29 Unique Things to Do In & Around Midland and Penetanguishene, Ontario

The southern Georgian Bay is without a doubt known for its abundance of tourist attractions, particularly for the nature-lover. From the caves and climbs of the Niagara Escarpment to the record-breaking, long sandy shores of Wasaga Beach, to the seemingly endless array of islands that make up Ontario’s Muskoka region.

Amidst these Canadian wonders lie two quaint little towns called Midland and Penetanguishene. While they hardly rival in popularity to their well-known neighbours of Collingwood, Barrie and Orillia, they do stand their own when it comes to offering unique and quaint places to escape the fast-paced way of life in the city and take in some beautiful country sites.

Midland Waterfront

Table of Contents

Why travel to Midland & Penetanguishene?
29 Unique Things to Do In & Around Midland and Penetanguishene
Outdoors Things to Do
Historic Tourist Attractions
Arts & Cultural Tourist Attractions
Things to Do on the Water
Things to Do in the Winter
Support Local Businesses
Where to Stay in Midland & Penetanguishene
Best Restaurants in Midland & Penetanguishene
Our Wrap Up: 29 Unique Things to Do in Midland & Penetanguishene

Why travel to Midland & Penetanguishene?

With so many amazing places to explore in Ontario, are small-town Midland and Penetanguishene worth the time?

If you’re the kind of person who enjoys a quaint downtown stroll by the water, beautiful walks through the forest, or amazing preservation of local history, Midland and Penetanguishene are the perfect spots for you. No matter the season nor the size of your wallet there are incredible ways you can get out and explore this spectacular corner of Ontario.

While these two great towns are totally trip-worthy on their own – and as you will see, there’s lots to do in their close surrounding areas – they also make a great detour (just 20 minutes off of Hwy 400, north of Barrie) for travelers heading further north to the Muskokas, or further south to the Greater Toronto Area. So, strap on your adventure gear and let’s get exploring!

Downtown Midland, Ontario


29 Unique Things to Do In and Around Midland & Penetanguishene

Check out our list of 29 of the best and most unique things to do in and around Midland and Penetanguishene, built after our own recent stay in the area. We hope you will love these south Georgian Bay towns as much as we do!

Things to Do Outdoors

1. Awenda Provincial Park

Price: Day Permit $12-$21
Location: Google Maps Link

Awenda Provincial Park

Awenda Provincial Park is a great location for the adventurous traveler who is itching to get outdoors! With over 2900 hectares of land along the Georgian bay, hikers, bikers and Nordic skiers can explore Awenda’s beauty on 31 km of trails.

Relish in scenic views of the Georgian Bay or paddle across the park’s interior lake by canoe or kayak. Fishing is permitted in the interior lake and swimming is permitted in Georgian Bay (including swimming for your furry friend at the popular Dog Beach).

Awenda Provincial Park is open for day use all year round and for overnight camping (tent, RV, and car camping) from May to October. A trip to Awenda is sure to be a highlight of your time in Midland and Penetanguishene!

2. Midland Beaches

Price: Free
Location: Gawley Park Beach (Google Maps); Pete Pettersen Park Beach (Google Maps)

Swim in the refreshing waters of the Georgian Bay in one of the two main public beaches in Midland: Gawley Park or (Pete) Pettersen Park.

Parks and Recreation staff manage both sites and test the water quality regularly. In addition to swimming, Gawley Park Beach also boasts beautiful gardens and offers a popular kids’ play area. Pettersen Park, on the other hand, includes a baseball diamond and access to the popular Rotary Waterfront Trail.

3. Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre

Price: Adults – $12; Seniors & Children – $9; Kids 0-3 are free
Location: Google Maps Link

Marsh

Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre is another favourite local nature attraction and is in fact an authority on wetland research and education in Ontario.

There are over 25 km of trails at the Wye Marsh, which is open daily from 9am-4:30pm, year round. The trails meander through both woodlands and wetlands, and the majority of trails are suitable for both strollers and wheelchairs. Winter visitors can look forward to both hiking the regular trails as well as hitting special trails open for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Don’t have the equipment you need? Not to worry. The Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre has skiing and snowshoeing equipment for rent for a fee. We also love that they offer free daily use of binoculars, so you can really make the most of your hikes!

