The Getaway
London Awaits: Visit Ontario's Historic Heart

London, Ontario, fondly referred to as 'The Forest City,' is a verdant haven that truly embodies its moniker. With its sprawling parks, captivating heritage sites, and dynamic cultural scene, London offers a serene yet stimulating experience. Whether you're planning a family vacation filled with fun activities or a romantic weekend getaway filled with intimate moments, this city has something to cater to every taste. You can immerse yourself in a live show, unwind amidst the lush greenery, indulge in adrenaline-pumping sports and adventure, or tantalize your taste buds with London's international culinary scene. It's a city that seamlessly blends the tranquility of nature with the excitement of urban life, making it a must-visit destination. London's charm lies in its ability to offer a small-town feel while providing the amenities and attractions of a larger city.

Advertisement

01 Relax in Springbank Park

Springbank Park, the largest park in London, is a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Nestled along the scenic Thames River, it offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Whether you're a fitness enthusiast looking for a place to jog or bike, or a family seeking a picnic spot, Springbank Park has got you covered. It boasts picnic areas, playgrounds, and soccer fields, making it a hub of outdoor activities. Storybook Gardens, a charming attraction built in 1958, is also located within the park. It features a miniature train and carousel that are sure to delight the little ones. The park's paths along the river provide a picturesque walking route to downtown, making it a perfect blend of nature and city life. Springbank Park is more than just a park; it's a sanctuary where you can reconnect with nature while still being close to the city's amenities.

02 Lose yourself in the past at Eldon House

Step back in time at Eldon House, a historical gem constructed in 1834. Preserved since 1960, this house offers a glimpse into the past. You can explore the heirlooms and artifacts of the Harris Family, who lived in the house for generations, either on your own or on a guided tour. The house showcases excellent examples of Georgian and Regency architectural styles, offering a visual treat for architecture enthusiasts. After exploring the house, you can enjoy a traditional afternoon tea in the beautifully maintained gardens, making it a perfect blend of history and leisure. Eldon House is more than just a historical site; it's a window into the past, offering a unique opportunity to experience the lifestyle of a bygone era.

03 Find treasures at Covent Market

Covent Market, located in the heart of downtown London, is a bustling indoor market that offers a taste of the local culture. From fresh local produce to meats, cheeses, and food from around the world, the market is a foodie's paradise. Despite its central location, the market retains a friendly community feel, making it a welcoming spot for both locals and visitors. The market also hosts various festivals and cultural events, adding to its vibrant atmosphere. Interestingly, the market predates the city of London itself, making it a historical landmark as well as a shopping destination. Covent Market is more than just a market; it's a community hub where locals and visitors come together to share their love for food and culture.

04 Immerse yourself in history at Fanshawe Pioneer Village

Fanshawe Pioneer Village is a living history museum that offers a unique journey into the past. It tells the stories of rural communities from former local townships through reenactments, exhibits, and events. The staff, dressed in period costumes and the collections of historical tools and artifacts, help visitors relive the day-to-day lives of people who inhabited the area from 1820 to 1920. It's a place where history comes alive, offering an immersive and educational experience for visitors of all ages. Fanshawe Pioneer Village is more than just a museum; it's a time capsule that transports you back to a simpler time, offering a unique perspective on the area's history.

05 Feel the fairytale at Storybook Gardens

Shades of Green In the Garden DebraLee Wiseberg / Getty Images

Storybook Gardens, located within Springbank Park, is a magical world inspired by fairytales and stories. Built in 1958, this enchanting attraction has been a family favorite for generations. It features rides like a carousel and a mechanical elephant and offers daily entertainment such as puppet shows and music. Seasonal activities include an interactive splash pad and ice skating, ensuring fun-filled experiences throughout the year. If you're traveling with kids, a visit to Storybook Gardens is a must. It's a place where imagination comes to life, offering a magical experience that will leave a lasting impression on young minds.

Advertisement

06 Enjoy year-round excitement at Victoria Park

Victoria Park, another beautiful green space in London, is more than just a park. It's a hub of events and activities, offering year-round excitement. In winter, you can enjoy free ice skating, admire the stunning Christmas lights, and join the big New Year's Eve celebration. In summer, the park hosts Sunfest and the Home County Festival, where you can enjoy live music and buy crafts from local vendors. Whether you're looking for relaxation or entertainment, Victoria Park has something for everyone. It's a place where the community comes together to celebrate the seasons, making it a vibrant part of London's cultural scene.

07 Catch a game at Budweiser Gardens

For sports fans, a visit to Budweiser Gardens is a must. Home to the London Knights, this venue hosts numerous Ontario Hockey League games. Even if you support another team, you might get a chance to watch them play while you're in London. Grab a beer, check out the souvenirs, grab some food, and immerse yourself in the thrilling atmosphere of a live game. It's a quintessential Canadian experience that you won't want to miss. Budweiser Gardens is more than just a sports venue; it's a place where the community comes together to celebrate their love for hockey, making it a vital part of London's sports culture.

