LondonFuse CityMatch BannerYou don’t have to go too far to have a vacation from everyday life…

Here in London, ON, we’re very lucky to have a whole array of places to go and things to do, especially in the summer season. But, if you’re looking for just a smidgeon more of that “vacation” feeling, you don’t need to wander too far to find it.

Just beyond the city limits, you can find multiple destinations that provide new experiences, ample adventures, and memories to last a lifetime. Let’s check out where and what should be on your bucket list in the summer of 2018.

1 – For the beach bums out there…

London is surrounded by several different beaches, all with their own characters, and many with their own take on the Great Lakes. In addition, you only have to drive 45 mins to an hour to get there! If you’re looking for an expansive sandy beach complete with restaurant (Mackie’s… it just doesn’t get any better) and bar option’s (GT’s on the Beach, yes!), we recommend Port Stanley on Lake Erie. Or, if you’re into a classic beach town and incredible main strip, Grand Bend on Lake Huron is the one for you.

Port Stanley Ontario
Life’s a beach, literally, when you’re on the Great Lakes. Photo via Facebook / @PortStanleyOntario

No matter what you choose, you’ve made a good choice! See these simple directions for Port Stanley (40 mins from Downtown) and Grand Bend (57 mins from Downtown).

2 – For the outdoor aficionados…

We don’t all adore the beach, but soaking up the summer season outside is key. So, if you’re looking for a bit more of a hiking-trail-laden option, try out Sharon Creek Conservation Area, just west of the city, near Delaware, ON. The trails are expansive and the river is a calm, beautiful feature. No, the swinging tree is no longer there but you can certainly go and pay your respects to this massively loved, local destination.

Sharon Creek Ontario
Go for a swim, go for a hike, take a canoe, take the whole fam! There’s so much to see and do at Sharon Creek. Photo via Instagram / @hartongdigital

It’s only a 25 min drive to the creek! We suggest you check out these directions asap.

3 – For the market goer…

In London, we’ve got an exceptional market scene with the places like Covent Garden, Gibraltar, and the Western Fair Farmer’s Market. But, if you travel just a bit further east down Dundas (19 minutes longer to be exact), you’ll find Trails End Market along with all the wonder that can be found there from furniture to fresh foods. It’s an experience and we definitely recommend checking it out.

Adelaide Farms
Take your summer dinners to the next level with farm fresh ingredients and everything local! Photo via Facebook / @AdelaideFarms

But, we would like to mention a little farm we feel is lesser known to we city slickers. From downtown, about 15 mins down Adelaide Street N., you’ll find a little farm tucked away selling every veggie, fruit, and cuts of meat you’ll want to make your summer a delicious one! At Adelaide Farms, the prices can’t be beat, everything is grown right there, the people are nice as pie, and it’s open seven days a week! Go and see for yourself, pick up a bag of firewood and roast those in-house hot dogs over the fire that night!

Check the directions to Trails End right here (19 mins from Downtown) and then get yourself to Adelaide Farms (16 mins from Downtown) pronto.

4 – For the history buff…

The Donnelly tale is one of the best known and shocking happenings in the history of Southwestern Ontario… and it all happened about 30 mins away from London. In Lucan, Ontario, this family met their dark demise due to religious prejudice and general hatred in the late 19th Century. However, their story lives on and they’re honoured on a daily basis in this small Ontario town as they’re legends and have remained so for decades.

Donnelly Museum Lucan Ontario
Incredible historic tales, right in your backyard. Photo via Instagram / @gardinersgate

If you want to find out more and test your adventurous, thrill-seeking ways, we suggest taking the trip down Highway 4 for a guided tour, the commemorative museum, and even a very new age take on the story, a Donnelly-themed escape room! P.S., if you go this weekend, it’s Lucan’s annual Baconfest! How could you go wrong?

For directions back in time, click right here.

5 – For the luxury libation lover…

The love for locally made has exploded in Ontario recently, and when it comes to craft beer, you don’t have to venture too far to get an impressive pint. Here in London, the craft beer scene is thriving with places like Anderson Craft Ales, London Brewing, Storm Stayed, and Forked River. But, how about taking a lovely, little day trip to the scenic town of Seaforth, ON to check out Half Hours On Earth Brewery… the best beer you’ll likely ever have, period.

Half Hours on Earth Seaforth
A world of flavour awaits… Photo via Facebook / @halfhoursonearth

These beer magicians come up with some of the most innovative flavour combinations we’ve seen in a long time (or ever). Things like Mango Pineapple DIPA or a Coffee Sour Ale with Vanilla and Lactose… your brain won’t even know how to process what your mouth is tasting.

At only 58 mins from downtown, you’ll be rather pleased with yourself for making the trip and then can tell all your friends you’ve tried what should be dubbed “the fine wine of beer.” YUM.

7 – For those appreciative of all things aesthetic…

Or plainly, you enjoy the beauty of the every day, especially when the every day is exceedingly beautiful (and beyond Instagram-worthy). In this category, we’ve selected the Steed and Company Lavender Farm, a short jaunt (43 mins) down Highbury Ave. North to Sparta Line in the lovely town of Aylmer, ON. Here you can see (and smell) rows upon rows of gorgeous lavender plants, try baked goods, treats, and drinks infused with the bounty, as well as shop for home decor and essentials, all made on site.

Can you picture a place more beautiful? Photo via Facebook / @SteedandCompanyLavender

By the way, while in Aylmer, we suggest taking a lunch break at Dan’s Taco Wagon. It’s the pride and joy of this little town and offers up some of the very best in tacos around.

Click right here for directions to Steed and for your stop off at Dan’s, click here.

8 – For the shopper and antique connoisseur…

One of the best ways to spend a day trip is traveling around the countryside searching for the best in old-timey glory… antiquing! If you love to rummage through decades past, one of the best places to go is Dunlop Livery Antiques on Blyth Road in Goderich. This one is a little bit more of a trek at 1 hour and 30 mins from London, but it’s well worth it. The space is beautiful and the items are expertly curated… you can get lost in the past for hours!

Dunlop Antiques
Oh the wonders that are housed inside! Photo via Facebook / @DunlopLiveryAntiques

Check out the directions here and be prepared to pass by countless other little (and large) antique wonderlands and make sure to stop in the lovely town that is Goderich, ON.

As you can see, there’s a whole world just outside of London for your day trip needs this summer. Where will you start? Let us know in the comments!

Feature photo via Facebook / @SteedandCompanyLavender

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