Whether you’re looking for a weekend escape together, or taking a mid-week break to enjoy time with those who matter most, this road trip will leave you with memories of laughter and stories you’ll want to tell again and again.
Unload your bags at Best Western Plus Perth Parkside Inn and Spa, your headquarters for the weekend. Spend some time relaxing in the spa or floating in the pool before heading out to wander the streets of Perth and choose a spot for dinner – like O’Reilly’s Ale House, or The Stone Cellar.
Day 2 & 3
The great thing about having your home base set up in Perth is that you’re surrounded by awesome amenities and experiences within walking distance, and also in a prime location for memorable day trips. Choose your own adventure from the options below and fill your days with laughter, interesting characters, and new traditions.
Option 1: Spend a day discovering the rich histories and incredible flavours in the towns of Smiths Falls and Carleton Place.
Travel back in time together to learn the important role the railway played throughout history at the Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario in Smiths Falls. Explore the station built in 1912, now a museum filled with artifacts and displays depicting a time when the telegraph was the main line of communication, and Northern residents relied on dental car visits for any toothaches. Watch real machines in motion and grab some selfies to remember your ride on the diesel-electric locomotive.
Indulge with a hearty artisan sandwich, a steaming bowl of soup, or a delectably fresh salad for lunch at Café Whim and explore the shops at Davidson Courtyard as you create memories together. Uncover unique finds and local products at Dawn’s Closet, delectable goodies at The Mercantile, and beautiful vintage décor at The Gilded Monarch before pointing your car towards Carleton Place for the afternoon.
Explore all of the delectable bites and satisfying sips in downtown Carleton Place during a walking trip with The Good Food Tour. Feel your taste buds jump to life with the rich spiced dishes at Sagar Indian Cuisine; refresh your palette with a craft beer at Stalwart Brewing Company; satisfy your sweet tooth with a dessert at The Good Food Company; and more, as you connect with the characters and friendly faces behind each creation.
Option 2: Spend a day delighting your sweet tooth, expanding your mind, and meeting friendly locals in Maberly and the Lanark Highlands
Feel your sweet tooth dance as soon as you set foot on the property of Wheeler’s Maple, then sit down to a plate of huge pancakes, homemade maple sausages and of course maple syrup. Discover the rich Canadian tradition of maple production at the Maple Heritage Museum; laugh at the antics and adorable faces of friendly animals like sheep, alpacas, and pigs during a visit to the barn; and stretch your legs along one of the numerus trails through the sugar bush.
Steer your car towards Lanark Highlands Basketry Museum to continue your stroll through history. Discover incredible baskets and the importance they play in the lives of those around the world, and if you’re visiting on a Saturday, be sure to head across the street to the McDonald’s Corners Farmers’ Market. Connect with local farmers and artisans and pick up a unique item or delicious treat to bring home as a reminder of your trip.
Next, head to Maberly to pick up a sweet treat, like gooey butter tarts or warm Chelsea buns, from The Maberly Bake Shop so you can relive your delectable day when you’re home. Indulge in a hearty dinner at Fall River Restaurant – we’d recommend starting with the Kroket on a normal night, or discovering a world of flavour during one of their international theme nights.
Option 3: Spend a day uncovering unique goods and sampling local fare in Almonte and Pakenham
Release your inner shopper as you stroll down the quaint streets of Almonte to unearth rustic finds and unique clothing at boutique stores like Tin Barn Market, Cheerfully Made Goods, Doree’s Habit, and Crush Marketplace. Snap a picture with the statue James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, along Mill Street to serve as a reminder of this trip together.
Not one for shopping? We have a few other thoughts on how to truly make incredible memories in Almonte:
- Plan your visit to coincide with a festival or event – like Almonte Celtfest or the North Lanark Highland Games – and spend the morning celebrating the community’s incredible spirit
- Discover the textured past of Mississippi Mills and the impact of the woolen industry on the social, cultural and industrial development of the region at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum
- Pack your stretchy pants and your comfy shoes and enjoy the flavours and friendly locals that colour life in Almonte during a walking food tour with The Good Food Tour
Once you’ve embraced the beauty of Almonte, head to Pakenham and discover the warm spirit that flows through this small town as you walk through the doors of Pakenham General Store and are greeted by friendly faces and mouth-watering baked goods. Embrace the tradition and history of this store, originally built in 1840, as you take in its charming wood floors, age old wooden counters, and antiques used by the original owners. Roam the aisles to discover local products, homemade goodies, and unique décor, then head over to Scoops Ice Cream to enjoy the perfect complement to a warm summer’s day: a cone stacked high with creamy frozen goodness.
End your day trip by heading off the beaten path to Cartwright Springs Brewery. Taste the passion that goes into each brew, marvel at the environmental innovation of this craft brewery, and visit the artesian spring on the property that flows directly into the beer making process – it doesn’t get much more local than this! Pick up a growler or two to bring back with you so each sip can help you relive this incredible trip.
Option 4: Spend the day falling in love with the historic town of Perth and the surrounding area
This final option will give your car a bit of a rest. Wander downtown to grab something delicious from The Sunflower Bake Shop for breakfast – we’re big fans of the smoothies – and start your day with an early sunny stroll through Stewart Park. If you’re there during the Steward Park Festival, take the chance to sway with the crowd and feel the spirit of the community surround you as you listen to incredible live performances that will have you wanting to return for this festival year after year.
Be amazed by the talent of the Classic Theatre Festival and let the performers bring you to another time and place as you take in a show or discover the community’s rich past during a morning walking tour. Depending on which you choose to see, take time either before or after the performance to explore Murphy’s Point Provincial Park (you’ll need the car for this portion).
Pack your bike to go for a ride along the McParlan House Trail at the park, or make memories during a hike along one of the others. If you’re visiting in the morning, sign up at the gatehouse for a guided tour of the Silver Queen Mine, then pull on your supplied hardhat and head 20 metres underground to be greeted by a wall of jagged, sparkling minerals that contain a piece of history. These glistening walls will serve as a great backdrop for photos that will make you smile fondly at the memories of this trip together.
If you’re not able to make it for a tour, purchase a self-guided trail booklet and make your way around the Silver Queen Mine trail to see the restored, early 1900s partially open pit mica mine, heritage displays and the rebuilt miner’s bunkhouse for yourself before you head back to Perth.
Looking for a longer visit?
If you’re hoping to keep making more memories, extend your trip north and celebrate the season by getting your hands dirty picking blueberries at Hugli’s Blueberry Ranch, getting lost together in the hay maze, and petting friendly farm animals.
Spend an afternoon splashing, slipping, and squealing at Roaring Rivers Waterpark at Logos Land Resort, or strap on a harness and soar over Astrolabe Lake at the Zip Line Course – a feeling you won’t soon forget. On your way home, stop by Wes’ Chips for an iconic dinner of golden French fries that have dotted the memories of locals for over 55 summers.
Ontario’s Highlands Insiders
Knowledgeable in uncovering hidden gems, making fresh tracks, embracing new perspectives, and disconnecting from the everyday, this group of experts is happy to share their wisdom with you. With a passion for local stories, a love of delicious food, and a thirst for unrehearsed days, this team is made up of creative minds and wandering souls.