Tobermory, Ontario is located at the very tip of the Bruce Peninsula surrounded by Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. The Bruce Peninsula is known for its rugged coastline and stunning turquoise waters, and Tobermory is no exception.
During the summer months, the small village of Tobermory becomes one of the most sought after destinations in Ontario. With so much natural beauty, it’s no wonder crowds flock to Tobermory each year. Tobermory offers visitors striking scenery, a variety of water activities and a place to kick back and relax. There are so many amazing things to do in Tobermory. Find out what you could be doing this summer!
Wander Around Little Tub Harbour
Little Tub Harbour is in the heart of Tobermory and the gateway to many water adventures in the area. With boats coming and going, Little Tub Harbour can be a bustling place during peak summer hours. In addition to the many boats, the harbour is lined with a lovely boardwalk, as well as many little shops and restaurants. Whether you’re gearing up to take a boat ride or not, the Little Tub Harbour is a great place for a stroll around the water.
Visit Big Tub Harbour and lighthouse
Located less than 10 minutes away from Little Tub Harbour, it’s hard to believe just how different these two harbours are. Big Tub Harbour is cradled by the lush forest and dotted with many cottages and guest homes. In the waters of Big Tub, you’ll find the famous Sweepstakes Shipwreck just below the surface of the crystal clear water. At the other end of the harbour sits the Big Tub Lighthouse. Visiting the lighthouse is a popular thing to do in Tobermory as its rocky shores are a great place to enter the water for swimming, snorkelling and diving.
Day Trip to Flowerpot Island
Flowerpot Island is a great place to explore as a day trip from Tobermory. This island is only 6km off the shores of Tobermory and is breathtaking. To reach Flowerpot Island, you need to join one of the tour boats. Once on the island, you will find hiking trails, the famous “flowerpot” rock formations and gorgeous views of Georgian Bay. You can easily spend a half day to a full day exploring all the beauties of Flowerpot Island.
stop by the Visitor Centre
The visitors centre in Tobermory, is so much more than just your standard visitors centre. Inside the centre you will find your typical things to do in Tobermory information, as well as a museum. The highlight of the visitors centre is exploring the grounds outside. Here you will find a viewing tower that takes you up several flights of stairs and gives you a view of the forest top and the water. The centre also offers a short trail through the forest that opens up into Little Dunks Bay. Little Dunks Bay is a welcomed surprise with crystal clear water lapping up on to the rocky shore and trees hugging the curve of the bay. On a warm day, this is a great place to lounge on the rocks or go for a swim. From the visitors centre, you will also find a variety of other trails that lead you around the bay.
Cruise on the Chi Cheemaun
The Chi Cheemaun is an iconic passenger boat that transports passengers and vehicles across Lake Huron between Tobermory and Manitoulin Island. Each spring, the Chi Cheemaun travels from Owen Sound to its summer destination in Tobermory, where it begins to run regularly. While the Chi Cheemaun is a passenger boat, in reality it’s so much more than that.
The Chi Cheemaun also offers passengers sunset dinners and star gazing cruises. If you’re not interested in travelling to Manitoulin Island, you still have the option to head out and cruise around Lake Huron. Needless to say, the cruise between Tobermory and Manitoulin is beautiful and an experience in its own.
Spend a day at the Bruce Peninsula National Park
Exploring the Bruce Peninsula National Park is one of the main things to do while visiting Tobermory. The park offers beautiful trails that lead to the shores of Georgian Bay. The contrast between the rugged shoreline and turquoise waters make this area extremely beautiful. The main attractions in the park include the Indian Head Cove, a naturally smoothed out area for swimming and the Grotto, a cave full of water. The beauty in this park is astounding, making it a very popular destination. During the peak summer months, you are required to make reservations prior to exploring the park. Visit Parks Canada for more information on making reservations.
Explore the Shipwrecks
The water around Tobermory has been known to be harsh and in the past has caused many shipwrecks. With the water in Georgian Bay and Lake Huron being so clear, chasing shipwrecks has become a popular thing to do in Tobermory. With over 20 shipwrecks in the area, explorers flock to Tobermory for a chance to have a look at the disasters of the past. Some shipwrecks are visible from boat, while others require you to dive below the surface for a glimpse into the past.
Scuba Dive and Snorkel Canada’s Diving Capital
Scuba diving and snorkelling in Tobermory are a big draw to the area. As mentioned, there are many shipwrecks below the water in Tobermory, making it a divers paradise. These shipwrecks, along with the clear, fresh water of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, have earned Tobermory the title of Scuba Diving Capital of Canada. The visibility and clarity of the water is so clear, that it often gets compared to that of the Caribbean. In addition to the nearly in tact shipwrecks, explorers have also found unique rock formations and underwater caves.
Day trips from Tobermory
While Tobermory is a great place to explore on its own, there are many other beautiful locations nearby. Click the links below to learn more about each day trip from Tobermory.
- Lion’s Head– 40 minute drive
- Wiarton – 55 minute drive
- Sauble Beach – 1 hour 5 minute drive
- Southampton and Chantry Island– 1 hour 20 minute drive
- Waterfalls in Owen Sound– 1 hour 30 minute drive
- Port Elgin – 1 hour 30 minute drive
*All driving times are approximate
In addition to the beautiful coastline, the Bruce Peninsula offers sandy beaches, historic lighthouses and many lovely, little towns. You will quickly find yourself wanting to spend your entire summer exploring Bruce County.
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