In terms of size, Lake Erie comes fourth out of the five Great Lakes but did you know it is also the eleventh largest in the whole world? This impressive body of water borders many Southwestern Ontario towns and counties bursting with exciting adventures. Plan a road trip this summer and experience all that Lake Erie’s north shore has to offer.
One of the easiest ways for a road trip along Lake Erie is to follow King’s Highway 3 between Windsor and Fort Erie stopping (and detouring South to Lake Erie) to explore towns and villages that piques your interest.
To get you started, we have gathered 50 great things to do along the Ontario shores of Lake Erie starting at Fort Erie and ending at Amherstburg. If you are visiting all the locations mentioned in this article, you will be driving a total of 665 kilometres with a drive time of at least 13.5 hours.
FYI: If you rather stay put and explore the area through day trips, consider splitting the trip into three parts and staying at Leamington, Port Stanley or Port Rowan and Port Colborne. More than half the places mentioned in the article can also be planned as a day trip from Greater Toronto Area.
** Some activities may not be available due to COVID-19.**
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See Peace Bridge
Address: Mather Cir, Fort Erie
Explore Old Fort Erie
Explore Fort Erie National Historic Site of Canada, the site of the bloodiest battles during the War of 1812. During select days, you can see war reenactments of a fort under siege at this National Historic Site.
Address: 350 Lakeshore Rd, Fort Erie
Take a guided tour of a lighthouse
Visit the lighthouse built in the Greek Revival style. The Point Abino Lighthouse is located on the north shore of Lake Erie at the southern tip of Point Abino peninsula. You can join for guided tours (usually) every second and fourth Saturday of June, July, August and September.
Address: Point Abino Rd S, Fort Erie
Experience the unreal beauty of Marcy’s Woods
Experience the true beauty of Ontario’s impressive wetlands, dunes, flora and fauna with a visit to Marcy’s Woods, an intact 285-acre forest. Many of the animals you may see or come across as considered endangered, so always be respectful. There are guided tours upon request.
Address: Located between Port Colborne and Fort Erie on the north shore of Lake Erie.
Learn about Port Colborne history
In our opinion, no visit to the area is complete without a visit to the Port Colborne Historical & Marine Museum that features a century of heritage buildings in a landscaped setting of historic gardens, pathways, trees and flowers, picket fences, and a memorial pavilion with picnic tables and benches. Enjoy an afternoon tea at Arabella’s Tea Room housed in 1915 Edwardian Cottage. You can also join for guided on-site tours of the Museum exhibit galleries, Heritage Village and Marine Park.
Address: 280 King Street Port Colborne
Watch ships pass-through Welland Canal
Picnic at Lock 8 Gateway Park and watch ships pass through the Welland Canal and into Lake Erie from an elevated viewing platform. At 420 meters, Lock 8 is the second longest canal lock in the world and is a control lock with a shallow lift varying from 0.3 to 1.2 m (1 to 4 feet). If you like skating, test your skills at Algoport Skate & BMX Park located here. Port Promenade is another great place to watch ships.
Address: Lock 8 Gateway Park 133 Mellanby Avenue, Port Colborne/ Port Promenade: West St, Port Colborne
Go trail riding
Spend the day horseback riding within the scenic Niagara region. Discover the trails and Lake Erie beaches on your guided tour. Beach trail ride lasts 90 minutes and is available from May 1 through Sept 30th every year.
Address: 11061 Ellsworth Rd N, Port Colborne
Camp on Lake Erie shores
If you are looking for a low-cost camping option, then consider Long Beach Conservation Area – one of Niagara’s most premier and beloved campsites. Located on Lake Erie, Long Beach is a unique place to camp, swim, sunbathe, fish, sailboard or jet-ski.
