Couples looking for a different kind of date this fall simply need to turn back the clock. Instead of waiting until evening falls to start the fun, head out earlier in the day and enjoy a few different activities before a romantic evening meal together.
For a mini-escape with some old-world flair, start your day out in Paris. Enjoy a late morning cup of coffee at Cobblestone Common. This charming little downtown park on Grand River Street North overlooks the forks of the majestic Grand and Nith Rivers. Explore the shops of downtown Paris and then enjoy lunch on the patio at 2 Rivers Restaurant. The restaurant features two new microbrews each month, so be sure to ask your server for the current selection.
If your pint at lunch leaves you wanting more, head down the road to Brantford for a stop at the city’s newest craft brewery, Bell City Brewery. The friendly folks here will be happy to pour you a taste of their brews in their Tap Room. You’ll also find seasonal selections and creative one-off brews that in the past have included unique flavours combinations like a chocolate and orange porter and a Habanero chili lager. If you’d like to incorporate some other craft breweries into your visit, the all-new True Brew Path showcases 6 of the region’s best.
For your next stop, spend some time exploring one of Hamilton Halton Brant’s amazing galleries or gardens. Royal Botanical Gardens is the largest botanical garden in the country. Check out the recently renovated Rock Garden, which was originally built in the 1930s and now boasts a fresh new look that includes a dramatic waterfall. The International Sculpture Garden should also be on your must-see list while you’re there.
Oakville’s Gairloch Gardens is another beautiful option for an afternoon stroll with stunning Lake Ontario views. After your walk, head inside to check out the Oakville Gallery’s contemporary art exhibits. Beginning September 25th there will be fascinating exhibits from Brussels-based Canadian artist, Zin Taylor and late American artist, Judith Scott. When you’re finished at the gallery, spend some time exploring the unique shops of downtown Oakville.
If you’d like to see more art, make the short drive to downtown Hamilton and visit the Art Gallery of Hamilton. It’s the oldest and largest public art gallery in southwestern Ontario and has one of the finest collections of art in Canada, featuring over 10,000 works of art including historical European, historical Canadian and contemporary art. Don’t miss the much-anticipated exhibition of the works of one of Canada’s foremost realist artists, Ken Danby, starting October 22nd.
Afterward, explore Hamilton’s trendy Locke Street district and enjoy a delicious farm-to-table dinner at Earth To Table: Bread Bar.
If you’d prefer to stay outside in the fresh autumn air, head to nearby Burlington and stroll the city’s beautiful Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail. For some two-wheeled fun, consider renting a bike. Urkai offers Dutch Bike rentals and it’s just a seven-minute cruise to get from their store to the waterfront. Wrap up your day with a delicious meal at the cool and contemporary The Ivy Bar + Kitchen. If it’s a warm evening, request a table on the patio and squeeze in one last al fresco meal before the cool weather arrives.
Want even more ideas for your next daytime date? Foodies will love our farm-to-table adventures for adults, these ideas for a gourmet shopping spree and our latest round-up of the region’s best destination dining options. Art lovers will find plenty of inspiration with our list of fall concerts, theatre and comedy performances, art exhibits and studio tours. (all to be linked to fall blog posts). For even more trip ideas, travel tools and special offers, sign up to receive our e-newsletter.
Watch our latest video to get inspired on how to replicate this fun day out in Hamilton Halton Brant for yourselves.