June 30- July 1, 2018: I had the best time this Canada Day long weekend in Port Hope! This trip was generously sponsored by the Municipality of Port Hope.
First of all, I want to share that every year in April, Port Hope hosts an event that commemorates the great flood of 1980 that ran through the small town. Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny is a race down the Ganaraska River where by participants float 10 K on kayaks, boats, and “Crazy Crafts” while spectators watch along side the river and cheer on. It’s a very unique and a one-of-a-kind experience to watch and participate in. There were also a lot of vendors selling food and goods and was a perfect family friendly activity. See the blog post about the annual April event here.
It took us an hour to drive from Markham to Port Hope
On the Canada Day long weekend, we drove to Port Hope (about an hour’s drive east of Toronto) for a full weekend of fun activities! Our first stop was at the Ganaraska location of the Treetop Trekking facility. They have five locations in Ontario and this one was located next to the Ganaraska Forest Centre.
Port Hope is a community of 16,500 residents located along the shore of Lake Ontario and the Northumberland Hills.
It was a hot and humid day, but we had a lot of fun swinging our way through the aerial obstacles and zip lines at Treetop Trekking Ganaraska (10585 Cold Springs Camp Rd, Campbellcroft, ON). We look forward to returning to try out all six obstacle courses. You can view the blog post about Treetop Trekking here.
Treetop Trekking Ganaraska site
The next attraction in Port Hope that we visited was Haute Goat where we enjoyed a healthy and comforting farm fresh lunch followed by an hour-long session of goat yoga! Haute Goat (1166 5th line, Newtonville, ON) is a farm that breeds goats as well as keep alpacas and Icelandic horses and has a fabulous gift shop selling goat cheese, goat soaps, and much more. In addition to goat yoga, they also offer goat cheese making classes and farm life workshops.
Farm lunch and goat yoga
We had a great first experience participating in goat yoga and playing with the adult and baby goats that were on site that day. The baby goats were adorable! See the blog post about goat yoga here.
After our hour-long session with the goats, it was time to say goodbye. We headed back towards the Downtown Port Hope area to check into our hotel for the weekend, The Waddell Hotel.
Downtown Port Hope
The Waddell Hotel
The Waddell Hotel (1 Walton St, Port Hope, ON) is a Heritage District hotel dating back to the 1800s with an Italian restaurant on its property (we had dined at the Trattoria Gusto for dinner on a separate visit which was a wonderful Italian dinner that you can read about here).
The best thing about staying at The Waddell Hotel is the views of the Ganaraska River right outside your window and having quick access to all of the shops and restaurants in Downtown Port Hope. There was also complimentary breakfast in the morning as well. You can see about our one-night stay at The Waddell Hotel here.
Port Hope pamphlets
These useful pamphlets to make your visit easy and stress-free!
The Social Bar and Table dinner
Dinner at The Social Bar and Table
Where should you go for dinner? That night, we enjoyed a scrumptious dinner at The Social Bar and Table (26 Ontario St, Port Hope, ON). You can opt to sit inside where they have a TV screen for all your sports watching needs or they have a fantastic patio as well. Make sure to make a reservation ahead of time before arriving because their seats are limited. We loved their seafood dishes and the beers on tap. You can read about the meal that we had at The Social Bar and Table here.
After dinner, we took a stroll through the streets of Downtown Port Hope and along the Ganaraska River on a perfect summer evening. The sun was setting and so everything was cast in a light glow and the humid heat was gone for the evening as well.
Love the buildings in Port Hope
Along the stroll, we also passed by the Port Hope Marketing and Visitors’ Information Centre (Capitol Arts Centre – 20 Queen Street). This is your one-stop shop for all of your tourist information needs in Port Hope and if you need any guidance on what to do or see in the town. They have a new guidebook to Port Hope as well as lots of useful pamphlets about the local businesses. Say hi to Amanda for me if she is in the building as well! 😀
Municipality of Port Hope tourism building
As it’s a small town, there weren’t a lot of people milling about and provided such a serene and tranquil environment. We also visited the trail bike sign again that bears my photo and credit!
Canada Day horse carriages in the downtown area
The next morning, after enjoying the complimentary breakfast downstairs at the Trattoria Gusto restaurant and then checking out of the hotel, we stopped by Arby’s (One Phillips Rd, Port Hope, ON). It’s located right at the exit of 401 if you ever want an Arby’s fix. Arby’s was a favourite fast food joint of mine growing up and it’s sad to see it disappearing in the GTA. Thus, we stopped inside to grab their signature roast beef sandwiches and curly fries to have a taste of childhood.
Laveanne lavender fields
Onwards, we headed north back up near the Ganaraska Forest Centre to check out the Laveanne lavender fields (8667 Gilmour Rd, Campbellcroft, ON). I didn’t even know that there was a lavender field so close to Port Hope! On this visit, we learned from the owner that the peak of lavender blossoms is in mid-July. We arrived in time for the Blossom month though! The fields were ripe with thousands of rich purple lavender buds and so gorgeous. You can read about our visit to Laveanne lavender fields here.
We enjoyed the purple fields of view before we began our hour-long journey back to the city.
So many adventures in Port Hope
What another amazing weekend getaway in Port Hope. I fell in love with this small town the last time I visited and this second weekend stay just confirmed what a lovely town it is. Despite a rich history and historic community, they have put in so much work and care to restore their buildings to make this town so picturesque and enjoyable. The friendliness and hospitality and the grand river that runs through the town are also wonderful traits of Port Hope. It’s always a wonderful visit.
Thank you so much to the Municipality of Port Hope for sponsoring our trip and allowing us to see more of this beautiful little town! It is indeed my favourite small town in Ontario thus far! (You can also see Part 1 of things to do in Port Hope here.)
See you again soon, Port Hope!
FTC Disclaimer: Although the Municipality of Port Hope reached out and invited me to a complimentary visit to promote the businesses in Port Hope, the opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of the Municipality or businesses.