It seems like summer has snuck up on us, here in the Heart of Georgian Bay – but that’s ok in our books! That means the warm weather is here, and some of our favourite places are opening to welcome you once again.
For the history lovers – two nationally significant historic sites are open for the season. For the culture vultures – a stunning church and award-winning theatre are back after a two year hiatus. And for the foodies – the ultimate culinary tour of the Heart of Georgian Bay. So go on, add all five to your summer bucket list!
Immerse yourself in history at the oldest European settlement East of Quebec City. On a self-guided tour of over 30 reconstructed buildings, costumed interpreters will help you learn about the interactions between the local Huron-Ouendat people and some of the first French settlers. This cherished historic site is a great place to explore, for all ages. Daily programing will return this year, with demonstrations of 17th century fire-starting techniques, historic clothing, medicine, music and cooking, Indigenous games, and more.
Sainte-Marie among the Hurons is located at 16164 Highway 12 W, Midland
NOW OPEN daily 10AM to 5PM, until October 9th.
After being closed to the public for two years, Martyrs’ Shrine is eager to welcome back pilgrims and visitors of all faiths. This impressive church sits high on a hill, overlooking the Wye Marsh and Sainte-Marie among the Hurons – but wait until you walk through its doors. There you will find a uniquely designed interior, honouring the story of St. Jean de Brébeuf and his companions, who lived among the Huron-Ouendat people over 400 years ago. In addition to the church itself, you can explore the extensive grounds for a moment of peace and tranquility. New this year – admission during regular operating hours is complimentary for the Indigenous community (First Nations, Métis and Inuit)
Martyrs’ Shrine is located at 16163 Highway 12 W, Midland
NOW OPEN daily from 8:30AM to 9:00PM, until October 10th. The Visitor Centre is open 9:00AM to 4:00PM
If in your dictionary, the word “travel” means tasting your way through the best restaurants, cafes, and food spots of your destination of choice – this tour is for you! The foodies at Midland Food Tours will take care of all of the arrangements and guide you to 6+ unique local establishments for food and beverage tastings. You can choose between a guided walking tour in Downtown Midland or a self-guided food itinerary in Midland, Tiny, Tay and Coldwater. Along the way, you will also hear the stories of the area through the ages, with plenty of photo ops along the way. So whether you buckle up or tie up those laces, you are guaranteed for some good eats!
Midland Food Tours operate on Fridays and Saturdays until the end of October. Maximum 12 spots per tour. Reservations are required.
Spend a day on the shore of Georgian Bay, exploring the military and naval history of Penetanguishene at Discovery Harbour. The name says it all! Whether you choose a a guided or self-guided experience, you can climb onboard one of their iconic tall ships and explore original and reconstructed buildings spanning over 1km of waterfront land. The Instagrammable photo opportunities are endless! Note that Captain Robert’s Table restaurant will not be operating this year, but stay tuned for details on their popular Ghost Tours!
Did you know? Ontario teachers and Canadian Armed Forces members receive complimentary admission.
Discovery Harbour is located at 93 Jury Drive, in Penetanguishene
Open daily from 10AM to 5PM, from May 21st to September 4th.
Speaking of Discovery Harbour… One of the stunning buildings located along the picturesque boardwalk is the King’s Wharf Theatre, operated by the award-winning Drayton Entertainment. After two years, the stage will once again be lit and the cast of 4 stellar productions are ready for a full season of incredible performances! On this year’s roster, you’ll find a proudly unapologetic Canadian comedy, a rural romantic comedy, an ageless comedy, a Toto-ly spectacular family favourite. Check their website for dates and tickets.
King’s Wharf Theatre is located at 97 Jury Drive, Penetanguishene.
Performances run from June 23rd to August 28th, and again from November 10th to 26th.
These are just 5 of our favourite things to do in the Heart of Georgian Bay, that are only available during the summer months. So do them while you can and be sure to check back regularly for great ideas for all four seasons!
Written by: Brianne Harris – Experience Development Coordinator, Tourism Simcoe County & Heart of Georgian Bay