Explore Georgian Bay From Owen Sound To Wasaga Beach

Georgian Bay From Owen Sound To Wasaga Beach in Ontario Canada.jpg

A Day Trip To Explore Georgian Bay From Owen Sound To Wasaga Beach

We headed out on a day trip and explored Georgian Bay from Owen Sound to Wasaga Beach. Our trip north took us along country roads with stops in small towns along the way. Once we hit Georgian Bay, we travelled along the shore. Stops in Owen Sound, Meaford, Thornbury, Collingwood and Wasaga Beach gave us different waterfront views.

Roadtrip Map.jpg

It was a great escape from home in the city of Toronto. We found wide open spaces and safely explored on a day trip during Covid-19. We did not plan an overnight stay on this trip. Even though we had a successful first overnight stay when we visited Lake Huron. So that limited how far we travelled. This just left more to explore on return trips.

Heading North From Toronto

We had many options to travel north from Toronto. We ultimately took the smaller roads through the country (Hwy 10). Exhausted after a long day, we came back home down the major highway (Hwy 400).

We enjoyed the country scenery as we drove. We climbed up the Niagara Escarpment as we drove. The escarpment was formed millions of years ago after the lakes receded. The ridge of sedimentation has eroded unevenly over time. Niagara Falls actually lies on the ridge line. The maximum height was around 335m (or ~1,000 ft). At one point when my ears popped, I checked my altitude app to see how high we were.

Niagara Escarpment.jpg
Map From https://www.ecologyandsociety.org/

As we passed through small towns, we looked for a small local bakery for our coffee stop. Finally in Shelburne we found the perfect spot on the classic small town Ontario street.

Jelly Cafe had a good selection of homemade treats. We eyed the butter tarts. On our road trip to the Kawartha Lakes Region, we followed the butter tart trail. And I must admit that spoiled me a bit for perfect butter tarts! Once we got our coffee and treats, we sat at one of the small tables outside and watched the small town action.

Shelburne Jelly Cafe.jpg

Shelburne Jelly Cafe.jpg

Shelburne was a great stop to re-fuel us on our trip to explore Georgian Bay.

Owen Sound On Georgian Bay

Owen Sound was located at the beginning of the Bruce Peninsula that separated Lake Huron from Georgian Bay. We got our first view of Lake Huron on a recent overnight trip. We debated heading south along Lake Huron from Owen Sound for areas we missed on our first trip. But stopped when we hit Owen Sound.

As we usually did, we checked out our offline map and GPS and meandered to the water. We parked and wandered along the waterway path. The signs along the path provided interesting tidbits about Owen Sound.

Owen Sound Waterway - Georgian Bay From Owen Sound To Wasaga Beach.jpg

Docked along the waterway was a large ship. When we visited Sarnia on Lake Huron, we got our first view of the commercial nature of the Great Lakes. This tanker was yet another view of the large ships that moved products over water.

Owen Sound Waterway Great Lakes freighter Algoma Compass - Georgian Bay From Owen Sound To Wasaga Beach.jpg

Lunch By The Water In Owen Sound

We were delighted when we found the Mudtown Station Brewery with a large patio right on the waterfront.

Owen Sound Mudtown Station Brewery.jpg

The Mudtown Station Brewery used to be a railway stop. When we went inside with our masks on, we saw a colourful stained glass window that reflected the building’s past. And displays inside expanded on this theme.

Owen Sound Mudtown Station Brewery - Georgian Bay From Owen Sound To Wasaga Beach.jpg

Owen Sound Mudtown Station Brewery.jpg

There was a small brewery on-site. A good selection of beers were offered each day. And flights were offered if we wanted to try a number of the beers.

Owen Sound Mudtown Station Brewery.jpg

Owen Sound Mudtown Station Brewery.jpg

We enjoyed our lunch on the patio. It was great to sit out in the sunshine with a healthy lunch, a beer and a view.

Owen Sound Mudtown Station Brewery.jpg

Our lunch break was a perfect way to begin our travels on Georgian Bay from Owen Sound to Wasaga Beach.

Missing Out On The Bruce Peninsula and Tobermory

When we looked at the map, we were really tempted to head up the Bruce Peninsula towards Tobermory. The peninsula offered two National Parks – Fathom Five National Marine Park and the Bruce Peninsula National Park. The Niagara Escarpment ran right up the Bruce Peninsula.

