100+ Adventures Around the Lake: Ontario
Endless summer fun awaits along Lake Erie with beautiful beaches, plenty of parks, outdoor activities, delicious food and so much more.
Stay on a Private Beach
Newly built, beautifully designed and decorated and located on a pristine, private beach in Erieau — Erieau Beach House is perfect for a family vacation! The four-tier deck has a covered area for eating and three other separate areas for lounging, sunbathing and relaxing. Erieau also boasts some of the warmest waters on Lake Erie, as well as some of the region’s best fishing. erieaubeachhouse.com
Hit the Links
Situated near the shores of Lake Erie, Deer Run Golf Course boasts natural beauty and outstanding quality and has been widely recognized as one of the best golf courses in southwestern Ontario for the last 25 years. Whether you play every day or just once in a while, the 27 challenging holes that sprawl across 300 acres promise a memorable experience. And the on-site Deer Run Kitchen & Bar perfectly completes a day in this picturesque setting. deerrungolfcourse.com
Take a Cooking Class
Before Twisted Lemon Restaurant was even a glint in husband-and-wife team Chef Dan Megna and Laurie Lilliman’s eye, they were sharing knowledge and educating hungry fans from near and far from the comfort of their own kitchen. Now, more than 10 years later, Chef Dan’s demonstrational cooking classes fill the private dining room of the couple’s restaurant in Cayuga and typically sell out in a day. This hidden gem also offers hands-on cooking and cocktail classes.twistedlemon.ca
Scene at St. Thomas
Admire the wall mural art throughout the city, pay homage to the Jumbo the Elephant Monument, and, if you are feeling brave, visit Canada’s first elevated park (elevatedpark.ca), located atop the Michigan Central Railway Kettle Creek Bridge at the west end of the city. After you’ve worked up an appetite, stop into Spicer’s Bakery (spicersbakeryonline.ca) for a doughnut and then head over to Railway City Brewing Co. (railwaycitybrewing.com) for the Dead Elephant Ale (a tribute to Jumbo the Elephant). According to Megan Carman, marketing assistant for Ontario’s Southwest, “It sounds weird, but it is the best!” Or, cool down with a treat from Shaw’s Ice Cream (shawsicecream.com), a landmark of the region for 70 years. Made from 100% Canadian dairy, Shaw’s prides itself in sourcing the purest ingredients to create more than 45 flavors of hard ice cream. Don’t leave without some seasonal homemade sauces, including strawberry, strawberry-rhubarb, blueberry, peach and apple, made locally by Great Lakes Farms in Port Stanley.
Search for Fossils
Geology enthusiasts will love walking near the limestone shelf along the natural sand and pebble beach to see the exposed fossils of a coral reef dating back 350 million years embedded in the rock at Rock Point Provincial Park. Several hiking trails, including one that leads to a viewing platform offering panoramic views of Lake Erie and the park’s sand dunes, make this destination an ideal place for a day of exploration. If you are into butterfly migration, add this place to your list of stops — the viewing opportunities in the fall are spectacular! ontarioparks.com/park/rockpoint
Dig Your Toes in the Sand
Sip on one of the 21 vinifera wines offered at Canada’s only beachfront winery on the shores of Lake Erie. Recently named one of the top 10 wineries to visit in Canada, Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery produces quality VQA wines from its own sun-soaked terroir. In-house, grab-and-go picnic baskets, charcuterie boards and charcuterie cones, along with the new beachfront service hut (May through September) are just some of the many reasons you will want to spend the entire day enjoying the beautiful grounds. sprucewoodshores.com
Cycle Along the Lake
“The great thing about our trails is that they run parallel to Lake Erie. Most of them are paved and wide enough to allow for a lot of activity,” says Greg Higginbotham, tourism coordinator for the city of Port Colborne. The popular, 24-kilometer Friendship Trail begins at the Port Colborne border and travels through lush farmland, quaint villages, pristine watersheds and quiet residential areas with multiple easy access points to sandy Lake Erie beaches, as it leads to Fort Erie, eventually connecting to the Niagara River Recreation Trail. Much of the trail is located upon an abandoned rail line, so there’s almost no elevation change, making it an ideal and easy ride for children and adults alike. niagaracyclingtourism.com
Hop on a Horse
Discover the Niagara region with experienced HorsePlay Niagara guides and their gentle, highly trained horses. Choose from daytime beach rides, sunset beach rides, private rides and advanced trail rides, all of which are suitable for both experienced and beginner riders. HorsePlay Niagara horses have been rescued and are ready for customers to ride after successful rehabilitation and training.
Taste the Local Fruit
Bains Road Cider, a quiet little farm with a small tasting room, uses its own homegrown selection of apples, black currants, blackberries and pears, along with fruits from neighboring farms to produce its unique and wide collections of ciders, wines and liquors. On weekends, follow the aromas to the store, located less than 10 miles from the lake, and find what best suits your palate. With options like their signature Lionheart Cider, made from 100% Ontario apples, Sparkling Blueberry and Sparkling Strawberry-Rhubarb wines and 1812 Black Currant dessert wine, it will be tough to choose! bainsroadcider.ca
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