ROAD TRIPS

There's so much to see in and around Stratford and we make it all possible because we LOVE road trips. Just pick from the road trips listed below, show up at the West side of City Hall at 9:30 a.m sharp. Your picnic basket will be on board for your trip. A typical road trip leaves at 9:30 and returns at 2 or 3 p.m, just in time for a nap before dinner and stage. If you'd like Edison's in-house photographer to join and document the trip, just let us know. The cost includes driver, lunch and activity fees. 

BAYFIELD on Sundays. What’s better than starting the day on a beautiful sandy beach? We’ll lead you to the shores of Lake Huron for a walk on Bayfield’s exquisite beach. You are welcome to throw off your shoes and feel the cool morning sand between your toes. Next, we head up the steps to the quaint, historic town of Bayfield and stroll through the winding neighbourhood streets that lead into the heart of the village. The main street is dotted with whimsical stores including the Village Bookshop, the Spotted Cow, the Purple Peony, the Bayberry Shop and the Gravy Boat. You are welcome to do some shopping as we stroll towards Clan Gregor Square where we will hear from a colourful historian while munching on a family picnic, lovingly made from local ingredients. The next stop is the Dark Horse Winery, maker and purveyor of fine wines from Huron region. We will enjoy a wine tasting on its stunning patio overlooking the winery. After a full day of fresh air, good company and tasty food and wine, we will experience the beauty and bounty of the countryside on our drive back to Stratford.

Trip Highlights:

Stroll on sandy beach and dip in Lake Huron 

Shop the artsy shops of main street.

Picnic at Clan Gregor Square in the village’s centre.

Hear captivating stories from a local historian. 

Wine tasting at Dark Horse Winery. 

Pick-up: 9:30 from West side of City Hall.

Drop-off: 2:30 at West side of City Hall.

Cost: $99 + HST includes transportation, picnic lunch, snacks and wine tasting.  

Rain day alternative: the beach walk will be replaced by a visit to the Goderich Jail, where the last public hanging, in Canada, took place.

THE FARM on Tuesdays. When was the last time you connected with your food’s origins? Now’s your chance! Stratford and Perth County's agri-food sector generates 1.5 to 2 million dollars a day - more than six of Canada's ten provinces combined. The area is known for mixed farming (beans, corn and wheat), dairy, chicken and hog production. Stratford and area has arguably the best farming conditions in Canada. Our road trip begins at renowned family farm Soiled Reputations. The owner, Antony, emigrated with his family to Canada from Wales in 1970. In 1995, he and his wife, Tina, created Soiled Reputations, a certified organic farm that supplies gourmet greens and heirloom vegetables to restaurants, markets and homes in Southwestern Ontario. While touring the farm, we’ll talk about the state of food production and what the future has in store. Our picnic on this trip will be at a country lodge owned by one of our drivers. We’ll finish off with a tour of a state-of-the-art dairy farm or chicken operation highlighting the volume production of today’s farms.

Trip Highlights:

A tranquil drive through the countryside.

Sample fresh veggies on an organic farm. 

Picnic at a farmer’s country cottage. 

Excursion to a dairy/chicken farm. 

Learn about the future of food.

Roadside discussion on how to determine crop.

Pick-up: 9:30 from West side of City Hall.

Drop-off: 2:30 at West side of City Hall.

Cost: $69 + HST includes transportation, picnic lunch, snacks and entry fees.

Rain day alternative: this trip goes rain or shine. If it rains, more time will be spent inside the barn/greenhouse.

ELORA on Wednesdays. Perched on the edge of a spectacular gorge and nestled along the banks of the Grand & Irvine Rivers lies the enchanting village of Elora. You will experience the gorge’s spectacular churning waters close-up by ziplining through its towering walls of limestone ravines. You'll propel from the edge of an 80-foot cliff and fly 200-ft across the gorge on the zipline and then rappel like a superhero from mid-air down to the shallow river. After a morning of exertion, we will slow the pace with a locally prepared picnic lunch in the park and a few words from a local historian. Afterwards, we’ll walk into the picturesque village and enjoy a bit of shopping at local favorites including Mermaid, Styll, Epiphany, Jammed Lovely, Steve’s Sheepskin and ReFIND Salvage. On the way home, we’ll pass through the Amish community of Milbank where you are likely to see horse-drawn carriages. Ending the trip with a stop for treats a the legendary Anna Mae’s Bakery.

