The Wellington County in Southwestern Ontario boasts beautiful scenery, quaint towns, and many beaches, trails, and conservation areas for you to explore. With two towns and five townships and the city of Guelph — there is no shortage of culture and communities to explore. Make the most out of the Guelph-Wellington area this summer by checking out this list of 50 ways to spend your time.
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Events and Festivals
Enjoy a Summer Concert
What is a better way to enjoy the summer weather than by listening to music while eating some good food? The event takes place at the paddock beside the Historic Barn. If you would like a bite to eat, during registration you can purchase a pre-packaged meal made by a local restaurant that you can pick up when you arrive at the concert.
Thursday, July and August 2021 | 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Eat for good
Purchase a passport to Taste of Guelph filled with exclusive vouchers to visit over 30 great food and beverage establishments throughout Guelph and Wellington County and eat your way through local shops at your own pace and comfort level. All proceeds of Passport to Taste of Guelph fund vital equipment and programming needs at St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph.
Passport is valid to be used from July 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022.
Relieve your stress through yoga
Sign up for Yoga with Alpacas at the Brae Ridge Farm. The classes are for one hour after which you can spend time with these gentle creatures are well as other farm animals.
Saturdays and Sundays, July – September 2021
Buy Pottery at the Guelph Potters Market
Find unique pieces in a wide range of styles, materials and techniques – from vases, teapots, mugs and dishes to wall tiles, masks, indoor and outdoor planters, and sculptures at this outdoor event!
July 10 – 11, 2021 | 10 AM – 5 PM @ Royal City Park
Let’s go wild!
See a a live show about native Ontario birds of prey at Wellington County Museum. Get up and close to these beatiful creatures and help foster connections while hear unique stories. It is fun for the whole family.
Wednesday, July 28, 2021 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Canada at War Day
Enjoy an interactive experience of Canada’s major military events made enjoyable by re-enactors and presenters.
Saturday, July 24, 2021 | 9:30 AM & 1:00 PM
Attend an Outdoor Art Camp
Let your kids get creative under the big canopy tent at the Elora Centre for the Arts! Each day will have nature-inspired creativity, outdoor art & craft making, new friends, and lots of free-range play.
July & August 2021
See Red Plaid Shirt
Get your tickets to Elora Community Theatre’s Red Plaid Shirt. This play by Michael G. Wilmot follows the comical journey of Marty and Fred on finding fulfillment in their old age!
July 29 – August 2, 2021
Celebrate Scottish Culture at the Fergus Scottish Festival
The 75th edition of the Fergus Scottish Festival is a digital one. Taking place in mid-August this festival will feature Scottish entertainment, Gala 2 Go Box with savoury nibbles, limited edition scotch glasses, and accessories to enjoy at home.
August 12 – 15, 2021
Hear Chamber music
Enjoy free admission to the Guelph Civic Museum and listen to the free outdoor concert by Guelph Chamber Choir.
August 27, 2021 | 7:00 PM
Enjoy A Midsummer Nights Dream
Elora Community Theatre is presenting ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream‘ for this year’s “Shakespeare in the Park”.
August 20 – 29, 2021
Celebrate literature at the Eden Mills Writer’s Festival
The Toronto and Guelph literary scene is sparkling, and the Eden Mills Writer’s Festival is one of the most exciting literary events of the year. This festival features some of Canada’s most well-known authors, as well as plenty of smaller events that feature readings and literary contests. The 2021 edition of the festival is a series of online events that runs from March to October
Eerie evenings await…
Sign up for a ghost walk and explore some of the Royal City’s haunted past…and present.
July 17, 2021 (more dates will be added)
Get your fill of ribs at Guelph’s Rib Fest
If you love ribs — or best yet — you love both, you’ll have to check out Guelph’s Rib Fest. Running the weekend of August 27th, you can check out the full range of delicious ribs. Details TBA
August 27 – 29, 2021
Activities in (and near) Guelph – Wellington
Have a beach day at the Guelph Lake Conservation Area
1,600 hectares of land make up the Guelph Lake Conservation Area which surrounds a reservoir. This park has two sandy beaches to stretch out on, picnic areas to have a meal, great fishing opportunities, and space for sailing and canoeing. This is a popular summer day trip for locals and tourists alike, so be sure to nab your spot on the beach early — or take a wander through the parkland.
