Visiting Port Stanley, Ontario
I absolutely love exploring quaint towns in Ontario's Southwest and one of my favourites to visit is by far, Port Stanley in Elgin County.
Visiting Port Stanley is like taking a trip back through time. In my opinion, the town has a little bit of everything and is great for a weekend away. Whether you're looking for a romantic escape or a trip for the whole family - Port Stanley should be on your radar.
Charming Inns and Bnbs
Port Stanley is a historic village and some of the buildings date back to the 1800s. That old world charm is everywhere and I love strolling along and admiring the beautiful cottages and inns.
The rooms were stylish and comfortable. I think the location makes Kettle Creek Inn the perfect base for exploring the pretty town, as it's within walking distance to the main street and one of the beaches as well.
Main StreetThere are so many things to do in Port Stanley that you can easily spend a few days here just enjoying the slower pace of life.
To me, the town is unique because it is so pedestrian friendly. I love walking up and down the Main Street and stopping into the cute stores and boutiques.
If you are visiting, make sure you check out my favourite stops: James Street Home Decor for beautiful and unique finds for your home and The New New Age where you will find crystals, gemstones, bundles of sage and vintage clothing.
If you need a boost, stop in at The Harbour Merchant Coffee Company for some Sloane Tea or a Latte. Or if you have more of a sweet tooth, enjoy the vintage vibes at Broderick's for some delicious house made ice cream or frozen yogurt in flavours like Orange Creamsicle and Watermelon.
Pristine BeachesA big draw to the beautiful town of Port Stanley are the beautiful sandy beaches. Port Stanley Beach has Blue Flag status, which means it meets global standards for water sanitation, amenities and cleanliness. Also - it is so picturesque!
Port Stanley Beach has some lovely colourful cottages lining it's waterfront area, which are so pretty to look at. Also- this beach has something for everyone!
|Photo by Sik Photography
Plenty of space to sunbathe or picnic as well as volleyball and basketball courts that are open to the public.
This is an active beach - but what is so special about it, is that despite all the many things going on, it's incredibly peaceful here! You can definitely catch some rest and relaxation.
I also love to visit Little Beach which is a short walk from the main street. It's a hidden gem, tucked away in a corner but perfect to spend a low key afternoon.
This is a great beach for families who want to have a little space and privacy for some quiet time.
Local TheatreThe Port Stanley Festival Theatre was such a lovely surprise. We truly enjoyed spending an evening watching "Book Club"- a hilarious play about the personal misadventures of some friends who meet for a weekly book club. It was such a fun way to spend our evening in Port Stanley and made us remember our love for the arts! I'd highly recommend checking what's on stage when you're in town and making a night of it.
Port Stanley has such a cute little train station that is run by volunteers. This is such a great activity for families with little ones. The Port Stanley Terminal Rail offers a 45 min ride through the marina and some woodlands with a guide explaining the sights. It's a nice way to take a load off your feet and enjoy the scenic view. Little ones will enjoy hoping off the train for photo opportunities along the way.
Vintage Train Station
Local Artisans and Farmer's MarketsOne of my favourite things to do while visiting new towns is checking out the local farmer's markets.
Just outside of Port Stanley, you will find some great local farm-stands and markets. We stumbled upon a wood craftsman and were amazed and the great furniture we found! Stop and take a look around - maybe you'll find some delicious eats or unexpected gems. Should the mood strike, you can also check out the next town over, Sparta for some lovely art galleries and boutiques.
One of my favourite stops is Steed and Co. Lavender for some beautiful pictures of the lavender fields (they bloom in July) and to try out some of their hand-crafted Lavender products. (If you visit off peak season, you may find sunflowers blooming like I did!)
When I travel, I make it a point to try out some local food and wine. In my opinion, there's no better way to get to know a new place. Schedule a stop at Quai du Vin Estate Winery- it's a beautiful family owned and operated vineyard with a beautiful wine shop and picturesque vines. Pull up a stool and sample some delicious vino - I promise, you will want to stay awhile and buy some to take home!
Great Food Scene
Last but not least - you will be eating very well during your visit! I've got some great spots to recommend to ensure your belly is full and very happy!
The Windjammer Inn
The Windjammer Inn is a picturesque little blue house with a Victorian wrap-around porch and some of the best food I've ever had. Make a reservation for brunch or lunch and you won't be disappointed! Everything is freshly prepared, right down to their preserves and jams.
Chef Kim Saunders is such a culinary talent, you can't go wrong with anything on the menu.
GT's on the Beach
Whenever I'm in town, I love dining at GT's on the Beach. It is a local hotspot open seasonally with beach front dining, live music and pure vacation ambience. Expect great pub-style fare here like local perch tacos and awesome cocktails too!
Solo on Main
Solo on Main is perfect for a special date or family evening out. Here you can dine indoors or out, with a beautiful view of the marina. If you want a delicious, chef curated menu to select from, romantic ambience and great service, dine here!
Plan Your TripThere you have it - my favourite things about the beautiful Southwest Ontario town, Port Stanley! There's so much to do and see here, I'm sure you'd love it in any season. The beach is the hot spot in the summer months but I think the beautiful Victorian homes would look so lovely covered in a blanket of fresh snow!
If you're planning a trip, let me know how you enjoy your time in lovely Port Stanley, Ontario. Would love to hear from you in the comments below!
A special thank you to my friends at Ontario's Southwest and Elgin County Tourism for sponsoring this blog post. As always, all views and opinions are my own.