Stratford Staycation: Refresh for summer in Stratford
Summer in Stratford, there is no better time for a refresh. I think we can all agree on the importance of self-care, and with a change of season we recommend taking time to refresh, recharge and revitalize. We’ve made it easy to do just that, right here in Stratford. From home décor, fashion and florals, we’ve listed some of the top places to get freshened up.
Self-care starts at the spa!
As we slide into sandals, now might be the time to get those toes ready to shine. Consider a spa day or treatment at one of these unique and beautiful spas. Treat yourself to a massage, hair treatment or mani and pedi!
AJ’s Hair & Aesthetic Studio
Deep Roots Salon And Spa – Mitchell
Divine Esthetics Day Spa
Infinity Care Day Spa
Illume Wellness Spa
Janelle’s Spa & Boutique
Lily of the Valley Esthetics
The Little Spa Studio
Orchard Valley Spa – Shakespeare
Relish Day Spa
Sensations Salon & Day Spa – St. Marys
Solace on Turnberry – Brussels
The Spa Near the Tracks
Victorian Inn & Spa On Main – Listowel
Your summer shopping spree awaits in Stratford.
From the latest trends, unique vintage finds, jewellery and swimwear, we recommend visiting some of Stratford’s best shops to complete your look this season.
The Dressing Room
Got it Made
Grace the Boutique
The Green Room
La Osa Jewelry + Vintage
MacLeods Scottish Shop
Simply Lovely Lingerie
The Touchmark Shop
White-Balmer Shoes & Handbags
Bring summer into your home.
You don’t need to wait for a special occasion to bring flowers into your home. Summer is the perfect time to brighten things up with a wide assortment of colours. Consider ordering from one of the many floral shops in Stratford.
Cozyn’s Garden Gallery
Designs by Cate
Flowers on York
Forest of Flowers
Klomp’s Home & Garden
The Little Shed Flower Company
Stratford and surrounding cities impress year-round with their home décor items that will give your home a complete summer overhaul. Passionate shop owners bring in the latest trends, local artists, brands and styles to help turn your Pinterest dream board into real life!
Blowes Cards and Gifts
Bungalow – St. Marys
Cozyn’s Garden Gallery
Designs by Cate
Got it Made
H.H. Delea & Company
Jillian’s – Mitchell
Stilettos and Sawdust
Symphony In Brass
Watson’s Chelsea Bazaar
Wills and Prior
Village Craft and Candle – St. Marys
Make a statement!
As you freshen up your home for summer, consider a statement piece from one of our favourite local art galleries.
Koolen Fine Arts
Mountain Galleries East
Shane Norrie Studio
For more places to shop visit our Plan Your Visit section! Be sure to tag us on your #StratfordStaycation journey! #LoveStratford
Staycation Outdoor Edition
Outdoor adventure awaits in your own backyard
Summer is finally here and we’re ready to dive into the warm weather. We have listed some of our favourite outdoor activities in and around Stratford for you to soak up that vitamin D.
Every good day starts with a breakfast filled with delicious and hearty local ingredients to keep you full all morning long. Whether you are looking for a quick bite on the go or a sit-down experience, here are some top breakfast spots we highly recommend before your day of adventure begins.
Now that you are fueled and ready to go, it’s time to get moving! We have made it easy to choose your favourite ways to explore the outdoors this season.
The Avon Trail 113 km hiking trail from St. Marys to Conestoga, linking the Thames Valley and Grand Valley Trails. Thanks to the generosity of the landowners, the trail runs through scenic farmland and meanders along country roads, rivers and streams. The trail is marked at regular intervals by white rectangle blazes, with blue blazes used on the Stratford Side Trail . These trails are maintained by 80+ member volunteers.
See route updates on avontrail.ca or on the app before heading out! Please be respectful to the area while hiking.
G2G Trail The Goderich to Guelph Rail Trail, which has become known as G2G, runs 127 km along the former CPR railway line, which stretches from downtown Guelph to the waters of Lake Huron. As an outdoor enthusiast, you can explore the G2G Trail by bike, hike, run or walk. From bird watchers to experienced cyclists, the G2G Rail Trail offers a place for you to be as active as you choose
TJ Dolan Natural Area Known for one of the best places to go hiking right here in Stratford, and many consider it a true hidden gem. This trail is part of the park systems that surrounds the Festival Theatre and Avon River; it is a north and south river trail loop with several side trails ranging from .3km to 4.4km.
West Perth Thames Trail A nature trail for pleasure walkers, joggers, hikers and bird watchers. Accessible for baby strollers, motorized scooters and wheelchairs. The trail is a photographer’s paradise, from the Mill Pond through the woodlands, and the West Perth Wetlands. Located along the north branch of the Thames River, in the urban/rural amalgamated Municipality of West Perth.