Tobermory was the small lakeside town at the tip of the peninsula. It was surrounded by the waters from Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. Flowerpot Island was a great day trip, accessible only by boat.

Tobermory was also a diving mecca for scuba diving. Although these days, we really preferred scuba diving in the warm Caribbean waters.

There was so much to see and do on a visit to the Bruce Peninsula. We ultimately decided we wanted to enjoy it at a slower pace. And we left it for a future overnight trip.

Enjoying The Water Views In Meaford

As we drove along the shore of Georgian Bay, we followed the same strategy as other trips along the shores of the Great Lakes. We moved off the larger roads and found the small roads that followed the shore whenever possible. Every time we caught sight of water, we stopped if we could. We saw the signs for the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail we followed on our road trip to Lake Huron.

Waterfront Stops.jpg

When we hit the small town of Meaford, we were delighted when we found a large park on the water. We wandered around the park and enjoyed the water and flower views all around us. There was a small uncrowded beach that the locals enjoyed.

Meaford Park - Georgian Bay From Owen Sound To Wasaga Beach.jpg

Meaford Park - Georgian Bay From Owen Sound To Wasaga Beach.jpg

On our travels on Georgian Bay from Owen Sound to Wasaga Beach we stopped often for water views.

Ice Cream With A View In Thornbury

When we planned our trip north to Georgian Bay, we asked a friend for recommendations for good stops for food and snacks. It was suggested we check out the ice cream shop in Thornbury. Luckily Thornbury was small and we easily found the Pom Pom ice cream shop.

Thornbury Pom Pom Ice Cream.jpg

We avoided the crowded park in town and headed to the harbour. Large Covid-19 signs and contactless payment for parking ensured a much better quieter option as we enjoyed our ice cream.

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We found a bench and watched the water. The local beach was again quiet. It was a tranquil stop on the waters of Georgian Bay.

Thorbury Harbour - Georgian Bay From Owen Sound To Wasaga Beach.jpg

Thorbury Harbour Beach - Georgian Bay From Owen Sound To Wasaga Beach.jpg

Thornbury Pom Pom Ice Cream - Georgian Bay From Owen Sound To Wasaga Beach.jpg

Watching The Weather Change At The Collingwood Port

Collingwood and the Blue Mountains are a major winter sport destination. When we looked at the hills, we still saw the ski trail areas. In normal years the Blue Mountain Village offered a host of activities in the summer months too. But many things were closed this year. We drove around and did not stop.

From there we headed to the Collingwood Port. The large grain silos at the port were another reminder of the large commercial areas along the Great Lakes. Although we learned that these ones were now shut down.

Collingwood Port Silo - Georgian Bay From Owen Sound To Wasaga Beach.jpg

We continued past the silos along the spit to the water. We iconic waterfront signs – a small lighthouse and a giant buoy. The weather had started to turn. Out on the horizon we saw rain. And the park was split in sun and shade. Far in the distance we saw the ski runs on the Blue Mountains.

Collingwood Port Lighthouse.jpg

Collingwood Port Water Weather - Georgian Bay From Owen Sound To Wasaga Beach.jpg

Collingwood Port Water Views.jpg

There were a couple of interesting food trucks set up in this area. The Indian restaurant was not busy. But the SoCo wood fired pizza drew line-ups the whole time we were there.

Collingwood Port Water SoCo Pizza.jpg

We made just a quick stop at the waterfront in Collingwood on our day trip along Georgian Bay from Owen Sound to Wasaga Beach. But we had one more stop. And we wanted to miss the coming weather.

A Final Beach Stop At Wasaga Beach

Growing up in Toronto, we both had memories of Wasaga Beach as the white sand beach escape from the city. When we got close we left the main road and drove along the small roads at the water. When we travelled along the shores of Lake St Clair, it was hard to find public beach access points. But at Wasaga Beach we found several spots with access to completely empty beaches.

Wasaga Beach 37th Street - Georgian Bay From Owen Sound To Wasaga Beach.jpg

We wanted to see the main beach at Wasaga Beach. It was after 5pm. But unlike our visit to Grand Bend Beach, we found the main beach nearly deserted. But then, the clouds were moving in.

