Ontario’s Lake Erie shoreline offers a diverse range of activities, each with its own perfect pairings to enhance the experience.

Travel Back in Time

Immerse yourself in Amherstburg’s rich heritage, starting with a historic sightseeing cruise offering views of the Detroit River, and insightful commentary (visitamherstburg.ca). Stroll through the scenic King’s Navy Yard Park, once a bustling shipbuilding hub that’s now a haven for captivating tales from the region’s past. For an eerie adventure, embark on the Olde Amherstburg Ghost Tour, a mobile self-guided walking tour featuring dozens of spine-chilling stories, haunting illustrations, 3D model recreations and augmented reality ghosts.

At Amherstburg Freedom Museum, gain a deeper understanding of the Underground Railroad through artifacts showcasing Black history and culture.

A former railroad station, Gibson Gallery is now home to seasonal exhibits showcasing local artists, a gift shop and a railroad museum. Meanwhile, Fort Malden National Historic Site, a well-preserved fort that played a significant role in the War of 1812, opens a door into Canada’s early military history with live weapons demonstrations and conversations with costumed reenactors.

Natural Playground

Begin your escape at the Holiday Beach Conservation Area in Amherstburg.

“This conservation area is renowned for its birding and has been named an Important Bird Area,” says Holly Ing, manager of content marketing for Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island. “Enjoy large, shady picnic areas, a playground, nature trails, a boardwalk, sandy beach for swimming and observation tower.”

While there, pick up the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail for a bike ride along the coast, where picturesque vineyards dot the landscape. Take a detour at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery, Erie Shore Vineyard, North 42 Degrees Estate Winery, Viewpointe Estate Winery or Oxley Estate Winery.

“Our winemaking history along the Essex Pelee Island Coast (EPIC) dates back to the 1860s and is as rich as the soil in which we grow our grapes,” says Ing. “It’s a great growing region with unique ecological habitats and different perspective of viewing the lake.”

Rejuvenate at Lungovita Beach Retreat in Harrow, highlighted by luxury geodesic domes and breathtaking Lake Erie views. The next day, make your way to Leamington’s Point Pelee National Park, a migratory bird sanctuary and paradise of outdoor activities. Rent a kayak or paddleboard from Pelee Wings Nature Store to explore the area’s marshes before an evening of stargazing.

Angler’s Adventure

Leave the shore behind with Chante’s Fishing Charters Day Trip, where father-and-son captains John and Jared Sim supply you with rods, reels, tackle and bait and lead you to the best spots for catching walleye, small mouth bass and yellow perch.

After a day on the water, head downtown to soak in the city’s thriving craft beer scene. Pair a pint with elevated gastropub fare at Grove Brewing Co., where deep dish Detroit-style pizzas rein. Banned Goose Brewery & Taproom is the place to go for a beer flight, and Kingsville Brewing Co. offers a menu that perfectly complements its selection of local beers.

Spend the night at the historic Grove Hotel or Kingsville House, a restored Victorian mansion. Wake up ready to tee off at the scenic Kingsville Golf & Country Club.

Tranquility Awaits

For those on the hunt for a weekend getaway that leaves you refreshed and renewed, a weekend in Elgin County is calling your name.

“Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and step into quaint beachside towns and historic villages,” says Lindsey Duncan, tourism officer for Elgin County Tourism.

First, unwind at Holistic Awakenings Day Spa, a destination dedicated to making you feel great. Keep the natural healing going with a garden tour or drop-in yoga class at Sparta Lavender Farm, where fields of fragrant purple flowers and other blooms stir the senses.

Make your way to the Friday night market at Wildflowers Farm in St. Thomas, showcasing local artisans and handcrafted treasures. For a peaceful night’s rest, retreat to Conny’s B&B on the Farm and surround yourself with the quietness of the countryside.

In the morning, head back to the city for some aromatherapy at Sparta Country Candles, which offers a variety of scents, shapes and sizes.

For more local treasures, your next stop is Pinecroft. “It’s set amongst hundreds of towering pine trees, and there is an on-site pottery making studio,” Duncan says.

Afterward, settle into a seat at the Sparta House Tea Room, home to traditional British fare like Steak and Kidney Pot Pie, Bangers and Mash and Scouse stew.


Dog-Friendly Destinations

Don’t want to leave your canine companion behind? Port Dover offers plenty of places for you and your furbaby to explore. Release some energy at the fully fenced-in Doverwood Dog Park. Then, leash up and head to the water to walk along the pier and watch the boats sail by. Many nearby shops, including The Shanty Village and Beach Reads Bookshop, welcome well-behaved canine customers.

Hungry? Knechtel’s on the Beach and Willie’s both welcome your pet to the patio while you enjoy a perch sandwich.

If you’re staying the night, it’s worth the 20-minute drive to Long Point Eco-Adventures where dog-friendly suites and the Marshview Patio will make both you and your pet feel at home.

The next day, venture to Long Point Provincial Park’s off-leash dog exercise and beach area. When you’re ready to relax, Hounds of Erie Winery in Clear Creek awaits with local wines and crisp hard ciders to sip as you and your pup explore the property.