What to do, what to do....
We're often asked "what do we do when we're in Southampton?" As much as we may be astonished by this question, we realize that many of you are newcomers to this part of Ontario. This year we can't send you to our County Museum and Archive or other public interpretive centers due to Covid-19, but there's LOTS to do and here's a little list to get you started:
The Beach. Bring your beach towels, hat and sunscreen; beach chairs and umbrella if you have them and if not, Down's Hardware across the street has all manner of beach paraphernalia. Side note: We consider Down's to be Williams and Sonoma North!
Which Beach? Southampton Main Beach is out the door and to your left, 4 minutes walking.
Gerry's Fries Beach: Walk, bike or drive down to Huron Street, turn left and then turn right when you reach Beach Street. Park at Gerry's Fries and walk through the dunes for a perfect sandy beach looking out to Chantry Island.
Sauble Beach: a twenty minute drive away, or if you're ambitious like Paul who rides his bike there and back EVERY day, 45 minutes. You'll find miles (yes, miles), of sandy beach and sandy lake bottom that extends out hundreds of yards. It's spectacular but go early, it does get crowded.
Cycling. Southampton is great for cycling - its flat! There are kilometers of rail trail and cycling from harbour to harbour (Southampton to Port Elgin and back), is a nice loop. It also goes by Hi-berry Farm where you can pick up fresh veggies and berries to snack on along the way.
Bring your bikes. We have an enclosed lock up for you. No Bikes? We usually have two bikes on hand you but please bring your own helmets. If the bikes aren't available, Martin's Bicycle Shop will be more than happy to help you out.
Day Trips. These should be booked ahead, but you might consider a drive up the Peninsula to Tobermory for a short boat cruise to Flower Pot Island where you can take an exploration stroll. You might also enjoy renting a canoe or kayak and paddling the Big Tub and Little Tub Harbours while you're up there and Janette at Thorncrest Outfitters (just outside our door and up the street), will be happy to arrange rentals with all necessary equipment.
Hiking. The Bruce Peninsula is where The Bruce Trail begins (or terminates, whichever way you want to look at it), and there are lots of short loops to explore.
Paddle the Mighty Saugeen. This is one of Lisa's favourite recommendations and is an annual event when her kiddos arrive. The mouth of the Saugeen RIver meets Lake Huron right in Southampton. Thorncrest Outfitters just up the street (you'll notice that everything is just up or down the street relative to the Inn), will kit you out and shuttle you to a put-in spot. There is one spot that allows for a leisurely two hour paddle that terminates at Denny's Dam in Southampton (and that's where you'll meet the shuttle), or another put-in point that allows for a nice half day paddle - pick up some sandwiches and pack a picnic!
Take a stroll around town. Southampton is rich with beautiful homes, many built at the end of the 19th century, and gorgeous tree lined streets. We have a marvelous book that outlines some walks along with historical information about the homes.
Shopping. Let's not forget about this! Over to the Our Neighbourhood tab and you find links to all of our retailers, galleries and restaurants.
The Sunsets. Lake Huron is renowned for its sunsets and no evening should go by without being down at The Flag for the sunset and on Friday nights the sun is 'piped down' by a local piper and after all, who doesn't love a man in a kilt?