Come Wander
Shopping at Doree's Habit in Almonte

As if anyone needs an excuse to go shopping, but if they did, a change of season is a good one. Maybe it’s the crisp morning air or the brilliant fall colours, but there’s nothing like the change from summer to fall to remind you why you need to freshen up your wardrobe, and no better place to find the perfect fall outfit and accessories than in Lanark County.

I’ll be honest, fall is one of my favourite seasons, and a time of year that makes me think of home baking, long walks in the woods, and fuzzy sweaters. Of course, fall is also the season when I pull out the clothing I haven’t seen in a while, and start to think about what’s missing.  Hello favourite jeans and sweater, what fabulous items can I find to keep you company in my closet, and where can I find them?

Nothing like a little inspiration before trying on new clothes!

I’m not afraid to admit that big mall shopping is just not for me – too many choices, and too many people! This is why I enjoy shopping in Lanark County so much. Less than an hour outside of Ottawa, Lanark County is where you want to head to look for a few choice items that are sure to get compliments every time you wear them.

Whether it’s in Almonte, Carleton Place, or Perth, Lanark County is home to so many cute little shops that I’m always guaranteed to find something awesome. And I may be spoiled, but I enjoy wandering in a small downtown, where staff are super friendly and more than happy to give their advice, but more importantly, I can find some really cool and offbeat stuff (you know, the clothes that you find just before they become trendy).

I love exploring the downtown streets in the small towns in Lanark County. Shopping in a small town is like visiting a movie set, so cute it doesn’t look real!

The first stop on my fall shopping daytrip was the charming small town of Almonte, where cute shops are literally around every corner on downtown’s Mill Street. Doree’s Habit, Cheerfully Made Goods and Crush Marketplace, what do you have for me this year?

Almonte’s shops all offer something different for the dedicated shopper, and one of the first places I always stop is Crush Marketplace, a cool indoor mall where you can find everything from bird feed to lingerie, clothing and flowers.

Adjacent to the marketplace, is Vamos Outdoors, my personal favourite place to shop. Everything in Vamos so suits my style that I’m actually a little careful about how often I visit, there is always something there I just have to bring home with me! I love their hard-to-find items like wool tights that can make or break a fall or winter skirt. From chic shoes and boots to outdoor active wear (that you can still wear to the office), I love every brand name Vamos carries – Lole, Columbia, Royal Robbins, Desigual, and more.

This trip I snagged a fabulous Royal Robbins emerald green sweater and black and grey wool skirt that will look great with some wool tights and high boots, plus a Kuhl shirt for hubby off the discount rack – score!

Of course, fall shopping isn’t just about clothing (sigh), so whenever I’m in Almonte, I always stop at Cheerfully Made Goods to check out the sweet, handcrafted items they’ve brought in from local makers. It’s like having an Etsy store where you get to hold and touch everything before you buy!

Just across the street, comfy sweaters, scarves and high-end purses are always in stock at Doree’s Habit, conveniently located right next to Baker Bob’s (coffee pick-me-up, anyone?). I found an adorable pair of Tom’s boots there, and a fabulous orange scarf that really says ‘fall’ and I know that chances are pretty good I won’t see anyone else with the exact same outfit this fall.

I love these cute Tom’s boots I found in Doree’s Habit in Almonte.

After a coffee and snack from Baker Bob’s (and a chat with Dr. James Naismith), I set out for Carleton Place, to visit a new store I’ve heard so much about but haven’t had the time to visit – Acquisti Life. All I can say is “Wow!” New to Carleton Place since 2017, I can see what everyone’s been raving about. So many options, and every clothing item has something special about it, whether it’s a unique off-the-shoulder element, a cut-out in back, or just something that sets it apart from run-of-the mill options.

Just hanging out with my pal, Dr. James Naismith, during a much-needed shopping break.

I ended my day in the heritage town of Perth, one of my favourite downtowns (seriously) with a stop at Fall River Fashion and Fall River & Co., two sister stores where you can find the perfect fall outfit and a soft and cozy blanket or crockery without stepping foot outdoors. Other cute shops are found throughout the downtown, including Shadowfax, your go-to gift store.

I’ll admit that at the end of the day I was SHOPPED OUT (but in a good way). You want to know what is the best part about a day trip to Lanark County? It doesn’t need to end with the setting sun!

Coffee break, anyone?

It was nice to know that Perth is also home to the Perth Best Western Inn & Spa, a beautiful hotel that also features a spa and an on-site restaurant, The Locks.  I can’t wait to try out the Inn’s mineral pool and steam room, that seems like the perfect way to end a hard day’s work shopping (haha).