Address: 12965 Lakeshore Rd, Wainfleet
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Visit Rock Point Provincial Park
Whether you want to camp, go swimming, laze around the 1 km natural sand/pebble beach or go bird watching, Rock Point Provincial Park encompassing wetlands, forests and dunes is an excellent place. You can also see exposed fossils of a coral reef dating back to over 350 million years embedded in limestone shelves along the beach.
Address: 215 Niece Rd, Dunnville
Walk a Pier
Enjoy a walk on the pier to Port Maitland Lighthouse. Located on the shores on shores of Lake Erie and at the mouth of Grand River, Port Maitland is an ideal place for those who love to fish or spend a day by the water.
Address: 949 Port Maitland Rd, Dunnville
See a Giant Attraction
Travel north to Dunville to see world’s largest mudcat – a 50- foot long, 27-foot high statue at Centennial Park.
Address: 731 Main St. W., Dunnville
This attraction will have you travelling north. Take a 20-minute scenic flight around the Niagara region while you are climbing to jump altitude and experience the sensation of free fall while seeing Lake Erie shores from up above with Skydive Ontario.
Address: 5820 ON-3, Cayuga
Drive an exotic car
Visit Toronto Motorsports Park to see racing or to get behind the wheel of high-powered cars and experience the exhilarating thrill of drag racing. You also have the option of driving exotic cars like Lamborghini Gallardo, Ferrari f430, Porsche 997 Turbo, F-2000 racing vehicle and more!
Address: 1040 Kohler Rd, Cayuga
Visit a monument to natural gas fields of Southwestern Ontario
See a “working” 1896 drilling rig along with many interesting artifacts and a wealth of historical information and learn about the history of early natural gas fields of Southwestern Ontario at Canadian Drilling Rig Museum.
Address: Kohler Rd, Selkirk
Walk Wheeler’s Walk Trail
Visit Selkirk Provincial Park for camping, picnicking or a quiet hike along 1.5 km trail that takes you through a White Pine plantation that was planted in the early 1970s.
Address: 151 Wheeler’s Sideroad, Selkirk
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Plan a day at Port Dover, famous for Friday the 13th motorcycle rally. Visit Port Dover Harbour Museum to explore the history of Port Dover, walk the waterfront/pier, see Port Dover Lighthouse, laze around the beach, and enjoy an ice cream from The Ice Cream Tank. Lighthouse Festival Theatre has regular productions during the summer months.
Hike a Nature Sanctuary
Spooky Hollow Nature Sanctuary maintained by The Hamilton Naturalist’s Club is an excellent place to hike and enjoy nature in the heart of Carolinian Canada.
Address: 293 Spooky Hollow Rd, Vittoria
Golf in a Provincial Park
Play a round of golf at Turkey Point Provincial Park. The only provincial park that has a golf course, be sure not to miss the opportunity to enjoy a game before you explore the rest of what Turkey Point has to offer. Explore the two-mile sandy beach, go flyboarding with Find a Way Flyboarding.
Address: 194 Turkey Point Rd, Turkey Point
Go Zipline at Long Point Eco-Adventures
From axe-throwing to kayaking to mountain biking to zip-lining, Long Point Eco-Adventures presents a full spectrum of outdoor adventure experiences that is eco-friendly. You can also visit Long Point Observatory, a public astronomical observatory. If you are looking for glamping options, there are also Glamping Suites & Pods available.
Address: 1730 Front Rd, St Williams
Whether you are a wine aficionado or not, Burning Kiln Winery is an excellent place for a pit stop. Enjoy fine food or join for wine tours at this picturesque winery. During summer, you can also join for concerts by famous artists.
Address: 1709 Front Rd, St Williams
Pick blueberries or go wine tasting
Pick blueberries, get farm-fresh fruits, house-made jams and preserves and taste Grape or Fruit Wines and Hard Ciders at this beautiful rustic farmhouse winery.
