Explore Stratford’s nearby wonders
If you’re keen on adding some iconic day trips during your stay in Stratford, we’ve got you covered. We’re rounding up amazing day trips and we’ll keep adding them below. Take your pick from one or a handful; all locations are within a sixty-minute drive from Stratford.
Located only 20 minutes west of Stratford, you will discover the quaint town of Mitchell. It’s the perfect quick trip this fall when you’re visiting Stratford. On your drive, relish the beauty of fall with the gorgeous changing colours.
Take a stroll and grab a bite to eat at The Sugar Maple Restaurant , a cozy spot full of character and run by a pair that are committed to good food.
Head on down to the Thames River for a walk along the West Perth Thames Trail and over the dam . The nature trail is for pleasure walkers, joggers, hikers & bird-watchers. Accessible for baby strollers, motorized scooters and wheelchairs. The trail is a photographer’s paradise, from the Mill Pond through to the woodlands and the West Perth Wetlands.
Stop by the West Perth animal park , located in the Lions Park on the corner of Blenheim and Blanshard Streets. Animals such as fallow deer, a llama, donkeys, goats and a variety of birds (ducks, geese, peacocks, pheasants, chickens and turkeys). Open year-round, visitors bring treats of corn and carrots. This park has a playground, covered pavilions, picnic area, an outdoor municipal pool and splashpad .
Important note: Please do not feed the animals anything other than corn, carrots and similar items. They do not like to eat house plants or other human food.
If you’re looking to spend more time outdoors, the West Perth Wetlands are home to ten kilometers of hiking trails, three large ponds, and 200 rare species of birds that live and migrate through the wetlands every year.
Here are some more places to explore while visiting Mitchell:
- Stroll along main street and browse through one-of-a-kind shops like Jillian’s ; this beautiful home decor store will surely inspire you to bring a few new items into your home.
- Not just for flowers, Floral Treasures , also on main street, also offers gifts for any age or occasion, including stuffed animals, balloon bouquets, candy & chocolate, silk arrangements, baby items, home décor and scented candles.
- Find yourself needing something for your pet on your journey? B&B Pet Supplies in Mitchell’s grandest building, the Hick’s House, will help you out.
More options to fuel your exploring:
- Stop for a delicious local beer at Black Donnelly’s Brewing Company , just 9 minutes south of Mitchell
- Stop into BJ’s Dairy Bar & Eatery downtown for some delicious Metzgers’ Burgers, Specialty Fries, Ice Cream, Milkshakes and more!
- The Rose & Crown , a family friendly pub, believes that solid pub fare is the foundation on which everything else is built and is a big part of small town life.
- Looking for an all-day breakfast to fuel your visit? 101 Bar and Fire Grill Restaurant has you covered with so many omelettes and more. Your fave apps, burgers, sammies and wraps are also on the menu.
- Jen’s Kitchen & Cafe is a local favourite currently offering takeout breakfast, lunch, dinner and sweet treats! Grab your morning cup of java here too.
Nicknamed the Stone Town for its incredible limestone buildings, St. Marys is great for the day tripper who loves history and picture-perfect small towns. Only a 20-minute drive from Stratford, St. Marys is home to museums – like the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame – and fun shops with one-of-a-kind items.
When it comes to nature, St. Marys won’t disappoint you. The Riverview Walkway trail runs through town and along the Thames River, making for a peaceful stroll. You’ll find family-fun every summer at the St. Marys Quarry ; Canada’s largest outdoor freshwater swimming pool! Another great trail is the Grand Trunk Trail , which follows the old Grand Trunk Railway line with panoramic views over town. St. Marys is the start of the Avon Trail from St. Marys to Conestogo, connecting the Thames Valley and Grand River Trails. With 13 kilometers of scenic views, the Loop Trail is St. Marys longest interior biking trail! The St. Marys Loop Trail runs past many historic sites and natural areas. Nearby is Wildwood Conservation Area with hiking and cycling trails.
Between hikes and museum visits, pop into one of the many fun and eclectic coffee shops, or stop for a bite to eat at one of the many cultural restaurants around the town.
We’ve listed just a sample of what you can expect from your visit to St. Marys!
- Eclectic Treasure Something Old Something New
- The Flower Shop and More
- O’Grady’s Clothing
- Pass it On
- Stone Home Creatives
- Sun Rayz
- Troyer’s Spices
- McCully’s Hill Farm Market
- Ambrosia Greek Bakery & Cafe
- Broken Rail Brewing
- The Chocolate Factory
- The Flour Mill
- Harris Electric Eatery
- Kitchen Smidgen
- Social Thirty-One (located at St. Marys Golf Course)
- Snapping Turtle Coffee Roasters
- Sunset Diner
- The Westover Inn
Want to be transported a half a world away to a little village in England?
You’ll save on airfare and jet lag as Shakespeare is only a five-minute drive east of Stratford. Shakespeare may be a small hamlet, but it makes up for it with quaint shops.
Known as the Antiques Capital of Ontario, there are treasures ranging from statement furniture pieces with a story to tell, to shabby chic projects just waiting to happen, to industrial antiques all from the tightly clustered antique shops. Land & Ross features 10,000 sq ft in 3 locations and specialize in 19th century furniture and accessories. Be sure to pop into The British Touch to browse their assortment of tasty and wacky treats.
If you’re looking for an Instagram-worthy spot, pop into Harry Ten Shilling Tearoom . Enjoy a spot of tea and a tower of irresistible desserts. Or, head over to Shakespeare Brewing Company to enjoy their Shakespearean-inspired beers, like The Grumpy Goat and The Heavy Horse.
Before you head back to Stratford for the night, stop at Shakespeare Conservation Area . Take a wander along its trails and soak in the colours and smells of nature. You’ll swoon over this off-the-radar gem of a park.
More great spots to explore in Shakespeare include:
- Take time for self-care at Orchard Valley Spa .
- Explore the colourful full service quilt shop The Quilt Place .
- Filled with local pork, fresh baked goods, preserves and more The Best Little Pork Shoppe is a one-stop shop.
- Fall is upon us and Apple Flats is the perfect spot to explore this season.
- Visit Perth County’s oldest European structure, Fryfogel Tavern built by Swiss immigrant Sebastian Fryfogel in 1844, this tavern is a beautiful piece of historic Perth County.
- Looking for a place to stay? We know just the place: Shakespeare Inn .
We highly recommend stopping into the brand-new Wild Hog Country Market on your way!