August 29, 2020
By: Karisa Simon
Normally whenever there is a long weekend in Ontario, my family and I head across the U.S. border to visit family or to shop and sightsee. However, our usual plan has been cancelled for obvious reasons. Change is good and I don’t give up easily, so I decided to get my adventure fix in the picturesque city of Oakville.
My excursion started by packing my overnight bag and ended at a wonderful hotel, so follow along with my ultimate guide to a long weekend adventure in Oakville!
Saturday hike at Bronte Creek Provincial Park
I have never been hiking, so I had to jump on the opportunity to go on a hike at the gorgeous Bronte Creek Provincial Park. My lack of skill became quite apparent when I fall flat on my face in front of my family. My phone was salvaged but I can’t say the same about my knee.
All jokes aside, I had an amazing time! The trails were beautiful and there was enough tree coverage to keep us relatively cool throughout the hike. We got to see a little bit of everything, taking in the towering trees, sweeping views and beautiful clear waters.
Insider Tip: Plan in advance and check ahead for the forecast. Take note of what facilities are open at the park. Currently, the outdoor pool and the discovery program are closed. However, you can still see some of the animals in the nearby fields. I suggest bringing water and snacks and taking a good look at the map to ensure that you can find your way out of trails instead of retracing your steps like I did (we got lost).
Patio lunch at Thai Senses
We had built up an appetite after the hike, so we decided to have lunch at Thai Senses in Bronte Village. Serving an array of Thai cuisine, this adorable restaurant did not disappoint. We ate on the patio under a spacious umbrella. I ordered Pad Thai and it wasn’t like anything I have ever tasted before. It perfectly balanced the fresh herbs and spices with salty, sweet and spicy – truly authentic Thai cuisine. Safety measures were also clearly in place to ensure that we had a delightful and safe experience.
Sightsee at Bronte Harbour Marina
The Bronte Harbour is so breathtaking that I thought I was looking at a postcard. It is so picturesque and there is even a large green field in front of the waterfront that is perfect for picnics and a playground that is open for children to play. The parking is free and there are benches facing the water that are perfect for watching the boats come and go. Once we had our fill of the water, we walked a few steps away from our perch to pick up some cones at Duckies Dairy Bar. Life is better with ice cream, right? Their ice cream was so yummy and the service was great. It was the perfect way to enjoy our time by the lake.
Shop in Downtown Oakville
Next, we headed to Downtown Oakville for a little shopping excursion!
Downtown Oakville is a beautiful shopping district that hosts a mix of boutiques that specialize in anything from clothing, to handmade gifts, to furniture and decor. There are many retail options in this cultural district and there is something for everyone. I have been looking for a cute succulent plant for my bedroom, and I found the perfect fit at FIORI Oakville.
Watch a movie at The 5 Drive-In
If you have never been to the 5 Drive-In I strongly recommend you drive up sometime this summer. With a retro 50’s feel, modern projector and tasty food, this is a great place to watch a movie while physically distancing. Visitors are asked to stay inside their vehicle when watching the movie and wear a mask whenever they enter the concession or restrooms. There are social distance measures in place within the concession and washrooms are cleaned regularly. Additionally, vehicles are parked at least six feet apart upon entering the parking lot.
Sleepover at a local hotel
To cap off our long weekend staycation, my family and I decided to stay over at the wonderful Quality Inn and Suites. The staff was friendly and I received excellent customer service. I was a little hesitant about staying at a hotel during this time, but I was reassured and felt incredibly comfortable once I saw how much care they put into their safety and sanitization procedures.
The hotel wants guests to be comfortable and feel safe during this unprecedented time. Public areas are disinfected regularly along with doorknobs and key cards. Likewise, staff members are required to disinfect their hands and work areas regularly.
I booked a double queen bedroom. It was perfect for my family, as it was very spacious. It had a microwave, mini-fridge, coffee maker, desk area and a lovely leather couch. There are other room types available as well, such as a king bed and a double queen bedroom with a kitchenette.
You’re probably wondering about the wifi? It is free. And when it comes to amenities, there is a fitness centre and meeting rooms. Capacity limits and social distancing are required for both. And don’t even get me started on the beds. They were amazing and I can’t say enough! I slept like a baby and so did my mom ( her snoring was crazy).
The hotel also provides a free hot breakfast. Typically it would be served in their dining room, but due to COVID-19 they have started serving breakfast to go. Each guest is handed there meal in to-go container/bags during breakfast hours.
Though this is not normally how my family would spend their long weekend, we had an amazing time getting our adventure fix in Oakville. I hope that you can all use this guide to get out of your current environment for a little fresh Oakville air this long weekend. Cheers!