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Tourism Blogs

Woman and child stand apart facing each other; child is reaching with their arms for the woman

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Love in the time of a pandemic has to keep its distance, but there are still lots of ways to show your mom how much she means to you this Mother’s Day. While it’s not business as usual for retailers throughout Hastings County, many have shifted to online models that allow you to get a special something for mom and have it delivered. From afternoon tea and flowers to yoga and home decor, here are local options to find the perfect gift.

Couple on a stage holding hands

Not Just Surviving, but Thriving

How Tweed & Company Theatre is Turning Flexibility into a Cultural Asset We all know that the past year has been an exceptionally slow time for Arts & Culture Organizations, with our local theatres being no exception.  The pandemic has destroyed live theatre’s ability to open its doors and welcome in the thousands of loyal patrons who would …

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Hand recovering geocache on a tree

Geocaching: An Outdoor Treasure Hunt that Anyone can Play

Geocaching is a great outdoor activity that can be done absolutely anywhere, and is free to do aside from a GPS device (which most of us can use our cellphones for).  If you haven’t heard of geocaching, it’s basically a worldwide treasure hunt.  That’s right,  geocaching is happening all around the world.  How cool is …

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Noteworthy Waterways at their Peak in Spring

We all know the saying, ‘April showers bring May flowers’, but with this week’s forecast in mind, all this April rain will bring forth another fascinating natural event; high water levels.

When coupled with the Spring run-off, April hosts some of the season’s best views of our beloved waterways. While our true to the word ‘waterfalls’ are limited, many of our favourite scenes take on new life in the Spring. What was once a non-descript trickling creek, is now a fast-flowing spectacle.

Hastings County Birdwatching: Diverse, Undiscovered

Last week, we had the chance to catch up with two of Hastings County’s avid birdwatchers, Kyle Blaney and Tom Wheatley. They’ve both been birding in the area for several years, and in turn, have created their own unique and unforgettable experiences. Despite their separate paths, they both say the same thing: The birds of Hastings County are extremely diverse, and the next great birding location is here, just waiting to be discovered.

Spring Trail Riding

If the back roads are one of Hastings County’s best-kept secrets, its network of off-road trails are the reason why. Over the years, the county has made a name for itself as a go-to destination for ATV and snowmobile travel in Ontario. These days though, two-wheelers are on the rise in the woods, and springtime (before the bugs are out in full force) is the perfect time to experience Hastings County by bike.

Woman holding umbrella

Adventures in April

COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into our plans for over a year now, and March Break 2021 is no exception… or should I say April Break! Have you seen every piece of every puzzle in your home more times in the last year than you can count? Have you played every board game you own and feel like you have seen everything on Netflix?

It’s time to shake it up! Leave the living room behind and adventure into the outdoors! Here in Hastings County, we are so lucky to be surrounded by nature and unique local businesses. While we are currently under restrictions, that doesn’t mean we can’t have an exciting April Break!

If you’re stuck on what to do, check out some ideas shared in this post…

a bowl full of produce

How to Start a Garden from Seeds

If you’ve never gardened before, growing your own vegetables can feel overwhelming, and you may not know where to start. However, with a bit of guidance, you can easily grow your own food. Three years ago, when I started my first garden, I started small. I picked four things to grow that year – tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro, and lettuce. The following year I added a few more vegetables, and the third year I had a full-fledged garden happening!

3 chocolate Cupcakes on a dish

5 Local Bakeries You’ve Got to Try

There are few things I love more than fresh baked goods. The smell of sweetness in the air from a bakery is enough to drive you crazy, but in a good way. I am always on the lookout for new pastries to try and the local bakeries in Hastings do not disappoint. For full disclosure, I jumped at the chance at writing this article because it gave me and my family a perfect excuse to sample some of the area’s best bakery treats.

two boys and girl play musical instruments

Fun Activities To Do On Family Day 2021

Family Day is fast approaching (on February 15th) and I think we can all agree that this Family Day is going to look like no other Family Day that we’ve celebrated in the past. Despite whatever current restrictions will be in place on that day, you can still enjoy it by spending quality time with your family. There are plenty of things you can do that are fun for everyone while socially distancing and staying close to home.

a small red box with a red ribbon

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

It’s never easy finding just the right Valentine’s Day gift for the ones you love. Do you go with the standard flowers and chocolate? Or something a little more unique, like a painting or a gift pack from a local brewery? To help narrow your search, here are 18 gift ideas you can find right here in Hastings County. All of them are available via delivery or curbside pickup.

