Port Stanley is a premier tourist destination renowned for its large, wide and open sandy beach. While a small town with a population of only 2,000 residents, it attracts travellers from all around Canada with its beach, marinas and the vast array of restaurants and attractions.
Port Stanley is only recently reopening most of its businesses for the public due to the corona virus pandemic. This means while many restaurants and attractions are currently open, many of the usual major events have yet to be planned for 2021. That said, there are a few events planned nearby to Port Stanley.
🗓 09/03/21 – Special Sale of Indegenous Art Pottery (St. Thomas)
🗓 21/04/21 – Transportation Heritage Exhibit (St. Thomas)
🗓 02/04/21 – London Spring Craft Show (London)
🗓 TBD (Usually in September) – Playwrights Festivals (Port Stanley)
🗓 13/10/21 – Sloan (London)
Port Stanley is located in Ontario, below and a short drive from London city. It is a convenient destination to visit due to the Port Stanley Terminal Rail. The Port Stanley Railway offers tickets for a dedicated tourist port stanley train ride between Port Stanley and St. Thomas, one of the city hubs in Ontario. The Railway in itself is also an attraction, retaining its retro exterior look.
Get to the beach! 🏖️
Without a doubt, all visitors must visit its renowned beach. The Port Stanley Main Beach is one of the top beaches in all of Canada, having been awarded a Blue Flag status, certifying its high water-quality and safety for swimming. The beach is truly an attraction for all, with good accessibility for both strollers and wheelchairs. The Port Stanley Little Beach, less than 200 metres away, is a more family friendly and safe option for kids as it is shallower and protected by a berm.
After taking a dip, the town also has a vast number of attractions that will keep you busy during your time there.
Bridgeview Marina ⛵
The Bridgeview Marina offers rental for canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards at an affordable price. Upon rental, they also provide relevant items like paddles, lifejackets, and necessary safety equipment. While the marina does not offer rental fishing rods, they do sell live bait (Dew Worms) by the dozen for $3.50 for those interested in landing a catch.
The historic King George Lift Bridge is currently under renovation and is anticipated to re-open to the public by May of 2021. The Lift Bridge is Canada’s oldest lift bridge of its kind, being one of the country’s architectural monuments with its sheer feat of engineering even allowing for manual operation. While undergoing renovation, the bridge is expected to retain its structure and appearance, keeping its historic significance to the town and as a must visit photo spot.
Port Stanley is home to the renowned Brodericks premium ice-creamery. Brodericks has been serving some of the best icecream in Canada since its establishment in 1984! Aside from the amazing icecream, the decor and exterior has maintained its retro vibe, making it a highly instagramable location and a visit one of the top things to do in Port Stanley.
Art Emporium 🏫
The Art Emporium will certainly be a hit for those that appreciate art. It is primarily run by four local artists, however, its Boathouse Gallery also displays recently created pieces from newer artists. The Gift Botique is an amazing place to pick up some souvenirs, with a vast offering of top-quality hand-crafted goods from over a hundred regional artisans around the area.
Main Street Taqueria 🌮
This authentic Mexican restaurant is amongst some of the highest rated establishments in Port Stanley, and for good reason. Main Street Taqueria uses fresh produce, cooks to order dishes and most importantly delivers true authentic Mexican traditional food.
The Harbour Merchant Coffee Company ☕
An absolute must visit for all coffee lovers in and around the area of Port Stanley. The Harbour Merchant Coffee Company is a micro roaster, meaning they roast coffee in small batches unlike the typical big brands in their factories. This allows them to personally blend and pay special attention to each individual batch, leading to a premium cup every time.
Port Stanley Theatre is a central hub in Port Stanley, offering entertainment in various drama, comedy and musical events. September is usually a key moment for the Port Stanley Festival Theatre and a great opportunity for visitors to experience the Playwrights’ Festival, a gathering that aids in the development of new plays.
Wanting to relax after your activity packed week? Head to the Port Stanley Library to help wind down with the thousands of available books.
The Port Stanley Library also offers resources and aid to track your own genealogy, with high levels of success if your family had resided in Ontario.
White Feather Spa 💆
Spoil yourself with a well-deserved trip to Port Stanley’s top day spa, White Feather Spa. The White Feather Spa offers all the expected services from skin cares, facials, waxing and tinting, in a comfortable and relaxing environment. Being a boutique day spa, attention to detail and service are top notch, evident by the constant 5/5 reviews left by patrons.
Comfort Inn St Thomas 🏨
Comfort Inn St Thomas is a short drive from Port Stanley, and being a Comfort Inn / major hotel brand, it is a top accommodation option for those looking for both comfort and reliability. For late reservation and arrival, the hotel also has 24/7 reception.
Inn on the Habour is a boutique local accommodation that will attract those looking for an authentic and unique experience. Unlike the boring and uniform room layouts in various modern hotels, Inn on the Habour has a wide range of different room options, all having their own style and decor.
Port Stanley is suitable for families of all ages, with even a dedicated beach with greater safety for the kids. Loved for generations with constant flavour innovations, kids would also adore and be well satisfied with Brodericks, the land of ice-cream. Port Stanley camping is also a great activity for the family, with a free camping site and numerous parking spots in the area. The Berm is prime for birding, with several birds present alongside the berm.
Despite being a popular tourism destination, the community maintains its slow pace, providing an amazing environment for small town charm seekers to take a break from their usually busy lives. The Inn on the Habour and historic King George Lift Bridge are retro charms that will attract those who fancy historic appeal.
Being located on the middle tip of Lake Erie, Port Stanley is a hit location for watersports enthusiasts. As mentioned, the marina offers various rentals for canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards. The marina also offers dock services for both boats and jet skis, allowing watersports enthusiasts to park their beloved equipment safely.
🏖️ Long sandy beach
🌳 Natural attractions
⌛ Historic appeal
🍔 Plenty of dining options
🚗 Easy to travel to
🧑🤝🧑 A bit too “touristy”
💰 Pricey accommodation inside Port Stanley
Port Stanley is a hit destination for all the travelgolic out there, especially for those who love the outdoors. The Port Stanley Beach and marina is highly attractive for water sports enthusiast who can enjoy themselves in a safe environment as the water is connected to Lake Erie, instead of the open sea. The various Port Stanley Restaurants and other things to do in Port Stanley like the theatre and shops will be sure to keep you well occupied during your stay.