Have a meal on the patio at Bread Bar
Bread Bar is an earth-to-table restaurant that known for its quality food, friendly service, and having one of the best patios in Guelph. Sit out in the sunshine and enjoy a delicious, local, and in-season meal as you take in the city. This restaurant even has a manifesto that embraces the local-first attitude that give you a true taste of the area.
Down On The Farm
Spend a day at Mapleton’s Organic Farm exploring the dairy barn and visit the cows and calves. Play in the cedar maze, the tire mountain, and the adventure path at the Adventure Area. Treat yourself to delicious ice creams, frozen yogurt, and baked goods.
Indulge in simplicity with Butter Tarts and Buggies
“Explore the simpler life,” reads the logo for Butter Tarts and Buggies, who have locations across Ontario, including Wellington North. With buggy rides, homemade butter tarts, artisan products, and heirloom plants, this is pure living in beautiful Ontario, and is sure to warm up your trip. Make sure to buy some extra tarts to snack on later, as you’ll be dreaming of this delicious pastry long after you leave.
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Taste, sip, and wander on the Brewery Discovery tour
To get the full taste of Guelph Wellington, head out on the Brewery Discovery tour. You’ll get to explore quaint towns, see ancient limestone cliffs, and taste the best restaurants and breweries that the area has to offer. There’s nothing that isn’t offered on this itinerary — but for full details check out the tour’s website.
Wander the Sculpture Park outside the Art Gallery of Guelph
The Art Gallery of Guelph is a premier art museum that displays works by many innovative artists. Sculpture Park is the Art Gallery of Guelph’s outdoor grounds for permanent and temporary art installations alike. This forest of art makes for a lovely walk as it has been enhanced by expert landscaping. Tour their sculpture park and don’t miss out on this chance to see Gord Peteran’s Artifact of Invention in full bloom!
Walk through the University of Guelph’s Arboretum
At 400 acres, the University of Guelph’s Arboretum is famous for its rich ecosystem and beautiful walking trails. This park is free to visit and features more than 2000 species of woody plants organized in their World of Trees and Trees of Ontario collections. Rising above for splendid views, this is one summertime walk that will blow you away.
Enjoy a walk through Wellington County
There is a wide range of trails in Wellington County that pass through rural, urban, and natural areas. Make use of the “Wellington Walks” trail guide to plan your walk. These are available free of charge at the County Administration Centre, County Libraries, and museum or available online.
Visit Locomotive 6167
Locomotive 6167 was one of 203 of the Northern locomotives used by the Canadian National Railway. With over 70 years of history, this still-standing locomotive carried supplies and troops in World War II before colliding with another locomotive in 1943. Now the most photographed locomotive, this is the perfect dash of history to add to your summer day explorations of the Guelph-Wellington area.
Splash around at Emerald Lake Trailer Resort and Waterpark
Emerald Lake Trailer Resort and Waterpark is the perfect place to get away on a summer’s day. If you have a trailer, think about booking a spot to get the most time and fun out of this Puslinch attraction. If not — book a cabin, or spend a day at the waterpark, which features inflatable slides and a water trampoline. Whether you’re staying the night or not, you won’t want to go home.
Enjoy the Night Sky
Watch the stars and wonder at the celestial splendor. Stargazing is not fun as well as relaxing. Lie back in your own backyard or in a dark sky area near you and take in the awe-inspiring star-filled night sky.
Walk in a Sunflower Field and Get Lost in a Corn Maze
Enjoy the beautiful colours and have a relaxing time at the Fieldstone barn. Located just a few distance from Elora, a visit to this farm makes for a perfect day trip out to see the sunflowers, strolling downtown to the shops, and enjoying a bite at one of the many delicious restaurants. There are 4 different corn mazes in one field for everyone to come and enjoy. Test your directional skills and see if you can solve all of them!
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Explore a farm!
