5 Delicious Ways to Embrace Spring in Elgin County, Ontario | Ontario Culinary
loader image
spsringwater conservation area

5 Delicious Ways to Embrace Spring in Elgin County, Ontario

With its charming small towns and beach communities, Elgin County makes for the perfect spot to get away with loved ones for a delicious escape.

Discovering Elgin in the Spring

While you may be surprised we’re suggesting a spring getaway here, we think you’ll find that these suggestions bring unforgettable flavours and the added benefit of a quiet escape sans crowds. Keep reading to see what we mean.

1.    Hike and a Beer

Where: The Wetland Storey Trail and Natterjack Brewing, 25292 Talbot Line, West Lorne, ON. (View Map)

Did you know that Elgin County is home to over 100km of trails?  There are so many to discover based on your interest but we recommend checking out the Wetland Storey Trail at Backus Page House!

This trail is part of a wetland restoration project by John E. Pearce Provincial Park, The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and Ontario Parks and makes for a beautiful hike. We recommend downloading an audio guide to listen to as you walk and immerse yourself in both the history and environment of the region!

When you’re finished, why not grab a pint? Natterjack Brewing is the perfect spot to meet up with friends. With ultra inventive brews on deck, try their Natterjack Toad, a Belgian Blonde Ale with cardamom and pistachios. They also host loads of events so be sure to check their Facebook page to see if there are any happening when you’re in town!

2.    Enjoy the Solar Eclipse as a Family

Where: Gay Lea Dairy Museum, 48075 Jamestown Line, Aylmer, ON. (View Map)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Gay Lea Dairy Museum (@dairymuseum)

The Gay Lea Dairy Museum in Aylmer will be on the direct path of the solar eclipse on April 8 so they’ll be rolling out the milky carpet to market the occasion! Bring the whole family out (email to secure a pair of viewing spectacles) to watch this natural phenomenon that won’t happen again until 2099 and also take in outdoor games, trail walks, crafts, cookie decorating and more. Pack your own picnic then kick back and enjoy!

3.    The Horton Market

Where: Horton Farmers’ Market, 10 Manitoba St, St Thomas, ON. (View Map)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Horton Market (@hortonfarmersmarket)

On Saturday mornings, the Horton Farmers’ Market in St. Thomas (aka Railway City) comes to life! Around for more than 140 years, this is the spot to discover all the tastes of place of Elgin County in one spot!

From bakeries and pizza pop-ups to pierogies, meat, brandywine, pretzels, mushrooms and all kinds of other fresh produce, this market is a beacon for lovers of local and not just in the warmer months.

Wander through the ever-changing rotation of vendors to discover ways to eat locally all year round. We recommend grabbing a coffee to go from nearby Streamliners Espresso Bar or Las Chicas Del Café (roasted right in St. Thomas!) and grabbing all the goodies you need for a date night in or your Saturday night dinner party!

4.    A Spring Beach Day

Where: Port Stanley, ON. (View Map)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Two Forks (@twoforks295)

A beach day mid-spring? Hear us out. Port Stanley is the epitome of an adorable Ontario beach town and we happen to love it in the spring for its huge views of Lake Erie and of course the tasty eats.

Go for a stroll along the lake and grab a quick bite and a signature orange drink from Mackie’s as you enjoy the fresh air.

Shop Port Stanley

Fancy a little shopping? Nice! The Pepper Tree Spice Co. has over 300 organic spices and blends made in Port Stanley plus a great selection of culinary gifts like market totes, recipe book holders, chefs’ knives and more- perfect for any foodie!

For food lovers, Fire Hall Market is a must-stop for meats, cheese, fresh flowers, soup/sandwiches and drool-worthy pulled pork and chicken from the on-site Smokin’ Caboose BBQ.

Those who love fish need to visit Steelhead Food Co.! Steelhead is a fish processing and packing house and is the perfect spot to stock up on lake-fresh eats for your table.

Enjoy Dinner

When it’s time to wind down your day in Port Stanley, you have options. Places like SoLo on Main offer up dishes like perch on a bunch, arancini and on our must-try list, the Flank Kimchi which is a grilled, teriyaki flank steak with rice, organic kimchi, and grilled veggies all topped off with a fried egg.

Over at Two Forks, the drool will practically fall out of your mouth when you see the trout fries and stunning cocktails. Whether you’re looking for something comforting like baked mac n’ cheese or something locally-sourced like the roasted Lake Erie pickerel, you’re sure to find something on this menu that hits the spot.

Want to make this day trip into an overnight? No problem! Check out the Kettle Creek Inn or the Windjammer!

5.    Petals and Pizza

Where: Family Flowers, 44329 Talbot Line, St Thomas, ON. (View Map) and Elgin Harvest, 400 Sunset Dr, St Thomas, ON. (View Map)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Family Flowers (@familyflowers.ca)

Need a little warm-up? No worries! Family Flowers just outside of St. Thomas is the perfect spot to make it feel like summer.

Wander the rows and rows of flowers and greenhouse plants and pick a few posies to bring home with you. The best part? They even have an indoor walking trail! You’ll feel like you’re walking through a tropical paradise and come out refreshed as ever.

overhead shot of two wood fired pizzas at Elgin Harvest with two drinks

What could possible make this day better besides homemade pizza? The folks at Elgin Harvest just get it. Woodfired to perfection, this restaurant features a small selection of well-curated pizzas perfect for sharing or keeping all for yourself.

Pair it up with an Ontario-based beer or spirit and Bob’s your uncle. Seriously, this should be on every Elgin County bucket list!

Enjoy Your Elgin Escape

Whether you’ve never been to Elgin County or you’re an old pro at exploring it, we hope these springy ideas having you tasting new flavours and trying new adventures!

Elgin County