What a glorious time to get outdoors and soak up the sunshine — the weather has improved, the end of the school season is near, and in all likelihood, you and your family can’t stop scouring the web looking for fun things to do. Luckily for you, we can think of a thing or two to do this spring and summer that will guarantee a good time and keep you cool too. Hint: it’s all along the Grand River.
The Grand River stretches 280 kilometers from Grey County to Lake Erie — one of Ontario’s largest rivers. The various regions and communities that it winds between is exactly what makes there so much to see and do. Here are our top picks of what to add to your bucket list this summer.
Go on a River Rafting Ride
Grand River Rafting was founded in 2006 and has hosted rafting rides along the Grand River for more than 240,000 adventurers ever since. Choose between their various routes and raft options including paddleboards, turbo tubs and tandem kayaks, and set sail for an awesome ride.
- Route 1: A 17.5km trip from Cambridge to Paris.
- Route 2: A 11.5km trip from Glen Morris to Paris.
- Route 3: A 13km trip from Paris to Brant Park.
Visit a Conservation Area
For those looking for enough activity to fill an entire day, visit the Elora Conservation Area. Offering scenic hiking trails, views of giant limestone cliffs, and breathtaking look out points, you’ll be happy that you made the trip. Interested in other hiking and biking trails? Check out some options below:
- Elora Cataract Trailway
- Cambridge to Paris Rail Trail
- SC Johnson Trail
- Brantford to Hamilton Rail Trail
Take a Trip to the Beach
The Grand River Parks offer plenty of ways to keep cool on a hot summer day — most even have their own beach and have campsites available too. Take a trip to the following places for a beach-bum filled day and extend your stay:
Grab a Tube
If you’re a water-fanatic like we are, you’re bound to love tubing — who doesn’t? If the sound of coasting along the Grand River surrounded by towering cliffs is right up your alley and you don’t mind a splash or two, take a visit to the Elora Gorge in Elora, Ontario, book your tickets and grab a tube.
Juniper Dining Co. is a French-inspired restaurant located in Paris, Ontario. They’re known for their comfortable and casual environment, as well as their unique cocktails, refreshments and menu offerings. Take a peek at their specials and let us know which item would be your dish of choice.
Don’t let its name fool you — Paris Surf is not located anywhere near the Eiffel Tower and it doesn’t have anything to do with surfing either. What it is known for, however, is its pizza — fresh, hand-made and cooked in an impressive wood oven. Some even say it’s the best in Brant County for its cheesy cuisine.
Grand River Dinner Cruises
If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, this one’s for you. Since 1978, Grand River Dinner Cruises has been serving meals aboard their three boats while cruising along the Grand River in Haldimand County. Whether you’re interested in an afternoon luncheon, a sunset ride or a private dinner for two, there are plenty of ways that you can level-up your dining plans.
The Elora Mill Restaurant
Located within the Elora Mill Hotel & Spa, this restaurant-favourite will not disappoint. Inspired by its surrounding landscape, the Elora Mill Restaurant boasts floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the Gorge and local ingredients sourced its organic farm. Here, your palette will never bore as their menu changes weekly.
Elora Mill is the perfect place to unwind after a day adventuring about. Located in the heart of downtown Elora, this breathtaking hotel offers its visitors access to its pool, restaurant and spa. Most of their luxurious suites have their own wood-burning fireplaces and private terraces that overlook the Grand River and all its beauty — making it the ultimate destination for a romantic getaway.
The Breadalbane Inn
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Fergus, Ontario, the Breadalbane Inn is a staple. Just steps away from local restaurants, shops and the Grand River, this bed and breakfast offers its visitors unbeatable convenience. Its 11 suites have their own fireplaces and jacuzzi tubs, surrounded by exposed brick. Together, these elements provide a very cozy feel and give a tasteful nod to the building’s historic background.
Langdon Hall: Country House Hotel & Spa
Retreat, relax and refresh your mind at the Langdon Hall in Cambridge, Ontario. This hotel and spa is set on a peaceful estate surrounded by gardens and greenery and is known for its service, hospitality and amenities. Located beside the Grand River, at Langdon Hall you can explore the area’s 12 kilometers of woodland trails, unwind at the pool, fly fish, horseback ride and even book your own helicopter ride — the opportunities are truly endless.
Photos courtesy of: Discover Brantford (The Grand River; Paddling); MyWanderingVoyage.com (Grand River Rafting; Paris Surf Pizza); BlogTO (Elora Conservation Area); Ontario Travellers (Elora Gorge Tubing); Juniper Dining Co. Facebook (Juniper Food); Dew On The Newts (Grand River Cruise); Open Table (Elora Mill Restaurant); Langdon Hall (Langdon Hall Pool; Country House Hotel & Spa); ProjectLocalLove.com (Elora Mill Hotel; Breadalbane Inn).