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25 Best Things to Do in Goderich, Ontario

By: Swena Kalra

Edited By: Scott Sidders

Updated on September 22, 2023

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Goderich, Ontario is a charming coastal town located on the shores of Lake Huron. Known for its turquoise beaches and historic downtown district, Goderich is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. With its beautiful parks, nature reserves, and stunning lighthouse, Goderich offers visitors an array of outdoor activities to enjoy. Don't miss out on this picturesque destination that has been nicknamed Canada's Prettiest Town!


Here are 25 of the best things to do in Goderich:

1. Huron Historic Gaol

The Huron Historic Gaol in Goderich is a fascinating piece of history that offers a glimpse into the past. Built in 1841, this unique octagonal building served as the County Jail for over 130 years until its closure in 1972. Today, visitors can explore the three levels of cell blocks and learn about the harsh conditions that prisoners endured during their time here.

But the Huron Historic Gaol is more than just a prison. It's a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of those who designed it, with its innovative octagonal shape and advanced ventilation system. It's also a reminder of our shared history and the importance of preserving our heritage for future generations.

2. Cove Beach

Sunset over Cove Beach in Goderich, Ontario

Cove Beach in Goderich is a hidden gem that offers a serene and peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This beautiful beach boasts crystal clear waters, soft sand, and breathtaking views of Lake Huron.

Whether you're looking to relax on the beach, take a refreshing swim, or explore the surrounding nature trails, Cove Beach has something for everyone. The beach is also home to various wildlife species, such as birds and fish, making it an ideal spot for nature lovers.

Cove Beach in Goderich, Ontario

Aside from its natural beauty, Cove Beach also offers various amenities such as picnic areas, washrooms, and parking facilities. Visitors can also enjoy water sports activities such as kayaking and paddleboarding.

3. Goderich Lighthouse

Lighthouse in Goderich, the oldest Canadian light station on Lake Huron

The Goderich Lighthouse, built in 1847, is a historic landmark and the oldest Canadian coastal light station on Lake Huron's shoreline. The lighthouse has stood the test of time and still stands tall on top of the bluff overlooking Lake Huron in Goderich. It's a small and quaint lighthouse that offers a stunning view of the lake and its surroundings. Visitors can climb down the steps to enjoy the recreational trail that runs alongside it.

The Goderich Lighthouse is not just an attraction; it's also an important part of Canadian history. It was established in the early 1830s as a pair of range lights, making it one of the earliest light stations on Lake Huron. Visitors can learn more about its rich history by taking a stroll along the Goderich Marine Heritage Walkway, which offers an informative display of its past.

4. The Livery Theatre

The Livery Theatre in Goderich is a true gem of the community. Owned and operated by the non-profit Goderich Little Theatre since 1983, this historic venue has been a home for the arts in downtown Goderich for decades. The intimate setting of the former livery provides a unique and immersive experience for theater-goers, making every performance feel personal and engaging.

From classic plays to contemporary productions, The Livery Theatre offers a diverse range of shows that are sure to delight audiences of all ages. Whether you're looking for a night out with friends or a family-friendly activity, this theater has something for everyone.

In addition to its impressive show schedule, The Livery Theatre also serves as an event venue for parties, meetings, and weddings. Its central location and charming atmosphere make it the perfect spot for any occasion.

5. Huron County Museum

The Huron County Museum in Goderich is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the history and culture of this beautiful region. The museum features a wide range of exhibits and collections that showcase the founding, settlement, and development of Huron County over the years. From interactive displays to historical artifacts, visitors can immerse themselves in the rich heritage of this area.

One of the most engaging aspects of the museum is its focus on community involvement. The staff works hard to create programs and events that encourage visitors to participate and learn about local history in a fun and interactive way. Whether you're a student on a field trip or a family looking for an educational outing, the Huron County Museum has something for everyone.

6. Menesetung Bridge

The Menesetung Rail Bridge over the Maitland River in Goderich, Ontario, Canada at night

The Menesetung Bridge in Goderich is a must-visit for anyone interested in history and architecture. This restored railway bridge has been transformed into a stunning walkway that offers breathtaking views of Lake Huron, the Maitland River, and the harbor.

