5 Ways to Experience Burlington

August 17, 2022

Burlington has so much to offer and we’ve summed up 5 different ways you can experience Burlington!

Rock Climbing - man holding onto rock with trees below him
Photo Credit: William Tam

1. Outdoor Enthusiast

If you are an outdoor lover, then Burlington is for you! Nestled between Lake Ontario and the Niagara Escarpment there are outdoor experiences for all.

Visit nearby Bronte Creek Provincial Park for some great hiking and cycling trails and you can even book a campsite if you reserve early enough. Try your hand at disc golf or enjoy fishing (in season).

Conservation Halton has several parks in the area with Mount Nemo located in Burlington. The parks are currently using a reserve-in-advance system to monitor visitor attendance. Mount Nemo is a favourite among hikers. Pack a picnic lunch and watch the Turkey Vultures while you take in the panoramic view of the escarpment. On a clear day, you should be able to see the CN Tower in Toronto.  Mount Nemo is also for the adventurous; rock climb for a better look at the unique cliffs. Nearby Kelso Park offers great mountain biking trails as well as a reservoir for swimming or boating. Try your hand at their Challenge Course featuring the Escarpment Walk and the Vultures View Climbing Tower.

Other great outdoor spaces are Kerncliff Park with a lovely boardwalk and hiking trails, Lowville Park in north Burlington, numerous trails at the Royal Botanical Gardens as well as the Centennial Bike Path that runs across Burlington.

Burlington is also home to a number of golf courses, most open to the public, allowing you to test your golf skills and enjoy the views of the lake or escarpment, depending on the course.

2. Foodie

Burlington is quickly becoming known as a culinary destination with its’ wide array of restaurants and foodie shops.  It offers international flavours as well as local delights. If you have a sweet tooth, there is a wonderful selection of boutique shops offering everything from artisan chocolates, biscotti, doughnuts, and cheesecake.

Most restaurants offer outdoor dining and some patios have beautiful views of the lake. Enjoy a leisurely weekend brunch on the patio at Spencer’s at the Waterfront or sip a martini al fresco at The Martini House near Village Square in Downtown Burlington. If you’re lucky, get a table on Lakeshore at Pepperwood Bistro, Lochside Bar & Lounge, or The Express Italian Eatery and enjoy the downtown nightlife and passersby.

You won’t want to miss the Taste of Burlington programs that run in February/March and October.  A great way to enjoy prix-fixe dining and try new restaurants for a reasonable price.  Many of our restaurants offer special menus for these programs featuring local ingredients.

Mom, Dad, boy and girl walking on path in the Rock Garden at RBG, Mom is pointing to something and everyone is looking

3. Family

Exploring Burlington as a family? You and the kids will be kept busy and have fun. A visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens is a must. They are Canada’s largest Botanical Gardens and offer 5 formal gardens within a 1,100hectare nature reserve.  See what animals you can spot on the 27km of nature trails, stop and smell the roses in the beautiful rose garden in Hendrie Park and see what public art you can spot throughout the gardens. Check their events calendar as they offer a variety of experiences all year long.

More great outdoor adventures await at Crawford Lake Conservation where you can hike around the beautiful meromictic lake and look for turtles. After your hike, visit the longhouses and learn about Local First Nations history.  Once you’ve paid for your pass at Crawford Lake, take a short drive to nearby Mountsberg Conservation and check out the Raptor Centre, home to a wide variety of feathered friends.

If the weather isn’t working in your favour,  plan a visit to Activate and work together as a family at their interactive game where you will have to get physically and mentally active.

A visit to Spencer Smith Park is a must for a walk on the promenade and to climb the stairs on the pier. Stop and take in the views of Lake Ontario while the kids play at the playground and in the warmer months, throw in their bathing suit so they can run around the splash pad. After your fun at the park, a visit to La Crème de la Crème Creamery is a must for one of their Belgian chocolate dipped ice cream cones.

Young girl at the museum looking at a display on the history of Burlington

4. Cultural Fanatic

If you’re into Arts & Culture, Burlington has plenty to keep you busy. Lose yourself in the many galleries at the Art Gallery of Burlington, where admission is always free. Home to the largest ceramic collection in the world, take in the craftsmanship and artistic expression.  Stroll through the observatory and enjoy the sights & sounds and make sure you visit the Shop at the AGB before you leave.  A short walk from the AGB is Frederick Fine Art, a gallery that is home to original paintings and drawings from renowned artists around the world.

Across the street from the AGB is the Joseph Brant Museum. Newly renovated, learn more about the history of Burlington and Joseph Brant himself. Explore the Burlington Gallery and the Costume Gallery and check out the current travelling exhibit. Located in north Burlington is the Ireland House Museum were you can learn about Burlington’s agricultural roots and experience guided tours, heritage demonstrations and interactive programming.

The Burlington Performing Arts Centre is located downtown and is a fabulous venue for live theatre and music. Check out their calendar for some great shows.

Take a self-guided Historical walking tour through the streets of Downtown Burlington or go at your own pace and explore the city’s public art collection from any internet-enabled smartphone or tablet.

Photo credit: Michael Lyons Photography

5. Romantic

Looking for a romantic day or overnight? Spoil yourselves and stay at the new Pearle Hotel & Spa. Located on the beautiful waterfront, start your day by grabbing a coffee at a nearby café and strolling the promenade along the waterfront.  Why not give kayaking or paddle boarding a try at the nearby beach with Burlington Beach Rentals. Head back to the hotel for a visit to their lovely spa and indoor pool.

You will have worked up an appetite after your busy day, so you’ll be ready for a lovely dinner at one of the many nearby restaurants. Lots of patio options as well as international flavours. End the night with a stroll through Village Square in Downtown Burlington and a cocktail at one of the many patios in the area.

No matter how you decide to experience Burlington we hope you enjoy yourself and try something new!