Tag Archives: road trip

Growing up,

my family did not pack me up with my two older brothers and Fuzzy, our cat, to embark on the typical family summer odyssey of the drive, pee, sleep and keep-the-kids-from-killing-each-other-in-the-backseat road trip kind of vacation. The farthest we drove was to our family cottage, at Lac Orford in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. What seemed to this ten-year-old, a full day’s drive involving bathroom breaks, fidgety brothers and my mother’s insistence that she do the cottage grocery shopping in Magog, (ten minutes short of our final destination) was in fact, less than an hour of door-to-door, road trip discomfort at the most.

In later life, my partner and I have had the pleasure of several extended road trips: in particular a Toronto to Boston, beautiful Autumn, two-week stint via Montreal, Quebec City, down through the Eastern Townships and on through the East Coast of the US. This early October trip provided incredible rocky, wet-leafed vistas with majestic whale watching on the craggy and wet outcroppings of the Saguenay. We took in fall foliage,  enjoyed family Thanksgiving and micro brew beers at the Gold Lion Pub in my hometown of Lennoxville; dinner at the Relais & Chateaux 's Hovey Manor in the quaint and beautiful hamlet of  North Hatley , where Hillary and Bill are currently relaxing with their grand kids.

But really, who needs an out of province road trip, when we have some of the best and awe inspiring scenery, theatre and food experiences right here in our own backyard of Southwestern Ontario?

Onto Lake Huron

Southwestern Ontario is perhaps one of the prettiest and bucolic parts of the world. This time of year the western sun sits lower and more reflective on the gently rolling hills west of Toronto. We have a weekend house in St. Marys and do the drive every Friday, traveling the 403/407/401 route and effectively avoiding the headache of the 401/427/403 interchange hassle.  Once past Milton, you’re home free and will enjoy the beautiful green, undulating landscapes, and rich farm land west of the Waterloo RegionKitchener, New Hamburg and onto Stratford and St. Jacobs.  Looking for more adventure?  Continue up to Ontario's West Coast and  Lake Huron, Bayfield,  Goderich and north towards Southampton, famous for its fabulous sunsets and on any given Saturday summer evening, be serenaded by the skirl of a bagpiper at the foot of High Street.

A Food Lovers Road Trip

The local farmer's markets in Stratford and St. Jacobs cater to a wealth of fine restaurants in this part of Ontario; many support the farm to table theory of local cooking and sustainability. Ruth Clausen’s Monforte Dairy and her artisanal cheeses from her casual resto Monforte on Wellington in Stratford are a must-stop, taste and buy. Stratford is home to such culinary delights as  Bijou, (choose from their three or four course Blackboard Menu), the Italian favorite Pazzo Taverna (casual pizza downstairs, more formal upstairs at street level) and just off Stratford's recently renovated Festival Square sits the  Red Rabbit Bistro, chef Sean Collins and general manager Jessie Larsen's   community-shared restaurant experience serving casual feeds that are “soul satisfying in the way of comfort food.”  For a special night out, the beautiful sun setting dining room of Rundles never disappoints. But make sure you book your Rundles experience now as the renowned Stratford food experience will be serving its last meal in September.  Further down the road in St. Marys, Chris and Mary Woolf's  Little Reds Pub and Eatery, is proud to offer Woolfy’s favorites as well as pub fare highlighting locally-sourced produce and craft beer. (a followsummer favorite!)

Theatre Lovers Applaud

While in Stratford, theatre lovers can applaud Canada’s best and North America's  largest Classical Repertory Theatre Companies, the Stratford Festival and further down the road, the Blythe and Huron County Festivals. Travel south to Niagara on the Lake and the Shaw Festival—all within a two-hour drive of Toronto.  On your way through, consider stopping in towns like Shakespeare for antiques, grab some wonderful cheddar in Tavistock, or beach and motorcycle viewing in Grand Bend.

Stop INN and Stay

Some of the best B&B and Inn experiences are to be found along the Old Huron Road as well: the Relais and Chateaux rated Langdon Hall in Cambridge, The Little Inn at Bayfield and the Benmiller Inn and Spa in Goderich or road trip further south to West Montrose and enjoy the Grand River and the historic covered Kissing Bridge views at the boutique-style Olde Bridge Place B and B.

