Top 10 Attractions in Grand Bend
Grand Bend is one of the most visited cities throughout Ontario. People come from all over to not only see the beach, but to enjoy some of the great attractions that the city has to offer. The locals welcome tourists with open arms and make them feel welcome while they take in the sights and sounds that Grand Bend has to offer.
While the beach is a main factor for visitors, there is so much more to be explored and enjoyed for families throughout the town. For example, the sunrise and sunset are deemed by National Geographic to be one of the top 10 in North America. You can enjoy them while you visit a park, rent a boat with friends in Lake Huron, or go parasailing. It is a sight that is magical from any angle you witness it.
There are many attractions to explore and enjoy throughout Grand Bend, from the beach and beyond, there will never be a shortage of things to do during your visit. Whether you’re visiting for a day, or staying for a week or longer, you will have many memories to look back on with everything this little town on the shore of Lake Huron has to offer.
If you haven’t been to Grand Bend and are planning a trip to go somewhere to see not only one of the continent’s greatest sunsets, but want to create great memories with your family and friends, check out the top 10 attractions in Grand Bend in the list below.
1. Grand Bend Beach
A fun place for families to relax and enjoy the soft sand and crystal clear water, Grand Bend Beach is one of the best places to visit in Ontario during the hot, summer months. Parking can be pretty packed at most times during the day, but if you go around 4 p.m., parking is readily available. The main street along the beach is full of cafes, coffee shops, and bars. There is even a playground and splash pad nearby for the children to enjoy.
The beach is known for offering parasailing and jetski rentals. With great shops, places to eat, and the enjoyment of a great swim, the fireworks display on every Saturday throughout the summer is a beautiful sight. If you are lucky enough to find a rooftop along the main street, the view of Lake Huron is breathtaking. The beach is definitely the top attraction when visiting Grand Bend.
2. Pinery Provincial Park
The scenic drive towards Pinery Provincial Park is just one of the things that make the trip to this attraction worth it when spending any amount of time in Grand Bend. An amazing place to set up a campsite, the park is home to 6 miles of sandy beach just down the road from Grand Bend Beach.
With great amenities at the park include campfires, canoeing, ice cream and great trails to walk to hike. The campsites at the park are conveniently located very close to the beach, which may be quite rocky at times, but has beautiful, crystal clear water. The best thing about the park is enjoying the sunset while spending time there. National Geographic has ranked the sunset at Pinery as one of ten best in the world. It is something to be desired and would be worth putting on bucket lists for anyone who loves camping.
3. Grand Bend Motorplex
One of Ontario’s top racing facilities, the Grand Bend Motorplex is a great place to take the family if you’re in the area and looking to have a great afternoon out in the sun. The weekend is the best time to go with top fuel drag racing that is a must-see. In addition to being a great place to watch drag races and seeing the vehicles in the pit, the annual event is a massive event.
With drag racing involving sleds, bikes, modified and heavily modified vehicles such as rocket cars, patrons can enjoy food and snacks from concession stands and food trucks. Planning on filling up a car to go to the annual event? With a carload price, everyone in your car can enjoy the event for just under $40. It’s a great way to pass the time and make memories with family and friends.
4. Grand Bend Market
Filled with fresh local produce, baked goods and plenty of shopping booths, the Grand Bend Market is a great place to support the local bakers and farmers, but to enjoy Grand Bend’s charm and personality. While walking through the market, customers can browse through a number of different vendors to make the most out of the small town experience.
In addition to baked goods and fresh produce, there are also books, clothing, antiques and crafts available. If you go there first thing in the morning, you can enjoy a Styrofoam box breakfast and then continue on to play on the pinball machines, snack on blueberry scones and then pick up some local meat, fresh fruits and vegetables and jewelry. There is something at the Grand Bend Market for everyone to enjoy.
5. Sunset Arts Gallery
With great art at reasonable prices, the Sunset Arts Gallery is managed by the artists who showcase their work there. The artists are very knowledgeable and can give back stories and tell you the inspiration behind any of their pieces you browse.There are many different types and styles of works of art that are available at reasonable prices.