4. Walk the Midland Harbour & Penetanguishene Town Dock

Price: Free
Location: Midland Harbour (Google Maps); Penetanguishene Town Dock (Google Maps)

Midland Harbour

Midland Harbour is the perfect place to take a stroll by the water. It is lined with beautiful gardens, sculptures, and scenic lookouts over the Georgian Bay. The Trans Canada and Rotary Waterfront Trail run along the edge of the bay, connecting various parks (including the swimming location at Pettersen Park) to the harbour. The Midland Harbour is also steps away from downtown Midland where you will find cute shops and restaurants to explore.

If you’re looking for a similar experience in Penetanguishene, the Penetanguishene Town Dock will give you just that. The Town Dock is a short walk from downtown shops and is situated right next to the Penetanguishene Rotary Champlain Wendat Park, which offers beautiful waterfront trails, a splash pad and play area for kids, and a skate park. Enjoy a bite to eat at the World Famous Dock Lunch restaurant and grab some waterfront ice cream to close off the night!

5. Pick-Your-Own Berries

Price: Pay for Produce
Location: Patch of Blue Blueberries (Google Maps); Foster’s Family Farm (Google Maps)

Blueberry Picking Patch of Blue Penetanguishene

If you’re visiting Midland or Penetanguishene in July and August, jump on the opportunity to experience a memorable pick-your-own blueberry experience at Patch of Blue blueberry farm, located just outside of Penetanguishene. This is as close to wild picking as you can get! Patch of Blue bushes are never sprayed and have a beautifully organic way of growing that will leave you feeling closer to nature and more in love with this favourite summer fruit!

Foster’s Farm in Midland is a roadside country market offering freshly picked strawberries, raspberries and other seasonal produce. They also offer u-pick strawberries in season, but we advise calling ahead to be sure that u-pick is running before you arrive. Foster’s Farm’s phone number is: 705-526-8149.

6. Cycle the Country Trails

Price: Free
Location: Road & Trail Maps (Cycle Simcoe)

Cycle Simcoe County

Explore the peninsula’s relaxing country roads and well-established trails by bicycle using the Cycle Simcoe Road and Trail Map. Perfect for the casual and avid cyclist alike, there are 8 gorgeous bike paths ranging from 2-75 km in length.

For even more adventure, consider taking the ferry or water taxi across the water to Beausoleil Island within Georgian Bay Islands National Park. Trails in the northern part of Beausoleil Island boast beautiful Canadian Shield terrain of rocky ground and marshy wetlands, whereas trails along the south side of the island are more heavily forested. Check out the Beausoleil Island Trail Map for the full list of bike trails on the island.

Note: Consider planning ahead for a longer stay in the Georgian Bay Islands National Park, where visitors can tent camp or rent a cabin or (luxuriously rustic) oTENTik structure!

7. Go for a Hike

Price: Free; various if hiking in provincial/national parks
Location: Various

Trails near Midland and Penetanguishene

The land surrounding Midland and Penetanguishene offers a plethora of beautiful hiking trails. If you haven’t caught on by now, we are highly in favour of getting out and breathing in that fresh Canadian air!

The peninsula is home to the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence forest, which includes a mix of coniferous and deciduous trees, such as white pine, sugar maple, yellow birch and eastern hemlock. In our recent trip to Midland and Penetanguishene we noticed the incredible change in type of forest as we hiked the Awenda Kettle Lake Trail. The trail jaunted through sections of deciduous forest and then sections of coniferous forest, through marshy wetlands, and then back through coniferous forest again, making for an intriguing and photogenic experience.

We recommend using the following trail maps to plan out your hiking adventures:
Midland trails map
Penetanguishene trails map
Awenda trails map

8. Swim at Little Lake Park

Price: Free
Location: Google Maps Link

Little Lake Park is home to one of the three swimmable beaches in Midland. Situated on (you guessed it) Little Lake, and next to the Huronia Museum and Huron Ouendat Indian Village, Little Lake Park is a convenient picnic and play area for families, especially after exploring the popular museum and Indian Village.

