Juggling too many balls with your new work from home routine? A getaway with your partner is a rejuvenating antidote to those “always on” demands, and we’ve done the planning for the perfect, tailored-made itineraries. Check out these five fun, romantic escapes for a well-deserved reward and time to re-connect with your special someone.
Sweet Sips & Heavenly Hikes
The autumn coloured Norfolk County country side offers the idyllic mix of outdoor adventure and the bounty of "Ontario’s Garden". Book your stay at The Grange, a magical, secluded, restored farmhouse wrapped in the peaceful gardens and hiking trails. Spend an afternoon tasting your way along the South Coast Wine Trail. Whether strolling the vineyards or selecting the perfect pairing of locally-sourced specialties with your wines - it’s a win all round! Want a guide to explore the wine and craft beer scene in Norfolk County? Ride the Bine has numerous options for you and they do the driving! Keep the spirit of the day going as you graze your way through the menu at the Blue Elephant Craft Brew House. Looking to burn off those yummy bites before returning home? Plan your final day in Norfolk County on one of their many hiking trails. Before you leave, don’t forget to stop by The Apple Place so that you can bring home some local the apples, treats, or a gift basket souvenir. You'll be missing out if you leave without trying their famous "Apple Cider Donut", the official donut of Norfolk County!
Cheese, Chocolates and Local Flavours
Picky kiddos at home, asking for KD again and again? Re-awaken your food senses on this foodie lovers retreat. Check out the Oxford County Cheese Trail to discovery all the milky wheys to make cheesy memories. Not-to-be-missed favourites: Habitual Chocolate, where coco beans are sourced world-wide then transformed locally to please every chocolate lovers palate, Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese, where the abundance of choices from award-winning cheesemaker Shep are mouth-watering, and you’ll be planning a celebration with your selections on a stunning new Ottercreek Woodworks charcuterie board. Follow along Gunn’s Road to Wild Comfort Body Care’s beautiful shop, where the natural scents tantalize as you explore soap-maker Danielle’s organic soaps and body care products. For the perfect ending to your Oxford County tour, reserve a spot at SixThirtyNine’s courtyard patio. This farm-to-table fine dining experience satiates all your senses and, as you relax the next morning, you’ll be dreaming of a return visit.
Designed for the wine adoring partners, this Windsor-Essex vacay will indulge a test of the terroir while discovering one of Ontario’s most bountiful wine trails. Kick-off your getaway with a stay at Kingsville’s hip and historic The Grove Hotel. The Grove is one of the region’s (top 25 in Canada actually) most unique boutique hotels, with each of their eighteen rooms designed with personalities tailored to their guests. After check-in, choose one of EPIC Wineries raved-about tours that offer customized tasting experiences, amongst their fourteen member wineries. In this region, you can take a tour with Grape Vine Tours if you need a local expert to show you the way. Cap off your day with a reservation on the wrap around porch at Jacks Gastro Pub. We can’t get enough of their Lake Erie pickerel tacos and a Banded Goose Brew as starters. After a relaxing night’s sleep, grab an electric or old-fashioned bike rental from Grove Bike Co. to check out the local area's businesses and make a final stop at Dutch Boys Chocolates for some adult and kid-friendly “souvenirs” to enjoy at home.
If your need to get away includes re-connecting together in the Southwest’s natural beauty while actively exploring in the warm fall sunshine, look no further. Book your stay at Bye the Bay Bed & Breakfast, a majestic log cabin overlooking beautiful Rondeau Bay on Lake Erie. Pack your bike for this trip, as the B&B is located on the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, one of Ontario’s most famous cycling trails connecting all five great lakes. Not an avid cyclist but still looking to get your outdoor fix? Bye the Bay is only a 10 minute walk away from Rondeau Provincial Park, home to Chatham-Kent’s best hiking and birding trails. If you come at the right time, catch the monarch butterfly migration as the park is a last stopover, before their flight across the lake southward, to their winter homes in Mexico. Celebrate your active afternoon with a toast, a cold brew and delicious casual eats at Bayside Brewing Company’s lake-side patio. Cap off your evening at one of Bye the Bay’s backyard campfires for star-gazing and marshmallow roasting.
Savour Elgin County’s autumn bounty amidst its red and orange fall canopy of colours. Book your stay at Nature’s Oasis Retreat located on an expansive property covered in ponds, waterfalls, wooded walking trails and their resident horses, goats and geese. Pack your weekend full of Elgin’s favourite fall diversions. Spend a morning picking apples at Great Lakes Farm then lunch amidst the tranquility of Pinecoft’s forest covered patio. Enjoy an afternoon wine tasting at Quai Du Vin Estate Winery, with a tour of the vineyard, an overview of the wine-making process and a sip of a past vintage or two. From here it’s a quick cruise along Lake Erie’s coast to Port Stanley’s Two Forks. Their indoor dining is open so you can enjoy their savoury flavours while reflecting on the day’s adventures. Before you depart for home, Port Stanley’s beautiful main beach will beckon for a solitary fall beach walk and a hopeful promise for the days ahead.
Are you day dreaming of your getaway yet? Let these fun itineraries lead you to new local gems. Looking to build your own itinerary? Browse our website for more trip inspiration throughout the region.
To learn more about what you can expect when visiting Ontario’s Southwest and how businesses are trying to keep you safe and following government guidelines, click here.