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21 Best Things to do in Cambridge this Vaycation

Things to do in Cambridge
Photo by Julius Dūdėnas on Unsplash

Cambridge is a beautiful city located 100km west of Toronto. It is situated in southern Ontario. The city is located in the Waterloo municipality and is at the meeting point of the Grand and Speed rivers. This charming city can be considered a day trip from Toronto. There are many places to visit and different things to do in Cambridge, Ontario.

One should visit a place like Cambridge, Ontario, as it has something for everyone to enjoy. The stunning city is famous for its visit to downtown Cambridge, historical sites, amazing food, and historic walking areas. Top Attractions include Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory, Riverside Park, Fashion History Museum, and many more. Here is the list of things to do in Cambridge.

1. Spending the day at the Grand River

A visit to the Grand River surely falls on the list of things to do in Cambridge. One of the must-visit places, the river is best known for spending a day having a picnic or trying local foods. The river flows through the region of Downtown Cambridge.

One can enjoy the river by going down the stairs to get a closer look, but a view from above is also exquisite.

2. Famous for Churches

Centrally located in downtown Cambridge, the four churches cannot be missed from the list of things to do in Cambridge. The Central Presbyterian church lookalike of Notre Dame Cathedral transports you in time. Gothic in nature, the visit to this architecture is a must on the list of things to do in Cambridge.

Grace Bible Church is also located right across, with the same architectural style making the visit worthwhile as one can enjoy both churches with little distance to travel.

3. For the Butterfly Lovers

One can see various tropical plants, birds, and animals. There are 40 species of butterflies and moths, most of which belong to the Philippines and Costa Rica.

Seeing these exotic birds while visiting Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory is a must in things to do in Cambridge. You can also visit the cafe and shop from the gift store to complete the trip.

4. For the love of Theatre

The experience of the theatres of Cambridge also falls into the list of things to do in Cambridge. Theatres such as Dunfield Theatre, The Hamilton Family Theatre, and The Cambridge Community Players theatre come up with plays and various shows all year round.

  • Dunfield Theatre

The 500-seat theatre showcases show of varied types, from Broadway Musicals to Comedic Plays, with occasional live music shows.

  • The Hamilton Family Theatre

The Hamilton Family Theatre is also a 500-seat theatre facility located along the Grand River. It is situated near fantastic dining, a good shopping area, and beautiful architecture to make the visit worthwhile.

5. Spend a day Hiking

One cannot miss the activity of hiking trails when visiting Cambridge. It takes a top position on the list of things to do in Cambridge.

Cambridge has many hiking trails, such as Grand Trunk Trail, Mill Run Trail, Linear Trail, and many more, making hiking trails a must-do activity in Cambridge. One can enjoy Cambridge’s nature and see different species making it an amazing experience.

  • Grand Trunk Trail

The Grand Trunk Trail is the best for those whole love biking and hiking trails. One can enjoy nature and birds and see beautiful sites while walking the wooded forest trails.

  • Mill Run Trail

Famous for trails, Cambridge has another route known as the Mill Run trail, connecting Hespeler and Preston. One can enjoy a nice relaxed walk, run or bike with friends and family. One can enjoy the Cambridge sights of bridges, water dams, and trees from Riverside Park.

  • The Linear Trail

Located in the town of Preston, the trail runs along with the Speed and Grand rivers. It is easy to follow and has good access to the rivers with gorgeous views of plant life, birds, and wildlife.

  • Paris Rail Trail

The trail is popular among bikers and runners, from the Cambridge trailhead at one end to the Paris trailhead at the other. Paris trailhead starts at 58.2km and continues to end at the Cambridge trailhead at 77km. Hence Paris trailhead walking towards Cambridge is a must on the list of things to do in Cambridge. But the thing to remember is that the trail remains busy during the day, so plan accordingly.

6. Enjoy a Picnic

How can one miss the enjoyment of a picnic when visiting a park? Cambridge has a variety of parks to spend a day having a nice winter walk and enjoying a breeze afterward. The experience of being surrounded by such scenic nature is a must in the things to do in Cambridge.

  • Mill race park

The Park is a must-visit with family and friends to spend an afternoon. This Park alongside the Grand River is one of the good photo stop points as one can click beautiful pictures of the river with the church in the background.

  • Riverside Park

One of the best parks, Riverside Park, has a lot to offer as one can enjoy different outdoor activities here. It is the best place for sports lovers as it has the best public tennis courts and soccer fields. It is widely appreciated by those who love mini trails.

