There are times that I am forever grateful to live just an hour away from one of the Great Lakes. Lake Huron is bordered by Ontario in Canada and Michigan in the United States.
The Great Lakes (Superior, Huron, Michigan, Ontario and Erie) — make up the largest body of fresh water on Earth.
When the wind blows, you feel like you are at the ocean. Instead you are in fresh water staring at sunsets like this in Grand Bend. This is a thriving community with cottages right on the water and cottages in subdivisions in and around ‘the Bend’. It is fairly easy to rent a cottage in this area but you will be paying a premium if you want direct access to the lake. We chose to rent this year in Grand Bend so that we were closer in proximity to London. This made it convenient for family and friends to come down for the day.
Grand Bend is a nice resort town with a wildly popular beach and many many beach stores located in and around the village. You can also go camping at The Pinery Provincial Park just south of Grand Bend. This is a very popular campground and you should make reservations well in advance. You can go to the beach for the day or camp overnight.
Grand Bend has a variety of interesting things to do (the huge Sunday Flea Market, plenty of water sports rental places as well as hiking and biking trails – more on that in another post). What I like is the ability to go into town and grab a coffee and then walk across the street and visit Grandpa Jimmy’s Scottish Bakery for some fresh scones or individual meat pies. They are freshly baked on site and have been a Grand Bend tradition for over 10 years. I recommend the assorted shortbread cookies ;).
You are also close to other small towns that have attractions in and of themselves. We went to Zurich and had a stop at Jerry Radar’s. A small shop with cute chachkies, candles, Christmas ornaments and purses and the best mixed berry pie that we have ever had in our lives (no lie) as well as delectable butter tarts. We wanted to have a quick lunch and had Chili and baked beans (once again… the best that I’ve ever tasted). If you want to celebrate all things bean, Zurich has a Bean Festival August 26th and 27 at the Zurich Fairgrounds. This little shop is a must see and only 20 minutes from Grand Bend.
If you keep heading north on highway 21 you will eventually get to Bayfield, Ontario. One of the most picturesque and lovely little towns you will ever have the pleasure of seeing. The main attraction is the square where you will find a lovely park for the kids and plenty of shops and restaurants to frequent. I wrote a restaurant review of The Black Dog Village Pub a few years back.
You may want to travel a bit down the road and find Pioneer Park. You will have a cliff view of the lake and the harbour but make sure to take the stairs down to the beach. You will have a peak at a small shipwreck, a fallen tree and a breakwater that is a great place to see the waves explode!
If you have an opportunity to visit Lake Huron, don’t pass it up. There is much to see in southwestern Ontario. It is easily accessible from London or Toronto and it will take your breath away.