Ideally located between Toronto and Niagara, Burlington is the perfect destination for day trips & drives where you can enjoy a variety of attractions, unique shopping, delicious dining as well as, scenic drives along the beautiful Lake Ontario waterfront and rural areas sprinkled with on farm markets, golf courses and conservation areas.
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.
Art & Horticulture Enthusiasts
Escape to paradise and explore Canada’s largest botanical garden, the Royal Botanical Gardens and enjoy 2,700 acres of nature sanctuaries, 23 km of hiking trails, outdoor display gardens with spectacular seasonal shows of lilacs, tulips, iris, roses and fall colours along with 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–in to one of our brand name hotels for the evening, enjoy dinner at a local establishment and check-out local theatre groups and 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 including a summer music on 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. In 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.
In any season you can spend a day visiting area parks and conservation areas such as LaSalle Park, Spencer Smith Park, Paletta Lakefront Park and Mansion, Bronte Creek Provincial Park and Kelso, Glen Eden, Mountsberg, Crawford Lake, Hilton Falls, Rattlesnake Point, Robert Edmondson and Mount Nemo Conservation Areas. Walk, ski, jog or cycle through their scenic trails some with breathtaking waterfalls and hidden lakes and streams. Travel north of Dundas Street and encounter the Bruce Trail, along one of Canada’s most spectacular world biospheres – the Niagara Escarpment.
Start your day with a visit to the revitalized Joseph Brant Museum to discover a replica of Captain Joseph Brant’s home, which houses Burlington history, Canadian costumes, children’s discovery gallery and hosts travelling exhibits. Stroll historic streets of the downtown area to discover some of the first homes built in Burlington, dating back to the late 1800’s. 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
Visit Burlington Downtown and discover unique shops such as one of Canada’s best known bookstores, A Different Drummer Books, as well as distinctive and upscale clothing, accessories, gift shops and galleries. Wander through the quaint downtown area, Village Square, with its’ cobblestone paths and specialty shops & eateries. Take time out to dine at one of the many fine restaurants located along the streets of Burlington Downtown or visit a local spa for a relaxing treatment. 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 Farmer’s Market) and Mapleview Shopping Centre. Don’t forget to check out Decathlon sports store while at Mapleview Centre, with their signature store set to open spring 2021.
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.