08 Watch a show at The Grand Theatre

Three Actresses in period costumes on theatre stage FOTOGRAFIA INC. / Getty Images

The Grand Theatre, one of the most beautiful theaters in Canada, offers a feast for the senses. Located in downtown London, this historic building is known for its mainstage, built in 1901. It features one of the last remaining proscenium arches in the country, adorned with original artwork by muralist Frederick S. Challener. The Auburn Developments Stage, designed for an intimate theatrical experience, adds to the theater's charm. Whether you're a theater enthusiast or just looking for a night of entertainment, The Grand Theatre is the place to be. It's a place where art and history come together, offering a unique cultural experience that will leave you in awe.

Advertisement

09 While away the hours at Gibbons Park

Picnic at the park Linda Raymond / Getty Images

Gibbons Park, located along the Thames River, is a tranquil spot perfect for leisurely activities. Whether you're looking for a place to walk your dog, ride your bike, jog, or simply take a stroll, this park offers a serene setting. It features an outdoor heated pool and three tennis courts for sports enthusiasts. For families, the splash pad and playground area offer endless fun. The park also features a musical installation where you can play instruments in the open, adding a unique touch to your park visit. Gibbons Park is more than just a park; it's a place where you can connect with nature and enjoy life's simple pleasures.

Advertisement

10 Endless fun at East Park

Portait of a beautiful young woman during fall season Linda Raymond / Getty Images

East Park is a hub of fun and excitement. On a hot summer's day, you can cool off in the slides and wave pools of the water park. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a few rounds on the course. Kids can have a blast on the bumper cars and in the jungle gym. The park also offers rock climbing and an arcade, ensuring endless fun for visitors of all ages. They even host an adults-only event once a month, making it a fun spot for grown-ups too. East Park is more than just a park; it's a place where fun and adventure come together, offering a memorable experience for visitors of all ages.

Advertisement

11 Limitless entertainment at 100 Kellogg Lane

Sunny Day Romson / Getty Images

100 Kellogg Lane, Canada's largest entertainment complex, offers a plethora of experiences. Whether you want to dine, shop, work, or play, this place has got you covered. You can pick up local crafts at the general store, watch an immersive Disney animated show, or sample beers at Oktoberfest. The complex also hosts art competitions and concerts and features a brewery, distillery, restaurants, and a hotel. With so much on offer, it's hard to imagine a more diverse entertainment destination. 100 Kellogg Lane is more than just an entertainment complex; it's a place where you can customize your experience, making it a unique destination that caters to a wide range of interests.

Advertisement

12 Get an adrenaline rush at Boler Mountain

Wide view of cottage country, from a top a lookout tower, brightly colored. mynewturtle / Getty Images

Boler Mountain is a paradise for adrenaline junkies. It's home to a professional ski and snowboarding school and offers both day and night skiing, catering to all skill levels. If you're not a regular on the slopes, don't worry. You can rent all the equipment you need. The mountain also features a separate tube park, a treetop adventure park, ziplines, and mountain biking, ensuring thrilling experiences for everyone. Boler Mountain is more than just a mountain; it's a place where adventure and excitement come together, offering a unique outdoor experience that will get your heart racing.

Advertisement

13 Relax like a Victorian at Idlewyld Inn & Spa

woman at spa Adene Sanchez / Getty Images

Idlewyld Inn & Spa, with its 'Victorian Charm in the Heart of London,' offers a unique blend of history and relaxation. The inn features stunning Victorian architecture, a top-notch restaurant, and a variety of unique rooms. You can book a treatment at the spa, sit back, and soak in the atmosphere of a bygone era, all while enjoying modern comforts. Idlewyld Inn & Spa is more than just a spa; it's a place where you can escape the stresses of modern life and indulge in a luxurious experience, all while surrounded by the charm of Victorian architecture.

Advertisement

14 Live the outdoors life at Fanshawe Conservation Area

Kayaking. Artur Didyk / Getty Images

Fanshawe Conservation Area, located just minutes from London, offers a taste of the rugged countryside. Whether you're into camping, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, biking, fishing, or simply enjoying a campfire, this place has got you covered. It's also home to the Pioneer Village, making it a perfect blend of nature and history. Fanshawe Conservation Area is more than just a conservation area; it's a place where you can connect with nature and enjoy the great outdoors, all while being close to the amenities of the city.

Advertisement

15 See London, Ontario, from above with GL Heli

helicopter Tennessee Witney / Getty Images

For a truly unique experience, head to GL Heli. Imagine being picked up at London International Airport and flown over the city in a helicopter. It's an experience straight out of a dream. GL Heli even offers a package that includes a drop-off at Tim Horton's for coffee, adding a uniquely Canadian touch to your adventure. GL Heli is more than just a helicopter service; it's a place where you can experience the thrill of flight and see London from a whole new perspective.

Share

Scroll Down

for the Next Article

The Getaway Badge
Sign up to receive insider info and deals that will help you travel smarter.
Advertisement
Advertisement