The 12 Insta-Worthy Summer Spots in Southwest Ontario
It’s summertime, and the living is easy… well, almost. The days are growing longer and so is the list of things to do and places to see. Southwest Ontario transforms in the warm weather to a lively, beautiful slice of natural beauty and an enhanced sense of community.
From Windsor to London and everywhere in between, there are hidden gems everywhere. Cute, quaint towns, charming historical buildings, nature reserves and vintage markets have made summer road trips in Ontario a nostalgic and treasured memory for all. Whether you’re visiting from overseas, or living just down the road, put these 12 places on your list of places to see.
We’ve scoured the web and racked our minds to create an Instagram-worthy, grid-gorgeous list of the very best Southwest Ontario has to offer.
Merla Mae, London
This charming little ice cream stand is home to delicious ice cream that has been keeping Londoners cool since 1957. Check out the flavour-packed menu and snap a few photos with your bestie in the vintage decor, classic typeface and vibrant colours.
Grand Bend is the top summer road trip beach destination for southwest Ontarians. Charming shops, a happening nightlife and the friendliest boating community you may ever encounter. World-class people watching, and a busy events calendar make this place a photography dream.
This iconic lighthouse stands alone facing off with storms on Lake Erie. Whether you visit in fine or fierce weather is up to you, but in either case, this iconic shot is worth the drive to Erieau. Pack a jacket.
The Canada Southern Railway Station is a former working station in St. Thomas, Ontario. The station was built by the Canada Southern Railway in 1871, and is now home to the North America Railway Hall of Fame, and one epic birckwork backdrop. Pop inside and learn a little more about Canada’s storied railway history.
A popular trail that receives the most visitors at Point Pelee National Park, the Marsh Boardwalk allows you to gain insight into the marsh ecosystem that is often overlooked and requires protection. From two large towers, you can take in fantastic views of the ponds and cattail marsh. The moodier the sky, the better.
Shaw’s ice cream
A peice of melt in your mouth nostalgia, Shaw’s Dairy Bar has been a frequent stop for so many of us from childhood to parenthood. En route to Port Stanley, this roadside stop is a perfect detour and rest stop to take a little time to soak up the simple life.
An immense lake as beautiful as it is tranquil, each visit to this great lake offers a new face and canvass on which to paint. Light, water, wind and reflection create a ruggedly beautiful background for your dream long weekend city escape.
THE Pinery Market
Nothing quite encapsulates Ontario summer like weekend flea markets. The Pinery has been opening it’s doors every Sunday for over 50 years to locals and visitors looking for something unique or casually browsing the many handicraft and food vendors while taking in live performances. Bring your camera and snap away at the many antiques you’ll find in this authentic Grand Bend tradition.
Summertime in the Forest City and the living is…. action packed! Boler Mountain ski hill transforms to an epic outdoor activity zone. The Tree Top Adventure Park is the perfect place for a birds eye view of the forest city. Quite possibly the bet views in London, this spot is a must.
Rondeau Provincial Park
The second oldest provincial park is home to all kinds of wildlife, including adorable and inquisitive deer. Be patient, and steady your shot for the perfect snap.
Sarnia has nice beaches? They sure do! The sandy beach located within Sarnia’s Canatara Park stretches nearly a kilometer along Lake Huron’s pristine coastline. The sun setting on the horizon offers a broad palettte of colours that will liven up the most vibrant of Instagram accounts.
Housed in a former poorhouse that dates back to 1877, this museum and cultural centre is a National Historic Site that tells the stories of the people and places of Wellington County through curated exhibits. The expansive grounds of the museum also offer an impactful backdrop for arts and history buffs to take lust-worthy Instagram pitcures.