We spent a month camping at the excellent KOA Campground on the outskirts of Owen Sound this spring. Several groups of our friends joined us from time to time and all of us were very impressed with both the beauty of the region and the vast number of interesting things to do there.
Aside from a few hours spent relaxing, we were busy every day touring the area. Having done that, I would like to recommend that anyone interested in visiting Owen Sound should experience the following highlights.
VIEW GEORGIAN BAY
Owen Sound is situated on the shore of Georgian Bay, which is part of Lake Huron. The water in the Bay is very deep, pure and clear and at times we thought some shorelines looked like the Caribbean. I never got tired of looking at the gorgeous blue water and all the fabulous rock formations and stones on the shore.
Highlights were a cruise out of Tobermory to Fathom Five National Marine Park (home of Flower Pot Island) and hiking in nearby Bruce Peninsula National Park. It was hard to pick just these few photos of the hundreds I took:
REVISIT THE PAST
We spent many lovely afternoons and evenings strolling through the residential areas of Owen Sound. At one time, this city had the largest number of millionaires per capita of any city in Canada. Imagine the lifestyles of the families who built these lovely homes.
HIKE TO WATERFALLS
Since Owen Sound is on the Niagara Escarpment (a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve), there are lots of accessible waterfalls nearby. Pick up the handy brochure Waterfalls of Grey County which provides a map, photo and description for each of nine waterfalls.
We visited most of them and found Inglis Falls and Indian Falls (pictured below) to be the most impressive. Many can be accessed via the Bruce Trail and all are fairly easy to get to (no cliff climbing!).
DINE AT TED'S RANGE ROAD DINER
This unusual restaurant is out in the middle of nowhere, east of Owen Sound, and offers an incredible array of dining choices, from kangaroo to caribou to sea bass.
It is housed in a Quonset hut that surely does not meet fire code, and the extensive menu is written on chalk boards around the room.
The food was so tasty and beautifully presented that we went twice with groups of friends. Check out their menu and location here.
ENJOY GLORIOUS GARDENS & WILD FLOWERS
Many private gardens in Grey and Bruce Counties are open to the public year round. Pick up the brochure or visit RuralGardens.ca. Our favouite was Morland Place home and garden (shown in four photos below) - a huge labour of love.
The Bruce Trail runs very near Owen Sound and offers easy access for hiking and photography. Since I love flowers, I took hundreds of floral photos during our month stay in this area and it was difficult to select just a few to show you here.
RELIVE YOUR CHILDHOOD
We chanced upon an unusual museum east of Owen Sound called Vintage Riding Toy Collection. It showcased 300+ antique bicycles, wagons, scooters, pedal cars, sleds and many more ride-on vehicles.
Call 519-538-3200 for a private tour and a trip down memory lane (for us baby boomers that is).
More interesting places to visit:
Munshaw's Bistro, Flesherton
Bird Sanctuary at Harrison Park, Owen Sound
Artists' Co-op (40 local artists), Downtown Owen Sound
Sunday Flea Market, Rockford
Saturday Farmers' Market, Owen Sound
Factory Outlet, Meaford
Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Owen Sound
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