Address: 1195 Front Road, St. Williams
Visit a place where nature meets history
Backus Heritage Conservation Area is a blend of history and nature. Perfect for a day full of outdoor classics such as fishing, hiking, and picnicking. learn more about the war of 1812 with a visit to historic buildings including 1798 Backhouse Grist Mill National Historic Site. There are also 144 campsites for tents and trailers, and two rustic cabins available for rent.
Address: 1267 Second Concession Road, Port Rowan
Port Rowan is an ideal place for an extended stay if you are visiting Long Point Biosphere (few attractions are mentioned below).
Tour secret locations of Long Point Biosphere
Long Point Island Hugger Tours offers unique tours of the inner bay of Long Point UNESCO Biosphere which is accessible only by boat. You can also opt for Turkey Point tour and see the beautiful properties of Lake Erie.
Address: Port Rowan Harbour Marina
Paddle the Canadian Amazon
Grand River Rafting Company famous for various lazy river tubing adventures on Grand River, offers a 9km tubing adventure on a meandering creek that flows into Lake Erie. The narrow and deep river is an excellent place for eagle sightings too.
Address: 1048 Long Point Rd, Port Rowan
Hike Big Creek National Wildlife Area
This National Wildlife Area (NWA) located 3 km southwest of Port Rowan is home to relatively undisturbed Great Lakes coastal wetlands. Upon the shores of Lake Erie, enjoy the wonders of the Big Creek National Wildlife Area! The area is the habitat for all sorts of creatures including birds, amphibians, insects and more! There are plenty of trails to enjoy that allow for watching many of the aforementioned wildlife, photography, boating and fishing. The area is regarded as very important to conservation and is worth a visit.
Address: 96 Wolven St, Port Rowan
Check out one of the oldest provincial parks
Located within World Biosphere Reserve, Long Point Provincial Park offers 1.5km of sandy beach along Lake Erie. There are plenty of options for camping, various water activities, birding and more at the fourth oldest Ontario Provincial Park.
Where: 350 Erie Blvd, Port Rowan
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See impressive sand dunes
Offering plenty of camping options, the privately-owned Sand Hill Park is home to Sand Hills that tower 350′ above Lake Erie. They offer daily admission for $12 from May 1 to Thanksgiving.
Address: 930 Lakeshore Rd, Port Burwell
Frolic at a blue flag certified beach
Port Burwell Municipal Beach boasts a beautiful, long stretch of sandy shoreline which is renowned for its accessible facilities, excellent waters and a lighthouse built in 1840. It is also blue flag certified, meaning it meets high environmental, safety, and cleanliness standards.
Address: 1 Robinson St, Port Burwell
Learn all about the “sub that served in secret” at the HMCS Ojibwa
Canada’s military history is impressive and worth learning more about! The HMCS Ojibwa is one of the most unique museums in all of Canada. Learn about the Cold war espionage aboard the 297.5 foot, 5 stories high sub.
Address: 3 Pitt St, Port Burwell
Let your four-legged friend have a beach day
Another fabulous provincial park along Lake Erie, Port Burwell offers a great dog beach and pet exercise area. The park offers camping, various water activities, biking, birding and trails for hiking.
Address: 9 Wilson Lane, Port Burwell
Taste the delicious wine of Quai Du Vin Estate Winery
Made from 100% Ontario-grown grapes the wine at Quai Du Vine is something to be marvelled! With a great tour system and patio in place, you will surely enjoy the scenery and knowledgeable guides as you sip the delicious wines!
Address: 45811 Fruit Ridge Line, St. Thomas
Explore Rail City’s Rail Museum
The railway has been part of St. Thomas since the completion of the London and Port Stanley Railway in 1856. Learn all about the history of railways in Southwestern Ontario at Elgin County Railway Museum. Visit the historic 100-year-old MCRR Locomotive shops and discover railway artifact displays, rolling stock, and the History in Motion Model Railway. Climb aboard and explore the interior of a caboose and the 5700 Steam Engine.