Little Lake Park offers not only a swimming area, but also a skatepark, beach volleyball courts, tennis courts, dog park, trails, picnic shelters, washrooms and more. To ensure water safety, city parks and recreation staff test water quality regularly and make sure the park is well-maintained.

9. Stroll through Rotary Champlain Wendat Park

Price: Free
Location: Google Maps Link

Rotary Champlain Wendat Park, Penetanguishene

The Rotary Champlain Wendat Park runs along the picturesque Georgian Bay waterfront in Penetanguishene, offering 90 acres of green space to enjoy. The park is the perfect west-facing place for a sunset stroll, and also an amazing location for daytime family fun.

The park is equipped with an accessible playground, dog park, skatepark, splashpad, beach volleyball courts, and pavilion and public washrooms, yet one of the best features of the park is the large metal sculptures that depict different elements of the land’s indigenous peoples’ history. The park commemorates the historical arrival of French explorer Samuel de Champlain to the Wendat and Anishinaabe Peoples.

We can see how the Rotary Champlain Wendat Park is an obvious choice for a free, educational, exciting and relaxing way to spend part of your day in Penetanguishene.

10. Drive the Peninsula’s Coast

Price: Free
Location: Google Maps Link

If you’re looking for a relaxing way to spend a sunny afternoon (and perhaps need to give those legs a rest after a long hike), consider taking Champlain Road from Penetanguishene up to Kettle’s Beach at the northern tip of the peninsula. Breathe in that fresh rural air and take in the picturesque views of the waterfront communities.

We specifically enjoyed the unique coastal feel as we approached the town of Penetanguishene along Champlain Road, however, there are certainly also country roads that line other parts of the peninsula that are sure to offer great views!

11. Chill Out at Balm Beach & Lafontaine Beach

Price: Free
Location: Balm Beach (Google Maps); Lafontaine Beach (Google Maps)

kids in water

Balm Beach: 15 minutes from both Midland and Penetanguishene lies one of the best beaches on the peninsula and a favourite tourist destination for many Ontarians: Balm Beach. The popular Balm Beach Resort & Motel has a prime waterfront property that attracts tons of local tourists each year. Just spending the afternoon out? Enjoy mini-golf, go-karting, arcade games and watersport rentals, or relax at one of the beachside patio restaurants that keep this little country town and all of its tourists well fed!

Lafontaine Beach: 15 minutes north of Balm Beach is another cherished public beach: Lafontaine Beach Park. Since you’re in the area, why not check out both of these coastal gems and see which will make your list of favourite Ontario beaches!

12. Day Trip to Wasaga Beach

Price: Parking fees vary
Location: Google Maps Link

Wasaga Beach

Beach goers, be ready to be amazed. In less than a 40 minute drive from Midland or Penetanguishene lies the longest freshwater beach in the world: Wasaga Beach!

Wasaga Beach is one of Ontario’s most popular beaches and has rightfully earned the coveted Blue Flag Beach status for it’s well-maintained waterfront. The long, sandy, western facing beaches come with the beautiful backdrop of the Niagara Escarpment across the bay. You will be treated with absolutely perfect sunsets, tons to do in the area, and some great waterfront restaurants.

As Wasaga Beach is one of the busiest beaches in Ontario, be prepared for crowds of beach goers (a noticeable difference to Midland and Penetanguishene’s quieter beaches) and possibly a slightly stressful parking experience if you come on a busy day. Despite the parking, we say it is well worth the visit!

Note: If you’re planning on just spending a few hours here we recommend trying to park in the municipal parking lots (at Beach Area 1) as the rate is hourly and will be cheaper than paying for the full day in the provincial lots (which would be $18-$21).

Looking to escape the crowds but still enjoy the Wasaga beauty? Wasaga actually has multiple beach areas, and any other area outside of Areas 1 and 2 will offer a less crowded experience.

Check out our full post on 23 Fun Things to Do in Wasaga Beach + Complete Visitor’s Guide for details of our adventures and descriptions of each of the Beach Areas.

