Activities & Attractions
The Red Hat Ladies ― and you thought monarchs were the only butterflies visiting the bus in September!
Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village
The Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village is a state-of-the-art, 25,000-square-foot facility that houses various modes of transportation, from the mid 1800s up to the 1992 Dodge Viper. The museum includes horse and oxen-drawn carts, a 1904 Mitchell horse-drawn hearse, the oldest internal combustion engine car made in Canada in 1893 (and it still runs), penny farthings, fire trucks, Ford Model Ts and As, hot rods, Corvettes, T-Birds and more.
Chrysler Canada Greenway
The 50-kilometre Chrysler Canada Greenway is one of Canada's most beautiful trails for hiking, biking, running, birding and cross country skiing, and in some areas, horseback riding. Located in the Essex Region, the Greenway joins 25 otherwise separate natural areas, including regional Environmentally Significant Areas and provincial Areas of Natural and scientific interest, and three watersheds. You'll see rich agricultural lands, historically and architecturally significant structures, award winning wineries and many other features that make the Essex Region unique. The Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA) purchased the abandoned railway corridor in 1995, with a significant donation from Chrylser Canada, to preserve this significant corridor. The corridor begins south of Oldcastle, and continues south through the Towns of McGregor and Harrow, and proceeds through Kingsville to Ruthven at Colasanti's Tropical Gardens.
Colassanti’s Tropical Gardens
Colasanti's started in 1941, producing vegetables and greenhouse crops and selling them through a small fruit stand. Today Colasanti's is situated on 35 acres, with 3.5 acres indoors, in Ruthven, Ontario, surrounded by the towns of Kingsville and Leamington. This tropical wonderland entertainment center includes so many things to see and do, including 15 temperature controlled greenhouses, retail shops for plants and decorative items, mini-golf, a petting zoo and onsite restaurant. Throughout the year, they also host special events such as festivals and hayrides for most holidays, including Easter, Christmas and Halloween.
ErieQuest Marine Heritage
Since the mid 1800s, over 275 ships have sunk in the Pelee Passage and western end of Lake Erie. Currently there are over 60 known locations of shipwreck sites, all within a short boat trip of Leamington and its first rate marina. It is believed that the Great Lakes contain 4,000 to 10,000 shipwrecks, and that the western end of Lake Erie has possible the highest density in all the Lakes because of treacherous reefs, sudden storms, and heavy traffic in the late 19th century. Interpretive displays and historical artifacts can be seen at the Leamington Arts Centre, or visit some of the wreck sites via the Leamington Marina: 50 sites have already been found and the first 15 are marked with a mooring buoy system for public exploration.
Essex Region Conservation Authority
The Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA) was established in 1973 to manage the natural resources of the Essex Region in partnership with our member municipalities and the Province of Ontario. Our nine member municipalities include the City of Windsor, County of Essex and the Township of Pelee Island. Like all of Ontario's 36 Conservation Authorities, we are empowered through provincial legislation to further the conservation, restoration, development and management of natural resources other than gas, oil, coal and minerals.
Friends of Point Pelee
The Friends of Point Pelee is a co-operating association with Point Pelee National Park in Leamington, Ontario, Canada. We were formed to provide services, resources and support for research, education and ecological integrity preservation in and around the park. We operate a number of visitor services inside the park, such as the Nature Nook (the store in the Visitor Centre), canoe and bicycle rentals, Cattail Cafe (at the Marsh Boardwalk) and Festival of Birds each May (in conjunction with Point Pelee National Park). We also operate the transit system that shuttles visitors from the Visitor Centre to the Tip. The proceeds from sales and services support our operations as well as the Parks Canada mandate and Point Pelee National Park initiatives. Why not make your point Pelee?
The Festival of Birds at Point Pelee
May 1 to 22, 2017
Each May, the Friends of Point Pelee and Point Pelee National Park host the Festival of Birds, with bird hikes, guest speakers, presentations and workshops. Learn the finer points of bird identification, check out the local flora, discover local hotspots and learn about efforts to restore habitat for birds in Essex County. If you are new to birding, start with Birding 101, where you will find out the basics of bird identification, key tools and secrets to successful birding at Point Pelee. Other programs include Warbler ID, Birdsong Basics, Hawk ID and a Wildflower Walk. Many of these popular programs are free and require no advance registration.
Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island
The Festival of Birds Regional Discovery Guide is a must-have as you explore our region, covering must-see, must-do activities and special offers from a variety of local businesses. Of course, we’ve tonnes of birds to see after the festival too, so a great resource year-round.
Copies are available at the Point Pelee Visitor Centre, Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island’s Main Office, or view the 2017 Festival of Birds Regional Discovery Guide online.
With 5 kilometres of trails around this precious marshland habitat, Hillman Marsh draws wildlife and people from both near and far. Adjacent to Lake Erie, the main amenities at Hillman Marsh can be accessed from the main entrance. Swimming beaches are accessible North Beach parking lot on Mersea Road 2 and from South Beach parking lot located on East Beach Road. The Nature Centre is open at limited times during the spring with excellent educational displays about flora and fauna typical to the area, and a Renewable Energy Interpretive Education Program. This is one of the Conservation Areas used to educate students from across the region about conserving our environment through Conservation Education Field Studies.
This Conservation Area offers a long sandy beach on the Lake Erie shoreline, plus many other amenities. Holiday Beach Conservation Area has serviced campsites, new showers and washrooms, large shady picnic areas, a playground, nature trails, a boardwalk, and a three storey observation tower. It is also one of the sites at which Conservation Education Field Studies are conducted. Controlled waterfowl hunting is available in the fall.