Dad with 2 childen ice fishing

Outdoor Winter Family Fun – Covid Edition

Effective Thursday, January 14, 2021at 12:01 a.m., the government issued a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for permitted  purposes or activities, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for work where the work cannot be done remotely. This order and other …

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paint and brush in a bowl

The Hastings County Virtual Art Gallery Tour

There’s a Plethora of Painters & Potters in Hastings County Hastings County is a mecca for painters and potters, especially in the north. Why is this? And, a better question, why is this not well-known? Henri Mattisse said, “Creativity takes courage.” If that’s the case, Hastings County is brimming with courage. When I started researching …

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Seasonal Sips: A guided tour of Hastings County’s cafés and coffee shops

Across Hastings County, there is a myriad of lovely quaint cafés where you can pop-in and order yourself a warm coffee, tea, specialty latte or hot cider to get you through your Christmas shopping excursion, or to keep you toasty as you commute to work. There are also spots where you can buy your favourite holiday beverages and make them in the comfort of your own home. Let’s explore some of Hastings County’s best spots to relax and enjoy a treat to warm the soul.

Green-Illustrated-Traditional-Christmas-Greeting

How to spruce up your Christmas by shopping local

“For the times they are a’changin’” pretty much sums up the holidays this year. Although the Christmas holidays may look and feel different, given COVID -19 protocols, there’s no reason we can’t celebrate the season while also supporting local businesses. Hastings County has much to give, and that’s what the holidays are truly about. Be part of this year’s holiday giving by shopping locally.
From trees, one-of-a-kind gifts, turkeys, and more! When you support our businesses and artisans, you are gifting to the community.

title of the blog post on a piece of wood as a background

Your Hastings County Holiday Shopping Guide

It may not be the holidays as usual, this year, but there are still lots of ways to show your family and friends how much they mean to you. Now, more than ever before, retailers and service providers across Hastings County are opening up online shops or just making it easier for you to purchase from a distance.

So, whether you’re shopping for an outdoor adventurer, a gourmand, a serenity seeker, a naturalist, a creative, or a family, read on for 34 gift ideas.

blog banner with a wreath

A Country Christmas Gathering

The “Country Christmas Gathering Tour” takes place over two weekends in early November, and it’s the perfect opportunity to beat the weather, support local businesses and artisans, and find original, locally made gifts that will bring joy to those you love.

Local businesses have been SO busy preparing for the tour and their stores are filled with gifts that are more than impressive. So, plan your route by checking out the sites below, or just make it an impromptu adventure.

o hara mill covered bridge

The Haunting of Perish Hall

Hear first hand the story of the supernatural phenomenon at the St. Edmund’s Parish Hall in Tweed, ON with Tricia Black, Tweed & Company Theatre’s Creative Director.
“This event has haunted me (pun intended) since it occurred, and I really just wasn’t ever able to shake the feeling it gave me,” says Trish. “I knew I had to explore it further. I knew I had to return to Tweed…”

A man is reading on his iPad, while a woman lays with her head on his knees while reading a book, at a cottage in Hastings County, Ontario

5 Bed and Breakfast Staycations in Hastings County

Looking to go away for the weekend — or longer — but just don’t want the expense of a full cottage or the hassle of camping? A bed and breakfast may be just the ticket. And you’re in luck in Hastings County, as there are a wide range of options to choose from. Some are in bustling towns and villages with restaurants and shops next door; others are out in the country with sweeping views of rolling hills and hiking trails nearby. Hastings County is home to many Bed and Breakfasts offering exceptional small-town hospitality.

A woman wearing a black toque and purple long sleeve sweater, is smiling while holding up a large mouth bass

Fall Bass Fishing on Limerick Lake

Three years ago my partner, Eric, and I visited Limerick Lake for the first time. We had a memorable experience and had been talking about planning another trip there ever since. Our time finally came to head back to Limerick Lake last weekend.

Not only did we experience some great fishing on this trip but the timing was perfect to witness the incredibly vibrant autumn colours as well!

A charcuterie board featuring foccacia bread, slices of salami and mustard in a jar, served to eat.

The 24 Hour Foodie Road Trip in North Hastings

The northern reaches of Hastings County are a rugged, forested highlands dotted with over 250 lakes and rivers. But while all that wild consistently draws outdoor adventure-seekers, a growing number of chefs, farmers, and artists are waking visitors up to the fresh flavours and rich culture that have always been here. Follow this eight-stop weekend trip for a taste of what North Hastings has on offer right now.

Little Miss Ottawa sitting in a yoga studio

Creekside Riverside

No matter how busy the day gets we can also make time for ourselves. There are so many physical and mental benefits to yoga and meditation and the yoga retreat really helps you see that. I returned to lots of deadlines and in a normal week, I would have overworked and tired myself out. Instead, I found myself listening to my body, and tuning in to what I learned from the retreat, whether that was a short meditation, a walk, or yoga.

Country road in Stirling, Ontario as part of the apples to apples cycling route.