Wasaga Beach Welcome Sign - Georgian Bay From Owen Sound To Wasaga Beach.jpg

Wasaga Beach Beach Weather.jpg

Wasaga Beach Beach Weather.jpg

We were glad we made it to the end stop on our day trip along Georgian Bay. It was still several hours to drive home. So we put the GPS on “fast route” and headed for the highway. This was not our day for a view of the sunset over the water.

Fun Art Everywhere We Stopped

We were always on the lookout for fun street art and murals when we travelled. As we went through the small town of Markdale on our drive north, we pulled over to look at the classic train station mural.

Markdale Railroad Mural - Georgian Bay From Owen Sound To Wasaga Beach.jpg

After our lunch in Owen Sound, we wandered along the main downtown street. A colourful mural welcomed us to town. We also found a pretty tile bird mosaic. And a peacock tail that decorated a store wall.

Owen Sound Town Art Bird.jpg

Owen Sound Town Art Peacock.jpg

Owen Sound Town Mural Emily May Rose - Georgian Bay From Owen Sound To Wasaga Beach.jpg

In Collingwood, we stopped when we saw a colourful display. A mosaic of 400 tiles was created to commemorate Canada’s 150th birthday.

Collingwood Canada 150 Mosaic - Georgian Bay From Owen Sound To Wasaga Beach.jpg

It was always fun when we stopped at the colourful street art we found on our day trips around Ontario.

A Safe Day Trip During The Summer Of Covid-19

We were always happy when we escaped our small Toronto condo and headed for the vast areas of open space around Ontario. We always went out mid-week when the summer crowds were smaller. And we were always prepared to turn back if we felt unsafe during the summer of Covid-19.

Throughout out travels along Georgian Bay from Owen Sound to Wasaga Beach most of the stops we made caused us no concern. The Covid-19 precautions were well displayed. And people in the small towns seemed prepared to do what was necessary to keep the pandemic numbers in check. People wore their masks – properly!

Owen Sound Town Covid Sign.jpg

As we travelled around Ontario in the summer of Covid-19, we found many of the beach areas closed. On this trip we were happy we found them open. And being used responsibly.

Wasaga Beach Covid Sign.jpg

We were happy and refreshed after a great day trip. And a safe day trip meant we already started our plans for the next one.

Explore Georgian Bay From Owen Sound To Wasaga Beach

There were many stops on our day trip along Georgian Bay from Owen Sound to Wasaga Beach. Some we planned in advance. But many were pauses made on a whim.

Much as we found on our other day trips around Ontario, travelling mid-week gave us wide open empty spaces. And some wonderful spots to enjoy.

Our next adventure was a 3 night luxury resort stay in the Muskoka Lakes area. We sure hoped that the fall colours put on a show!

Have you explored Georgian Bay from Owen Sound to Wasaga Beach? Did you have a favourite stop along the way?

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About TravelAtWill 575 Articles
Travel blogger and photographer! Scuba diving, luxury cruising, chocoholic, sea and sunshine addicts, camera attached and just generally curious! Join us on our adventures!

52 Comments

  1. Thank you for including COVID-19 details in your post, I think in a few years time looking back on these safety precautions and how we travelled will be something that’s really interesting! Glad to hear all wore there masks and you could see some wonderful sights (and eat delicious looking ice cream as well!)

  2. This looked like a full day of activities! From the nature views, to the yummy eats, to the artwork. I loved how you took us through your entire trip and left no details out. Pauses on a whim always turn out to be so worth it in the end. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I am glad that you had another great trip. I did not think Georgian Bay has so many exciting tourist attractions. The Mudtown Station Brewery is a worth visit for sure with a good selection of beers and lunches. Mosaics in Collingwood, which was created to commemorate Canada’s 150th birthday, looks fantastic. Wasaga Beach has beautiful sand.

  4. The Georgian Bay looks stunning. With those views and the scenery, I guess I could stay there forever. I love the fact that you could find so many empty beaches in Wasaga. Makes it the best place for some family water time. I would love to get out of home and breathe some of that fresh air and take in all that beauty.

    • Soumya, We were a bit worried about how crowded some of the beaches might be along Georgian Bay. So we were delighted to find so many uncrowded ones. Makes us keep exploring locally. Linda

  5. What a pretty and scenic day trip! It’s also great to read about more local places from Toronto rather than the city. The water views are wonderful and so peaceful too. Those butter tarts sound delicious!