John R. Park Homestead and Conservation Area
Located on the shore of Lake Erie between the towns of Kingsville and Colchester, John R. Park Homestead and Conservation Area will take you back in time to the 1850s. The house and farm buildings of John and Amelia Park are restored to bring the nineteenth century to life. Explore the Park's magnificent Classical Revival home, built in 1842, taste baking from the kitchen fireplace or play with a wooden toy in the children's bedrooms. See the workings of an 1885 steam engine-powered sawmill and stop by the blacksmith shop to witness the making of small hardware and repairing of farm tools at the coal-fired forge. Don't miss the working smoke house, ice house and barn. For a breath of fresh air, take a scenic walk on the lakeshore boardwalk. Thousands of school children attend field trips here each year for hands-on learning opportunities about pioneer life and the importance of preserving our heritage. The Parade of Horse Breeds, the Blueberry Social and Harvest at the Homestead are just a few of the many special events held each year.
Leamington Arts Centre
The Leamington Arts Centre is located in South Western Ontario's beautiful downtown Leamington in one of the town's many wonderful heritage buildings. The centre has become the area's paramount place to view modern art with emphasis on local and aspiring artists and artisans. Permanent exhibits of “Erie Quest,” “Heinz Memorabilia” and the “Henry Collection” preserve the heritage of the Leamington area.
Leamington and Mersea Historical Museum
Leamington and Mersea Historical Society – Formed in 1979, the Leamington and Mersea Historical Society is a group of public spirited volunteers who are dedicated to the preservation of our local heritage and to communicating the value of that heritage to our local community. The Historical Society is a non-profit, registered, charitable organization. In 1993, the Historical Society purchased the historic former Albuna United Church and converted it to a museum. In addition to its changing exhibitions, there is also a gift shop. As it is staffed by volunteers, the musuem is open only on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and closed in January and February.
Leamington Tomato Festival (Seacliff Park)
2017: Dates to be determined
Leamington’s only free family festival features a parade, continuous live entertainment, children’s village, custom car show, golf tournament, talent-beauty pageant, fireman’s water barrel competition, 5k walk-run, crafts, food and wine vendors (featuring wineries from the Lake Erie North Shore and Pelee Island Wine Region). There’s so much to see and do at the annual Leamington Tomato Festival in the tomato capital of Canada!
Pelee Island Kite Museum
Located on Pelee Island, the Kite Museum is a unique museum that celebrates the kite, its design, history and cultural value. The highlights of the 3,000+ collection include a half dozen original Stieffs, the oldest dating to 1502; a number of Gibson Girls; hundreds of early twentieth century paper kites; a large kites-in-advertising collection; fighter kites; various one-off designs; English kites, including a number of original, autographed kites by Professor Waldorf; and kites from around the world, including Japan, China, Malaysia, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. The museum has also mounted travelling exhibitions such as Dime Store kites in St. Placide, Quebec, Japanese kites at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Center in Toronto, and an exhibition of kites that Alexander Graham Bell would have seen on his 1910-11 world tour for Park's Canada's Alexander Graham Bell Museum in Baddeck, Cape Breton.
Pelee Wings Nature Store
If you love nature and the great outdoors then you'll be right at home at Pelee Wings Nature Store. Pelee Wings is a must-see visit for birders and naturalists, kayakers and canoeists, and everyone who enjoys nature as a part of their lifestyle. Their gift shop includes an ecletic mix of everything to enjoy our natural world, from birding and wildlife books, nature art, jewelry, stationary, bird feeders and outdoor clothing, as well as the largest selection of binoculars in Canada–with over 200 models of binoculars, spotting scopes and telescopes–and hundreds of kayaks, canoes and paddling gear. The Pelee Wings Kayak & Canoe center offers rentals and the opportunity to "try before you buy." Kayak expert and certified trainer Jeff Dorrell helps customers to select that perfect kayak, canoe and gear to suit their paddling style and budget.
Point Pelee National Park: Parks Canada
A lush Carolinian forest oasis at the southern tip of Canada, Point Pelee National Park resounds with migrating song birds in the spring, hums with cicadas in the summer, flutters with Monarch butterflies in the fall and is a peaceful place of reflection in the winter. The park’s 20-square-kilometer (8-square-mile) landscape is a patchwork of ecosystems that includes marshes, forests, fields and beaches, producing a complexity of life that is unequalled, even in Canada’s larger National Parks. Point Pelee is an 11-mile-long peninsula that extends to a sharp point into Lake Erie, and its natural wonders and cultural treasures include 22.5 km (14 miles) of sand and pebble beaches, a mile long boardwalk, nature trails and picnic areas. The Nature Nook bookstore in the Visitor Centre, canoe and bicycle rentals and Cattail Café are offered in conjunction with Friends of Point Pelee. Annually, the park hosts over 5,700 students for education programs at the Marsh Boardwalk, Tip, Woodland Nature Trail and Henry Community Youth Camp, plus provides outreach programs to another 1,000 students. The Parks Canada website includes extensive information on the park's history and importance, services, and a complete schedule of events.
Wheatley Provincial Park (Ontario Parks)
Ontario’s “deep south” provincial park – at the same latitude as Northern California. Trails wind through a southern style Carolinian forest. And many migratory birds pass through and Point Pelee National Park is only 20 minutes away.
Named Best Local Blog in Canada, Ontario’s best culinary tourism experience and the Canadian tourism industry’s Innovator of the Year, the award-winning WindsorEats website offers a comprehensive culinary guide to the Windsor-Essex region, including restaurants, wineries, farms and butchers! It also hosts its popular Wine Trail Rides, with cycling tours to Essex County wineries and Bikes & Beers Cycling Tours in Windsor.