by | May 28, 2024 | Featured, Motor, Travel

If polls are to be believed, a majority of people would rather drive to their travel destinations than fly. We’ve all seen the news reports and images of delays, flight cancellations, airport lineups, lost luggage, general stress and chaos. Road trips are increasingly popular with people. That of course includes people who live in Ontario – an expansive Canadian province with 15 regions, each with their own unique, off-the-beaten track experiences. One of those is Sarnia-Lambton – due west from London, along Highway 402, just over three hours from Toronto.

The city of Sarnia, with a population of over 70,000, sits right on the southern tip of Lake Huron, so there’s the natural wonders of that, plus the fact you’re in a big city. There’s the best of both worlds.

Anyone who has been to Lake Huron will tell you about its beaches – the most stunning in the Great Lakes region, with its fine white sand, on the lake’s clean, blue waters. So if you’re looking to take a break from the airport experience, trying to fly to a Caribbean destination, you have a beach experience this summer a short drive from Toronto. The proximity to Lake Huron and the St. Clair River makes Sarnia an ideal spot for water sports enthusiasts.

Sarnia Waterfront Dudek Photography

Sarnia waterfront, Dudek Photography

Where to stay

You’re going to want to park the car and stay awhile. The Insignia Hotel in Sarnia (part of the Tribute Portfolio, a global network of character-driven, independent hotels with captivating design) is a great luxury location, both stylish and elegant. With 84 rooms, the hotel was built originally in the 1960s, and was recently renovated.

There are plenty of touches in each of the rooms – Frette robes, L’Occitane amenities, and a Nespresso coffee bar for those early mornings. Legacy is a fine dining restaurant close by for French-Italian cuisine. Regner’s Tudor lounge is more casual and is where you go for a cocktail or finger foods, maybe some vintage wine.

Sarnia-Lambton The Insignia 1

The Insignia Hotel

Where to eat

If you want take a stroll around, and see the city a little, Sarnia has everything from upscale restaurants like Big Fish & Wagg’s Steakhouse, locally owned and operated for 30 years, to more unique dining options like Lola’s Lounge, with its eclectic decor and ambience, The Tin Fiddler, for craft cocktails and local beer, and Dockside Restaurant, for waterfront dining, located on the Sarnia Bay Marina, gourmet food made from scratch.

If you’re like me, looking for authentic experiences when travelling, tapping into how the locals live, the Sarnia Farmer’s Market is a great place to experience local produce, baked goods, crafts, and more, an excellent way to immerse in the local culture and flavors. Keep an eye out for Bluewater Borderfest this June, one of Ontario’s largest three-day music festivals.

Sarnia Point Edward Dudek Photography 1

Waterfront Park, Point Edward, Dudek Photography

Sarnia-Lambton: Multi-use trails

Sarnia-Lambton has a full menu of outdoor walking, hiking and biking destinations to best take in the scenery, like the trails through Pinery Provincial Park in Grand Bend and Waterfront Trail in Point Edward, to the wineries at Shale Ridge Estate Winery and Cidery and Alton Farms estate Winery (three kilometres of trails on the rural vineyard).

Canatara Park is the perfect beach location, located on the shores of Lake Huron, with walking trails and bike paths. The Bluewater Trail system weaves in and around Sarnia’s downtown and waterfront with a network of on-road and off-road multi-use trails. The iconic Blue Water Bridge provides picturesque views and connects Sarnia to Port Huron, Michigan. The area around the bridge is great for walking, cycling, and taking in the scenic views of the St. Clair River.

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