If you’re looking for an alternate to lounging on the beach, we also highly recommend checking out the hiking trails in Wasaga Beach Provincial Park, or doing some local shopping at the beach town boutiques.

13. Visit the Elmvale Jungle Zoo

Price: Adults – $20.95; Children – $13.95; Kids 0-2 are free
Location: Google Maps Link

Kangaroo

Spend the day at the Elmvale Jungle Zoo for a fun and exciting encounter with some of nature’s coolest creatures! Just 25 minutes south of Midland, Elmvale Jungle Zoo is open seasonally. Visitors can explore the outdoor exhibits, feed and pet the animals and watch live shows.

The Elmvale Jungle Zoo is one of the most popular things to do for families of all ages in Simcoe County, and we think there’s good reason why that’s so!



Historic Tourist Attractions

14. Discovery Harbour

Price: Various
Location: Google Maps Link

Tall Ships

Travel back in time as you explore this 19th century British naval and military base, now called Discovery Harbour, in historic Penetanguishene. Built to protect the area after the War of 1812, this harbour provided a significant location to store British ships until they were needed to supply ports further north. Visitors can climb aboard replica tall ships, see a 200-year old shipwreck, and walk through buildings from the original period. They will hear stories from the past brought back to life, and may even catch wind of a few ghost stories along the way.

Located next to the popular King’s Wharf Theatre, Discovery Harbour is an easy win for the history and cultural fan looking forward to learning more about local treasures! Discovery Harbour is open during the summer season.

15. Huronia Museum & Ouendat Village

Price: $7 per person (Kids 5 and under free) *subject to change
Location: Google Maps Link

Located in Midland, the Huronia Museum and Ouendat Village offers indoor and outdoor interactive displays to teach the important history of the land. The Ouendat Village showcases a life-size replica village of the Huron/Ouendat peoples of the area prior to contact with Europeans. The Huronia Museum features a gallery of thousands of artifacts including from Huron and Ojibwa First Nations history, as well as various other artifacts ranging from ancient marine biological findings to famous artwork from the Group of Seven.

16. Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons

Price: $5 per person (Kids 12 and under free)
Location: Google Maps Link

Adding to the rich array of preserved history in both Midland and Penetanguishene, Saint-Marie Among the Hurons is home to a reconstructed village replicating the first European settler community in the area. It is located on the very site of the original settlement, which was destroyed and abandoned in attacks by the Iroquois in 1649. Through archaeological findings and extensive research, the settlement was able to be reconstructed as what now stands there today.

Sainte-Marie among the Hurons was the central location for the French Jesuit Mission to the Huron Wendat peoples on the land. The historic park includes a longhouse, barracks, a church, workshops, and other period-appropriate buildings. Bringing history to life, visitors to the park can enjoy live re-enactments depicting the events and daily life of inhabitants from nearly 400 years ago.

17. Reflect at the Martyrs’ Shrine

Price: Free; Donations encouraged
Location: Google Maps Link

The Martyr’s Shrine Catholic church was built to honour the lives of the French Jesuits martyred during the French mission in the 1600s. Remembered here are the lives of eight French martyrs who occupied the settlement at Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons.

The church began to be built in 1925, and its design and construction was made to resemble and honour the Wendat longhouses. Tens of thousands of pilgrims journey here every year, and visitors to the area will find that a visit to the Martyr’s Shrine helps to bring understanding to the rich yet messy history of European settlement among the First Nations peoples.

Due to state of the world, we advise checking online or calling in advance to see if the shrine is open to visitors.



Arts & Cultural Tourist Attractions

18. Catch a Show at King’s Wharf Theatre

Price: Various
Location: Google Maps Link

Theatre near Midland and Penetanguishene

Enjoy a live performance show in a magical location like no other. Nestled in Penetanguishene’s picturesque Discovery Harbour, surrounded by historic tall ships and a 19th century British naval and military base, lie the rustic barnboard structures of the 385-seat King’s Wharf Theatre. Painted in bright, costal colours and offering a romantic view over the water, this is the perfect location for a majestic night out at the show.

