Find your next favourite attraction on the Bruce County lakeshore
While on the lakeshore, it’s almost a must to drive the windy roads that follow the coast line – but that’s not all there is to our lakeshore!
Here we have a few of our favourite attractions that you should see while you’re here!
Attractions as plentiful as the sand on our beaches
With over 3,543 kilometres of fresh water, seek out relaxation or invigoration … you decide. You’ll find our four lakeside communities are filled with amazing things to do and see – enough you may have to extent your vacation!
From scrumptious places to eat to finding that perfect spot to dip your toe in the water or locating that authentically lakeshore adventure – we’ve got you covered.
At its core, Southampton is filled with cultural sophistication, but it also has a way of relaxing you once you cross into it. It’s difficult to choose only three but here’s the top three things to do in Southampton:
Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre – take a step through time. Uncover stories and local lore about our marine heritage and learn more with family-friendly feature exhibits, programs and special events. You just might stumble upon your own family’s roots from Bruce County’s bygone days in the Bruce County Archives & Research Room.
Saugeen River – with three access points right close to town, it’s a perfect way to spend an afternoon on the river. Paddling’s not all you can do though – the Saugeen River is also Ontario’s number 1 steelhead fishing destination.
Lighthouses – being on the coast, lighthouses are important for keeping the boat safe, but they are also a wonder to look at and explore. Southampton’s mainland lighthouse can be visited by the breakwater on the north side of the Saugeen River whereas the Chantry Island lighthouse is only accessible via a guided tour as it’s on a bird sanctuary.
Kincardine is our little piece of Scotland – but there’s nothing little about it. During the summer you’ll find the big sounds of the pipe bands flooding the streets, and whether you visit during a parade day or when the phantom piper picks up the bagpipes, you’re guaranteed a uniquely Kincardine experience!
Aside from the hauntingly beautiful sounds of the bagpipes – you’ll be looking for something in between to do, here’s a top 3 things to do in Kincardine list:
Lighthouse – as Bruce County’s only downtown lighthouse this is a well visited attraction. The octagonal wooden tower is 74 feet tall and is open for guided tours. Hint hint, grab a spot close by during the summer (except Saturdays) as this is where the phantom piper pipes the sun down!
Downtown – shop, find the trails or follow your nose to a mouthwatering meal or baked good, there’s no shortage of things to find in the downtown. The trails you’ll find here will lead you along the river, through parks and forested areas. Find peace gardens, rock gardens and on your way to one of the many bridges for a view of the Penetangore River. Find yourself in front of a counter eagerly anticipating the barista to pass the delicious baked good, or relaxing on a patio ready to dive into a local favourite.
Bruce Power Visitor Centre – might not be at the forefront of your mind, but as the worlds largest nuclear power plant it’s something that unique to Kincardine. Take a bus tour of the plant and see what they are doing with hydrogen and medical isotopes!
Sauble Beach, with its iconic entrance sign and the 11 kilometres of beach, needs no introduction, so let’s dive in!
Aerial Park – find yourself at the 40-foot monster of an experience. Not only will you be able to complete ‘The Tall’ the aerial parks main attraction, but you’ll also be able to step off for a 40 foot drop on ‘The Fall’. Rock climbing, axe throwing and more basecamp experiences for those not braving the ropes. You’ll also see something you’ve never seen in Canada before – cause it’s the first and only. The Zip Coaster sends you flying out to the beach and back around. It’s an experience you’ll want to do again and again!
Sauble River – sometimes forgotten since the Saugeen River is so popular, this windy river is the perfect spot to grab a tube and just enjoy the curves. You can start at the Sauble Falls or rent a kayak / canoe from Sauble River Marina and head up the river.
Tour the Main Streets – pop into the many stores lining the downtown core, where you’ll find everything from custom Sauble Beach clothing – changing every year, to an old school arcade!
Port Elgin’s all about creating vibrant memories that the whole family will treasure for years to come. It’s also been discovered by the shopaholics for the well stocked shop’s lining main street, but where Port Elgin really shines are the taste bud experiences waiting for you in the many restaurants. The top three things to see and do in Port Elgin include:
Trails – a thoroughly interconnected trail system brings you to all the great places, including two that connect Southampton and Port Elgin. Possibly the most popular trail in Bruce County, other than the Bruce Trail, can be found along the Port Elgin lakeshore starting at the Port Elgin main beach, the North Shore Trail follows the shoreline into Southampton.
Downtown – dynamic, energetic, lively: all words used to describe Port Elgin’s core. Shops and restaurants stretch along the main street just steps from the beach.
MacGregor Point Provincial Park – just south of town, you’ll find one of our three Provincial Parks. Here you’ll find camping, countless birding opportunities, winter yurt camping, and over 20 kilometres of trails.
You didn’t think we forgot about the beaches, did you? It is the lakeshore after all! Lake Huron’s pristine white sandy beaches can be found all up the shoreline including 9 from Point Clark to Sauble Beach. We all know how to lay on the beach, soak up the sun and run into the water – but what else can you do in the water?
Surfing! Little known fact – Kincardine’s been named Ontario’s surfing destination with Sauble Beach not far behind. Boards can be rented from SurfsUp Eco Shop in Kincardine (lessons too) or Jack n Jills in Sauble Beach. Timing is everything as any surfer will tell you, so what’s a better time than now to try it?
SUPing – as the worlds fastest growing water sport is it any surprise that it’s gaining popularity here? Rent a board or bring your own, join a sunset paddle or venture out long the shoreline with friends, but any way you do it, the view’s amazing.
Kitesurfing – windy days bring out the kiteboarders, so grab a spot on the beach to watch the kites take these surfers to new heights (and we do mean heights!). Watch as they take flight and glide back to the water – or try it out with Kiterider School for kitesurfing.
Canoeing and Kayaking – both classics, both a great way to get out onto the water. See your favourite sights from the water and you might just find that you enjoy this vantage point better.