Ideally located between Toronto and Niagara, Burlington is the perfect destination for day trips & drives. Enjoy a variety of attractions, unique shopping, delicious dining, and scenic drives along the beautiful Lake Ontario. Don’t forget to stop and enjoy a hike at one of our beautiful conservation areas featuring rolling landscapes and nestled between escarpment views.
We recently had Chris Rudder from Road Trip Ontario and Rudderless Travel visit Burlington. See below for his recommendations on how to spend a day (or two!) in Burlington.
NOTE: Due to COVID-19 some activities and most events have been redesigned, postponed, or being held virtually. With changes happening rapidly we recommend that you contact businesses before visiting to make sure services are open to the public and what restrictions are in place.
Inspired Day Trips!
Whether you are traveling through Burlington or taking a scenic Sunday drive – Don’t Pass Us By! We have the perfect single-day activities to inspire your day trip or for the perfect break from the road. Perhaps you have a theme in mind – you enjoy arts, history, and culture. Maybe you would prefer to spend time in the outdoors and stretch those legs. Whatever piques your interest, we have put together a variety of ideas to compliment your day trip!
Art & Horticulture Enthusiasts
Escape to paradise and explore Canada’s largest botanical garden, the Royal Botanical Gardens. Enjoy 2,700 acres of nature sanctuaries, 23 km of hiking trails, outdoor display gardens with spectacular seasonal shows of lilacs, tulips, iris, roses, fall colors, and many special events. Eat at one of the newly renovated on-site restaurants or select from one in the area, many with outdoor patios, ranging from fine dining to casual fares. Spend the afternoon at the Art Gallery of Burlington, which boasts the world’s foremost collection of contemporary Canadian ceramics, art exhibits, the Art Etc Gallery Shop, and an indoor conservatory. Check into one of our brand-name hotels for the evening, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant, and check out local theatre groups or what is playing at the Performing Arts Centre.
Now on stage…
The Burlington Performing Arts Centre hosts internationally renowned artists and local performances year-round as well as summer music in the plaza. Check out the events calendar for details. Aldershot Players, Theatre Burlington, Tottering Biped, and Drury Lane Theatre host wonderful local productions throughout the year. During the summer, enjoy free Concerts in the Park featuring local musicians such as Burlington’s own Teen Tour Band at their outdoor Music Centre. The Royal Botanical Gardens also offers outdoor music in the gardens and theatre performances throughout the summer.
The best year-round adventures await you. Every season is adventure season! Pack a picnic, pack up the kids and spend a day visiting one of our parks LaSalle Park, Spencer Smith Park, Paletta Lakefront Park and Mansion.
Winter, summer, fall, spring, we cannot decide which is most beautiful. Why? Because our conservation areas such as Bronte Creek Provincial Park and Kelso, Glen Eden, Mountsberg, Crawford Lake, Hilton Falls, Rattlesnake Point, Robert Edmondson, and Mount Nemo Conservation Areas are some of the most stunning areas in Ontario – no matter the season. Walk, ski, jog, or cycle through these scenic trails. Explore breathtaking waterfalls and hidden lakes and streams. Travel north of Dundas Street and encounter the Bruce Trail, along with one of Canada’s most spectacular world biospheres – the Niagara Escarpment. Head south and follow the beautiful waterfront trail. While you’re there you can check out the perfect selfie spot at the Brant Street Pier.
Start your day with a visit to the revitalized Joseph Brant Museum to discover a replica of Captain Joseph Brant’s home. Featuring rich Burlington History, the museum also houses Canadian costumes, a children’s discovery gallery, and traveling exhibits. Stroll the historic streets of the downtown area to discover some of the first homes built in Burlington, dating back to the late 1800s. A Walking Tour of Burlington Downtown brochure is available from the Visitors’ Centre.
Continue your step back in time with a drive to Ireland House at Oakridge Farm, a living history museum that has been restored to reflect the four generations of the Ireland family who lived on the farm. Travel north of the city to see Country Heritage Park and the Streetcar & Electric Railway Museum.
Shop ‘Till You Drop
Burlington Downtown offers unique shopping with distinctive and upscale clothing, accessories, gift shops, and galleries. There are plenty of quaint areas to wander through or stop to have a trendy beverage with your friends. The Village Square, with its cobblestone paths and specialty shops & eateries, not only fulfills the need to travel 1000s of miles to a small Parisian village; it is also a selfie haven. While exploring the shops, be sure to check out a local gem, A Different Drummer Books.
You can also spend the day shopping at familiar brand names such as IKEA, Best Buy, COSTCO, Lee Valley, Marshalls, Sail, and two large shopping malls – the Burlington Centre, (with seasonal Farmers’ Market) and Mapleview Shopping Centre including the Decathlon sports store.
A Golfer’s Dream
With great golfing weather and superb scenery, the Burlington area has plenty to offer golf enthusiasts. Book a round at one of nine courses throughout Burlington Some of these courses are conveniently located in the heart of the residential areas of Burlington. Thanks to clever design, these courses are still surrounded by trees which maintains the feeling of seclusion and allows you to focus on your game. Further north, many courses are nestled in the escarpment providing amazing scenery. You can also enjoy miniature golf or visit the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum at Glen Abbey Golf Club.
Relax, meditate and reduce stress by walking the eleven-circuit wheelchair-accessible Central Park Labyrinth. Discover this wonderful oasis for your mind, body, and soul in the heart of Burlington. Walking the labyrinth can calm and restore a sense of balance to the body, mind, and spirit. Also, throughout the seasons Burlington businesses host many wellness activities including yoga, meditation, and more.