19. Indulge in a Midland Food Tour

Price: $89 *subject to change
Location: Various

Food tour

Who doesn’t enjoy some quality food and drink when they visit someplace new? If that’s you, consider adding a food-venture to your list of must-dos in Midland!

Midland Food Tours offers two exciting ways to explore the gastronomy of North Simcoe County. The Downtown Midland Walking Food Tour is a scheduled and guided group tour for guests in search of the finest and most popular restaurants in Midland. Participants will have a local guide who will share stories of local history and culture in between tastings. The Day-Tripper Driving Food Tour offers a go-at-your-own-pace, self-guided driving tour across Northern Simcoe County. The tour highlights five of the best dining spots in the area.

Midland Food Tours is getting great reviews and is a fun way to explore the area while satisfying your taste buds!



Things to Do on the Water

20. Tour the Waters with Georgian Spirit Cruises

Price: Various
Location: Departs from Midland Town Dock

Georgian Island Queen Boat Cruise

New as of autumn 2021, Georgian Spirit Cruises offers narrated tours on the open waters of the Georgian Bay, bringing you past the best and most beautiful landmarks of the costal area surrounding Midland and Penetanguishene. Tour options currently include sightseeing, dining, or specialty cruises, and each run for approximately 3 hours.

Catch breath-taking views of Giant’s Tomb Island, Beausoleil Island, and countless other islands that line the southeastern Georgian Bay coast while having a romantic experience like no other! Cruises depart from the Midland Town Dock.

21. Georgian Bay Islands National Park

Price: $5.90 per Adult + Transportation (Various)
Location: Google Maps Link

Swimming in Georgian Bay

Comprised of 63 islands along the eastern Georgian Bay coast, Georgian Bay Islands National Park is certainly one of the more unique ways to get out and explore during your travels to the area. The only means of accessing this national park is by boat, so planning your trip ahead of time is both wise and necessary.

The largest and most popular island to visit in the park is Beausoleil Island. For day visitors, the most popular way to get to Beausoleil Island is by reserving a ticket with the Day Tripper water shuttle service (departing from Honey Harbour). As the Day Tripper is only available for those visiting the island for the day, those looking to camp overnight will need to hire a water taxi or use their own boat to access the island. Once on the island, your method of transportation will be by foot or by bicycle, so get ready for some exercise!

Beausoleil Island offers tent camping (no RVs or trailers) in serviced or rustic campgrounds, as well as cabins and OTENTiks. The island boasts beautiful beaches to swim in, a playground, boardwalk, lighthouse, picnic areas and of course hiking and biking trails to explore.

22. Paddle Your Way to Shore

Price: Various
Location: Diverse Rental Company; Swift Outdoor Centre

Kayaking near Midland and Penetanguishene

Looking to hit the water but perhaps stay a bit closer to shore? Thankfully, a few businesses have decided to help you out with some awesome rental options.

Without a doubt, the company that receives the highest praise and stellar reviews for its professional service and diverse rental options is Diverse Rental Company, located just outside of Penetanguishene.

Owners Jill and Dwayne offer a huge variety of water rental and tour options, including (but not limited to) non-motorized rentals – canoes, kayaks, SUPs; motorized rentals – waverunners, boats, and pontoons; and watersport equipment – wakeboards, kneeboards, waterskis and large floating mats. For those looking to book a water tour of various sorts, Diverse Rentals also has you covered. For so many reasons, we think Diverse Rentals is an absolute ‘win’ for watersport rentals and tours in the Midland and Penetanguishene area!

Located a bit further from Midland and Penetanguishene is another popular watersport rental company and store: Swift Outdoor Centre. Swift has multiple sites around Ontario, and its Georgian Bay location is 20 minutes east of Midland, in the town of Waubaushene. Swift Outdoor Centre offers canoe, kayak and SUP rentals, and is open from May-October. The company recommends calling ahead to book, especially for long weekends.



Things to Do in the Winter

Like their fellow southern Georgian Bay neighbours, the towns of Midland and Penetanguishene are popular tourist destinations in all seasons, including the cold and snowy Canadian winters! If you’re not afraid to get outdoors even in the chilly weather, then you’ll be in for some amazing surprises with what these towns have to offer those who brave the cold!

