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Ontario Travel Dreams in Norfolk County

I feel like I’m on an episode of the layover except I’m Anthony Bourdain, and my 24-hour layover is in Norfolk County, Ontario. I’m driving at top speeds through the most beautiful farm fields just wishing I could stop for a second to snap a photo. Blue skies peaking through the most significant fluffiest clouds above and green fields planted all around. The purpose of the trip … to experience as much of Norfolk County as possible in 24 hours. I’ve been here less than 3 hours, and already, I have seen a beautiful beach, a farmers market, a winery and the food…OMG, the food!

Ontario Norfolk County

Where is this fantastic place you might be asking? Located in Ontario’s Southwest region, Norfolk County covers a vast area of towns stretching between Port Dover and Long Point along Lake Erie. Here is just a brief glimpse into my 24-hour layover in Norfolk County.

Ontario's Southwest Norfolk County

Norfolk County – Ontario Dream Beaches

I love a great beach, so when I happen to find them so close to home, I lose my mind. This happened to me when I visited Cobourg Beach this past summer, and Norfolk County seems to be secretly hiding some of Ontario’s most beautiful beaches along Lake Erie. They even have Palm Trees! Planted in the sand for the summer and then taken to a warm greenhouse during the winter! The result the fantastic Caribbean like beach on the shores of Lake Erie.

Port dover pier Ontario's Southwest

Port Dover is not the only beach to visit during your trip to Norfolk County. There is an assortment of other unusual and tranquil spots for you to enjoy including these.

Beaches in Norfolk County Ontario's Southwest

Locally Grown Food Markets in Norfolk County Ontario

In 24 hours you can’t possibly see everything a region has to offer, but driving through Norfolk during fall harvest I was super excited to visit some of the local markets. It doesn’t get fresher and more organic than this!

Ontario's Southwest Norfolk County

A Taste of Adventure in Norfolk Country

Isn’t Kayaking a bit dangerous? That was what I was thinking when I heard that I would be Kayaking on Lake Erie as part of my worldwide tour of Norfolk. I imagined the little boats and my legs all buried inside and the horror of it flipping over and not being able to turn it back around or to get out in time! But, then I realized this was a particular kind of Kayaking – more like a paddle boat. Before I knew it, I was floating effortlessly on Lake Erie and all around me was the most breathtaking views.

Ontario's Southwest Norfolk County

Our guide Barna from BAER Kayak Fishing wasn’t concerned at all about my expensive camera or my fear of tipping into the water. The reason? Well, these boats are very steady and easy to operate. In just a few seconds I was navigating like a pro and moving forward out of the sheltered channels and into the open waters of Lake Erie. Stay tuned for this excellent Kayak experience!

Ontario's Southwest Norfolk County

Wine Tastings and more Wine Tastings

So there is a pretty exciting wine scene coming out of the Norfolk region. Many Tobacco farmers have switched their crops to lavender and or grapes and built fabulous wineries in their place. With their new wines, they have also raised some eyebrows because their wines are winning some “best of” awards! Looking to taste some locally made Ontario wine … you may want to put this region on your wine tasting list!

Ontario's Southwest Norfolk County

Food Scene in Norfolk County

Yes, I said food scene. Part of my tour of the region included eating at some of the most amazing restaurants and meeting some inspiring local chefs.

Ontario's Southwest Norfolk County

“How did I not know about this place?”

I love the feeling of visiting a new place and discovering it with excitement asking myself over and over “how did I not know about this place.” It’s these types of situations that inspired this site, and I’m excited to share them with you all! Now that I know that just a short 2-hour drive will bring me to this beautiful region in Ontario filled with friendly locals, great shops, bold wines and an exciting food scene I have a feeling I will be visiting it … A LOT!

Planning an escape in Ontario’s Southwest? Check out these posts:

Travel support provided by Norfolk County Tourism. For more information visit Norfolk County Tourism and Ontario’s Southwest Tourism.

6 COMMENTS

  1. I would also recommend a road tour through the heritage villages of Norfolk County. Start from the east in Port Dover and tour the old hamlet of Dover where the town started and then get some of the history at the Port Dover Harbour Museum. Take the Lakeshore roads (or Front Road) through the village of Port Ryerse to see the old church and down to the old port or pier at the beach. Watch for eagles at play and other songbirds. Follow through Fisher’s Glen and then to Normandale. Drive down straight through the stop sign to the charming beach and pier. Then tour to see the old Hotel, Post Office and General Store which is now the Century Inn with great dining and an outdoor patio. Follow the road to Turkey Point if you wish to drive around the lakeshore for some spectacular landscapes reminiscent of the Bahamas and again continue west on the lakeshore to stop into Eco-Tours to view the marsh. Continue along to St. Williams and follow County Road 16 North past Highway 24 to Lynedoch. This village is charming in spring with a special garden tour. Drop into Cranberry Creek Gardens. From there head towards Delhi to see the Tobacco Museum and with a special map or GPS go to La Salette. Watch for the exquisite Catholic Church which is now owned by the community. The Ramblin Road Brewery is a great stop to try out the local beer and local peanuts. Next stop Teeterville and check out the museum open in the summer. Waterford is next and another great museum- Waterford Heritage Agricultural Museum. Stay at a Bed & Breakfast that is convenient. St. John’s B & B is a popular one for a quiet country stay south of Simcoe.

    • Forgot one more for the road….Vittoria, the regional capital after the War of 1812, nestled inland has some exquisite heritage buildings and homes which is now becoming a centre for artisans in the area.

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