There are gifts available for under $40 at any given time and the artists who showcase their works circulate frequently to allow locals to rarely see the same piece of art twice. People who visit the gallery tend to take home a piece or two to bring back to their homes. Open Thursday to Sunday during the summer 11:30 – 5:00 until Labour Day, when the hours switch to solely Saturdays and Sundays unless there is a special sale or event.
6. Dark Horse Winery
It used to be said that Huron County was not a place to build a winery, but once Dark Horse Estate Winery was built, it quickly became a destination in Grand Bend. Whether you go there for a corporate event or for a wine tasting, the views of the field is a sight to be seen and the atmosphere is perfect for photoshoots.
A hotspot to hold weddings in Huron County, this family-owned 85-acre winery is home to a 31,000 s. Ft. manor house as the centerpiece with a full-service banquet facility, ballroom, state-of-the-art production facility, tasting room, an elite VIP lounge and patios that overlook the vineyards. With the Huron Country Playhouse right next door, there is plenty for everyone to enjoy. Since it opened in 2014, it has one of the places in Grand Bend to enjoy the amazing sunset.
7. Grand Bend Parasailing
For those who enjoy parasailing or have ever wanted to try it, go to Grand Bend Parasail. Not only will you get a great experience, but you will be able to have a bird’s eye view of Grand Bend Beach. Established in 2012, there are knowledgeable guides and operators who give instruction to every participant, regardless of their level of experience. The parasailing takes participants up to 10,000 feet in the air from the pier.
Early bird flights are available from 9 to 11 a.m.. as well as sunset loads that allow you to enjoy the sunset from a bird’s eye view over the main beach. Group rates are offered, with special rates for groups that contain eight or more participants. If you want to look along the beach from the view of the beautiful birds that fly over Grand Bend Beach, take an interest in Grand Bend Parasail.
8. Rock Glen Waterfall
Who doesn’t love walking to a beautiful waterfall? Located just outside Grand Bend in Arkona, the Rock Glen Conservation Waterfall is easily accessible and has picnic tables nearby to allow families to enjoy the day walking the trails and eating a nice outdoor lunch. You can either pack a picnic basket or bring charcoal and have a barbecue on one of the few barbecues near the waterfall. You can also find Devonian era fossils, but please refrain from digging for them.
It is one of the only true waterfalls in Ontario, with the water coming from Lake Huron and while it may be small, the playground and fossil museum will give something for everyone in the family to enjoy for hours on end. For the low price of $3 per person, it really makes for a great day out with the family without breaking the bank, but making great memories.
There are a handful of museums near Grand Bend that give something for each member of the family to enjoy. The passive fossil museum in the Rock Glen Conservation Area is one that only costs $3 per person to enter. The Lambton Heritage Museum is something that has plenty to offer, with five historic buildings, two galleries, and two exterior exhibition halls. Visitors can enjoy an “I Spy” artifact challenge that will keep them entertained. Kids can enjoy the thematic activity centre and a treasure hunt, while grown up and older kids can experience the outdoor climbing centre and plan a picnic lunch at one of the many picnic tables outside near one of the many buildings that are shaded by beautiful Oak trees. You can also visit the Pinery Park Visitor Centre to walk their museum as well.
10. Dale’s Antique Market
This market offers a great collection of handmade furniture and fascinating antiques. Mennonites use this market to sell their wooden furniture and one-of-a-kind pieces. They use reclaimed wood and will make custom furniture, working with you throughout the process. A family-owned business since opening their doors in 1988, this market also offers rustic home decor along with the vast variety of antiques and furniture.
The owners, Dale and Dianne Hayter, always want to give each customer a positive experience. For the last 32 years, they have been giving the market a welcoming atmosphere and the customers who visit Grand Bend tend to shop there for original pieces that will help them tell the story of their time there. You will never be pressured to buy anything, but customers rarely walk out empty-handed. If you love unique and unusual items, the Hayters share that love and it shows throughout their store.