  6. I was reading through your post thinking “what a pretty area”, and then it dawned on me exactly where this is. I stayed in Thornbury for a week or so with my family on a ski trip about 35 years ago! It was quite a drive from Boston, so in my 10-year-old mind, I thought we must have been in far-northern Ontario. Looking at your map…nope! I’d love to go back and revisit the Georgian Bay area. Looks like it’s beautiful in the warmer months!

    • Carrie Ann, I am glad you have good memories of this part of Ontario. And hope you get to go back and explore more. We are loving finding new spots on our local travels. Linda

  7. You’re lucky to have so many small towns to reach to for day trips from Toronto. I like all the parks by the beaches, they made great places for a relax. The pizza truck looks nice and definitely I’m liking your ice cream.

  8. Georgian Bay looks amazing and the way you have captured it in the photos, it looks truly delightful. I believe due to covid most of the beaches are empty. The scuba diving facility at Tobermory makes the trip all the more exciting.

  9. This looks like a great scenic break out in nature during such crazy times. Also it is comforting knowing that safety protocols are being followed. So strange how in just a moment the entire way of how we used to once travel changed entirely. But glad you guys could spend some time in such a beautiful place, by the water and amongst all that colorful art and oh that delicious ice-cream with a view!

  10. For me all these places which you are mentioning Georgian Bay from Owen Sound to Wasaga Beach is very new to me. I love exploring hidden gems and this really looks like a trip for me. The large ships on Great Lakes truly looks wonderful. Wasaga Beach too looks very virgin as not much crowded. I love such peaceful places. Being a fan of mural art, I would love to admire the mural art here in Downtown. I loved that mosaic peacock mural, so colorful and vibrant it is.

    • Yukti, We are missing international travel but are happy that we can still discover new gems close to home. It is great to have nature close to the city. And find some small town treats. Linda

  11. What an enjoyable post! It felt as if I was traveling with you. Georgian Bay is now in my bucket list. Your pictures are stunning! This is the kind of freewheeling trip to off-beat destinations we love to do. That lunch looks totally yummy and that pom-pom ice cream shop sure is busy!:-)

    • Jan, I am glad you enjoyed travelling with us on our trip around Georgian Bay. When we head out into local spots it is a great reminder of how many places there are to see within our own area. And every day trip has felt like a safe excursion out of the less safe city. Linda

  12. So how cold is that water at Wasaga Beach or any of the other beaches? Cause they all look so pretty but I would die if that water was too chilly for my Cuban butt! But how cool is it that this is just so close to Toronto? This looks like an amazing adventure, plus Darcee would lose here mind to visit the Mudtown Station Brewery cause it combines her three favorite things: Trains, Beer, & good Food!

    • Eric, Each year I get wimpier. So we were not putting our butts in either. Ok when the air is hot. But it was windy so we stayed on dry ground. But great to look at still. So many great stops along the way. Hope you can visit one day. Linda

  13. This looks like my kind of day trip! I love everything about it from the lake views to the street art and definitely that lunch stop at the brewery! Love how they’ve converted the space – those are the best kinds of breweries! I think I’m with you on the scuba diving though – warmer waters preferred!

  14. Your trip from Owen Sound to Wasaga Beach sounds amazing and you took me on a journey with you. Such beautiful scenery so wonderfully captured. I’m glad that you included a little paragraph on travel during Covid-19 – it not only be something to look back on in years to come but also anyone reading your experiences will gain some confidence to travel, knowing it is safe to do so.

    • Georgina, I am glad to have taken you on a journey along Georgian Bay. So many great stops along the way. We are trying to share our experience travelling during this Covid-19 pandemic. Each person must weigh their own risks. Our risk is quite high but we needed to get out. So far we have been happy with our travels. Linda

  15. I miss being able to visit Canada! A long time ago I visited Wasaga Beach, I had a Beavertail every night😉 This looks like a fun road trip😀

    • Cathy, We too wish for the day when we might see you come back to Canada for a visit. So many great spots to discover as we are wandering local. I will have to have a beavertail for you! Linda

  16. So funny: From the headline, I thought this was a post on Georgia – in southeastern Europe. But once I was sucked in, I realized that I was discovering another part of the world – one that’s at least as beautiful. Now, in October, this post makes me longing for Summer. Also, I’d love to visit this regions since I’ve never been to Canada before and I think that it’s about time 🙂

    • Renata, I am glad you got to see an area in Canada that many people don’t get to visit. We are enjoying discovering more local treats as we travel this year. Hope you do get to Canada when it is safe to do so again. Linda

  17. I like all of these little restaurants and cafes you stopped at. Sometimes small towns surprise you with the places they have to eat! I also think heading to the water must be so nice – soon it will be too cold for that! I’m glad to hear you could get away on another “safe” adventure!

