Discover Burlington Ontario

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Roadtrip Burlington: How to Experience (almost) Everything Outdoorsy & Awesome – Day 2

by Guest Writer

After spending a fun-filled Day 1 on my Burlington Roadtrip with some kayaking, fresh farm goodies and mountain biking, I was excited to take on another day of #BurlON awesomeness!

And because I got a good night’s rest in a yurt vs. a tent (no campsite or tent teardown in the morning required! :-), I was ready to hit the road as soon as the yurt windows were rolled up! Oh but first, let me take an energetic, yurt-selfie with my friend who came by to visit me!

Roadtrip Burlington - Bronte Creek

Photo credit: @YaelThibus

And so, I said goodbye to Bronte Creek Provincial Park and headed over to Burlington. My first stop was the Burlington’s Visitor Centre parking because did you know that Burlington has free parking in all municipal parking lots during the weekends! Yes! This makes roadtrip-life so much easier when you know you’ve got free parking waiting for you right in the heart of the city!

And since Burlington is a bike-friendly community, I decided to do Day 2 by bike since cycling is one of my favourite ways to explore a city. Especially since the scenic Waterfront Trail runs right through it!

So after parking and whipping out the wheels, I rode over to Foot Tools for an early morning outdoor urban fitness class because even on vacation, I like to fit in a run or workout to start my day!

Roadtrip Burlington - Foot Tools

Roadtrip Burlington - Foot Tools Roadtrip Burlington - Foot tools

Participants jogged over to a nearby track where they were in for a fun, boot-camp style, outdoor workout!

My next stop was to do my most favourite summer activity! Can you guess what it is?

Here’s a hint:

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…it involves water!
(Burlington waterfront, you’re gorgeous by the way 🙂

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If you follow me on Instagram or on Twitter, you’re probably sick of seeing these kinds of photos because I’m always on the water doing this:

DCIM100GOPRO

It’s stand-up paddleboarding!

Stand-up paddleboarding, also known as SUP, is not only my most FAVE summer activity, but I LOVE seeing the city from the water! Especially during sunrise or sunset!

DCIM100GOPRO

I rented by SUP board from Burlington Beach Rentals which is conveniently located right on the beach.

In addition to SUP boards, they’ve also got all sorts of other fun water toys like pedal boats. And if you’re looking to just have a lounging-around-the-beach kind of day, they’ve also got reservable “beach spots” with cute little umbrellas so you don’t have to worry about securing a nice spot on the beach!

Roadtrip Burlington - Burlington Beach

I also liked that they had lockers for stashing your stuff while you’re out on the lake.

After a refreshing paddle out on the lake, I rode my bike back up to Lakeshore Road and took the Waterfront Trail via North Shore Blvd west towards my next stop…the Royal Botanical Gardens Arboretum!

Along the way, there was some pretty scenic spots right along the lake…

Roadtrip Burlington - Waterfront Trail

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After cycling past the QEW, the bike path takes you through a nice residential area.

Roadtrip Burlington - cycling

Roadtrip Burlington - LaSalle park

Since I’m more of a mountain biker than a road cyclist, I took this path through La Salle Park instead of the road 🙂

Oh and just a heads up – there are several hills along this route (mostly downhill when you’re heading out west)! Don’t forget to bring water with you!

But, if you do get hungry (or thirsty) along this route, do not fear! An awesome hotdog stand awaits you!

Roadtrip Burlington - cycling

And not just any hotdog stand! Easterbrook’s is a local favourite and has been open since the 1940s.

Raodtrip Burlington - Easterbrooks Roadtrip Burlington - Easterbrooks

It’s got that great 1950’s diner feel and the place was just bustling with people hungry for hotdogs!

And there were so many foot-long franks to choose from!

The friendly Easterbrook’s staff suggested the Wonder Dog as it was their most popular one. Mmmm…melted cheese, bacon, fried onions and tomatoes!

Roadtrip Burlington - Easterbrooks

And if you’re into milkshakes and floats…you’ll be happy to know that they can pretty much make any kind you want!

I REALLY enjoyed my lunch to say the least 🙂

Onwards with my cycling journey!

I continued west along Spring Garden Road which eventually brought me to Grindstone Creek.