Road Trip Planning

The Ontario Travel and Tourism board has launched a Trip Planning Tool,  where you can 'Build your BEST OF ONTARIO adventure', get attractions coupons and choose one of their hand-picked travel packages, making the planning and organization of your road trip affordable and accessible.

Plan some leisurely amble time with the ones you love,  pack your car with an overnight bag, your Tom Tom, a well-thumbed summer novel, and tantalize yourself with a Southwestern Ontario road trip.

If you like this followsummer itinerary, simply click on the map below and let Travelabulous help you plan and book your next road trip in Southwestern Ontario!

Road trip well, my friends!

Summer is often framed

as the right time to lose weight and get in the best shape of your life. This is usually to look good in your swimsuit on the beach, but the change to a warm season can make anyone want to watch what they eat for a variety of reasons.

Taking a road trip is also a key aspect of summer, and they don’t typically go well for people wanting to eat healthier. Snack aisles are packed with potato and corn chips, and when you try to load up a cooler with drinks for the road, what greets you at the store are endless soda flavors. Think you might find something good at a gas station? Good luck searching for something healthy between the plastic-wrapped doughnuts and deep fried pork skins.

Don’t let the idea of a road trip intimidate you away from your plan to eat better this summer. There are lots of ways to keep you on track with your diet no matter where you are. It’ll take a bit of planning ahead, but if you’re eating healthy meals, aren’t you doing that already?

Snap Peas and Carrots

This snack is like the holy grail of summer road trips for people who are health conscious. They add practically no calories to your daily diet and provide that satisfying feeling of having a crunchy snack. They also trick the tongue into thinking you’re eating something sugary. Just try a snap pea and try to think about anything other than how sweet it is.

Peanut Butter Banana Energy Bites

There’s no reason to compromise on your morning energy boost just because you’re not cracking open a can full of caffeine. Make peanut butter banana energy bites instead! This snack will energize and doesn't need to be baked. It’s the perfect snack for those of us who’ll miss our favorite chocolate and peanut butter candies, too.

Apple Cinnamon Granola Bars 

Healthy Snacks for Your Summer Road Trip

Missing your favorite brown sugar and cinnamon oatmeal for breakfast?

Missing your favorite brown sugar and cinnamon oatmeal for breakfast? These apple cinnamon granola bars will fill that hole in your heart. By quickly combining just a few ingredients, you’ll have a sweet and chewy snack to keep you company while you hit the road. Or after you’ve been on the road for a while. At 127 calories per bar, you could eat them all day long.

Trail Mix

One of the biggest issues that comes along with having a summer road trip is that you might not have time to do everything you’d like. Maybe you’ll get to just some of the homemade snacks you’d like to take with you, or maybe none at all. If you’re in a rush, there are always healthy snack options like trail mix that are already pre-packaged and ready to eat, as well as packaged energy bars, granola bites, and other nutritiously dense options that won’t compromise your time. No one will be able to resist reaching in for a handful of your snack.

Healthy Snacks for Your Summer Road Trip

Trail mix is an easy option for snacking on the road

Almonds

If you’re not allergic to nuts, take advantage of all their health benefits and stick a couple bags in your cooler. Nuts—especially almonds—have a lot of protein, which means you’ll hold off your hunger without paying a lot for meat or protein powder. Plus, they’ll last the whole trip without going bad.

Fruit Smoothie

Smoothies are really easy to make at home. If you have a blender, all you need is some frozen fruit (bought with no added sugar), ice and whatever liquid you’d like to add. This can be water, milk, or even your favorite fruit juice. A fabulous summer fruit smoothie is a great drink to add to your trip since they’ll fill you up and add variety to your diet.

When it gets closer to your road trip this summer, don’t worry about having to eat unhealthy foods in order to enjoy some time away from home. Healthy snacks are easy to make and include in any vacation, even road trips. As long as you plan ahead for what you want to eat, you won’t have to break a sweat—or your diet.

 

Kacey Bradley is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us and a frequent contributor to followsummer.  You can follow Kacey on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.