This fall, escape the city and head to Hamilton Halton Brant for places that are big on small-town charm.  From riverside appeal to fetching downtowns and heritage beauty, this is the season to head to some of Ontario’s sweetest small towns to soak in their history and character. These day trip options will also lead you to great shopping, tasty eats and knockout nature along the way.

  • Brant
    Paris
    Brant

    Spend a Day in Paris

    Located at the Forks of the Grand and Nith Rivers in Brant County

    Who needs a fall trip to Europe when the dreamy riverside town of Paris delivers such a postcard-perfect alternative? The downtown embodies a number of architectural styles—Victorian, Edwardian, Gothic, and Post Modern—but Paris is renowned for its cobblestone buildings, including two churches and 10 residences that are still in use today. It’s no surprise that this spot has been voted the “prettiest town in Canada”.

    A large river, The Grand, flows right through the town. Although the weather may no longer be warm enough for swimming, you can spend the day alongside it and cross your fingers for fresh fall patio weather. Area outfitters, like Grand Experiences and Grand River Rafting, also offer fall paddling trips. Don’t miss the open-air cafés, bakeries, award-winning fine dining restaurants, unique shops and picturesque photo-ops.

    Don’t Miss:
    • French bistro fare at Juniper Dining Co., creative cuisine and cocktails at Edit at The Arlington Hotel, or eating on the patio at Stillwaters Plate and Pour.
    • The Paris Wincey Mills Co., a historic building that is home to a year round farm-to-table market hall and comfortable café.
    • Paddling on the Grand River, whether you “turbo tube” or pedal and paddle.

  • Hamilton
    Ancaster Mill, Ancaster
    Hamilton

    Spend a Day in Dundas and Ancaster

    Located a short drive from the city of Hamilton

    Autumn calls for street strolling, and you’ll find walk-worthy downtowns in two places just outside of Hamilton. Travel to the quiet little find that is Dundas and stroll its vibrant main street, featuring longstanding restaurants, boutiques, and businesses with well-preserved 19th-century architecture. The town’s geographical location in a valley makes it the perfect starting point for exploring the surrounding conservation areas that include a wealth of trails and waterfalls.

    A short drive away is the village of Ancaster, one of the oldest communities in Ontario. For a century the town was a gristmill hamlet, and its rebuilt historic mill now operates as a restaurant. Its heritage is also evident in the area architecture, best enjoyed by a walk through the downtown with its quaint shops, restaurants and historic buildings. The character and beauty of the community is intertwined with the Niagara Escarpment, so take some time to enjoy its natural geography and hiking opportunities this fall.

    Don’t miss:
    • The Dundas Museum and Archives, located on one of Dundas’ most sublime residential streets.
    Quatrefoil, Dundas’ five-star dining pride and joy, or its acclaimed coffee house, Detour Café.
    • The Ancaster Mill, a scenic creek side eatery in a restored mill that offers farm-to-table entrees and a fixed price lunch.
    Tiffany Falls Conservation Area, with its eponymous waterfall and hiking along the Heritage and Bruce Trails.

  • Halton
    Georgetown, Halton Hills
    Halton

    Spend a Day in Halton Hills

    Located in the northwestern end of the Greater Toronto Area

    Small town seekers often enjoy the drive as much as the destination. Take a ramble along the rural roads of the Halton Hills and you’ll come across an abundance of small towns, villages and hamlets that are in spring bloom. Start your day in Georgetown, founded in 1823. Wander through the historic downtown where many original historic buildings still stand, making it one of the most frequently filmed towns in Ontario.

    Nestled on the banks of the Credit River Valley at the north end of Georgetown along the Niagara Escarpment, Glen Williams is home to many visual artists, and contains a collection of artist’s studios. This small hamlet is also noteworthy for its antique market and antique stores. From the Georgetown area, a short drive will take you to Acton, another location that can make a claim as one of the oldest communities in Ontario. The town is also affectionately known as “Canada’s Leathertown” and “the last small town near Toronto”.

    Don’t miss:
    • Browsing the works of thirty artists and artisans in the four historic buildings of the Williams Mill Visual Arts Centre in Glen Williams.
    The Credit Valley Footpath, a 16 km trail that takes you through Glen Williams and to a beautiful view overlooking the hamlet.
    The Hide House in Acton, widely known as Canada’s largest leather store with a large selection of fashions, accessories and furniture.

  • Brant
    St. George Applefest
    Brant

    Spend a Day in St. George

    Located south of Cambridge in Brant County

    Antiques and artisans are the draw for those travelling to the small town of St. George and its environs. Reminiscent of a small British village, the single block downtown core offers numerous antique stores, some with multiple co-operative dealers and others specializing in furniture, china and collectibles. Head outside of town to visit local studio and craft artists that call the area their home, or pick a spot close by to access the Grand River for canoeing or the Cambridge to Paris Rail Trail for spring hiking.