One can enjoy a picnic in the Park, which has 4 picnic areas, a large children’s playground, and many walking trails. Riverside Park hosts the annual Cambridge Rib Fest every summer, which should be attended.

  • Sheave Tower

Located in the small town of Blair at the edge of Cambridge. The place is famous for its trails and historical structures. The Sheave tower is a little hidden gem that shouldn’t be missed. One can visit the building and can have a family picnic afterward.

7. Have a nice walk in the Park

A walk in the Park is a must-include in the things to do in Cambridge. Churchill and Mill Race Park are the ones to take a stroll. One can enjoy the view while taking a walk.

  • Churchill Park

The Park features good soccer fields, a large children’s playground, and a good spray pad. It is also known for some of the best sledding hills in the city. It’s a perfect place to visit with kids and family. One can take a nice evening walk to end the day.

  • Mill Race Park

Located in Downtown Cambridge, a small park with views of the Grand river won’t disappoint. Hence making it to the list of things to do in Cambridge.

8. Cambridge shopping

A visit to a new place is incomplete without shopping. Shopping should be included in a list of things to do in Cambridge as it has the Cambridge Smart center, which one can visit for a satisfying shopping experience.

Farmer’s Markets such as Hespeler Village Market and Cambridge Farmer’s market also are must-visit. Cambridge farmer’s markets are a must on the list of things to do in Cambridge.

  • Cambridge Farmers Market

All bakery food lovers must visit the Cambridge Farmers market. Famous for its delicious baked goods and fresh meats, it’s a must-visit on Saturdays from 7 am to 1 pm as one can experience the European atmosphere on a visit. You can buy delicious cheese, fruits, and vegetables too. All in all, one must visit the Cambridge farmers market.

  • Hespeler Village Market

You will find local food and artisan crafts in this market, one of Cambridge’s two seasonal markets. It is located in downtown Hespeler, and one must visit and support local businesses.

  • Cambridge smart Centre

Cambridge shopping is incomplete without a visit to the Cambridge smart center. It has a wide variety of stores with Walmart across the mall. It also features an ice rink, and one can take skating lessons.

9. Indulge in Cambridge History

Knowing the history of a place is a must when visiting a new city. Going to the Mcdougall cottage and Fashion History Museum is a must on the list of things to do in Cambridge.

  • Mcdougall cottage

It is a well-preserved cottage and a part of the area’s museum system. It also hosts various events, and the tiny quilt contest is a must-attend event.

  • Fashion + History

If you love Fashion and want to know its history in Cambridge, you must visit the Fashion History Museum. It is one of the history museums dedicated to fashion which started in 2004.

There are 10,000 garments and accessories in the history museum. The design pieces have a touch of history as well as contemporary essence. Some things even are old as the 1600s.

10. Cambridge food

Trying the food of a place can tell a lot about its culture. Tasting and having the local cuisine of any business is a must; hence going to famous restaurants and bakeries is a must in the list of things to do in Cambridge. Top attractions include L. A Franks for its best hotdogs, Dee’s bakery for its mouth-melting tarts, and many more.

  • L.A Franks

Your visit to Downtown Cambridge will be incomplete if you don’t visit the famous L. A Franks. The place sells the best hotdogs, onion rings, burgers, fries, and ice creams. The big greasy burger meal is a must-try.

  • Dee’s Bakery

In West Galt, Dee’s Bakery is famous for its mouth-melting butter tarts. Available in a wide variety of flavours such as caramel, raisin, chocolate, and vanilla, the bakery is a must-visit.

  • Reid’s Candy & Nut Shop

For the chocolate lovers out there, this candy and nut shop is a must-visit. The place is famous for its delicious chocolates. This family-run store is a gem for the locals and has a wide variety of nuts, candies, and chocolates for all occasions, from birthdays to anniversaries of your loved ones.

  • Barnacle Bills

For the Fish and chips lover out there, these are for you. Barnacle bills sell the most delicious fish and chips you can enjoy while taking an evening walk into the downtown core. The Cambridge sculpture garden is nearby, which is a must-visit.

  • Fiddle & Firkin

One of the top pubs in the area, Fiddle and Firkin, is known for its food, drink, and live music. Do a visit to enjoy the Cambridge nightlife.

  • 4 Fathers Brewing Co.

If you are a beer lover, you must visit 4 Fathers Brewing Co. You can expect a fine dining experience in this brewery cum restaurant with ping pong tables and high bar tables. It is known for its service and food among the locals.

  • Rhythm & Brews

Another beer spot, Rhythm & Brews, is popular among locals for its great ambiance, good service, and lovely beers.