23. Skiing (Cross-Country & Downhill)

Price: Various
Location: Mountainview Ski Centre; Wye Marsh; Mount St Louis Moonstone; Snow Valley Ski Resort; Blue Mountain Ski Resort

Skiing near Midland and Penetanguishene

The fact that central Ontario isn’t really known for its mountains doesn’t stop ski and snowboard lovers. Whether you’re happy with some level-grounded cross-country skiing, or prefer to hit the slopes, you won’t have to drive far from Midland or Penetanguishene to find some fun.

Here’s your best nearby options:
Mountainview Ski Centre – Nordic/Cross-Country Skiing, located just outside of Midland (Trail Map)
Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre – Over 25 kilometers of Nordic/Cross-Country Ski trails, located 10 minutes from Midland and Penetanguishene
Mount St Louis Moonstone – Downhill Skiing in Coldwater, located 25 minutes from Midland and Penetanguishene
Snow Valley Ski Resort – Downhill Skiing in Minesing/Barrie, located 45 minutes from Midland and Penetanguishene
Blue Mountain Ski Resort – Downhill Skiing in Blue Mountains/Collingwood, located 1 hour 5 minutes from Midland and Penetanguishene

Skiing and snowboarding is some of the best fun to be had in Canadian winters! If you’ve never given it a go, consider taking a beginners lesson and being ready to spend a few hours on the bunny hills. (Don’t worry, we’ve all started there!)

24. Snowshoeing

Price: Rentals: $5-$10; Ecotour: $65 per person
Location: Google Maps Link

Snowshoeing near Penetanguishene and Midland

Aside from skiing, there are certainly other ways to effectively hit the trails this winter. Snow boots may do for a while, but if you really want to cover some (snowy) ground, then snowshoeing may be your best bet.

The best place to snowshoe in the Midland and Penetanguishene area is at Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre. Open year-round, Wye Marsh has a designated snowshoe trail (2.7 km in length) during the winter season.

If you’re looking for a guided adventure, consider booking the Snowshoe Ecotour at Wye Marsh. This 3 hour tour covers 4 km of trails which are otherwise not available to the public. Ecotour participants will have a truly unique winter experience on these empty trails as they learn to follow the tracks of animals and look forward to a restful stop for snacks and warm drinks by the fire.

The Wye Marsh Ecotour is available for participants with any level of snowshoeing experience, but participants should be aware that trails may not always be in optimal condition (and therefore some experience may be beneficial).

25. Ice Fishing

Price: Free
Location: Various

Ice Fishing on Georgian Bay

If you’re reading this, you’re already among the unique few who will even consider ice fishing a remote possibility on a cold, Canadian winter day! If that’s you, kudos. That’s pretty cool. While we’ve never been ice fishing together, Darren’s dad has been many times and has some pretty amazing stories.

Ice fishing in and around the Midland and Penetanguishene area isn’t as popular as ice fishing a bit further east, on Lake Simcoe. Nonetheless, locals do still take advantage of thick ice that can form on the costal areas of Georgian Bay. Look for evidence of people putting in along Midland Bay, Hog Bay, and Penetang Harbour, and if conditions are right, you may be in luck.

Remember to check what’s in season as well as catch limits before venturing out. Online forums are great for hearing about current conditions and locations first hand from locals. Species found in these waters include bass, catfish, pike, salmon, trout, walleye, sturgeon and tiger muskie.

Don’t have a fishing license? Either purchase one here or fish on Family Day weekend in February when Canadian residents are permitted to fish without a license.

Most important, venturing out on the ice is not something to take lightly. Every year, tragic accidents happen. Remember to take safety precautions appropriate to the sport, and consider booking an ice fishing charter with a tour company. Since ice fishing on Lake Simcoe is more popular than on Georgian Bay, there will be more tour operators in and around the Barrie and Orillia areas.