Escape to a place where peace and well-being intertwine, where by disconnecting from the outside world, you can reconnect with yourself.
Get outside, learn about sustainable farming practices, and all-natural, holistic, plant-based remedies that the earth can provide. 50+ acres to wander, pick flowers, and simply enjoy. Take a wagon ride to the Big Pink Swing, Build-Your-Own bouquet, browse Shoppe, and so much more.
Rise above the city at the Guelph Grotto Climbing Gym
Get your muscles working at the Guelph Grotto Climbing Gym. You can take lessons and learn the ropes (literally!) or buy a day pass and take on the wall yourself. Whatever you do, this high-quality facility is ready to fulfill your wall climbing dreams with a classic wall and bouldering area to best suit your skills. Opening dates TBA
Hang out with donkeys at the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada
Yes — Donkeys. The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada rescues donkeys and takes care of them just outside of Guelph — and you can come visit these delightful animals. Meet the donkeys, help brush their fur, and learn about the mission of the donkey sanctuary and the work that goes into rescuing donkeys who aren’t properly cared for. You’ll be charmed by these sweet, loveable animals. Opening in August, dates TBA
Have a Picnic at Cox Creek Cellars
Enjoy a glorious summer day a Cox Creek Cedars’ orchard sipping wines and enjoying your picnic. Explore the grounds, take photos around the pond and enjoy a very pleasant time here. Call 519-767-3253 to reserve your table.
Have a daring adventure with One Axe Pursuits
Put the thrill in your summer with One Axe Pursuits. Here you can set out on a zipline adventure, natural rock climbing, and even caving. You can also use this opportunity to learn how to rescue climb or as a team-building experience with colleagues, friends, or family. No matter what adventure you choose with One Axe Pursuits, you can be sure that it will make the most of your summer day.
Glide down Speed River in a canoe or kayak
Rent a canoe or a kayak at Speed River Paddling in Guelph and hit the river for a day on the water. Open every day except Monday (on a first-come first-served basis), this rental shop is the perfect place to kick off a paddle session — whether you’re new or a beginner.
Enjoy food from the source at Thatcher Farms Butcher Shop and Bakery
Experience true local food by visiting the family owned and operated Thatcher Farms. Pick up a cut of meat, a sweet treat, or take in one of the events that the farm holds. You can also stay for a Farm to Table demo and take a cooking class using these fresh ingredients. For the foodie, this is a perfect way to get in touch with the Guelph-Wellington area.
Rent a bike and get moving
Get some speed and exercise by renting a bike with Speed River Bike Rentals and exploring the Guelph-Wellington area on wheels. With a variety of rental options to suit your exploration goals, this rental company has an informed staff who will help you make the right call to get the most out of your summer day. If you want to rent a bike fast, you can download the waivers online and bring them in with you for expedited service. Happy riding!
Unwind with a game of golf at Springfield Golf and Country Club
Often compared to a Floridian-style course, this semi-private 18-hole golf club has enough challenges to fire up an experienced golfer, but is also loved by beginners. Regardless of your experience level, this south-of-Guelph course might be your new favourite way to relax. Spend your day out on the green here and top it off with a meal at the Springfield Restaurant, which is open all summer.
Visit Ontario Parks
All 115 provincial parks are free to visit from Mondays to Thursdays, until September 2nd, 2021. Ontario Parks will offer free day-use visits and issue free permits on those days. Visitors will still need a permit to visit parks from Fridays to Sundays. Details
Ontario provincial parks are open to visitors. Be it to enjoy a walk or just relax in the outdoors, fish or enjoy boating, provincial parks are great places to spend your time.
You can now visit Ontario parks for free by borrowing day-use permits from participating Ontario libraries.
Row a boat on a great lake with the Guelph Rowing Club
If you haven’t tried rowing a boat on one of Ontario’s beautiful lakes — now is your opportunity! Check out the Guelph Rowing Club and the classes offered for your chance to grasp the basics and head out onto the water. This is the perfect place to get rowing.
Pick-Your-Own Strawberries/ Cherries
Delicious strawberries or cherries are ready for picking. Head over to your nearby U-pick Farms and enjoy ‘Pick-Your-Own’ berries!