11. Visit the Cambridge Museums and Art Galleries

If you love contemporary art and want to see local artists’ work, Queen’s Square Gallery and Preston Gallery are the best galleries for it. They also hold special exhibitions.

Another lookout point is the Riverside Gallery which also has exhibitions based on design and architecture. They showcase beautiful furniture and wall hangings.

12. Enjoy the stunning streets

The visit to streets such as Brant Street, Aberdeen Rd, and Lansdowne Rd should not be missed from the list of things to do in Cambridge. These streets feature the finest historical properties of Cambridge, placing them on the list of things to do in Cambridge.

13. Queen’s Square

One must visit Queen’s Square if one wants to sit, relax, and enjoy the fountain. Surrounded by two beautiful Cathedrals and a library, this place falls on the list of things to do in Cambridge. One can have a picnic or enjoy the best coffee places, such as the Melville Cafe or Grand Cafe. Visiting this place is a must, as it falls on the list of things to do in Cambridge.

14. Langdon Hall

Located in the Town of Blair, Langdon Hall is best for those who love to visit historical sites. The site provides complimentary wine tasting for wine lovers and delivers the famous Cambridge spas.

The hall is also used as a wedding venue with its amazing history hence can be considered for spending a relaxing weekend, making it to the list of things to do in Cambridge.

15. Shade’s Mills Conservation Area

If you love the outdoors, you should visit the Shade Mills Conservation area, where anyone can enjoy a wide range of activities such as swimming, cross-country skiing, and sports fishing. There are many biking trails to enjoy a bike ride and hiking trails of about 12 kilometres for a good hike. Play areas and beautiful beaches are the few other available amenities to enjoy.

16. Cambridge Sculpture Garden

Located on the banks of the Grand River, the Cambridge Sculpture garden also enters the list. The place is known for its 130-year-old oak tree, making it a must on the list of things to do in Cambridge.

Situated across from Hamilton Family Theatre. It holds art shows and children’s art programs too. The place has four permanent pieces showcased.

17. Galt Collegiate Institute

The beautiful stone building is one of Ontario’s oldest operating high schools. It has a rich history making its visit a must on the list of things to do in Cambridge. It is characterized by a green copper roof which can be seen from downtown and the river. It faces Water Street beside the old train bridge. The building has two beautiful towering pillars and is known to be haunted. Do visit and see for yourself.

18. Love a round of Golf?

Cambridge is also known for its outdoor activities, such as Golf. Galt Country Club and Deer Ridge Golf Club are best for golfing. Galt, the oldest and Ridge, voted the best, are equally famous among golf lovers.

19. Famous Cambridge Festival

Cambridge does not fall behind in terms of hosting festivals every season. Cambridge fun is incomplete without having an experience of Cambridge Festivals. It showcases the rich history and cultural heritage of Cambridge beautifully. Hence the knowledge of these festivals surely falls on the list of things to do in Cambridge.

The Christmas in Cambridge series, held throughout December, is very popular. It includes parades, live entertainment, food tastings, and outdoor ice skating.

Cambridge offers Cambridge Fall Fair, a four-day event for fall. Visitors can enjoy Cambridge Tour de Grand and Cambridge Arts Festival. Forbes Park Music Festival and the Cambridge Scottish Festival also entertain during summer with different events.

20. Join an art class

The Cambridge Centre of Arts provides pottery, sewing even ballroom dancing classes. One can enjoy Cambridge classes and experience various artworks with various exhibits. After classes, one can enjoy the shows in the center. If you want to enroll in a creative type, you must add this to your list of things to do in Cambridge.

21. Cambridge boat tours

How can one miss the boating activity when visiting a place? Hence this surely falls on the list of things to do in Cambridge. Canoe camping and backpacking trips can be enjoyed in the Algonquin Provincial Park and from Belwood Lake to Lake Erie. Ontario Backwoods Outfitters provides services, offering proper guidance, meals, and equipment, making it an overall package.

Conclusion

OverEven though the place is not high on tourism, places like Cambridge need their fair share of appreciation as the site provides a variety of things to do, from hiking to activities such as golfing and canoeing. One can do these activities and enjoy them when visiting Cambridge, Ontario. One can enjoy a quiet weekend away from Toronto with family and friends. Al, one can say that these are the things one can do in Cambridge.

Cambridge is less explored and should fall into a traveller’s list of places to visit. From historical sites to parks and amazing food to great farmer’s markets, Cambridge has something to offer everyone.

Looking for what to do when visiting Ontario Provincial Parks?

Want to know about other places in Ontario? Check out 20 things to do in Tobermory, Ontario.

Written by shaalinijena24

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