Living in the Waterloo Region provides residents with many amazing opportunities for a weekend getaway or staycation.
Last month, the day after a major snowstorm, we had the opportunity to visit Stratford, Ontario and take advantage of learning more about this infamous little town only 45 minutes away from KW.
Stratford is a city that is well known for its cultural events, particularly its world-renowned Stratford Festival. However, there is much more to this charming city than just theatre.
Stratford is also home to a number of museums, including the Stratford Perth Museum, and Foster’s Inn, a historic hotel that has been operating for over a century.
THE CHOCOLATE AND BACON & ALE TRAIL
One of the most popular attractions in Stratford is the Chocolate Trail, a self-guided tour of the city’s best chocolatiers. In addition, the city also boasts a Bacon & Ale Trail, which features some of the best breweries in the region.
The Chocolate Trail is a must-see for anyone with a sweet tooth. This self-guided tour takes visitors on a journey through the city’s best chocolatiers, allowing them to sample a wide variety of chocolates, truffles, and other confections. The trail includes stops at popular chocolate shops such as Rheo Thompson Candies, Chocolate Barr’s and Rocky Mtn Chocolate. Each shop has its own unique offerings, so visitors can expect to find everything from classic milk chocolate bars to artisanal truffles made with local ingredients.
One of my favourite stops was Olive Your Favourites, located in the heart of downtown Stratford, where we were educated about olive oil and was gifted a Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar.
The Bacon & Ale Trail is another popular attraction in Stratford. This self-guided tour takes visitors on a journey through the city’s best breweries, allowing them to sample a wide variety of craft beers. The trail includes stops at popular breweries such as Black Swan Brewing Company, Jobsite Brewing Company, and Shakespeare Brewing Company. Each brewery has its own unique offerings, so visitors can expect to find everything from classic lagers to hoppy IPAs.
The cost is $35+HST per trail. It’s a fantastic way to learn about the town and get to know the local businesses.
Stratford Perth Museum
In addition to its food and drink trails, Stratford is also home to a number of museums. The Stratford Perth Museum is a popular attraction for history buffs, offering exhibits on everything from the region’s early settlers to its famous residents, including Justin Bieber. The museum is housed in a historic building that dates back to 1840, and features a number of artifacts and exhibits that bring the region’s history to life.
Foster’s Inn is another must-see attraction in Stratford. We stayed in one of their 9 guest rooms and had the opportunity to enjoy drinks at the restaurant and bar, which serves up delicious farm-to-table cuisine and a wide variety of local beers and wines. This historic hotel has been operating since 1906, and has welcomed guests from all over the world. The guest rooms are each decorated in a unique style that reflects the hotel’s history and charm.
Dinner and Breakfast with a View
If you’re looking for a local fine cuisine, look no further than Bluebird Restaurant & Bar and the Revival House.
The Bluebird Restaurant & Bar is a quaint, yet very busy, restaurant with curated dishes that combine seasonality and Stratford’s unique agricultural landscape. During our evening, we feasted on Beef cheeks and cod, while looking at the Avon River outside.
For breakfast, we took ourselves to church and indulged on chicken waffles and eggs Benedict at the Revival House. Housed in the historic building formerly known as The Church Restaurant, Revival House is a jewel in Stratford’s architectural crown.
Stratford, Ontario is a charming city that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a foodie looking to sample the city’s best chocolate and beer, a history buff looking to explore the region’s past, or a traveler in search of a cozy and charming hotel, Stratford has something to offer. With its world-renowned Stratford Festival, stunning natural beauty, and rich cultural heritage, Stratford is a destination that is not to be missed.