If you’re trying to figure out what to do in Ontario, look no further than Oakville. Parks, water, trails, restaurants and first class experiences are all up for grabs. That said, here is a sampling of the things you can do in Oakville (all maps images courtesy of Google Maps).
Skip to here if you want an itinerary.
Water Front Trail
Drive over to Lakeshore and Trafalgar and you’ll hit the down town core.
Head towards the water and there’ll be a paved trail with a beautiful view of the water. It runs from Allan St to Navy. People jump onto their canoes from here or simply sit by the rocks staring into the vast lakeside vista. It’s tremendous to behold in spring, summer and fall. It was this very same trail where we as brothers envisioned our business for the first time.
If you drive further west to the other end of Oakville, on the border to Burlington, you’ll come across Bronte Harbour (where our shop is located).
From Water’s Edge Drive to Bronte Rd, you’ll have a similarly beautiful view of the water with a paved trail.
As you walk further along, you’ll come across a park, a lakeside restaurant (Bronte Boathouse) and a large marina where massive yachts are anchored. To top it off, there is a lighthouse you can walk up to, that, when you get there, feels as if you’re standing in the middle of the lake.
If you head north from Bronte Harbour, there’s a side walk that runs along two parks. I’ve seen many joggers and runners enjoy this road. When you pass Valhalla Park, that’s where you’ll see large trees and ravines that lead to Bronte Creek. Of course, you can also run and bicycle along the water front trails mentioned above.
Located just north of the QEW and Bronte, is the massive Bronte Creek Provincial Park. It’s considered to have moderate trails that are excellent for bird watching, camping and hiking [ref].
For a different type of visit, you’ll want to head to the down town core on the intersection of Trafalgar and Lakeshore.
Starting from Navy St and ending at Allan St, you’ll find places like Lululemon, Burrows Clothiers, Burrows Two, Tommy Bahama, Barrington’s, James Perse, Roots, and many many more. There’s also furniture and interior stores, butchers, and grocery stores to explore.
Restaurants & Bars
Now, this is a heavy topic, and probably one best reserved to a separate post. That said, here are a few of the most well known restaurants in the area: Sotto Sotto, Hexagon, Piano Piano, Verace, Beacon, 7 Enoteca, Colossus, Noble Bistro Seafood, the Kings Arms, Cucci and The Plank. These are some of the highest rated and most popular restaurants in the area, but there’s so much to explore, I can only do it justice in another post.
The Bronte Harbour Plan
I understand this is biased, but since our shop is in Bronte, I can only give you what we’ve done and recommended to others when they visit Oakville.
So, imagine it’s t-shirt weather. Here’s the plan. Call the Plank Restobar and book a reservation for the afternoon at the patio. If you’re hosting a really important date, maybe you could book at Cucci instead – really upscale.
Then call Goldwyn & Sons Bar and Barber Shop and book a haircut and hair wash (and maybe a drink) for the morning. Yes, it’s a shameless plug, but seriously, if you come on a Saturday morning in the summer, you’ll start the day off looking fresh.
When you’re driving into Bronte, you’ll want to check the line up at the Flavor Fox on the corner of Bronte Rd and Lakeshore., before heading to our shop.
Arrive at our shop and get a haircut. Tell us about your plan for the day and we’ll give you more advice if needed. After enjoying some time with us, head to the Plank and enjoy lunch.
If you couldn’t get accommodation, you could go into the Cove for a drink, but I’ve heard bland reviews about their food. There’s also El Spero, Cucci and Por Vida.
Once complete, if the line up at Flavor Fox was moderate when you drove in, head over there for their gelato – it’s incredible. They also have vegan options.
Typically, Flavor Fox has a massive line up and it may have built up while you were having lunch. So, if you’re not up for standing, walk over to the Chestnut Cafe on the other end of Bronte Rd towards the water. They also have excellent gelato.
Finally, with ice cream in hand, walk towards the Bronte Boathouse Lighthouse. There you can enjoy your ice cream, walk in and out of the park, and stare at the boats – the future yachts you’ll one day own.