Wildwood Conservation Area Located in St. Marys, Wildwood Conservation is a 3,500-acre outdoor playground! Hiking, camping, boating, swimming, picnicking, mountain biking, birding, and so much more! Trails range in length from 1.2 km to the 25 km Lake Trail. The trails range from flat to rugged terrain with areas of steep hills, exposed roots and rocks. Plan ahead and know your abilities as well as the areas through which you are hiking or biking.
We’re all so relieved that golf courses are open again! Enjoy clean, fresh air and challenging greens on the golf course:
Looking to get some exercise while you enjoy the beautiful Avon River? Head over to Avon Boat Rentals for paddle boats, canoes and kayaks.
The sweetest of both indoor and outdoor worlds: The Chocolate Trail! Our self-guided, year-round culinary trail lets you walk the streets, while you explore new stores along the way and redeem your chocolate treat. AND…. the Chocolate Trail burns calories…. good thing!
You have no doubt worked up an appetite after your full morning of outdoor adventure. Consider grabbing a soup, salad or sandwich from these scrumptious lunch options.
You may be looking for a slower pace activity this afternoon. We’ve got the perfect solution for outdoor exploration at your own pace. Newly introduced self-guided audio tours are a fun and informative way to discover the city you love. These exciting new tours feature some of Stratford’s most popular and notorious buildings, personalities, hidden gems and rich history. The best part! They are completely FREE and can be experienced outdoors (there are optional indoor locations on some of the tours).
The tours are easy to follow with interactive digital maps to guide you through each location. Each tour is unique and offers listeners an in-depth look back in time to learn more about the city they love. The new tours include:
Justin Bieber Tour Calling all Beliebers! This audio tour features some of Justin’s all-time fave spots in his hometown. Fans across the world can listen from a distance and envision your future trip to Stratford when it is safe to visit! Note: Stratford Perth Museum’s Justin Bieber: Steps to Stardom Exhibit will re-open for Stage 3 of Ontario’s reopening plan (admission fee applies).
Top Insta-worthy Spots Have you ever wondered where Stratford’s most Insta-Worthy spots are located? Have no fear, we’re here to tell you! Featuring 15 stops, your feed will be full of likes in no time! Stratford is so full of beautiful and interesting backdrops, perfect for your Instagram feed. Let our audio tour be your start to discover hidden gems in the city. Audio recordings by local musician Meredith Mae.
Art Walk Calling all art lovers! Art and culture are the lifeblood of Stratford. Public art installations have sprung up throughout the city as early as 1897. Starting at Gallery Stratford, the artistic heart of the city, we invite you to explore over twenty points of interest as a sneak-peek into our cultural soul. Audio tour narrated by the talented Stratford native Dayna Manning, featuring music from her latest album, Morning Light.
Stratford Garden Tour Soak up the beauty of Stratford’s garden scene, featuring some of Stratford’s most stunning gardens. From the gorgeous and wildly popular Shakespeare Gardens, to the pristine and rich gardens on the grounds of the Stratford Festival, you’ll discover more than just beauty when exploring on this one-of-a-kind tour. Created in partnership with Gardens of Stratford.
Riverwalk Personalities Boasting the largest parkland per capita, Stratford’s main park system combines approximately 115 acres of formal parkland and nearly 60 acres of natural area. Enjoy the parks, the architecture, and the personalities that are part of one of Canada’s best preserved heritage communities while exploring The Riverwalk Personalities Tour.
Saints & Sinners Tour An amateur archaeologist, a Lieutenant in the Perth Regiment, and one heck of an imposing figure, Hugh Nichol was Stratford’s Jailer from 1877 to 1921. He is but one of the colourful personalities found in Stratford’s Saints & Sinners heritage tour.
Epitaphs and Headstones World renowned actors of the stage, Canada’s ninth prime minister, and a victim of the Titanic are only a few of the diverse individuals that called Stratford and Perth County their home. Rediscover Stratford’s heritage with Epitaphs and Headstones – a cemetery tour featuring the legendary people of Perth County, while enjoying the natural beauty of some of the area’s oldest cemeteries.
Choose a theme, turn up your volume and let our audio clips deepen your discoveries. Choose your preferred starting spot on the map and click your way from one stop to the next. Click HERE to experience the tours for yourself. Don’t forget to check back often as more new content is added for your enjoyment; whether you are near or far.
Time to grab some grub!
Wrap up your fun-filled day with a delicious meal at one of our many pubs. Here are some popular local hot spots to enjoy a casual dinner after a day full of adventure.
For more places to explore, visit our Plan Your Visit section! Be sure to tag us on your #StratfordStaycation journey! #LoveStratford
A trip around the world…. without leaving Stratford!
Do you want to take a trip around the world with us? A trip that doesn’t require a passport or dreaded packing? Well, you’re in luck! Did you know that Stratford is full of incredible cuisine, inspired by international destinations and cultures? Allow us to be your tour guide on our adventure around the world… without leaving Stratford. #SavourStratford
What comes to mind when you think of Italy? Aside from the historic treasures, fascinating landscapes and culture – it’s the food and wine that stands out for us! From authentic pizza, pasta, bread, coffee, desserts and so much more, we’d eat our way through the country if we could. Lucky for us, we can save our airfare and indulge in authentic Italian cuisine right here in our hometown. These top three picks will truly satisfy your every craving.
