In my quest to savour every last moment of fall, my travel partner and I embarked on a 3-day getaway to Ontario’s West Coast on October 9, 2011. Lake Huron, one of the Great Lakes, is known as a great beach destination with wonderful sunsets. With the expert help of the Huron Tourism Association I was equipped with an action-packed itinerary that would give me a chance to sample various aspects of this wonderful land by the lake.
After a leisurely 2.5 hour drive from Toronto we arrived in Bayfield, a small community on Lake Huron at the mouth of the Bayfield River. My first reaction was surprise: the main street with its tall trees, historic Victorian-era homes, quaint shops and attractive restaurants and bistros was really picturesque and distinctly reminded us of Niagara-on-the-Lake on a smaller scale with much less traffic and congestion. A walk up and down Main Street revealed that Bayfield is a historic gem in the region and a perfect getaway destination for a beach vacation or a shopping and dining experience.
We stopped in Pioneer Park, whose elevated position above the shorelines provides sweeping views out over Lake Huron. A long sandy beach sprawled at our feet and was accessible through a wooden stairway. We also drove to the marina to have a look at the boats that were moored along the scenic Bayfield River. Looking north from the Bayfield River Bridge, I was taken in by the vibrant display of colours that was painting the forest in green, yellow, orange and bright red hues.
Then, to get to know the town better, the next point on my travel plan was a gallery tour on the Main Street. Bayfield is a very attractive small village along the shorelines of Lake Huron and its picturesque main street is lined with numerous shops, boutiques, galleries and restaurants. As an art lover, I wanted to see the creative treasures that were available in some of the galleries, so on this warm October 9, 2011 I first headed into Kryart Studio and Bizaar where I met the brother and sister team of Craig and Kristyn Watterworth.
They have created a unique studio where adults and children can get actively involved in creating arts projects themselves. Kryart Studio offers an Art Menu where guests can create their own masterpiece, using the quality supplies and guidance of a trained artist. Three children of different ages were on the grounds, creating some wonderful using different techniques and having a ton of fun.
Next I visited Clay and Gourmet, a store that combines hand-made pottery by several different artists with gourmet sauces, dips and other fine foods. A few steps further I headed into Marten Arts Gallery, whose main floor and upper level display spaces showcase a wide range of paintings, sculptures, and decorative items, mostly created by Ontario artists. Not far away is the HMR Art Gallery where I had a chance to meet owner Judy May Foster Roth who is an accomplished glass artist herself. Judy also showcases a variety of other Ontario painters working in different media. Art lovers will find lots of interesting creations in Bayfield.
The next point on my itinerary was a visit to the Little Inn of Bayfield, a historic inn that has welcomed guests since the 1830s.
For additional information please visit Ontario’s West Coast.