Address: 225 Wellington Street St. Thomas
Ride the rails at Port Stanley Terminal Rail
Experience a train ride through the scenic Kettle Creek Valley over a 7 km portion of the former London & Port Stanley Railway. There are also themed rides during special celebrations like Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas (Santa Train) and Easter (Easter Egg Hunts).
Address: 309 Bridge Street, Port Stanley
Laze around another Blue Flag Beach
A tourist mecca with all the trappings of a beachside town, Port Stanley also boasts of the only other Blue Flag certified beach on Lake Erie for 2021 (Port Glasgow had the designation in 2020). The beach is perfect for those who have mobility challenges – you can rent a beach wheelchair from the Centre Lifeguard tower near change rooms and bathrooms.
Tour a Sugar Shack
If you are in the region during maple season, make sure to visit Palmer’s Maple Syrup Shanty. Join for a tour of the syrup shanty, learn about both modern and traditional methods of making maple syrup, and have a pancake breakfast topped with pure maple syrup.
Address: Lake Line, Port Stanley
Explore where Attiwandaronk peoples lived
Southwold Earthworks National Historic Site, at present, is a serene park. But long before “Canada” was formed, Attiwandaron longhouses and palisade walls stood at the site. A double oval ring of raised earthworks surrounds the remains of the village that existed during AD 1450 to 1550. Explore the history of the site through interpretive panels.
Address: 7930 Iona Rd, Fingal
Explore a Georgian style home at Backus Page House Museum
Situated on the expansive John E Pearce Park, you can get the chance to explore the trails, gardens, barns and 1850’s style home museum. It’s a great way to learn about the history and rural communities.
Address: 29424 Lakeview Line Wallacetown
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Spend time with the cute animals at Greenview Aviaries Park & Zoo
Greenview Aviaries Park & Zoo is a must-do if you are travelling with kids. The Park is home to exotic and domestic animals including the majestic tiger and lions! You can also look forward to seeing zebras, elands, donkeys, tropical birds, monkeys, wolves and loads more! With a splash pad, large playground, restaurant and more – it’s a great way to spend the day.
Address: 12752 Talbot Trail, Ridgetown
Have a beach day at Port Glasgow Beach
Regarded as a less busy beach, Port Glasgow is a popular spot for those seeking some quiet time! As such, it’s a lovely beach with a sandy shore and inviting water. It is near the Port Glasgow Yacht club if you fancy a stroll through an impressive marina.
Address: 8536 Haven’s Lake Road, Rodney
Have Pure Lake Erie Fun at Rondeau Provincial Park
A true slice of the Southern Ontario landscape, there are 11 kilometres of incredible beaches, as well as opportunities for biking, hiking, rollerblading and world-class bird watching at this popular provincial park.
Address: 18050 Rondeau Park Road, Morpeth
Taste the freshest fruit from Manitree Fruit Farm
Locally grown, owned and ran, Manitree Fruit Farm is renowned for its “must eat” fresh fruits! Enjoy juicy strawberries, cherries, peaches, cantaloupe and much more at their fresh farm shop!
Address: 8445 Talbot Trail, Blenheim
Meet the animals at Dara Farm Sanctuary
With a motto of kindness, the folks at Dara Farm Sanctuary currently houses pigs, ducks, geese, cats, horses and so much more. Go say hello to the beautiful animals!
Address: 2321 Talbot Trail, Wheatley
Enjoy the beauty of Wheatley Provincial Park
Address: 21116 Klondyke Road, Wheatley
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Hone your photography skills at Kopegaron Woods Conservation Area
Kopegaron Woods is a popular spot for a stroll through the beautiful woods with over 18 hectares of land. The walks are renowned for their colours with many beautiful flowers and trees including Trillium, Jack-in-the-pulpit, May Apple, Spring Beauty and Columbine, making it a cool spot for photos.
