Last weekend I got the chance to visit Stratford, ON for the first time. Since travel has become more restricted these past few years, it gave me the perfect chance to discover places closer to home!
Here are all the things to do in Stratford (which I tried myself) while you’re visiting:
Located a short 5-minute drive from downtown Stratford, Gallery Stratford was founded in 1967 and occupies a beautiful heritage Victorian building surrounded by gardens and greenery. The gallery itself is one of the region’s leading art galleries and features mostly contemporary exhibits from local, national, and international visual artists.
With exhibits changing every three months and free admission (donations welcomed in lieu of admission fees), there is always something new and interesting to see at Gallery Stratford. Conveniently open 7 days a week with onsite free parking, Gallery Stratford is a ‘must see’ for visiting art lovers.
Grab a Coffee and Stroll Downtown Stratford
While in any city, it is imperative for me to check out all the local shops and cafes. Stratford was the perfect place to do that & they have so many amazing cafes, like Balzac’s & the Livery Yard!
Fanfare Books, which is perfect for any book lover to support, is the local indie bookshop in Stratford!
The Stratford Perth Museum
Located a 7-minute drive out of town, the not-for-profit museum does shed light on Stratford’s rich cultural heritage and history, as well as highlights Justin’s humble beginnings busking on the streets of Stratford all the way to stardom.
In addition to the Justin Bieber exhibit, the museum also features a couple of other exhibits which change regularly. Admission is $7 and parking is free!
Visit Shakespeare Gardens
A quaint garden in the middle of the downtown core, Shakespeare Gardens is a perfect place to enjoy the fall weather, either by reading a book with a coffee in hand or just taking a walk and enjoying the pretty flowers.
The Chocolate Trail
Stratford is actually home to some of the world’s most famous confectioners and bakers. To celebrate this amazing honour, the city offers a self-guided tour that introduces visitors to local chocolatiers and invites them to sample decadent treats at each.
Available year-round, vouchers and trail maps can be purchased from the Destination Stratford office on 47 Downie Street; Bradshaws on 129 Ontario Street; Small-Mart on 119 Ontario Street; and Werk Shop on 111 Ontario Street. Six vouchers will cost you $33.90 (including HST) and can be used at participating businesses located on the accompanying map.
Lights On Stratford
We also walked along the Avon River and visited Tom Patterson Island to admire our Lights on Stratford – a summer pop-up light display. I recommend visiting after dusk to really capture the
magic. The Winter Festival of Lights will be coming to the city beginning December 17 until Jan 28, 2022.
WHERE TO EAT IN STRATFORD, ONTARIO
At Revival House, a devotion to preserving the best of Stratford’s culinary and historic past blends with forward-looking energy to make this the city’s ultimate venue for cuisine, entertainment, and memory-making. Housed in the historic building formerly known as The Church Restaurant, Revival House is a jewel in Stratford’s architectural crown. But it’s far more than that.
Only a couple of minutes drive from the downtown core, Romeos Corner Cafe is known for its amazing cuisine and attentive customer service. The brunch we had here was so delicious!
Foster’s Inn is Stratford’s original boutique inn. A full-service restaurant, servicing a diverse breakfast, lunch and dinner menu! We got some amazing Thai food here!
Another great restaurant to check out while in here is Mercer Kitchen & Beer Hall. Located downstairs from the Mercer Hotel, their renowned Izakaya-inspired menu offers delicious large plates for everyone’s unique palette and taste. In addition to having a great selection of casual fare, the restaurant also features Stratford’s largest craft beer menu (for those who drink since I don’t drink alcohol).
There are so many other places to eat/drink that I wanted to try out, will definitely be coming again to Stratford!
ACCOMMODATIONS IN STRATFORD, ONTARIO
During our time in Stratford, we stayed at a lovely boutique accommodation, Mercer Inn, just steps from the Avon River. They even had a restaurant on the main floor, which we later had lunch at.
Find more information to plan your trip visit Stratford Tourism.
*Some businesses may be closed or have reduced hours due to covid-19. Please check the hours of operation before visiting.
This post was sponsored by Stratford Tourism, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Have you been to Stratford? Need more travel inspo? Check out my other ONTARIO based travel blogs/itineraries here!