Grand River & Beyond Road Trip | Best Western Hotels

  

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Grand River & Beyond Tour

Explore the cities, towns, communities, and attractions near the Grand River in southwestern Ontario. From the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre in Brantford, to the Arboretum in Guelph – make the most of your next visit to Ontario. 

Stratford

As the largest river contained within the boundaries of southern Ontario, the Grand River, as it's so aptly named, stretches from as far north as Grand Valley, meanders through the Waterloo and Kitchener area, and finishes near Dunnville and out through Port Maitland. 

Must See

Start this tour in Stratford, almost directly west of the Grand River, and head for the nearby Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum. This excellent sports museum preserves the life and careers of a wide range of baseball players who have Canadian origins. 

Local Guide

Don't miss the local art scene – check out the Stratford Gallery. Enjoy a tour of one of Ontario's longest running public art forums. You'll find a pleasant blend of contemporary and classics dating back to the museum's inception in 1967. Tours are available Tuesday through Sunday. 

Outdoor

Be sure to see the Shakespearean Gardens in Stratford. Bordered by the Perth County Courthouse, these gardens feature a variety of over 60 flowers, herbs, and shrubs. 

Woodstock

Southeast from Stratford is Woodstock, another of the charming destinations you'll enjoy near Grand River. Though they call themselves the "Friendly City," Woodstock is also known as the Dairy Capital of Canada. Many of the attractions you'll find in Woodstock are tied to the dairy industry. 

Must See

A visit to Woodstock in southwestern Ontario should definitely mean a stop at Gunn's Hill Artisan Cheese. You can shop the quaint selection of speciality cheese in stock, or embark on a (by request) tour of the facility and grounds. 

Local Guide

Sticking with the dairy theme, be sure to visit the Springbank Snow Countess Monument in Woodstock. This statue is a life sized homage to the Springbank Snow Countess, the cow who produced more butterfat during her life than any cow for the next 21 years. 

Outdoor

Take advantage of great spring and summer weather at the Pittock Conservation Area. Hiking trails, canoe and kayak rentals – for who don't travel with their own – and even dragon boat races help make Pittock a top outdoor retreat in Woodstock.

Brantford

Make Brantford the next stop as you explore the Grand River area. Directly east of Woodstock along Highway 403, Brantford is the birthplace of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, and is nicknamed the Telephone City. Enjoy your stay!   

Must See

When you visit Brantford you simply must tour the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre. You may be the biggest hockey fan on the block or know almost nothing about the sport – this venue offers free skating periods, lessons for all ages, and you can also explore the Brantford & Area Sports Hall of Recognition. 

Local Guide

Find out why Brantford is nicknamed the Telephone City when you visit the Bell Homestead National Historic Site. It was here where Alexander Graham Bell made his first telephone call in 1876, making this site, and Brantford as a whole, one of Ontario's most historically important cities. 

Outdoor

Enjoy a day of hiking in Brantford at the Six Nations Nature Trail, or the ever-popular Grand Valley Trail. With a wide range of trail types, lengths, and difficulties, you're sure to find an excellent day of hiking in Brantford. 

Cambridge

Keep the good times rolling in Ontario and the Grand River – make your way north into Cambridge. Just at the intersection of Highway 401 and Hespeler Road, Cambridge is warm and welcoming, with a wide range of excellent sites to explore. 

Must See

There's no way you can visit Cambridge in southern Ontario and miss out on a tour of the Cambridge Sculpture Garden. Found along the Grand River near downtown, the Cambridge Sculpture Garden is open every day of year, and features a wealth of art works, and a more than 130 year old oak tree. 

Local Guide

The Fire Hall Museum and Education Centre in Cambridge is the ideal destination for a family looking for an afternoon activity. Learn about the history of fire fighting in Cambridge, check out the gift shop, and the kids can climb aboard the antique fire truck on site. 

Outdoor

This region of southern Ontario features many diverse landscapes, creating a bevy of outdoor recreation choices. Puslinch Lake, just east of downtown, is great for fishing, while the Riverside Park can yield an excellent picnic spot or nature walk adventure.

Kitchener

From Cambridge, you'll find neighbor city Kitchener. Accessed easily along Highway 8, Kitchener is home to an impressive array of attraction, local events, and annual festivals. 

Must See

The Kitchener Market is a major hub of activity in the city. The Market International Food Court will fill you up, and the rest of the market will tease and tantalize your senses – fun, historic sites, and plenty for the kids to do and see. 

Local Guide

Learn all about the life and legacy of William Lyon Mackenzie King, the 10th and longest serving Prime Minister of Canada, when you see his boyhood home at the Woodside National Historic Site. Tour the home, then explore nearly 12 acres of well vegetated forest area. 

Outdoor

When your visit to Kitchener is a winter time affair, be sure to hit the slopes at Chicopee Ski Hill. With a total of 36 skiable acres, and 11 runs, Chicopee is a premier ski destination near the Grand River. This illuminated ski venue is perfect for nigh skiing, too. 

Guelph

You'll put a lid on this Grand River tour in the city of Guelph. One of the largest cities you'll visit on this tour, Guelph is a popular destination west of Toronto. There are some of Ontario's premier attractions here in Guelph, so make the most of your time. 

Must See

Spread across 408 acres, the University of Guelph Arboretum is a gem of an attractions, and certainly worthy of your visit. Particularly great during spring and summer, this arboretum was established in 1971, and features an astounding collection – more than 1,700 trees and shrubs. 

Local Guide

Since 1935, the Guelph Little Theatre has been entertaining audiences with everything from popular, big hit productions, to lesser known plays. The 236-seat theatre is also available for rent should you want to stage your own rendition of your favorite Broadway classic.

Outdoor

Emerald Lake is one of the premier outdoor destinations you can find in Guelph and the Grand River area. Open for use from Victoria Day through June 15th, Emerald Lake is a waterpark and features a 200-foot water slide, a beach area, picnic areas, and a 2-foot-deep kiddie pool.