Sun, sand and surf! You can enjoy all three without ever having to hit the road or show your passport. So slip on your swimsuit, grab your most stylish pair of shades and enjoy Hamilton’s versions of paradise on the water.
Wild at heart: Binbrook Conservation Area
Don’t leave without trying the coolest new attractions – Boarder Pass Wakeboarding (like water skiing without a boat) and Treetop Trekking Hamilton, an adventure park with a zip line and aerial games.
Fishing, fun and frolic: Christie Lake
Antique enthusiasts know Christie, for its twice-a-year Christie Antique and Vintage Show. Over the summer, there are plenty of non-shopping activities to discover including disc golf, similar to golf but with a Frisbee and not a golf ball.
Hikers and bikers are in their happy place here with more than 10 kilometres of trails through pine-filled forests and meadows. If you’re more of a water type, rent a canoe or kayak onsite and explore to the fullest.
Thrills and chills in action central: Confederation Park/Van Wagner’s Beach
With more than 93 hectares, Confederation Beach Park in the northeast part of the city, ticks a lot of boxes.
If you enjoy beautiful scenery, gaze out over Lake Ontario at one of the park’s serene spots. If you’re the active type, you’ll find thrills with go-karts, mini golf and the popular Wild Waterworks.
And there’s nothing like the Lakeland Centre’s swimming pool on a summer’s day.
When hunger hits, sample the casual fare of local hangouts like Hutch’s, famous for its burgers, fish ‘n chips and milkshakes since 1946.
What floats your boat: Fifty Point Conservation Area
Located on Lake Ontario, near Stoney Creek, you might think that the “fifty” refers to the number of ways to enjoy this 80-hectare park. Birdwatchers know the area as a prime spot for observing waterfowl. Boaters, too, appreciate Fifty Point for its marina and storage facilities.
It’s a reel-friendly place for those who like to fish. You may be able to land a whopper in the lake (perhaps a salmon), then snag a trout in the stocked pond with no license required.
Stroll along the beach to post a selfie of you and your crew on social media in front of the like-worthy Fifty Point lighthouse
Stay the night: Valens Lake
There’s no need to pack all the fun into one day. Stay awhile! Valens Conservation Area has camping (225 campsites) and cabins to rent. Spend the day fishing in the reservoir for native species like Northern pike and smallmouth bass, or take a refreshing swim in the lake.
Explore 10 kilometres of trails, a 300-metre wetland boardwalk (an ideal setting for taking photos), or climb the observation tower.
From May to Labour Day, try a local food truck that rolls onto the scene to feed hungry visitors.
Michele Sponagle is a prolific journalist born and raised in Hamilton. Her work has appeared in top media outlets across Canada. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Michele’s blog takes a fresh look at some Hamilton classics, from iconic eateries to the quirky stories behind its most beloved and well-known attractions.