26. Book a Guided Snowmobile Tour

Price: $170 and up
Location: Diverse Rentals; Cottage Country Tours

Snowmobiling near Midland and Penetanguishene

Many winter-lovers admit that nothing beats the thrill of zipping through snow-covered trails on a powerful snowmobile. For those who don’t own one of these winter gliders themselves, booking a guided snowmobile tour is a great option.

Diverse Rentals is your best bet for snowmobile tours in the Midland and Penetanguishene area. They have amazing customer reviews and have been in business for over 10 years, faithfully serving Northern Simcoe County. Located just outside of Midland, Diverse Rentals offers an 1-3 hour snowmobile tour with an experienced guide, taking you through Awenda Provincial Park and Fairlane Lake.

Another popular option for snowmobile tours a bit further away (45 minutes east of Midland, in Severn Township) is Cottage Country Tours. Cottage Country Tours also has fantastic customer reviews and multiple tour or rental (for experienced drivers) options.



Support Local Businesses

27. Windlee Farms Maple Syrup Tour (Tiny)

Price: Various
Location: Google Maps Link

Windlee Farms Maple Syrup

Nothing beats the taste of fresh maple syrup. Am I right, or am I right?!

We think that making a trip to Windlee Farms in Tiny (just outside of Midland) should definitely be on your list of things to do, especially if you’re in prime maple syrup season (March to mid-April).

Windlee Farms is family owned and operated and its maple syrup has won multiple awards in recent years. Stop by to pick up some locally produced maple syrup or consider booking a tour with the owners, Peter and Anne. They love taking guests through the sugar shack and – if you’re up for it – even for a walk through the sugarbush!

Peter and Anne will show you firsthand the many steps involved in turning sap into pure maple syrup. From seeing the network of sap lines in the sugarbush, to understanding the process of a reverse osmosis and a boiling evaporator, to learning about bottling, and finally to tasting fresh maple syrup, you will not be disappointed!  Oh, and stop by in the winter and you may even find yourself snowshoeing through the sugarbush and then finishing with a hot cup of cocoa in hand!

Peter and Anne are passionate about sharing their love for maple syrup and aren’t afraid of going out of their way to make sure you get the best experience when visiting their sugar farm. Speaking with them directly, we could see that they get great satisfaction out of helping their guests become more connected to the food they eat.

Whether you’re visiting on your own or looking to book a large group tour, Peter and Anne are eager to accommodate you. Tours can range from 30 minutes to over an hour, and prices vary depending on group size. Call in advance to book your tour, at 705-526-0769 or email at lorriman@xplornet.com.

28. Have a Spa Day

Price: Various
Location: Bamboo Spa; Panache Spa

Spa near Midland and Penetanguishene

If treating yourself out to a day at the spa is within your vacation budget, we can’t help but make a few recommendations. After all, who doesn’t love a little first-class treatment?

Two of the most popular and well-loved spas in the Midland and Penetanguishene area are Bamboo Spa and Panache Spa, both of which are in downtown Midland. Both locations offer various spa packages, massages or individual treatments, and have raving customer reviews for their professional approach, friendly service, and relaxing atmosphere – everything you want in a spa!

29. Boutique Shopping

Price: Free
Location: Downtown Midland & Penetanguishene

Boutique Shopping near Midland and Penetanguishene

One of our favourite things to do when visiting any new place is to walk the main streets of the downtown. Even in small towns, main streets are often lined with cute boutiques, vintage shops, and artisan markets. As tourist towns, Midland and Penetanguishene are no exception.

Stroll up and down King Street in Midland and Main Street in Penetanguishene and search for some amazing finds at the boutiques, gift shops, eco-stores, consignment shops, antique stores that line these cute downtowns. Both main streets lead straight to the waterfront, giving you the perfect excuse to pick up a coffee or ice cream along the way as you extend your stroll along the water.

It’s always a win to be able to support local businesses and pick up some amazing finds along the way!

Where to Stay in Midland & Penetanguishene

As small, yet touristy towns, Midland and Penetanguishene hotel offerings match what one might expect: a handful of mid-range hotel chains, some beautiful bed and breakfasts and guesthouses and a thriving AirBnB community.