Roadtrip Burlington - cycling

I took a moment to take in this beautiful nature spot.

Roadtrip Burlington - Scenic Trails

The Grindstone Marshes is part of the Hendrie Valley Trails which has 4.5 km of trails, 2 boardwalks and several scenic lookouts. There is also a canoe launch here (note to self: come back and paddle this beautiful area 🙂

Roadtrip Burlington - Scenic Trails

Roadtrip Burlington - Scenic Trails

The final stretch to the Royal Botanical Gardens included cycling up Valley Inn Road (hill alert, but hey, at least it’s scenic)…

Roadtrip Burlington - Scenic Trails

…crossing York Blvd and then riding down Old Guelph Road (prepare yourself for this hill on your way back to Burlington :-P).

Roadtrip Burlington - RBG

Yay! Made it!!!
And now, time to lock up the bike, relax and wander the tranquil park…

The Royal Botanical Garden is the largest botanical garden in Canada and “is more like an English landscape park than a garden.” I wanted to visit the RBG’s Arboretum because of the wide variety of trees and other plants you can see up close. I really liked seeing trees like this…

Roadtrip Burlington - RBG

…because they aren’t common around the city.

The fragrant scent of lilacs could be picked up almost as soon as you walked into the park and eventually led me to the Lilac Dell.

Roadtrip Burlington - RBG

Roadtrip Burlington - RBG Roadtrip Burlington - RBG

Roadtrip Burlington - RBG

The Katie Osborne Lilac Garden has over 745 plants and is one of the world’s most diverse collections. Even if you’re not into lilacs, the walk through the dell is so peaceful and relaxing, it’s definitely worth the stroll.

I also went on a guided tour which I highly recommend! I enjoyed learning lots of fascinating facts about the different plants and wildlife along the walk.

Roadtrip Burlington - RBG Roadtrip Burlington - RBg

I also liked that there weren’t a lot of paved paths around the RBG because it really gave you the feeling of wandering around “a living museum.”

After spending a relaxing afternoon in RBG, it was time to head back to Burlington! Once back in the city, it seemed like EVERYONE was out on the town! When I went to drop off my bike in the car, I asked some friendly Burlingtonians about the events going on:

The people making their way down towards the waterfront were going to Sound of Music Festival and the people in athletic wear were going to the Moon in June Run! Talk about Burlington being a city for every one! There were two big events going on the same day (some people even said they were going to both)!

It was great to see so many people out, including these kids prepping for the race!

Roadtrip Burlington - Moon in June

For dinner, it was tough deciding where to go considering the endless list of restaurants to pick from. We finally decided on The Martini House.

Roadtrip Burlington - Martini House

Here are some highlights:

Roadtrip Burlington - Martini House

Martinis of course!

Roadtrip Burlington - Martini House

The most interesting way to serve Caesar salad I’ve ever seen. Mmm!

Roadtrip Burlington - Martini House

The Ahi Tuna Twice entrée. More mmmm…!

But the BEST part had to be:

Roadtrip Burlington - Martini House

YES! This place served cotton candy as their end-of-the-night treat! I LOVE cotton candy! It always reminds me of that happy feeling of going to the Canadian National Exhibition late summer but the best part of this was that it was made fresh, served at a restaurant and summer wasn’t over yet!

But this was a nice feeling to be left with as this was the last stop of my Burlington roadtrip adventure!

Thank you to all my friends who came out to visit me during this super fun roadtrip adventure (told you Burlington is not that far from Toronto :-)!

And thank YOU for joining me on this fun #VisitBurlON trip! Here is a map of the route I cycled for Day 2.

Any suggestions for what I should check out on my next visit?
Because yes, I’ve already got a couple places in mind for my return trip 😉

See you soon Burlington!

– D!ana

Roadtrip Burlington - Diana Lee

Diana Lee enjoys outdoor adventure, being active and food (lots of all the above please!) You can find her SUP-ing anytime of the day and almost any where there is water. She is also an Oakley Womens Ambassador, a race reporter for Get Out There Magazine and a librarian (yes, a librarian :-). Find out what she’s up to on Twitter & Instagram – @only1phoenixx

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