Can’t wait for winter shopping to start next…

Stories

Cheers to the Holidays

Get into the holiday spirit this month with these mixologists and craft drink producers in Ontario’s Highlands.

The Best Baked Goods

Discover some of the best bakeries in Ontario’s Highlands and their tasty treats.

Embrace the Dog Days of Winter

If you can’t beat winter, join it with an epic dog sledding excursion through some of the most beautiful forests in Ontario.

Winter Jams

Warm up your winter with good music and good food, together, at the Sharbot Inn & Crossing Pub, in Sharbot Lake, Ontario.

Shine at Giving this Holiday Season

Today’s craft markets are full of fresh, hip products made by creative and talented makers. This holiday season, go above and beyond by picking up handmade items with a story to tell at one of these Ontario holiday markets.

Discover Historic Accommodations in Ontario

Spend the night in historic accommodations to take yourself to way-back-when, and get into the spirit of the community you’re visiting. These inns have stories to tell of the people who lived and breathed inside their walls.

Cider Season

Find these cideries on your next road trip through Ontario’s Highlands to discover a refreshing way to toast the apple harvest with a cold cider.

An Ode to Poutine

Discover these chip trucks and their classic dishes, located throughout Ontario’s Highlands.

The Great Pizza-Off

Chow down on artisan wood-fired pizza at any of these gems across Ontario’s Highlands.

Before the Lake Wakes

Wake up lakeside with a steaming cup of coffee from a roastery in Ontario’s Highlands.

A Delicious Day Trip

Sip & Savour your way through the best food and drink spots in Lanark County.

The Perfect Scoop

Discover these top ice cream stops across Ontario’s Highlands to keep cool this summer on your road trip.

Exhale and Unwind

Experience a slice of farm life at Dwyer’s Farmhouse in the Ottawa Valley.

Strawberry Fields Forever

Discover these top ways to enjoy the strawberry season, when you let these farm-fresh berries shine on their own or in a variety of treats.

Farm Fresh Finds

Indulge your taste buds this summer with these 5 local finds at Farmers Markets through Ontario’s Highlands.

Pause for Pi Day

Celebrate PI Day with the best pie at these bakeries in Ontario’s Highlands.

Valentine’s Day Treats

Treat that special someone this Valentine’s Day to a gift of sweets at one of these top places.

Moo-ve Over, Vodka

Discover Vodkow, the new beverage from the Dairy Distillery causing a stir in Almonte, Ontario.

A Day in Ormsby

Discover why Ormsby Ontario is worth exploring on your next road trip.

A is for Apples

Meeting cider kings and discovering great things in Hastings County.

Concerts with a Community

In September each year, the spirit of community comes alive all across Ontario’s Highlands when the Festival of Small Halls rolls in.

Roam If You Want To

Follow along with Chris from Travelling Mitch as he wanders through Haliburton Highlands and Hastings County on the Rustic Roamer Road Trip.

Ground to Glass

Discover how four craft drink makers harness Mother Nature’s flavours to elevate their beverages in Ontario’s Highlands.

5 Senses of Nature

Leave the city behind and immerse yourself in the natural charm of Ontario’s Highlands.

Where Am I?

Devour an Ottawa Valley tradition and feel your taste buds rejoice with Wes’ Chips in Arnprior.

Where Am I?

Discover the big things happening in the small towns along the Rideau Canal.

Top 4 Summer Treats

Top 4 summer treats that are worth the stop on your next Ontario’s Highlands road trip.

The Rustic Roamer

I’m a Rustic Roamer. I wander to discover authentic moments, to embrace the spirit of locals, and to understand the stories of the communities and countryside that I visit.

Where Am I

Explore the sweet moments and ageless beauty of Perth, Ontario.

Maple Mania

Discover one writer’s quest to discover what makes Lanark County so sweet with Maple Mania.

Life is a Highway

Two wanderers explore 135 kilometres of hidden gems in Hastings County.

The Ultimate City Escape

Explore these three ways to escape the city, slow down, and absorb rural life in Ontario’s Highlands.

My Hometown: Haliburton

After years of travel, read the story of why Emily returned to Haliburton to officially call it her home.

Journal of a Foodie

Take a journey through Ontario’s Highlands on a road trip that will satisfy your inner foodie.

Summer Brews

Take a trip around Ontario’s Highlands to these micro-breweries to discover your perfect summer beer.

A Different Kind of Detour

Take the road less traveled through Ontario’s Highlands to these unique festivals that are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Good Food, Great Company

The Good Food Tour, a delectable walking tour in Almonte the showcases a story and the local flavours.