Light's Range Lighthouse in Southampton, Ontario

Summer in Southampton, Ontario: Things to do

Southampton, Ontario makes the perfect summer destination.  This lovely town is nestled on the shores of Lake Huron in Bruce County.  Southampton is located less than 10 minutes away from the town of Port Elgin and these two towns are referred to as Saugeen Shores. 

Southampton is known for its stunning beaches, historic lighthouses and overall nautical feel.  With the lake at your finger tips, the charming town of Southampton becomes a haven for beach goers each summer.  Although the beaches in Southampton are the biggest draw in the summer, there are plenty of other things to keep you busy as well.  A visit to Southampton is a must do for your summer bucket list!

Visit one of southampton’s beaches

Beach in Southampton, Ontario

Given Southampton’s prime location on the shores of Lake Huron, this small town boasts stunning beaches.  The beaches in Southampton stretch along the shores of Lake Huron and can be found throughout a good portion of town.  You’ll find plenty of space to spread out on the powdery sand and take a swim in the turquoise waters.

Popular beaches to visit in Southampton include Southampton Main Beach, Southampton Dunes, South Street Beach, Long Dock and Pioneer Park Beach.

Take a boat tour to chanty island

View of Chanty Island from Southampton

Chanty Island is located just a kilometre off the shores of Southampton.  To reach this little island, you’ll be required to book a tour ticket through Chantry Island Tours in Southampton.  Once on Chantry Island, you’ll be greeted by an old keepers house, a lighthouse and a bird sanctuary.  Chantry Island boat tours last around two hours, giving you plenty of time to keep exploring Southampton.

Explore Fairy Lake

Fairy Lake is situated in the heart of Southampton, close to the downtown sector.  Fairy Lake is home to many water fowl that are eager to be fed corn from the food dispensers.  There is a well marked trail that leads around the perimeter of the lake and is great for walking.  During your walk around the lake, be sure to look for wood carvings in the trees and turtles in the water.

Wander Around the Giant Flag Pole

Big Flag Pole in Southampton

Where downtown meets Lake Huron, you’ll find the giant flag pole.  The giant flag pole boasts an extremely large Canadian flag that ripples in the winds off Lake Huron.  This is a great area to wander around and to take in the views of Chantry Island, Lake Huron and lovely sunsets. 

Southampton Range Lights (Lighthouse)

 Southampton Range Lights (Lighthouse) in Southampton

Southampton Range Lights is a lighthouse that marks the merge of the Saugeen River and Lake Huron.  From this lighthouse you get stunning views of both bodies of water and it makes a great place to watch the sunset.  As the Saugeen River and Lake Huron connect here, you will see many boats passing by.  Fishing from the pier that the lighthouse sits on, is also a popular fishing location amongst locals and visitors.

Walk the Captain Spence Path

Captain Spence Pathway, Southampton

The Captain Spence Path is a beautiful trail that follows the curve of Lake Huron and connects the giant flag pole area and Pioneer Park Beach.  You can start the pathway at either end and take in the views of Lake Huron as you meander.

Stroll the Southampton Boardwalk

The Southampton Boardwalk is a paved walkway that leads you from one beach to the next.  As you take the boardwalk, you’ll pass playgrounds and sandy stretches of beach.  Popular starting points to access the boardwalk include the giant flag pole and Long Dock Beach.

Stop by the Saugeen River

Saugeen River in Southampton

The Saugeen River is 160km spanning through many towns in the area, but opens into the mouth of Lake Huron in Southampton.  The Saugeen River makes a great place for a paddle or  float through the scenic landscape.  Fishing from the banks of the river is also popular with many people in the area.

Ride the Saugeen Shores Trolley

Saugeen Shores Trolley

The Saugeen Shores Trolley, or the the SS Trolley runs between Southampton and neighbouring town, Port Elgin.  The trolley is a fun tourist shuttle that stops at a number of places between the two towns.  For a few dollars, the SS Trolley will take you along the scenic shores of Lake Huron and drop you at many points of interest in both towns.

Stroll Around Downtown Southampton

In downtown Southampton, you’ll find a variety of different things to do.  The streets of downtown are dotted with many high end clothing stores, restaurants and specialty food shops.  Whether you’re looking to shop or grab a treat at the delicious bakery, downtown Southampton is a lovely place for a stroll.

Watch the sunset over lake huron

Sunset in Southampton, Ontario

If you’re in Southampton in the evening, watching the sunset is a must.  With so many great locations by the waters edge, there are tons of amazing places to watch the sunset.  When the sky starts to turn a colourful hue, head to the shores of Lake Huron to watch as the sun casts it’s magical spell over the town.

Things to do in Southampton on a Rainy Day

If you find yourself in Southampton on a rainy day, there are still plenty of things to do.  Take your rainy day as an opportunity to explore some of the attractions found indoors.  The Southampton Market is a large, eclectic shopping area that offers shoppers a variety of different products.  In the market you can find items such as clothing, to souvenirs, furniture and everything in between.  Once you’re done shopping, stop by the Bruce County Museum or the Southampton Art Gallery to explore some local roots.

Day Trips from Southampton

North Shore Trail, Port Elgin

Port Elgin, Ontario

Southampton is a beautiful beach town that’ll leave you exploring for days, but given its central location, it also makes a really great starting point for many day trips in the area.  If you have time, exploring some of the other beautiful towns in Bruce County certainly won’t leave you disappointed.  You can reach many great locations within an hours drive from Southampton. With more beautiful beaches, epic hikes and charming towns, there are a variety of amazing sites at your finger tips.  Click the links below to learn more about each destination.

*All driving times are approximate 

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