Trip Highlights:

Zipline the dazzling Elora Gorge twice (Note if ziplining is not your thing you can take a hike around the gorge or simply relax in the park). 

Picnic at Gorge Lookout. 

Enjoy local stories from village historian. 

Shop the artsy stores on main street. 

Visit the Amish town of Milbank. 

Anna Mae’s Bakery.

Pick-up: 9:30 from West side of City Hall.

Drop-off: 2:30 at West side of City Hall.

Cost: $119 + HST includes transportation, picnic lunch, snacks and 2 zip-lining jumps..

Rain day alternative: zip-lining to be replaced with painting class at Elora Centre for the Arts.

 

BLYTH on Thursdays. The town of Blyth was founded in 1877 in the rolling hills of Huron County. It’s two ponds were the primary source for the clay used to create the distinctive yellow bricks found in buildings throughout Southwestern Ontario. Our Blyth tour starts off with a short hike along the Maitland River, part of the Great Lakes Basin. It’s our way of prepping for the beer-tasting we’ll be doing at the state-of-the-art Cowbell Brewery. The Cowbell’s owners initially planned to simply renovate a vacant building on Blyth’s main street and open a small craft beer brew-pub as part of a planned retirement. But that simple plan now consists of an authentic timber-framed, state-of-the-art brew house sitting on 111 acres. Not only is the brewery a carbon neutral operation, it’s the founder of the Greener Pastures Community Fund donating a portion of its sales to children’s hospitals. After our beer tasting and accompanying picnic, we head to the award-winning Blyth Festival Theatre for a matinee performance. Blyth Festival features fully Canadian productions from a rural point of view. Afterwards, Road Trippers are welcome to a backstage tour of the theatre.

Trip Highlights:

Short hike along the scenic Maitland River or tour of Blyth Farm Cheese. 

Beer tasting at Cowbell Brewery. 

Picnic in the countryside.

Watch award-winning rural theatre.

Backstage tour of theatre. 

Pick-up: 9:30 from West side of City Hall.

Drop-off: 4:30 at West side of City Hall.

Cost: $129 + HST includes transportation, picnic lunch, snacks and theatre ticket.

Rain day alternative: hike to be replaced with tour and tasting at Blyth Farm Cheese.

ST MARY’S on Fridays. often referred to as the Stone Town, contains many 19th century buildings built with locally quarried limestone. We start off our day by viewing some of the most notable buildings including the Opera House, the spired municipal Town Hall and the Public Library, all built in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s.The limestone for the buildings was dynamited from the quarry which ceased operations in 1930. All of the machinery was removed but the railway tracks still remain. The quarry was actor Christopher Plummer’s favourite swimming hole and is where we will break for a picnic of locally grown foods and a quick dip to cool off or perhaps a jump off the water trampoline or dive off the 3.5 meter platform. After we’ve all rested, we will take the 2 km easy hike across the Sarnia Bridge, a rehabilitated railway bridge crossing the Thames River, providing panoramic views of the town and river valley. We end at the Junction Station, constructed in 1858 with its original interior partitions and original french doors with transoms in tact. It is said, that Thomas Edison worked here in 1862-3 as a telegrapher.

Trip Highlights:

Architectural tour of limestone opera house.

Picnic at the St Mary’s Quarry. 

Optional swim and dive in the Quarry.

2 km hike along the Grand Trunk Railway or, if you prefer, enjoy a tour around the countryside.

Visit to Thomas Edison's Junction Station.

Pick-up: 9:30 from West side of City Hall.

Drop-off: 2:30 at West side of City Hall.

Cost: $59 + HST includes transportation, picnic lunch, snacks and tours.

Rain day alternative: the quarry swim will be replaced by a visit to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and McCully’s Farms.