- Butt’s Berry and Flower Farm
- Full Circle Farm
- Ignatius Farm
- Mapleton’s Organic Dairy
- Marcy’s Berries
- Thatcher Farms Butcher Shop, Bakery and Farm Market
Walk, fish, and explore at the Rockwood Conservation Area
Visiting the Rockwood Conservation Area makes for a perfect way to enjoy nice weather. Come for the beautiful natural landscape, the caves and other geological formations, and to explore the ruins of the Rockwood Woolen Mills. Fish along the Eramosa River, hike the cliffs, or stretch out on the sandy beach and take a dip. Get the most out of the sunshine at Rockwood Park.
Enjoy tasty fares
Visit your local restaurants and patios in Guelph. Guelph Local Food Map can be picked up at Guelph and Wellington County libraries, tourism outlets, and select retail and business locations and all participating locations.
Find artisan goods at the Aberfoyle Farmer’s Market
Every Saturday between 8 am and 1 pm from the end of May to the end of August runs the Aberfoyle Farmers’ Market. Spend your morning taking in the live music, the fresh baking, the crafts, and of course the fresh produce. This sheltered pavilion also has dining areas and wide aisles for maximum enjoyment. Relish in the community at the Market.
Walk the Upper Gorge Trailway
Enjoy a self-guided historic tour of the gorge by following Elora’s Upper Gorge Trailway system. Pass through tree-lined streets and along cliff-tops and discover spectacular views, hidden beaches, and historic ruins all within a stone’s throw of the village.
Explore downtown Guelph
Spend a day wandering through beautiful downtown Guelph for some charming summer memories. Hop between patios, cafes, and the shops along the street and see what you discover.
Catch a gorgeous glimpse at the Elora Gorge Conservation Area
Experience the grandness of the Grand River from the Elora Gorge Conservation Area this summer. This river moves through cliffs and along managed trails for your viewing pleasure. You can also fish or hang out in the sports fields that this conservation area has for your pleasure. Listen to the rushing water — or rent tubing gear and experience it firsthand! There is no shortage of summer fun at the Elora Gorge Conservation Area.
For a treasure hunt-like experience try geocaching! Chances are there are some geocaches near you. Create a free account to get started. Details
Have a taste or a pint at the Wellington Brewery
Guelph Urban Winery
KJ Urban Winery in Guelph is a unique urban winery that takes pride in sourcing only the finest grape juices and supplies for wine making as well as supplies for the craft brewing enthusiasts. Try crafting your own wine at the winery!
Trek Woodlawn Memorial Park
Discover the history of the park, trek the trails to explore the grounds, and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Download the trail maps for a self-guided walk.
Enjoy a game of disc golf
Riverside Park and the Eastview Community Park has disc golf courses that can be enjoyed by residents.
Movies at Drive-in Theatres
Enjoy a movie under the stars. Daily.
For more options see, Drive-In Theatres in Ontario
Walk or ride down the Elora Cataract Trailway
The Elora Cataract Trailway follows 47 kilometres of rail between the towns of Elora and Forks of the Credit. The trail runs events that you can delight in (such as the Rails to Trails exhibit opening in June) and promotes stewardship to keep the area beautiful. Spend a summer day along the upkept trail for a luscious and clear-driven day walking through the Wellington area.
Experiences with River’s Edge Goat Dairy
Experiences with River’s Edge Goat Dairy are all about bringing even more connection between you, the farm, and the food the farm produces. The experiences they offer are glimpses of farm life and connects you to nature.
Spend a sunny day on the Belwood lake reservoir
Since 1942, the reservoir known as Belwood Lake has been a perfect spot to get out on the water. This lake offers opportunities for fishing, boating, and even water-skiing. The nearby quarry and sandy beach make for an excellent place to lay out a towel and take a dip during the hotter days of the summer. Located above the Grand River with excellent views, Belwood Lake has everything you could want from a sunny day on the lake.
