Last year I wrote about visiting lakes around Ontario as part of my summer fun. This year I wanted to do more exploring, I had a late start but better late than never! The last two weekends I spent Saturday at Port Stanley, this lake is in Southwestern Ontario, Elgin County. It was my first time at the lake in this area and I was curious to discover this beach and the communities around it.
The drive took just under two hours from Mississauga. The areas we could see from the road has lots of farm lands, cows, horses and sheep dotted the countryside along the way. As we got to St. Thomas it was evident that this was a railway town. There is a railway museum and colourful trains parked on an old railroad. At the St. Thomas round a bout leading to Port Stanley there is a prominent iron sculpture of a train reminiscent of an era where the railway was the main stay of this town. Steve and I plan to return for a couple days to visit the museums and take the train ride which is offered for special occasions.
We continued on our way to Port Stanley about twenty minutes from St. Thomas. The town is very busy in the summer, there were lots of boats docked at the marina, people taking in the sites and of course the beach warriors. Lots of parents pulling coolers with excited kids who can’t seem to wait to hit the shores for that long awaited swim. Parking is limited so arrive early to get a spot close to the beach. We spent an hour trying to find parking on our second visit, we ended up at the Municipal Parking in the boat docking area. It was a fifteen minute walk to the beach. I did not mind the walk, there was lots to see. A large bird sat atop a log in an inlet that provided sanctuary for birds and other wildlife.
Port Stanley did not disappoint, despite a very packed beach we found a spot to pitch our tent close enough to the water. The water was cold but we acclimatized after a few minutes, lots of waves crashed to the shore very much like the ocean. We had a great time jumping the waves and frolicking about leaving a stress filled week behind. Lunch was at Mackies famous for their Orangeade, the price was very reasonable considering the restaurant is right on the beach. Burgers, hot dogs, fish and chips were available for hungry patrons to feast on. The restaurant provided a welcome respite from the hot sun, lots of tables available for families to enjoy their food.
Soon it was time to pack up the tent, shake the sand off our feet and head home. On our way home we stopped for ice cream at Shaw’s. The lines at the ice cream parlour was very long, average wait time to get served was 30 – 40 minutes so bring your patience, hang out and talk to the folks waiting in line with you. I watched the sun set on the horizon as I stood in line waiting to get my sweet treat. It was worth the wait, the chocolate brownie flavour was amazing !
I had a relaxing day, spending time with friends and family in the perfect setting. We laughed, chatted and had a grand old time doing something we all enjoyed.. a day at the beach. I hope this summer you find something that relaxes you, it may be the beach, a walk, a hike or taking a drive, whatever you do make sure to have fun. Walk good.