Things To Do Solo In Grand Bend-That Aren’t The Beach

The term “beach town” obviously indicates that there is a beach in close proximity and is forgone conclusion that the only activity found at a beach destination is the beach. It is definitely true that the beach at Grand Bend, Ontario is the main attraction, and for good reason, but during the Summer, and even when the beach weather is a thing of the past, Grand Bend offers so much more for the solo traveller than just the beach.

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You love to be surrounded by the excitement and party atmosphere that you will inevitably find in a beach town, but you travel solo and you really don’t like to swim that much. Does this sound familiar? As a forever solo traveller and beach lover, I’m here to tell you that you can still experience the beach vibe of Grand Bend, even when you go alone. There is so much more to this Ontario beach town than just the beach (although it’s pretty great).

Where is Grand Bend, Ontario (and a little bit of history)

Grand Bend is a small community along the shores of Lake Huron in southwestern Ontario. It’s situated on the traditional territory of Attawandaron and Ojibwe/Chippewa First Nations.

Ownership of Ipperwash Provincial Park, located 24 km from Grand Bend has been returned to its Indigenous owners, the people of Kettle and Stony Point.

Read Next: the most popular Ontario beach towns

How to Get to Grand Bend, Ontario

It is true that everyone who lives in Southern Ontario knows how to get to Grand Bend, as it’s one of the most popular beach towns in this part of Ontario. People visiting Ontario would definitely be missing out if they didn’t visit this popular, vibrant summer-time Ontario destination.

From Toronto:

Driving to Grand Bend from Toronto is 220 km. (2 hr. 57 min) by taking 401 West. While you can travel to Grand Bend from Toronto as a day trip, I wouldn’t recommend it. Check out hotels and places to stay further down in this post.

Driving directions from Toronto to Grand Bend, Ontario
Toronto to Grand Bend, Ontario

From London

Grand Bend is a popular beach destination for people living in London, Ontario and it is an easy 67 km (56 min) drive and can easily be taken as a short road trip just for the day.

Driving directions from London to Grand Bend, Ontario
London to Grand Bend, Ontario

From Kitchener

Kitchener is another city that is fairly close to Grand Bend, being 121 km (1 hr 31 min). Depending how much you love to drive, Grand Bend can also be taken as a day trip, but if you want to participate in many of the activities, you might want to consider spending the night.

Driving directions from Kitchener to Grand Bend, Ontario
Kitchener to Grand Bend, Ontario

From Windsor

If you are travelling to Grand Bend from Windsor, you definitely will want to consider spending the night, as it is 227.6 km (2 hr. 29 min) drive.

Driving directions from Windsor to Grand Bend, Ontario
Windsor to Grand Bend, Ontario

From Sarnia

Sarnia is only 76.1 km (57 min) drive to Grand Bend, and it’s the closest border to this beach town, making Grand Bend a popular beach destination for Americans to visit.

Driving directions from Sarnia to Grand Bend, Ontario
Sarnia, Ontario

Things to Do in Grand Bend for the Solo Traveller (that are not the beach)

Stroll Main Street

Stroll the street where the action is and browse the unique shops of Grand Bend’s Main Street, also fondly referred to by the locals as “the strip”.

JUST ONE TIP: If you will be hiking by yourself, don’t forget to read Safety Tips For The Solo Hiker before hitting the trail.

Pinery Provincial Park

9526 Lakeshore Road RR2, Grand Bend

The Pinery Provincial Park is the ultimate place to spend time for the adventurous solo traveller. There are enough trails and activities to keep you entertained for the entire day.

  • hike one (or all) of the 10 hiking trails
  • rent kayaks, canoes, hydro-bike or paddleboard
  • cross country skiing and snowshoeing
  • summer and winter camping
Hike a trail or rent a kayak is one of the many things to do in Grand Bend (other than swim) when your by yourself
Rent kayaks and paddleboards at the Pinery Provincial Park

Rock Glen Falls

8680 Rock Glen Road, Arkona, Ontario

Visit Rock Glen Falls and chase one of southwestern Ontario’s only waterfalls.