Take in the architecture of The Basilica of Our Lady
The Basilica of Our Lady is a Gothic Revival style building that has become a popular place to stop and take a picture. A utilized Roman Catholic Church, this impressive building has a virtual tour that you can do online, but experiencing this castle-like sight in person is a much more powerful experience. Make the Basilica one of your stops as you explore all that the City of Guelph has to offer.
See a Lavender Farm
Enjoy a calming, meditative walk amongst lavender flowers. Plan a day trip to Lavender Farms.
Take a dip in a quarry at the Elora Quarry
Head down to this limestone quarry for an ideal spot for a summer splash. Take in the cliffs that encircle the area as you listen to the sound of water in the woods and lounge in the sun. A popular spot for tourists and locals alike, the Elora Quarry is a must-visit during a summer in the Guelph-Wellington area. Bring a swimsuit, a picnic, and something that floats for a perfect experience.
Have a fun time fishing! Take advantage of Ontario Family Fishing days from July 3 – 11, 2021.
Check out the splash park in Guelph’s Market Square
Guelph’s Downtown Market Square is the perfect place to hang out on a summer day. Bring the kids to splash around in the water park while you sit back on one of the stone benches and revel in the heart of the city. If you want to check how busy the square is, just head to their website and check out the live-feed before you go. experience. Make sure to bring cash as the market is cash only.
Celebrate art outdoors with Art on the Street in Guelph
On the 23rd of June is Guelph’s Art on the Street event, which is free and welcomes everyone who loves art to spend some time outdoors appreciating what the Guelph community has to offer. This summertime event is hosted by the Guelph Arts Council and the Downtown Guelph Business Association and is a perfect way to spend a day at any age.
Have an adventure on the Grand River
For a paddling experience of a lifetime, check out Grand River’s two-day adventure. There are several guided or self-guided tours to undertake from exploring the Big Creek to a 2-day bruce trail hike. hoose what suits your adventurous soul and get going!
Spend a weekend camping
Camping is the best way to spend as much time as you can enjoying the outdoors in gorgeous weather, and the Guelph-Wellington area has plenty of places where you can go.
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- 25 Places to Go Camping Near Toronto
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Artisan Shop at Elora Centre for the Arts
Shop handmade, artist-designed, artisan-made unique products at Elora Centre for the Arts. This curated artisan shop has a wide range of affordable goods including home decor, pottery bags, eco-friendly items, original art, and more.
Tour an Alpaca Farm
Enjoy a private tour of an Alpaca farm and get close and personal to Champion alpacas as you walk through their paddocks and home. Hand-feed these creatures, learn more about them, their fabulous fibre, and feel the luxury first hand. You will also have a chance to meet the farm’s Indian Runner Ducks and hand-feed their two horses. After you spending time with these beautiful animals learn how the alpaca fibres are processed in yarn at the workshop.
Get ice cream at The Boathouse
Summertime means ice cream time and the place for ice cream is The Boathouse Tea Room, which is right on the riverside in Guelph. This premium-scooped ice cream will have you in summertime heaven — the river views are the cherry on top. If you want to spend a little extra time here, check out the Boathouse’s high tea or rent a kayak or canoe to enjoy your treat from the water.
Relax in the Templin Gardens in Fergus
Built in the late 1920s, the Fergus Templin Gardens have a history rooted in geography. This centrepiece in Downtown Fergus has a beautiful river view as well as a luscious green space for you to enjoy the natural world around you. This is a favourite relaxing spot for locals and adds a nice touch of serenity to any time spent exploring the town of Fergus.
Take a dip in the largest kettle lake in North America
Puslinch Lake is the largest kettle lake in North America and is a prime location for spending time on the water. Here you can swim, fish, sail, and even water ski across the picturesque water. Take in the scenery for a day and then refuel at the Old Marina Restaurant. It’s easy to work up an appetite at Puslinch Lake.
Enjoy a curated picnic
This is a unique way to enjoy a family outing or a romantic date. Be it in your own backyard or at a local park, these curated picnics are extremely popular and a great way to enjoy yummy food!
A historical walking tours
Learn about Guelph’s history while taking in the beautiful architectural and natural features of the city. Guelph Arts Council offers six different walking tours on selected Sundays from May to October (except July)
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