The bridge played a vital role in the development of Goderich as a thriving port town, and today it stands as a testament to the ingenuity and craftsmanship of its builders. Visitors can explore the walking trails that wind through the surrounding area, taking in the natural beauty of this picturesque region. The bridge connects to the Tiger Dunlop trail, which offers even more opportunities for hiking and exploring.

7. Tiger Dunlop Heritage Trail

If you're looking for a scenic and easy hike in Goderich, the Tiger Dunlop Heritage Trail is a must-visit destination. This 2.5-mile out-and-back trail offers stunning views of the Maitland River from high above on the Menesetung Bridge. The trail starts at the CPR Station at Goderich Harbour and crosses North Harbour Road to reach the bridge.

The Tiger Dunlop Heritage Trail is well-maintained and surrounded by tall trees that provide a great canopy during summer and early fall. Along the way, you'll find wildflowers and lush foliage, making it an ideal spot for nature lovers and photographers.

This historic trail is named after Dr. William "Tiger" Dunlop, who was a Scottish-born physician, writer, and politician in Upper Canada during the 19th century. The trail's rich history adds to its charm, making it a unique experience for visitors.

8. Downtown Goderich

The Huron County Court House in downtown Goderich, Ontario.

Downtown Goderich is a charming and historic town square located in the heart of Goderich, Ontario. This octagonal space is home to a variety of quaint boutique shops, art galleries, restaurants, and professional services. The unique and award-winning Courthouse Square is the centerpiece of this vibrant downtown core. Visitors can explore over 180 businesses while taking in the beautiful architecture and scenery.

Downtown Goderich is a perfect destination for travelers looking for a relaxing and enjoyable experience. Whether you're interested in shopping for unique souvenirs or trying out the delicious local cuisine, there's something for everyone here. Take a stroll through the streets and enjoy the friendly atmosphere while admiring the historic buildings. Don't forget to visit during one of their many events throughout the year, including their popular Celtic Festival and Farmers' Market.

9. Lake Huron

Sunset in Goderich on Lake Huron

With shores located in Goderich, this stunning lake is the second-largest of the Great Lakes and boasts a shoreline that stretches over 3,800 miles. With crystal-clear waters and breathtaking views, Lake Huron offers visitors an unforgettable experience.

One of the best ways to explore Lake Huron is by taking a scenic drive along its shores. The route from Goderich to Sarnia offers stunning views of the lake and its surrounding landscapes. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of water activities, such as swimming, boating, and fishing.

For those who prefer land-based activities, there are plenty of hiking trails that offer spectacular views of the lake and its surroundings. The Maitland Trail is one such trail that takes hikers through forests and along rivers before reaching the shores of Lake Huron.

10. Farmer's Market

Counter with fresh vegetables and a sign of local products stock photo

If you're a traveler looking for fresh, locally sourced produce and handmade goods, the Goderich BIA Farmer's Market is a must-visit destination. Located in the heart of downtown Goderich, this market is open every Saturday from May to October and offers a wide variety of vendors selling everything from fruits and vegetables to baked goods and homemade jellies.

Not only is the market a great place to stock up on delicious treats, but it's also an opportunity to support local farmers and artisans. The atmosphere is lively and welcoming, with live music and friendly vendors eager to share their stories and products with visitors.

11. Culbert's Bakery

Established in 1877, Culbert's Bakery has been serving up delicious baked goods for over 140 years. Their famous cream puffs are a must-try, but don't stop there! Indulge in their sticky loaves or old recipe donuts that will leave your taste buds wanting more. All of their products are made fresh on the premises, ensuring the highest quality and taste.

Culbert's Bakery is not just a bakery; it's an experience. The cozy atmosphere and friendly staff make you feel right at home. Take a stroll through the quaint town of Goderich and stop by Culbert's Bakery for a sweet treat or two. Whether you're a local or visiting from afar, this bakery is sure to satisfy your cravings.

12. Enjoy the Sunset

Goderich, Ontario Sunset from beach

This charming town located on the shores of Lake Huron offers breathtaking views of the sunset that are not to be missed. As the sun sets over the lake, it paints the sky with hues of orange, pink, and purple, creating a stunning display of natural beauty.

the sun setting in the horizon in Goderich, Ontario

There are numerous ways to enjoy this magical moment in Goderich. Take a stroll along the beach or boardwalk and watch as the sun dips below the horizon. Alternatively, head to one of the many lookout points around town for an elevated view. For a more unique experience, book a sunset cruise and watch as the sky changes colors from aboard a boat on Lake Huron. Don't forget to bring your camera to capture this unforgettable moment.

