hop on board for brunch, dinner, or cocktails, you have no shortage of options with longtime Toronto harbor cruise company Mariposa Cruises.

Kensington Market

If your friends are of the hipster set, you can go bohemian for the day at Kensington Market. The vibrant artist and street food-filled neighbourhood is always a good idea, but especially on the last Sunday of the month for “Pedestrian Sundays.” The vehicle-free experience runs through October and is complete with food vendors, art, performances, and people watching (oh, and usually weed).

Trinity Bellwoods Park

If your guests are looking to lounge on a budget, grab a blanket and clock in a few hours at Trinity Bellwoods Park for a breezy Sunday Funday. Here, you’ll find no shortage of young people (discreetly and not-so-discreetly sipping booze), making for a bit of a massive park party some weekends.

Canoe Restaurant  

Sure, the CN Tower is definitely impressive, but it can be a chaotic, crowded tourist trap, making it better to take in from afar. For an equally as view-filled experience, minus the tourists, take the elevator 54 stories up the Toronto Dominion Centre for a cocktail, snack, or meal at Canoe Restaurant. The longtime Financial District staple is known as much for its innovative cuisine as it is for its impressive views.

Scarborough Bluffs

If your guest is in the market for some scenic Instagram material (and you have a car or dollars to drop on a pricy Uber ride), the Scarborough Bluffs make a solid option to take in the fresh summer air. Here, you’ll find a variety of hiking trails, picnic spots, and social media ops, thanks to the stunning scenery, which includes eroding sand cliffs with crystal-blue water below, beaches, greenery, and gardens.

Waterfront Trail

If you’re looking to showcase the city in all of its view-filled glory, grab one of the thousands of public bikes available throughout the city and hit the Waterfront Trail, a two-lane bike trail that spans nearly the entire length of Toronto’s waterfront, and all the way to Woodbine Beach –another must-hit spot for visitors.

The Distillery Historic District

Give your guests a lesson in Toronto’s history at the cobblestoned Distillery Historic District. In addition to the opportunities for cocktails, tapas, and shopping found within its confines, your guests will appreciate the beautiful history-rich buildings and the Instagram opportunities they offer.

Union Station

Especially if your guest is coming or leaving from Union Station, set aside some time to check out Union Summer’s food market. Complete with a stunning view of the CN Tower in the backdrop, vendors here include some of the city’s hottest eateries, like Union Chicken, Amano Pasta, WVRST, Roywoods, The Plant YYZ, Harry’s Burgers, and The Carbon Bar. There is also a licensed bar area by Goose Island craft brewery.

Where would you take out-of-town guests? Let us know in the comments.

Featured image: Instagram/ @stlawrencemarket

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