Bonjour – welcome to France! We have now made it to Western Europe to explore the Mediterranean beaches, medieval cities, fashion designers, classical art museums and of course dive into the sophisticated French cuisine. Did you know that French cuisine and the knowledge of French cooking styles and practices has significantly contributed to Western cuisine? There are endless dishes that are considered part of French culture and you may notice a traditional French meal consists of three courses. If you are looking to discover French cuisine look no further! These restaurants offer French inspired menu items you’ll love. Bon Appetit!
As we eat our way through Europe, we find ourselves on the Southeastern side en route to Greece! This country is truly a piece of heaven. Some interesting facts you may not know: Greece is one of the sunniest places in the world; the Greek Isles are home to over 6000 beautiful islands; 80% of Greece is made up of mountains, and the beaches are some of the most photographed in the world. When visiting Greece, we dream of endless olives, feta, grilled meat, fresh fish and sweet baklava.
Demetre’s Family Eatery
For a small country, the gorgeous Emerald Isle known as Ireland certainly has a lot to brag about! From sports like racing and rugby, literature and music (home of U2!), to vivid green rolling hills, Ireland is a breathtaking nation. And we haven’t even talked about food yet. When we think of Irish food, we think of flavour and comfort. From soda bread, Irish stews, hardy potatoes, and meat dishes with fresh vegetables and herbs, topped off with a pint of Guinness! If you’re in the mood to explore the comfort of the Irish – check out:
Molly Bloom’s Irish Pub
Let’s take our journey to one of the most populous countries in the world…China! This country is truly fascinating. China is well known for its architectural wonders like the Great Wall, the variety of delicious food, tea, martial arts, rich history, and culture. There is no need to wait for a special occasion like the Lunar New Year to enjoy Chinese food! Stratford has some options to explore when you’re in the mood for Chinese.
Mei Shanghai Restaurant
Let’s grab our virtual passports and head to Asia, more specifically East Asia to a renowned and captivating island country called Japan. The Japanese culture and cuisine are so unique, and quite frankly admirable. Japan is known for eating very healthy, incorporating foods such as fish, rice, soy, and green tea with very little refined foods or sugar. The Japanese cuisine offers a wide range of regional specialties that use traditional recipes with local ingredients. If you’re in the mood for healthy, yet equally delicious food, try these suggested restaurants below.
Moving our way to Southeast Asia, to Thailand. Thailand has become one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world. We can see why millions would venture overseas to immerse themselves in the culture, colourful history, tropical beaches, archaeological sites and exotic cuisine. Stratford is fortunate to have several options when you’re craving Thai!
Stratford Noodle Zone
Stratford Thai Cuisine
Let’s continue our journey through Asia, where we stamp our passports on our next stop – India! The largest country in South Asia, India is a bucket list destination that will truly make for one of the most memorable times you will experience. The unique landscapes, colourful festival, culture and flavourful cuisine will amaze you in this diverse country. We highly recommend visiting these authentic Indian restaurants to explore the flavours of India.
If you love larger than life mountains, white sand beaches, sprawling winelands, natural beauty and cultural diversity, then let us introduce you to South Africa. Stratford is so pleased to have our very own South African-inspired restaurant, focusing on open-fire cooking. This incredibly popular restaurant believes that the primal aspect of fire brings people together and connects them with their food, family, friends and the outdoors, which is an important concept of the restaurant. The atmosphere will allow patrons to feel comfortable and to feel in touch with nature, in the same way that a South African braai does.
It’s time to pack your bags and prepare for a long-haul virtual flight to Mexico. As we travel our way closer to home, we discover the sights and sounds of this much-loved country. Packed with rich culture, world-class food, and incredible history, Mexico continues to impress each time you visit. Mexican food is one of the most popular culture cuisines, and we can see why. Consider grabbing a bite to eat at these Mexican-inspired spots!
El Cactus Taco Shop
Quesada Burritos & Tacos
Another destination known for flavour and fun…. Louisiana. That’s right. Our journey has taken us back to North America and we stopped for some grub! Newly opened and a fast favourite, Stratford is home to an authentic Louisiana-inspired restaurant, bringing music to your taste buds, one dish at a time…cooking it the southern way – low & slow!
Keepin’ It Creole
Inspired by international cuisine and chefs, these spots offer a variety worldwide flavours, cooking techniques, and incorporating fresh local ingredients.
Before we call our journey to an end, we would be remiss if we didn’t talk about the universal drink enjoyed by millions across the globe daily…coffee! From Guatemala, Ethiopia to Colombia, Honduras, and beyond, you can enjoy worldwide flavours in your cup of joe at these local cafes.
These are just some of the internationally inspired restaurants you can enjoy, right here in Stratford. For more delicious dining options, visit our Plan Your Visit section! #SavourStratford