Visiting Hamilton for Canadian Country Music Week and Awards (September 14 -16) and looking for things to see and do while you're here? Let Chelsea, Tim, Danielle, and Matt of the popular local country & roots rock band The Redhill Valleys, take you on a tour of some of their favourite local spots with their guide to a great week at the CCMAs in Hamilton!
WHAT TO DO: THINGS TO DO
"The Kenilworth Stairs connect the lower part of the city to the top of the "mountain". Aside from being a great form of eco-friendly travel, the stairs are a popular exercise go-to for locals. Before heading into the studio this morning, Danielle and I took to the stairs to get our hearts pumping. But be warned – your legs will feel like jelly for the next little while! The Rail Trail also offers a great walking and cycling path under a beautiful tree canopy along the Niagara Escarpment that cuts through the city." – Matt
"Bayfront Park is one of our favourite outdoor spots in Hamilton because there's almost always something fun happening such as car shows, pop-up markets, and even concerts, to name a few. It's also a great place to go for a walk, have a picnic, watch the boats, or even rent electric scooters and cruise around. The Bird e-scooter and SoBi bike rentals are a great way to get around the city. You can take them across the boardwalk that connects to Pier 8 where there's also an outdoor waterfront roller rink with a skate rental booth." – Chelsea
"Gravity Climbing Gym is one of Hamilton's best-kept secrets! The friendly staff love to welcome first-time climbers. If you’re looking for a fun, out-of-the-ordinary activity, for all ages, it's as easy as walking in the front door, purchasing a day pass, renting climbing shoes, and away you go! Danielle is an avid climber and loves how stimulating a workout it is, not only physically but mentally as well. It's a great way to spend a couple of hours between events during the CCMA's if you’re looking to get in a great workout." – Danielle and Chelsea
WHERE TO EAT: OUR FAVOURITE LOCAL BITES
"I'm sure it's no surprise that one of our favourite spots in Hamilton is Grandad's Donuts, steps from the West Harbour waterfront. This spot is iconic Hamilton. We love grabbing a box of donuts to take to band practice, and on the weekends we love taking the kids here, too. They make their donuts fresh all day long and they are too good to resist! They sell out fast (for good reason) so arrive early." – Chelsea
"If you're looking for a great, casual spot to grab an organic coffee, snack, or lunch, Mulberry Street Coffeehouse on James Street North has everything you need. Craft beverages, including beer and wine, and quality homemade food options for all types of dietary needs are all on the menu.. It's also just a great spot to hang out and meet up with friends on the patio, or inside the rustic and cozy cafe. If you need a warm atmosphere to crunch some emails and get a little work done between CCMA events they offer wifi access to their customers." – Chelsea
"Shorty's Pizza in the city's east end is undeniably one of the top pizza spots in Hamilton, and we wager that it would rival any pizzeria ANYWHERE! Pop in for a slice or order up a whole pie – you can't go wrong with Shorty's! It's simply too good!" – Tim
"If you're craving a trip to flavour town, The Mule is it! This Mexican-inspired restaurant on hopping King William Street (known to locals as "Restaurant Row") has a great selection of tacos and killer appetizers. It's also very flexible with dietary restrictions including vegetarian and vegan options. This place is our go-to when it comes to band outings, and post-gig late-night snacks and drinks. After all, it is open until 2 am every day of the week." – Matt
WHERE TO SHOP: LEAVE HAMILTON WITH A SOUVENIR
"For any vintage enthusiast, Hamilton Antique Mall is the place to go! Located in the city's historic fabric district on Ottawa Street North, the market offers four floors and endless aisles of antiques, knick-knacks, and pretty much any collectible item you could imagine. You can even score an authentic pair of cowboy boots to complete your Canadian Country Music Awards week outfit. We love spending an afternoon here and getting lost in a time capsule." – Chelsea
"Hamilton is home to many great, independently-owned record stores, and Into the Abyss is one of our favourites, carrying new and used vinyl, CDs, and even 8-tracks and cassettes! Into the Abyss is also owned and operated by musicians, so it's a great place to connect with Hamilton's vibrant music scene. They even have a funky vintage clothing section!" – Tim
Catch the Redhill Valleys & Friends live in Hamilton during Country Music Crawl, presented by Supercrawl at Mills Hardware, September 9. Visit millshardware.ca for more details.
The Hamilton-based four-piece Americana/Roots Rock group pays homage to their hometown of Hamilton, Ontario with their name, inspired by the valley of the same name in the city's east end. Their members are Chelsea McWilliams (Bass/Vocals), Tim Allard (Lead Guitar/Vocals), Danielle Beauadin (Guitar/Vocals), and Matt Soliveri (Drums). Their music has garnered praise, awards and helped build a steady fanbase, with tour stops on prominent stages including Boots and Hearts Music Festival, Big Sky Music Festival, and Cavendish Beach Music Festival, along with visits to the US and the UK. Follow them @TheRedhillValleys.