Grand Bend Rotary Nature Trail

Walk or bike the Grand Bend Rotary Nature Trail, a 9 km hiking/biking trail which extends from Grand Bend to the Pinery Provincial Park.

Walk the Grand Bend Pier to the Lighthouse

The Grand Bend pier and lighthouse can be found at the end of the main beach area and it’s the ideal spot to watch the sun as it sets over Lake Huron.


Play a 9 hole round of golf at the Oakwood Resort or Sand Hills Golf Club

Play a solo round of gold at the Oakwood Inn in Grand Bend
Play a round of golf at the Oakwood Inn

Fun Things to do in Grand Bend for the Solo Traveller

You’re now exhausted from a day of hiking and you’re looking for some excitement and fun things to do in Grand Bend, you have a plethora of activities to choose from:

Mini-Putt Golf

72 Main Street W, Grand Bend

Play a round of mini-putt right in the middle of the action. Cool off right next door in the water sprinkler.

Pinery Antique and Flea Market

The Pinery Antique and Flea Market has to be put at the top of every solo travellers list of things to do when visiting Grand Bend. With over 200 vendors and live entertainment it would be easy to spend the entire day wandering the booths at this market.

Just One Tip: Not all vendors accept debit, so bring cash. There is an entry fee of $2.00

The Market is on open rain or shine on Sundays from May until Thanksgiving weekend.

The Pinery Antique and Flea Market is one of many things to do in Grand Bend when you're not at the beach
Search for antiques at the Pinery Antique and Flea Market in Grand Bend

Lambton Heritage Museum

10035 Museum Rd, Grand Bend

The history buff will love exploring the Collections Centre and historic buildings found at the Lambton Heritage Museum.

Huron County Playhouse

RR 1, 70689 B Line, Grand Bend, Ontario 

Attend live theatre at the Huron County Playhouse, located just minutes from Grand Bend’s strip. This theatre is also wheelchair accessible, making it the perfect activity for the solo traveller with a disability.

Grand Bend Motorplex

70292 Grand Bend Line, Grand Bend

The Grand Bend Motorplex is the perfect way for the adrenaline junkie to end her day. Get lost in the crowd as you cheer on your favourite driver.

Lakeside Spa

70671 Bluewater Hwy, Grand Bend

If you are seeking some peace and quiet and looking to relax and rejuvenate, book an appointment at the Lakeside Spa and get ready to be pampered.

When you're not at the beach, pamper yourself at the Lakeside Spa when visiting Grand Bend.
Pamper yourself at the Lakeside Spa in Grand Bend

Grand Bend Drive-In Theatre

36,752 Crediton Road, Grand Bend, Ontario

After a busy day exploring this amazing beach town, you might be looking for a quiet ending to your day. What better way to do this than by watching a movie outdoors with the cool breeze blowing off the lake blowing around you? The Starlight Drive-In Theatre in Grand Bend is open throughout the summer months.

Listen to Live Music

Sing along or dance on the beach to the sound of live music in the evenings during the summer months. You can find the live music in the main band shelter at the bottom of the “main strip” on the beach.

Listen to live music and meet new friends at the band shelter on the beach in Grand Bend
Head to the beach in Grand Bend for some live music

Watch the Sunset!

Why travel to the Caribbean to see a beautiful sunset, when the most magnificent sunset in the world is right here in Grand Bend. There’s no doubt that this is the highlight of any solo trip to Grand Bend.

Drinking in Grand Bend, Ontario

After a long, hot day exploring the sights and sounds of Grand Bend, it’s always time to cool off with a nice cold, refreshing drink. The solo traveller will have plenty of choices when this time comes.

Dark Horse Estate Winery

70665 B Line, Grand Bend, Ontario

Grand Bend is Ontario’s newest up and coming wine region and no visit to Ontario’s premier beach town is complete without a visit to Dark Horse Estate Winery. Whether you book a tour, sip on a tall glass of wine, or sample a flight, a visit to this winery needs to be on your list of things to do in Grand Bend, that aren’t the beach.

