Adventure beckons as the summer of 2017 stretches out before you like a sea of endless possibilities.

There is adventure to be found down every windswept country road, on every sandy beach, and on the main streets of each charming Elgin County town and village. There are thrills to be sought, places to be discovered, and memories to be made.To help you make the most of your time this summer,this article describes a series of Elgin County experiences that should be on your summer bucket list in 2017.

port stanley beach

Soak up the Sun

Life is truly better at the lake and on a hot summer day there is nothing better than escaping to the beach, dipping your toes in the sand, and cooling off in the water. With 120 km of breathtaking Lake Erie shoreline, Elgin County has lots of opportunities for waterfront fun this summer. Elgin’s four portside villages (Port Burwell, Port Bruce, Port Stanley, and Port Glasgow) offer a diversity of experiences that include everything from bustling beaches to laidback lakeside tranquility. Soak up the sun on one Elgin’s pristine sandy beaches, join a rousing game of beach volleyball, paddle out over the gentle waves on a Stand Up Paddleboard, and watch the sunset below the horizon as you are serenaded by the sounds of live music from a nearby beach front patio.

Hike

Elgin is home to over 100km of public trails including lush Carolinian forest paths that are ideal for running and hiking enthusiasts alike. Elgin County trails wind through the countryside along quiet country roads, are located in the County’s numerous conservation areas, and connect extensive systems of well-groomed parks. These trails are a great way for individuals of all fitness levels to enjoy the summer weather and experience Elgin County’s natural beauty.

kettle creek inn perch

Feast on Lake Erie Yellow Perch

Settle into one of Elgin County’s outdoor patios serving the fresh catch of the day or head to a local fish fry. Try delicious Lake Erie Yellow Perch in a variety of ways – battered, fried, baked, and even on top of nachos. If you prefer to catch your own dinner, the Port Bruce Pier is a particularly good location to sit back, relax and spend the afternoon waiting for a bite.

Catch a Live Performance

There is nothing quite like a live performance. Elgin’s vibrant and thriving arts community engages its audiences and immerses them in the stories it tells.Live entertainment can be enjoyed in Elgin throughout the year in the form of musical and theatrical performances at a variety of quaint, intimate venues. Spend a summer evening taking in a professional theatre performance located in the heart of a picturesque lakeside village, or take in a show performed by equally talented community players in a number of Elgin County communities.

broderick's ice cream

Enjoy an Ice Cream

There is no better treat to enjoy on a blistering summer day than a scoop of cool, sweet ice cream. This quintessential summer delight can be found at old fashioned ice cream parlours, modern eateries, and at the shop around the corner. For a special treat indulge in ice cream made right here in Elgin County with locally sourced fruit and 100% fresh Canadian cream. May the hardest decision you have to make this summer be what flavour to try next!

Toast the Coast

Pick up a bottle of local wine to pair with your next meal or take a tour at one of Elgin County’s two award-winning wineries. Swap secrets with the winemaker, stroll through rolling vineyards, pack a picnic lunch to enjoy with a refreshing glass of wine on the grounds of a winery, or enjoy a concert in an idyllic setting.

raspberries

Pick Your Own

From the earliest strawberries, rhubarb, and asparagus of spring, to the bountiful crops of tomatoes, sweet corn, raspberries, peppers, and melons of summer,to the squashes, pumpkins, and apples of fall, Elgin County is home to a wealth of fresh, locally grown produce. Take a leisurely stroll through one of the area’s farmers’ markets, buy produce from a road-side stand, or experience a taste of farm life by getting your fruits and vegetables directly from the field at a pick-your-own location.

Attend a Local Event

Elgin County is home to numerous vibrant festivals and events each summer. Celebrate the culture of Elgin’s unique residents, experience living history at one of the area’s historic re-enactments, ride the midway at a traditional country fair, take in local art at one of the many art exhibitions and annual artist guild shows, or celebrate Elgin’s agricultural bounty with festivals dedicated to rhubarb, corn, and watermelons. Enjoy parades, cycling tours, baking competitions, and music festivals all summer long. 

Shop

Shopping in Elgin County is an experience unlike that of the big city. Ample parking, minimal traffic, and friendly small business owners provide an experience that is both enjoyable and relaxing. Trendy clothing boutiques, quaint coffee shops, shops filled with carefully curated collections of giftware items, bakeries featuring fresh decadent desserts, and galleries adorned with the works of talented local artists line the streets of Elgin’s towns and villages. Venture off the beaten path, down winding country roads to discover boutiques, galleries, and wineries nestled amidst the rolling hills and sprawling fields of the rural Elgin County landscape.