Southern Georgian Bay during the warm, balmy months is something to behold. From waterfront views and rocky escarpment, to scenic trails and local wonders, there is no shortage of things to do and see in this wonderful four-season utopia. It’s true when they say the more the merrier, but quite frankly, it’s easy to enjoy the beauty that trails along the Grey Bruce Simcoe counties even on our solo days.
Words and photos by Stefanie Richardson
If you’re like me, summer consists of packing picnics, rounding the troops and making your way from one town to the next, ready to conquer all of the adventure. So how do you make sure you squeeze the most out of your summer? How about weaving some of these events and activities into your holiday schedule.
- Sunset Cruise Through Georgian Bay – While the warm summer evenings turn to luminous starry nights, what better way to watch the sun set aboard one of Collingwood Charters waterfront tours. Whether you’re looking for a reason to get the family together, or planning your next date night, the panoramic views are the winning ticket.
- Cycle, Run or Walk Along the Collingwood Trails – If you have ten minutes or even an hour, it can easily be well spent along the many public trails and that weave throughout the town of Collingwood. With crashing waves of Georgian Bay in one peripheral, and lush greenery in the other, the 4km boardwalk is a favourite avenue amongst the locals to take in the coastline beauty. Experience by bike, foot, or leash – all are welcome!
- Movies Beside the Bay – Grab a blanket and cozy up while enjoying the free summer long classic film series at the Collingwood Shipyards Amphitheatre. You won’t get a view anywhere else – Collingwood Terminals in the distance, blue skies fading to hues of tangerine and the most breathtaking arch of twinkling stars. Films will be presented on the first and third Sundays of July and August and begin at dusk.
- Vinestock at Georgian Hills – Pack your bag and grab your tickets for this years’ Vinestock at Georgian Hill’s Vineyards happening Sunday August 12th from 12-5pm. Featuring local bites, musicians, wine, cider and beer, the day celebrates our talented food and beverage community while supporting the South Georgian Bay Music Foundation. Rain or shine, glass full or empty, the event will go on.
- Self-Guided Kayak with Free Spirit Tours – No kayak? No problem. At Free Spirit Tours in Heathcote, they have all the equipment required for a self-guided paddle down the Beaver or Nottawasaga River. Embrace the flowing waters with every stroke and spend the afternoon taking in the beauty that is Grey County.
- Jump off the Thornbury Pier – Summer hasn’t officially started until you’ve taken the polar plunge off of the Thornbury pier. We know all too well that Georgian Bay can be quite crisp, but there is something freeing about taking that first leap and dunking into turquoise waters. It’s the Summer 2018 initiation – and go!
- Black Creek Provincial Park – Though many haven’t heard of this small beach, Black Creek Provincial Park is quite the hidden gem located only 10 minutes outside of Lion’s Head. Known as “sandy beach” to the locals and decked with the most stunning white sand and shallow waters, this is the perfect spot for a mid-summer dip.
- Greigs Caves – Perched on the Bruce Peninsula, Greigs Caves offers you the opportunity to self-explore multiple limestone caves while enjoying the serenity that is the Niagara Escarpment. Bring a flashlight, good footwear and a pair of binoculars if you have them, as you’ll want to get a good view of the Bay.
- Sauble Beach SandFest – Get ready to have sand in your toes at the Sauble Beach Sandfest happening this August 11-12. Home to one of the longest fresh water beaches in Canada, Sauble is the quintessential summer destination. Be prepared for a weekend of sandcastles, swimming, sunsets and tons of classic car sightings.
- Hear the Phantom Piper at the Kincardine Lighthouse—during clear nights in July and August, listen as you hear the sound of bagpipes carry over Lake Huron while the sunset rolls in. Local pipe players take turns playing atop the downtown 1800s lighthouse, paying respect to the early Kincardine Piper, Donald Sinclair.
- Station Beach—located on the shores of Lake Huron, Station Beach is a one-stop shop for all things paddle boarding, sandy picnics, volleyball and surfing. With the lighthouse and museum in short walking distance, Kincardine shapes up to be one heck of a day-trip.
- Catch a Flick at the Hanover Drive-In – Make time this summer and visit Grey County’s last operational drive-in, located in the heart of Hanover. Open seasonally, the drive-in offers a cozy way to enjoy current films while kicked back tailgate style with your favourite movie snacks. And the best part is, if you take a snooze no one will notice. The drive-in is open Friday and Saturday evenings with the first feature beginning at approximately 9:30pm.
- Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival – Put on by the Georgian Bay Folk Society, the 43rd Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival is happening again this August 17-19th and you won’t want to miss it. Stationed on Kelso Beach, this event brings together a rich and diverse lineup of performers from across the world and showcases a wide range of talented artisans. Stay for the day, the weekend or even your favourite artist – the rest is up to you.
- Visit the Tom Thomson Art Gallery – If you’re craving some shade or looking for a rainy day activity, make sure to stop in at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery where you can view and admire a collection of his work. Tom was considered one of the most influential Canadian artists and together with the Group of Seven, had an impact on the way Canadian landscapes were portrayed.
- Hike Harrison Park to Inglis Falls – Inglis Falls may just be one of Grey County’s finest historical sites. Do your summer bucket list a favour, lace up and enjoy a view of this 18-metre cascade after a terrain packed hike from Harrison Park – you won’t regret it! Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran hiker, the trail offers a route for all abilities. And when you think you’ve seen it all, your trek finishes at the most stunning waterfall, crashing in all its glory.|E|
Stefanie Richardson is a local writer who shares her love for Southern Georgian Bay communities through her blog — lokaldigs.com