The Dark Horse Estate Winery in Grand Bend welcomes solo travellers for wine tours and wine tastings
Visit Grand Bend’s first winery, Dark Horse Estate Winery, for some wine tasting

Brewster’s Mill Brewing Co.

36 Ontario Street North, Grand Bend, Ontario

If wine isn’t your cup of tea, lounge on the patio with a cold one at Brewster’s Mill Brewing Co., Grand Bend’s only craft beer brewery.

Culture Shock Kombucha

23 Main St W, Grand Bend

Refresh yourself with a healthy alternative to beer or wine by visiting Culture Shock Kombucha for a drink created by a holistic nutritionist.

Are You Hungry Now?

There are numerous choices when it comes to filling your belly in Grand Bend, but keep in mind that this is a beach town and the restaurants tend to get busy.

The Tipsy Pelican $$

83 Main Street, Grand Bend, Ontario

The Tipsy Pelican is one of my favourite places to eat when I’m visiting Grand Bend. It offers a fun, eclectic atmosphere and some pretty good food. It’s located on “the strip” right off the beach.

The Tipsy Pelican is a great spot to eat when visiting Grand Bend on your own
The Tipsy Pelican is a fun, eclectic place to eat

F.I.N.E. Restaurant $$$

42 Ontario Street, Grand Bend, Ontario

F.I.N.E. Restaurant is a little more up-scale than most of the restaurants in Grand Bend and it’s only open on weekends. Reservations are required.

Dave’s Pub and Grill $$$

70671 Bluewater Highway, Grand Bend, Ontario

Dave’s Pub and Grill is an excellent spot to get pub food. You’ll find it at the Oakwood Inn, but welcomes the public to join them. You’ll also be entertained by live music on most weekends.

Grand Bend has some amazing restaurants.  If you can tear yourself away from the beach, check them out.
You’ll find some yummy food in Grand Bend, Ontario

Denny’s Drive-In $

86 Ontario St S, Grand Bend

Denny’s Drive-In is a Grand Bend tradition and a favourite among the locals. If you don’t like to dine alone or want to grab something on the run, then Denny’s Drive-In is the perfect place to grab a bight.

Accommodations in Grand Bend, Ontario for the Solo Traveller

The solo traveller will be happy to learn that the hotels in Grand Bend do not charge a solo supplement. When visiting Grand Bend, you will have various choices when it comes to spending the night:

Read Next: A full review of the Oakwood Inn, Grand Bend, Ontario

Accommodations in Grand Bend don't charge a solo supplement.
Rent a cottage in Cottage Country

So Many Things to do in Grand Bend for the Solo Traveller (that aren’t the beach)

As you can see, there are so many things for the solo traveller to do in Grand Bend that it’s not necessary to be a beach lover to visit this Ontario Beach Town!

Enjoy your time in Grand Bend! 🙂

Kelly xo

Travel Solo Like a Pro!


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What to Wear When Visiting Grand Bend


20 thoughts on “Things To Do Solo In Grand Bend-That Aren’t The Beach

  1. muylindatravels

    I do love the beach but it’s great to know that there are so many other things to do in Grand Bend. I love to travel solo and I also love to see & do as much as I can. Thanks so much for this helpful guide.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Josy A

    Oooh what a lovely area to explore (I mean as well as go to the beach!) I do not know much about this part of Ontario, so it is really cool to see all the hiking trails and possibility of a drive in theatre! I really love the sound of the Tipsy Pelican too! What a great name ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just One Passport

      This area of Ontario has something for everyone. It’s Ontario’s only “blue beach” which means top. The trails at the Pinery are incredible and the antique and flea market were massive! I didn’t even know it was there until last time I went. You could easily spend an entire day.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Agnes

    Grand Bend is a perfect destination for solo travelers as it offers many activities. I would like to visit Pinery Provincial Park as I love hiking and visiting Rock Glen Falls. Great tips on how to spend time in the area.

    Liked by 1 person

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