Here are our top recommendations for Midland accommodations:

Top Hotel Picks:

Midland Inn & Suites
A modern, comfortable and clean stay for mid-range hotel prices. Spacious rooms with comfortable beds and above-average room amenities. Quiet location and friendly staff. Excellent customer reviews!

Balm Beach Resort & Motel
A truly unique resort experience on the beautiful, sandy shore of Balm Beach! Boasting the best sunsets, and a Caribbean-like “resort” feel, Balm Beach Resort and Hotel attracts crowds year after year, and for good reason. Guests stay steps away from the water, and have access to delicious beachfront dining options. Fill your day with attractions in Balm Beach including an arcade, mini-golf, go-karts, and watersport rentals!

Top Bed and Breakfast / Guesthouse Picks:

Beacon Shore on Georgian Bay Bed & Breakfast
Guests rave of the spectacular experience of staying in this peaceful and picturesque home, located right on the Georgian Bay. On top of a spectacular waterfront view and serene gardens, guests can enjoy the additional amenities of a private dock and spacious yard, as well as a delicious, top-notch breakfast each morning. Owner and host, Jacquie, certainly knows how to make her quests happy and keeps them coming back year after year!

Tucked Inn the Harbour Bed & Breakfast
Experience this charming bed and breakfast located close to Sunset Beach (20 minutes from Midland and Penetanguishene) on the Georgian Bay. Guests easily fall in love with the hospitable hosts, Harry and Carol, who go above and beyond to make you feel at home with their friendly hospitality and delicious breakfasts! Amenities include high-quality mattresses, a guest fridge, air-conditioning, large backyard deck, hot tub and campfire pit – all for you to enjoy!

Best Restaurants in Midland & Penetanguishene

There are so many amazing restaurants to explore in downtown Midland and Penetanguishene, it’s hard to know where to start! We’ve picked a few of our top picks to share with you.

Best Coffee Shops/Cafes:

Grounded Coffee (Midland)
As if amazing coffee and mouth-watering baked goods weren’t enough, Grounded Coffee makes the win with its commitment to local and eco-conscious products, and friendly, welcoming atmosphere. Totally worth a visit!

Cafe Kittyhawk (Penetanguishene)
Penetanguishene’s new favourite hangout place is Cafe Kittyhawk. Hip and cool with its artisan meals, gourmet coffee, local brews, and abundance of plants and chic gifts for sale, this place is easy to enter and hard to leave.

MegaMindful Living Plant-Based Cafe (Midland)
The name says it all: everything here is bought and made with care for the environment, others and health. Committed to supporting community businesses and sourcing local ingredients, MegaMindful Living is a vegan cafe (loved by vegans and non-vegans alike!) with smoothies, soups, salads, pasta dishes, coffee and more!

Best Classic Restaurants:

Boathouse Eatery (Midland)
The Boathouse Eatery on the Midland Harbour offers the iconic waterfront, patio experience we all crave in the summer time. Great atmosphere, perfect location, friendly service, and fresh, delicious food are what you can expect here.

The Arch Steakhouse (Midland)
Looking for a romantic dinner out in a better-than-chain-restaurant venue? Consider booking with The Arch Steakhouse, where the service is excellent, food even better, and the outdoor patio is calling your name.

World Famous Dock Lunch (Penetanguishene)
Classic breakfast, fish and chips, Greek food and pub staples, all with a great view. Located on the water at Penetanguishene Town Dock, World Famous Dock Lunch is pretty world famous (in Penetanguishene!) and is a fun option especially when the weather is nice.

World Famous Dock Lunch, Penetanguishene
World Famous Dock Lunch, Penetanguishene

Our Wrap Up: 29 Unique Things to Do In & Around Midland and Penetanguishene

Well, friends, that about wraps it up! We hope we’ve convinced you to pack your bags, start your car and head straight in the direction of these two south Georgian Bay favourite Ontario small towns. Use this list of 29 Unique Things to Do in Midland and Penetanguishene to get the most out of your stay, no matter what season you visit, and no matter how big your wallet. Enjoy!

Awenda Provincial Park

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