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Characterized by pastoral landscapes, long sandy beaches and welcoming towns and villages, Southwestern Ontario offers up great historic sites, theatre and fascinating festivals.
Surrounded by three Great Lakes, Southwestern Ontario is a tapestry of rolling hills, idyllic farmland, picturesque vineyards and pristine beaches. An area dotted with captivating towns and villages with charming inns, B & Bs, restaurants and shops that combine to make any driving tour of this region extraordinary.
Fly into the past at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, which has a fleet of aircraft that spans World War II to the jet age. Marvel at Dundurn Castle – a 19th century Italianate villa with 40 rooms restored to their former splendour. Kids of all ages will love African Lion Safari.
Step back in time in the Mennonite community of St. Jacobs. Sample fresh produce and local delicacies at the famous St. Jacobs Farmers Market, where many Old Order Mennonite vendors still arrive by horse and buggy. Visit the Elora Gorge, which is particularly stunning during its spectacular fall display of colour.
Step into the world of Shakespeare at the renowned Stratford Shakespeare Festival. The experience isn't just the theatre itself, but a variety of concerts, tours, lectures, discussions and more, offered Beyond the Stage. Browse the boutiques downtown for everything from fashion to fine art. See why Stratford has a national reputation for culinary creativity. From haute cuisine to country comfort food, fresh and inventive seasonal flavours await. Sample the quality and freshness of the organic produce, artisanal breads and cheeses, pasture fed organic beef, Amish raised goat milk and heritage pork - all originating from surrounding Perth County.
Witness some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world from the town of Goderich, on Lake Huron. Follow the shoreline north to the ruggedly beautiful Bruce Peninsula National Park of Canada, part of a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Explore the cliffs and caves on the famous Bruce Trail, Canada’s oldest and longest footpath. Board a glass-bottom boat and get a first-hand look at century-old shipwrecks and the dramatic Flowerpot Island, all part of the Fathom Five National Marine Park of Canada. Or get even closer if you’re into scuba diving. Tobermory, at the tip of “The Bruce”, is the gateway to Northern Ontario – from here, board the Chi-cheemaun Ferry to Manitoulin Island.
Travel to the southernmost tip of mainland Canada and watch the migration of monarch butterflies and hundreds of bird species at Point Pelee National Park. Laze on the sandy shores of Lake Erie. Sip and savour at local wineries. Trace the route of the Underground Railroad to uncover the compelling story of African American slaves who followed the North Star to Canada in the 1800s. Stroll the 3.5 kilometres of sculpture gardens in Windsor.