Address: Talbot Rd, Leamington
Visit a National Park
Point Pelee National Park is a national park for good reason! Point Pelee National Park is the southernmost part of mainland Canada extending for 15 kilometres into Lake Erie. The park has it all, including extensive wildlife watching, bird watching, biking, paddling, camping and so much more!
Address: 1118 Point Pelee Dr, Leamington
Get Lost in a Corn Maze
From apple picking, sunflowers and a corn maze, Thiessen Apple Orchard offers a plethora of traditional fun for the whole family. There are huge swings, giant tube slides, barrel train ride, climbing areas and more!
Address: 400 Talbot Rd E, Leamington
Have an Adventure at Hillman Marsh Conservation
The marshland available to explore at Hillman Marsh Conversation is considered very precious! Here you can explore the walking trails, nature centre, and viewing towers. The marsh is home to very diverse habitats such as herons, egrets, songbirds and so many more for you to spot.
Address: 1826 Mersea Rd 2, Leamington
Zoom around at Point Pelee Go Karting
The whole family will have a laugh at Point Pelee Go Karting! Opt for the go-kart track or hit some balls on their driving range or swap your large club for a mini one with a game of mini-golf!
Address: 538 Bevel Line Rd, Leamington
Cooldown at Cured Craft Brewing
Made right in Leamington, Cured Brewing offers the freshest and most delicious beers in town! Enjoy a beer on tap and dig into some nice bites such as pizza, sandwiches and more.
Address: 43 Mill Street West Leamington
Travel to the tip of Canada
Explore at Colasanti’s Tropical Gardens
The perfect day out awaits you and your family at Colasanti’s! Enjoy their extensive garden centre, petting farm, mini-golf, arcade room and on-site restaurant to round off the perfect day!
Address: 1550 Road 3 East – Kingsville
Visit the John R Park Homestead
A visit to the John R Park Homestead is a time travel to the 1850s! Explore the wonderfully restored home, experience the old sawmill and blacksmith, stroll the lakeside walk and gardens and pop into the gift shop.
Address: 360 Fairview Avenue West, Essex
Walk Purple Fields
Lavender is famous for its relaxation properties and its beauty! Stroll through the colourful fields of lavender, embrace the aromas and stock up at Canada’s largest lavender-themed shop! There is also a restaurant onsite.
Address: 130 Essex County Rd 50, Harrow
Sip wine at Sprucewood Shore estate Winery
Enjoy delicious, local wine, right on the beach at the beautiful, family-run Sprucewood Shore Estate! It is an amazing place to take in the sights while relaxing. They even serve delicious food.
Address: 7258 Essex County Rd 50 RR #5, Harrow
Relax at Holiday Beach
Who could resist a beach with the word “holiday” in it? Holiday Beach is a coveted spot with an incredible shoreline, boardwalk, shaded picnic benches, nature trails, and a three-story observation tower for those wanting to fully embrace the views (and bird watch).
Address: 6952 50 Cr, Amherstburg
Learn Black History
Learn more about African-Canadians’ history and contributions at Amherstburg Freedom Museum.
Address: 277 King St, Amherstburg
Explore King’s Navy Yard Park
The Kings’s Navy Yard Park is both a luscious garden and a historic park. Find the lighthouse beacon, anchors, and cannons, then explore the gardens. Once a shipyard, this park is now a Bi-Centennial International Peace Garden, and features waterfront views and blossoms that will have you lost in the present moment.
You can also embark on Windsor Premier Cruises from Kings’s Navy Yard Park on select summer days. Sail through the “hole in the wall” and see the other side of Boblo Island, Millionaires Shore, and many other historical sites.
Address:268 Dalhousie St, Amherstburg
Learn about Canada’s Early Military History
Visit Fort Malden National Historic Site and learn about the War of 1812 and the Rebellions of 1838 at the location of the historic meeting between Major General Sir Isaac Brock and Shawnee Chief Tecumseh.
Address: 100 Laird Ave., Amherstburg
Now, what about a road trip across Lake Huron?
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