Have you visited the charming little town of Stratford, ON yet? This was my second time visiting Stratford, I wanted to do a weekend trip for mother’s day! Since travel has become more restricted these past few years, it gave me the perfect chance to discover places closer to home!
Arrival in Stratford, Ontario!
We stayed in this cozy boutique hotel, The Parlour Inn, a vintage-style hotel in an 1871 brick building located in the heart of downtown Stratford.
After checking in and putting our luggage away, we took a stroll downtown and stop at a couple of coffee shops. Stratford indie cafe hop is probably one of the best I’ve done!
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 a mini-cafe hop! These are some great cafes to check out:
Balzac`s Coffee Roasters – 149 Ontario St.
Edison`s Café – 46 Ontario St.
Brch & Wyn – 245 Downie St. (inside Bradshaw Loft building)
Revel – 37 Market Place.
The Livery Yard – 104 Downie St.
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 Stratford-Perth Museum also features a couple of other exhibits which change regularly. Admission is $7 and parking is free!
The Stratford Festival is North America’s largest classical repertory theatre company. Each season, they present a dozen or more productions in four distinctive venues. They produce classics, contemporary dramas and musicals, with special emphasis on the plays of Shakespeare.
We got to see Chicago and the performance was outstanding! Highly recommend checking out a show while Stratford Festival is going on.
We check out Stratford’s free self-guided audio tours. They have many tours but we checked out the audio tour that complements the Chocolate Trail, another favourite thing to do while in Stratford. The audio tours are a great way to get to know Stratford better and can be enjoyed during any visit, as well as experienced from home.
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.
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.
The last time I visited we had dinner reservations at Revival, but this time we got to try out their amazing Lunch menu. My favourite dish was the pizza and I love how they had live music playing. Revival is a must-visit if you’re ever in Stratford!
The Alley is the first & only micro-brew restaurant in Stratford. Their menu highlights fresh and flavourful foods, with a focus on local. Menus pay close attention to fresh, seasonal ingredients, taste and presentation. We had some delicious Korean-style dishes were to die for!
There are so many other places to eat/drink that I wanted to try out, will definitely be visiting Stratford as an annual trip! Check out my Autumn Stratford Blog for other places to eat!
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!