Apples to Apples Cycling Route

If you’ve got a hankering to crush some gravel and sip some cider, check out the Apples to Apples v.3 route here on Ride with GPS. This route is shorter in length, with just over 10% elevation gain over the course of the ride. Be prepared with a comfortable bike, a water bottle, a couple of friends, and a method to carry home the fruits of your labour. I’d love to know how you make it your own (and which King’s Mill Cider you choose at the end!)

Aerial photo in the fall of the countryside in the Township of Carlow/Mayo in Hastings County, Ontario

Take in the Colours of Fall along the North Hastings Scenic Routes

There’s no better way to witness the true beauty of nature’s vibrant fall colours than a road trip through the countryside. With 13 routes to choose from you will find yourself meandering the countryside through large and untouched forests, and along river banks and water falls, while valley vistas and historic homesteads speckle the area.

man and woman inside a teepee tent

5 Glamping Getaways in Hastings County

Let’s face it: camping is great, but we don’t all want to sleep on the ground or cook over an open fire. An actual bed with sheets would be welcome, as would four walls, or at least some strong canvas. Luckily, glamorous camping, a.k.a. glamping, has taken off across North America in recent years, including here in Hastings County. From a riverside yurt to an off-grid cabin in the woods, here are five spots to get your glamp on.

brushes on top of paint cans with colorful paint splatters

Discover our local art studios, theatres, and more

The landscape, the history, the culture, the people; the authentic elements of Hastings uniquely inspire each stroke of a brush, influence the fine details of curation, and forge hot glass into intricate designs. South to North and East to West, there is a vibrant artisanal vein that runs through Hastings County, and we have mapped it out for you!

Farmtown Park entrance

Take a Trip to Farmtown Park in Stirling

If you are looking for a family excursion that is both fun and educational, you will want to spend an afternoon at Farmtown Park. There are 9 different buildings to explore, like Heritage Village, the old schoolhouse, and learn about cheese and butter making. Farmtown Park is a great way to get the kids out to do something that they will not only have fun doing, but will also learn a lot of history. You’ll want to be sure to visit soon though, as they are only open during the warmer months, from May to the end of September.

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Quinn's of Tweed

345 Victoria St. North Tweed, Ontario K0K 3J0

Visitors often ask about the building and it’s name, Quinn’s of Tweed. In fact, tradition dictates that we keep, with honour,  the name Quinn’s of Tweed, the original name of the store and building. The Quinn’s of Tweed building is one of the town’s oldest and most beautiful historic stone structures, dating back to the 1880s. The twelve foot walls allow us to hang paintings in the traditional French salon style. You’ll marvel at the craftmanship of the ash and maple staircase, the old bookeeper’s office, and the stained glass that brings one back to an era when a handshake and promise were as good as gold – today, we still believe in those principles.

gaylord hardwood flooring

228 Victoria St N, Tweed, ON K0K 3J0

Charles Frederick McGowan sold the lot in 1907 to William James Lawrence for $600.00. Shortly thereafter Mr. Lawrence erected the building which still stands there today. He conducted a furniture business until 1912, when he sold the property to the Traders’ Bank of Canada, which within the year, was taken over by the Royal Bank of Canada. It operated out of the building until 1942, when the war forced consolidations and closures due to a lack of tellers (men). The property changed hands a couple more times before local Tweed family, Gaylord Forest Products secured the property in 2003. Since then, they have evolved every inch of the interior into an experience. Each room throughout the building is a real life ‘showroom’ from top to bottom; you simply have to see it to believe it. The stairwell in particular holds a lot of history!

Marmora and Lake Inn

Come as strangers. Leave as friends.

29 Bursthall St, Marmora, ON K0K 2M0

Experience the charm of our 1906 mansion, nestled in the village of Marmora, Ontario, an historic town celebrating 200 years in 2021. The large and stately home was built by Ed Shannon for lumber baron Henry Reginald Pearce (known as “Reginald”) and his family, who purchased the lot for $200. It remained a private family dwelling for many decades and eventually was converted to a Bed and Breakfast by Chris and Lilly Boldly.

It now operates as Marmora And Lake Inn B&B and boasts beautiful, spacious bedrooms with quaint old-world craftsmanship for a luxurious stay. Onsite amenities include an exceptional indoor swimming pool, bubbler tub, infrared sauna, large screen SMART TV’s in each room, wireless internet access throughout, and generous sized gathering rooms. And being a small town, the pool is open to the community and friends for a nominal fee (pre-booking is required).

Our guests enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast including locally baked breads and pastries, yogurt and fresh fruit, an extensive beverage and tea/coffee bar featuring a wide variety of flavours and blends. Great outdoor patio area for fair-weather relaxation and large private events.

Whether planning a romantic weekend for two, a small wedding, a family reunion or a week-long visit to bask in the natural beauty of the region, the Marmora And Lake Inn B&B will help make it a time to remember. (Please note that all bedrooms are on the upper levels and we don’t yet have accessibility assist.)