    Don’t miss:
    • The Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Homestead, the birthplace of the co-founder of the Women’s Institute Movement.
    • The studio and store at Donn Zver Pottery, a few kilometres east of town, where you can purchase dishes and serving pieces or eat from them at the on site cafe.
    • The showroom at Robert Hall Originals, home of unique pewter products, petrified wood “statues” and dazzling amethyst geodes.

Travel Deals View All >>

Experiences & Tours View All >>

April 17

Harmonious Creation: Art and Sound Therapy Session

Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre

1086 Burnhamthorpe Rd E, Oakville, ON L6H 7B2

Date & Time: Apr 17th, 6:30pm - 9:00pm Session Price: $50.00

Now thru June 26

Trivia Nights at Shawn & Ed Brewing Co.

Shawn & Ed Brewing Co.

65 Hatt Street, Dundas, ON, L9H 0C1

Dates & Times: Every Wednesday (Unless otherwise), 7:00pm - 8:30pm Free but reservations are recommended

Now thru May 20

Alex Jacobs-Blum – Living and Lost Connections

Art Gallery of Hamilton

123 King Street West, Hamilton, ON, L8P 4S8

Exhibition Period: Feb 10th - May20th

July 2 - August 16

Summer Camp with Centre Francophone Hamilton

Centre francophone Hamilton

3 Locations

Dates: Jul 2nd to Aug 16th Times: 8:30am to 3:30pm Extended Care House: 7:30am to...

July 10 - August 4

Adventures in the Valley Summer Camp

Dundas Valley Conservation Area, 650 Governors Road, Dundas, ON, Canada

Dates & Times: July 10th - 14th July 17th - 21st July 24th - 28th...

Now thru September 17

Expressive Abstract Painting Party with Studio K2

studio k2

The Cotton Factory, DyeWorks Building, 9 Landsdowne Avenue, Hamilton

Date & Time: Third Wednesday each month, 7:00pm - 9:00pm Workshop Price: $50/person +HST

Now thru January 1

Woodland Cultural Centre – Self Guided Museum Tour

Woodland Cultural Centre

184 Mohawk Street, Brantford, ON, N3T 5V6

April 20

Weekend Pizza Workshops with Fora Outdoor Living (Ancaster)

591 Fiddlers Green Road, Ancaster ON

Date & Time: Apr 20th, 12:00pm - 1:30pm Workshop Price: $69.99

Now thru April 28

Special Exhibition – How can I know you?

Art Gallery of Burlington

1333 Lakeshore Road , Burlington, ON, L7S 1A9

Exhibition Dates: Jan 19th to Apr 28th

Now thru December 31

A Taste of Paris – Sip, Savour & Shopping

Tasty Road Trips Food Tours

Paris, Ontario

Tour Details: This tour includes three tasting locations with timed stops to make your day...

May 18 - October 13

A Day of Play: Indigenous Traditional Games

Six Nations Tourism

2498 Chiefswood Road, Ohsweken, ON N0A 1M0

Season Dates: May 18th to Oct 13th Price: $70.00/person for a group of less than...

Now thru June 30

Winter Staycations in Brant

Brant Tourism

31 Mechanic St, Paris, ON N3L 1K1

Some winter activities but enjoy others all year round!

Similar Stories View All >>

Sneaky Spring Savings

5 Ways to Do More & Spend Less On Family Fun This Weekend

Read More

The Best of Spring: Six Ways to Find a Fresh Air Fix

The definitive guide to fresh air forays.

Read More

Rural on the Ridge Explore the Upside

A Farm Fresh Day Trip on the Niagara Escarpment in Hamilton.

Read More

Sustainability Excellence Halton

Discover a conscious travel journey in The Heart of Ontario’s Halton Region.

Read More

Can’t-Miss Foodie Getaways

Delicious Restaurant & Room Pairings

Read More

Fall For Each Other: A Romantic Two-Day Road Trip Around Hamilton Halton Brant

Treat your fam to two days of non-stop fun!

Read More

A Fresh Fall Family Adventure in Hamilton Halton Brant

Treat your fam to two days of non-stop fun!

Read More

A Colourful Fall Road Trip With Friends around Hamilton Halton Brant

Pack your bags for a relaxed adventure with your BFFs.

Read More

Plan a Couples Paddling Getaway You’ll BOTH Love

Plan A Paddling Escape For 2

Read More

The Getaway Gang 6 Ways To Plan An Amazing Last-Minute Camping Trip With Friends

Creative ways to find a campsite.

Read More

Water, Land, Air: Find Unexpected New Ways For Your Family To Play This Summer

Family Fun 3 Ways

Read More

Sunday Funday: 4 Relaxing Ways to Wrap Up The Week

Bringing back the concept of simple Sunday fun.

Read More

Get Travel OffersEvent Details and
Planning Ideas for Your Next Trip

Sign up to receive the latest Hamilton Halton Brant travel news delivered right to your inbox.