clarington ontario

How to spend 36 hours in Clarington this fall

Clarington is the perfect place to rest and recharge if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city life. You’ll find the municipality, which is part of Durham Region, where Highway 401 hits the 115, the southern portion nestled along Lake Ontario.

Head north, and you’ll find yourself winding through many small hamlets, like Tyrone, Enniskillen and Kirby, with acres of picturesque farmland, mature trees and ambrosial streets lined with shops stocked with local goods.

More urban communities can be found in Clarington too, like Bowmanville, Courtice, and Orono.

Because of its proximity to the GTA and access to major arteries, like the 407 extension to the north, Clarington is growing, and it actually has quite a lot to offer, especially this time of year. 

Here's how you can spend 36 hours in Clarington this fall.

Getting there

You’ve got GO Transit to get there, and Durham Region Transit to get you around once you arrive, but if you want to cover the most ground, and take advantage of the breathtaking views of the countryside, you’d be better off with some wheels of your own.

Accommodation

This might seem like an odd pairing for a bed and breakfast, but Model A Acres B&B combines the charm of the farm, with planes, trains and automobiles.

Ian Baron is the man behind the models, and he will gladly show you his collection of historical replicas made from recycled materials, like old metal gates and bar stools.

In the kitchen, Luverne will whip you up some apple cinnamon pancakes or an omelette using fresh eggs, and fruits and veggies from the garden. 

Saturday
10:00 a.m. - Hunt for treasures at the Courtice Flea Market

Assuming you’ve taken advantage of the breakfast portion of your B&B, you should now have the sustenance to take on the day, and your first stop should be to the Courtice Flea Market. This massive warehouse is packed to the rafters with antique furniture, and collectibles, like toys and video games. 

12:30 p.m. - Lunch in historic downtown Bowmanville

You’ve probably worked up an appetite, so head east to Main Street in downtown Bowmanville. This strip still boasts many of the original buildings, which adds to the quaintness. Also, there are a couple of delicious options for lunch. 

Enjoy a hearty sandwich from Norm’s Delicatessen, piled high with corned beef and mustard on marble rye. Don’t sleep on the perogies, either. 

If you’re looking for a meatless option, Three-Six Kitchen and Lounge does a mean vegan mac n’ cheese. Plus, this place has a full lunch and dinner menu with a focus on sustainable and local ingredients.

2:00 p.m. - Experience art in an old mill

Visual Arts Centre is a public art gallery located in what was once a functioning mill. In fact, this building has an interesting history that goes back to 1814. At one point, the mill specialized in barley, and was operating day and night until it burned down in 1904.

It was rebuilt, but in the early 1950s, business slowed, and the mill went dark. The big red-bricked building became a drop-in centre from 1965 until 1973 when the town of Bowmanville acquired it for a buck, and turned it into a space for contemporary art and workshops.  

4:30 p.m. - Beer o’clock

Chronicle Brewing Co. keeps it exciting, with a rotating menu of small-batch beers. You can stay for a drink in their taproom, or just grab a couple of cans to take home. 

6:30 p.m. - Dinner and live music

Keep in mind that Clarington isn’t really known for its wild nightlife, but that’s okay. You came here to rest and recharge, remember? That being said, you can still get your fill of fantastic food and live entertainment Saturday nights at The Old Newcastle House

Sunday
10:00 a.m. - Sip cider at one of Canada’s oldest working mills

Tyrone Mills was built in 1846, and still operates today, manufacturing lumber and producing flour. Plus, there’s a shop with maple syrup, honey, preserves, and baked goods. You’ve got to try their apple cider doughnuts, made fresh daily. 

11:30 p.m. - How do you like them apples (or pumpkins)?

Clarington has an abundance of farms, with rows of apple trees ripe for the picking. At Archibald’s Estate and Winery, which has been operating for over 20 years, you can pick-your-own apples, and try an assortment of wines, and ciders.

If it’s pumpkins you’re after, hit up Knox Farm. The Knox Family has been farming the land since 1832, and growing big orange gourds for the past 35 years.

Pingles Farm is another one worth a visit. You can pick your own apples, or pumpkins here too, but you can also get lost in a cool corn maze. 

6:00 p.m. - Dinner at the bistro

After a day on the farm, you might want to sit down for a fancier meal at Bistro 238. The focus here is fresh and local dishes. Don’t worry if you’re not in the mood to dine-in, this restaurant also offers great grab-and-go meals. I mean, you could always take some grub back to your bed and breakfast, and catch the sunset. 

On your way home, make sure you pop into the Enniskillen General Store and grab a cone. Built in 1840, this place served as the village post office and butcher shop in the 1900s.

The family-run shop still has all the old-timey vibes, but it also offers a wide variety of locally-made goods, like candles, cards, and there is a huge selection of both hot sauce (they have over 140 different kinds) and of course, what’s a country general store without ice cream? 

Lead photo by

Kaarlym


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