November 28, 2020

By: Mrinalini Sundar

For someone who moved to Canada one-and-a-half-years ago, exploring every nook and cranny of Ontario was my first mission. When Visit Oakville fell into my lap, I felt incredibly lucky. To be able to explore the quaint little boutiques, the bright patios and the sunny outdoors – what’s not to love about Oakville?

Most importantly, my stint with Visit Oakville also helped me spend more time with my family – which includes my husband and our two-and-a-half-year-old. Though I did get some much-wanted “me-time” with solo adventures like the horse ride at The Ranch, the peaceful charter ride across Sixteen Mile Creek or exploring the history of Oakville at The King’s Arms, I had the most fun with my family. We had fun with everything, whether it was playing a game of football and enjoying a fun picnic at Gairloch Gardens, unlocking secrets at Narrow Escape, digging into yummy vegetarian food from Community Restaurant, spotting the Toronto skyline from Lakeside Park or planning a relaxing staycation in the amazing hotels of Oakville. More importantly, what made all these experiences more fun was sharing it all and documenting it as blogs for Visit Oakville.

What surprised me the most was how much this quaint lake town had to offer to me and my family during this pandemic, and how safe we felt exploring the town. While I started out with a list of things that I wanted to explore in Oakville, today, I’m sharing my top five favourite spots/experiences that this dynamic district has to offer:

1. Horse riding at The Ranch

I walked into The Ranch with no riding experience, but I walked out knowing so much more about horses, the barn and the trails. Enjoy this activity individually, with a group or make it a date – it will never disappoint you. I got chatty with my trip guide and also fell in love with my horse, Daisy. Pet the horses, click pictures with them or just give them a warm hug – this one will always be special to me.

2. Charter ride on Sixteen Mile Creek

The summer of 2020 is something I will never forget thanks to my unique charter ride on Sixteen Mile Creek that continued to Lake Ontario. The jumpy water, the cold breeze on my face and my heart pounding- my charter ride, organized by Charteability, will be one of my best memories from this time.

3. Buca Di Bacco

I had the most romantic date with my husband at Buca Di Bacco, – sipping on some chardonnay and munching on bruschetta. To make things special, we also had live music and some cozy patio lighting. Tucked in Downtown Oakville, this one is perfect for get-togethers or date nights!

4. Lion’s Valley Park

Fall is a magical time, especially if you’re exploring the trails at Lion’s Valley Park. From the trek up the hill with my little one to capturing the fall leaves, and swing time at the park, – this one fills my heart. Grab a charcuterie board and enjoy a nice picnic under the trees. You can also go for a walk with your loved one or enjoy the mystical colours of fall.

5. Dorval Farmer’s Market

As someone who is a big believer in supporting local businesses, this one tops my list. With fresh produce, Sri Lankan tea, baked goods, and eco-friendly skin products, the Dorval Crossing Civitan Farmers Market is a perfect spot to give back to the community. Socially distanced, with sanitizing stations at every corner, this open market is what my Saturday morning routines are all about.

My last three months have been nothing short of a riot. My big takeaway for all of you is to get out and explore your own towns! If you’re not from Oakville, take a look at everything we’ve done throughout these months and start planning your trip once you can travel again.