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.
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).
THINGS TO DO IN GRAND BEND ONTARIO AS A SOLO TRAVELLER (THAT AREN’T THE BEACH)
- Where is Grand Bend
- How to Get to Grand Bend
- Things to Do (not the beach)
- Wander the Strip
- Pinery Provincial Park
- Rock Glen Falls
- Grand Bend Rotary Nature Trail
- Walk the Pier to the Lighthouse
- Play a Round of Golf
- Fun Things to do in Grand Bend for the Solo Traveller
- Mini Golf
- Pinery Antique and Flea Market
- Lambton Heritage Museum
- Huron County Playhouse
- Grand Bend Motorplex
- Lakeside Spa
- Grand Bend Drive-In Theatre
- Listen to Live Music
- Watch the Sun go Down
- Drinking in Grand Bend
- Are You Hungry Now?
- Accommodations for the Solo Traveller
- So Many Things to do that Aren’t the Beach
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Rock Glen Falls
8680 Rock Glen Road, Arkona, Ontario
Visit Rock Glen Falls and chase one of southwestern Ontario’s only waterfalls.
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.
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:
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.
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 history buff will love exploring the Collections Centre and historic buildings found at the Lambton Heritage Museum.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 my that this is a beach town and the restaurants tend to get busy.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Oakwood Inn $$$$ (more upscale with a ton of amenities)
- Bonnie Doone Manor $$$$ (yards from the beach, pet friendly)
- Colonial Hotel $$$$ (on the “strip”)
- Whispering Pines Motel $$ (outdoor pool and play area)
- Grand Bend Cottage Rentals $ – $$$$
- Pinery Provincial Park $ (camping and yurts)
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! 🙂
What to Wear When Visiting Grand Bend
SAVE TO VISIT GRAND BEND, ONTARIO