As awareness of and enthusiasm for responsible travel grows, an increasing number of visitors are curious about how they can explore Ontario’s Southwest in a way that’s good for everyone. Those looking to rest and recharge while also supporting local businesses and protecting the natural environment are in luck! With a little planning, creating a relaxing and responsible getaway is a breeze. Here are three ready-to-enjoy trip itineraries to inspire your next round of responsible roving with fun stops along the way showcasing how local businesses are encouraging sustainable travel in Ontario’s Southwest.
Responsible Getaway Idea #1: Relax at A Historic Port Dover Castle
Port Dover’s Clonmel Castle has received GreenStep certification in acknowledgment of its dedication to sustainability by engaging in eco-friendly practices through efforts to reduce waste, energy use, water consumption, and pollution.
Clonmel Castle is a certified Rainbow Registered business, which means that they have been verified as a 2SLGBTQI+ friendly business and have undergone additional training to ensure a safe and inclusive environment. When you stay at this accommodation, you are supporting a business that considers the environment and people in its operations.
The Castle’s luxurious suites are proof that supporting responsible travel can come with a few perks! After falling into disrepair for decades, an extensive renovation has revived this historic castle far beyond its former glory!
Photo courtesy of Clonmel Castle's Facebook page.
Sip From A Local Source
Frisky Beaver Wines in Port Dover doesn’t just make great wines. It also puts a lot of thought into reducing their environmental impact. The new bottles for its Dam Good White and Dam Good Red are made with 94% recycled paper, resulting in a carbon footprint that is six times lower than traditional glass bottles.
Photo courtesy of Frisky Beaver's Instagram.
Be sure to check out other stops along the Toast the Coast Trail.
Find Nearby Farm Fun
Matz Fruit Barn is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Farm that offers quality produce in an environmentally friendly manner. They pride themselves in putting back into the soil the same nutrients they take out.
Support Small Business
If you’ve got a dog, a visit to Brew’ed Biscuits’ retail store in nearby Simcoe is a must on your responsible getaway. The company uses spent grains that are the byproduct of beer making as the base ingredient for its sugar-free and high-fibre biscuits.
Responsible Getaway Idea #2: Hang Out At An Eco-Friendly Urban Farm
Green Heart Inn offers the charm of country living with the added convenience of being within scenic strolling distance of Kingsville’s top-rated restaurants, must-try bakeries, trendy shops, and award-winning craft breweries. The five-bedroom, farm-inspired inn serves up healthy farm-to-table meals and encourages a greener way to vacay with an array of eco-friendly and natural products.
Sip From A Local Source
While in Kingsville, a sipping session at Pelee Island Winery is a must. As Canada's largest private estate winery, Pelee Island Winery has complete control of its grape supply and takes that responsibility very seriously. Each vine is grown in accordance with the World Wildlife Fund’s strict specifications, which means limited and controlled pesticides and the use of sorghum grass as a 100% island-grown natural fertilizer. Pelee Island Winery is a founding member of Sustainable Winegrowing Ontario, which recognizes wineries and growers committed to enhancing the environment by using sustainable practices in their wineries and vineyards.
Find Nearby Fun
Give green transportation a spin by renting a ride from The Grove Bike Co. for an afternoon of two-wheeled touring. Both electric and traditional cruiser bikes are available.
Support Small Business
The Local Maker, a handmade artisan giftshop Kingsville, showcases the work of 25 local artists and makers. From Lake Erie beach glass jewellery to handmade soaps and locally roasted coffee, you’ll find fabulous souvenirs to take home as a memento of your getaway.
Responsible Getaway Idea #3: Escape To A Farm-To-Table B&B
Harrow’s The Walnut Grove is a luxuriously appointed bed and breakfast in the country that offers a true farm-to-table overnight experience. From locally made soap and locally roasted coffee to garden-fresh ingredients and eggs from nearby farms, a stay here offers guests an authentic taste of place.
Book one of the B&B’s fun, hands-on experiences, like The Buzz About Pollinators, a two-hour guided stroll through a meadow that teaches guests about native plants, important insects, and sustainable gardening practices.