13. Go Hiking

Goderich, Ontario is a hiker's paradise with its stunning nature trails and scenic views. Whether you're an experienced hiker or just starting, there's a trail for everyone.

The G2G Rail Trail: Goderich to Blyth is a popular choice, offering 25.7 km of the former railway line turned recreational trail. The Morris Tract and Maitland Trail are also great options for those looking for a more challenging hike. For a serene experience, the Maitland Woods Trail is perfect with its variety of trees, plant life, and birds. Don't forget to check out the Tiger Dunlop Heritage Trail for lovely scenery with trees all around.

No matter which trails you choose, be sure to bring plenty of water and wear comfortable shoes. And don't forget your camera! You'll want to capture the breathtaking views along the way.

14. Visit Blyth

This small village, located just 20 minutes from Lake Huron, offers a unique blend of heritage, culture, and natural beauty that is sure to captivate any traveler.

One of the highlights of Blyth is its all-Canadian professional theatre, which showcases some of the best talents in the country. The village also boasts a destination craft brewery and mouth-watering fish and chips that are not to be missed.

For those who love the outdoors, Blyth offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, cycling, and exploring. The Blyth Greenway Trailhead is a must-visit spot for nature lovers.

But perhaps what makes Blyth truly special is its friendly and welcoming community. Whether you're strolling through the village or chatting with locals at one of its many attractions, you'll feel right at home in this charming destination.

15. Bayfield

Nestled on the eastern shores of Lake Huron, Bayfield is a charming village in Goderich that offers a perfect getaway for travelers seeking a peaceful and relaxing vacation. With beautiful parks, beaches, hiking trails, and historic downtown, Bayfield has something for everyone.

The village's picturesque scenery is perfect for nature lovers who want to explore the great outdoors. Visitors can also enjoy shopping at unique boutiques and dining at local restaurants that offer delicious cuisine made from locally sourced ingredients.

Bayfield is also known for its vibrant arts and culture scene, with various events and festivals throughout the year. From music festivals to art shows, there's always something happening in this lively community.

16. Grand Bend

If you're looking for a picturesque getaway, Grand Bend in Goderich is the perfect destination. Located on the shores of Lake Huron in Southwestern Ontario, this charming community boasts one of Canada's best beach towns. The Main Beach is one of only 26 in Canada to have earned the prestigious Blue Flag designation, ensuring that it's clean and well-maintained. The beach provides a great spot to relax and soak up the sun or enjoy a refreshing swim when the water is warm enough.

But Grand Bend isn't just about the beach - there are plenty of other things to do as well. Take a stroll along the trails or visit one of the many cultural and heritage exhibits and events. You can also indulge in some delicious food at one of the local restaurants or sample some beer, wine, or cider at one of the microbreweries.

17. Point Farms Provincial Park

Located in Goderich, Ontario, Point Farms Provincial Park is a perfect destination for travelers seeking a fun-filled family vacation. The park boasts a large sandy beach with crystal-clear water, making it an ideal spot for swimming and sunbathing. Hiking enthusiasts can explore the 6 km of scenic trails that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding area. Children can enjoy playing on the playgrounds and playing fields while parents relax in the serene environment.

The park offers two campgrounds, Colburn and Huron, with spacious sites that are perfect for camping enthusiasts. Visitors can also indulge in bird watching or take part in various outdoor activities such as fishing, kayaking, and canoeing. Point Farms Provincial Park is an excellent place to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse oneself in nature's beauty.

18. Falls Reserve Conservation Area

Nestled in the heart of Goderich, Falls Reserve Conservation Area is a hidden gem that offers visitors a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. This 230-acre property boasts stunning views of the Maitland River, low waterfalls, and an extensive trail system that winds through lush forests and open meadows. Whether you're an avid hiker or just looking for a peaceful retreat, Falls Reserve has something for everyone.