  18. It’s good to see that you can still travel during covid times by following covid protocol. If only everyone could follow, this virus would soon die out. Love xploring towns like this – we were in Toronto a few years ago so shame I didn’t about this part of the world then. Ah well, next time!

    • Sarah, I so agree with you. If people would follow the pretty simple requirements we and the economy could get back to normal. I hope you get to explore outside the city the next time you visit Toronto. Linda

  19. Looks like a really lovely road trip, especially as it’s quite close to home for you. I always love following your food journey as well as your actual one & all these sounded delicious (I remember learning about butter tarts from one of your previous posts!). The art looks fab & nowadays it’s really important to feel comfortable somewhere & a report on COVID restrictions unfortunately needs to be included. I’m with you & would much rather go somewhere I feel like they are taking things seriously. It makes you feel so much safer.

  20. Hi Linda, thanks for this post! I am just wondering when did you do this trip? I heard that these places are shut down since September. Is this true? My partner and I wanted to go for a short ‘escape,’ too but I am not sure if Georgian Bay is open now? I would also love to know if I can bring pets – I am traveling with two dogs. Thank you in advance!

    • Cristina, We did this trip the last week of August. At that time, there were businesses closed just because business was slow. But not yet closed for the season. We travelled all through September around Ontario and did not have much problem with places being closed (other than Covid failures). Most of the small towns have places open to support the locals. I am not sure about travelling with dogs and would make sure you are checking the hotels before you go. I hope you do get to explore more of the province. Check out the blog for a bunch of our other trips. Linda

  21. I’m so glad the COVID safety measures are being followed and enforced along your journey. This road trip looks AWESOME! I would add Tobermory to it so I can see Bruce Peninsula NP!!

    • Chelsea, We too are sorry we missed Tobermory on this trip. We should have planned an overnight stay and then we would have had more time. Next time. Hope you get to visit this part of Ontario one day. It was a great adventure. Linda

  22. Georgian Bay is beautiful. This is the perfect day outing from Toronto for sure. We’re a bit further away in Ottawa and looking for a cottage nearby but locations around Georgian Bay keep cropping up. Wish it was closer! I’d love to spend some time near Wasaga beach.

    • Joanne, We enjoyed checking out this area. We did a lot so small street wandering and looked at cottages. And I must admit, wished we owned property outside of Toronto. We are loving our explorations around Ontario this year. Normally we are out of the country in the fall. So it has been great to see the province in the summer and fall. Linda

  23. I’ve only been to Toronto once, and didn’t get the chance to explore some of the lovely little places like this. You’ve made it all sound very inviting and interesting. I loved reading about all of the fun art that you found too – it’s so lovely to see places brightened up with artwork like this isn’t it?

    • Coralie, So many people don’t get out of the city. And there really is so much to explore around Toronto. We have loved discovering more about our home province. Good food and fun art has been a fun discovery. Hope you come back one day. Linda

  24. Wow, I am not familiar with this side or area of Canada, but it looks beautiful! Any place with lakes & beaches is good with me so a stop at Wasaga Beach & exploring the street art would be kind of day!

  25. What a beautiful area! The Great Lakes have so much to offer and I’ve really tended to overlook it as a destination, but your posts featuring it are really putting it on the map for me! Georgian Bay is not an area I’ve heard or read about before but all these quaint small towns along the water with all these murals look perfect for a day trip. It’s also fascinating to read about how different areas of the world are taking precautions regarding the pandemic. Some travel bloggers are choosing not to talk about it, which is fine, but I think those who document it will have something really fascinating and important to look back on down the line.

    • Kevin, So many people are questioning about getting out at all. We are being uber safe and are looking for places that are following the Covid requirements. I have had lots of follow up email from people wanting more details. And most people are wanting to see how people are starting to travel. Local travel has been great to get us out of our small Toronto condo. And soon the weather or increasing numbers will keep us trapped again. So glad there is much to explore in our own backyard. Hope you get to visit one day. Linda

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