One of the main attractions at Falls Reserve is its excellent camping facilities. With clean and well-maintained amenities, this conservation area is perfect for families looking to spend quality time together in nature. Additionally, the area's special events and excellent fishing make it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

19. Maitland Marinas & Resort Park

Nestled in the quiet waters of the Maitland River, this full-service marina offers everything you need for a relaxing vacation. Whether you're looking to dock your boat for the season or just passing through Maitland Marinas & Resort Park has got you covered with fuel, pump out, and transient and seasonal dockage services.

But it's not just about boating here - there's plenty to do on land too! With a 1,200-foot private beach and a warm and welcoming resort park, you can spend your days lounging in the sun or exploring the beautiful town of Goderich. And if you're traveling with kids, they'll love the pool activities and play park.

20. Part II Bistro

This cozy restaurant is known for its exciting and locally sourced cuisine that will tantalize your taste buds. From their signature burger to their quiche, every dish is carefully crafted with fresh ingredients and bursting with flavor.

But Part II Bistro offers more than just delectable cuisine. The ambiance is warm and inviting, perfect for a solo dining experience or a night out with friends. Plus, the menu is consistently updated to provide something new that you can try each time you visit! Don't take our word for it; listen to satisfied customers who have given rave reviews on TripAdvisor and Yelp instead!

21. Park House Restaurant

Located in the heart of the city, this restaurant offers a unique and exquisite culinary experience that will leave you wanting more. The menu is globally-inspired and seasonally focused, ensuring that every dish is made with the freshest ingredients available. Whether you're in the mood for seafood or steak, vegetarian or gluten-free options, there's something for everyone at Park House Restaurant.

The atmosphere is just as impressive as the food, with a cozy and intimate setting that's perfect for a romantic dinner or special occasion. The staff is friendly and attentive, ensuring that your dining experience is nothing short of exceptional.

22. West Sushi Restaurant

Located on the way to Christopher's Beach, this restaurant offers an extensive selection of Maki, Rolls, Sushi, and Sashimi made with fresh ingredients that will satisfy your cravings. The restaurant's cozy atmosphere and friendly staff make it an ideal spot for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends. The menu features traditional Japanese dishes like ramen and udon noodles in addition to sushi options. Be sure to try their signature rolls like the Dragon Roll or the Rainbow Roll.

23. Beach Street Station

Originally built in 1907 as a CPR Train Station, this historic building has been beautifully restored and converted into a family-friendly restaurant on the shores of Lake Huron.

Not only is the atmosphere charming and inviting, but the food is also top-notch. The menu features a variety of delicious options, including fresh seafood, juicy burgers, and mouth-watering desserts. And with friendly staff and excellent service, you're sure to have an unforgettable dining experience.

But it's not just about the food at Beach Street Station - it's also about the history and culture that surrounds it. As you dine in this beautifully restored train station, you'll be transported back in time to a bygone era of travel and adventure.

24. West Street Willy's Eatery

This charming eatery offers fresh and delicious food with friendly service in a casual atmosphere. Whether you're looking for a hearty breakfast, a quick lunch, or a satisfying dinner, West Street Willy's has got you covered.

Their menu features unique breakfast variations that will tantalize your taste buds, including their famous pierogies and salt and vinegar dishes. And if you're in the mood for something more substantial, try their mouth-watering burgers or sandwiches made with locally sourced ingredients.

25. Goderich Harbour Restaurant

If you're looking for the best fish and chips on Ontario's West Coast, look no further than Goderich Harbour Restaurant, also known as The Old Saltie. The friendly staff and cozy atmosphere make it the perfect spot to enjoy a delicious meal while taking in the action of the harbor.

The menu features a variety of seafood options, including their famous fish and chips coated in either batter or bread crumbs. They also offer other classic dishes like clam chowder, shrimp baskets, and lobster rolls. And if you're not in the mood for seafood, they have plenty of other options to choose from.

Goderich is a beautiful city with plenty of things to see and do. From picturesque beaches to award-winning restaurants, there's something for everyone in the area. Whether you're looking for an adventure or just want to relax and enjoy some of the best food around, Goderich has it all! Don't forget to explore all the incredible attractions and restaurants Goderich has to offer – you won't be disappointed! Still looking for a room in the area? Check out our recommendations for the best hotels in Goderich here.

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