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5 Must-See Attractions On Foot
Being walkable is what makes Amherstburg unique! Here are five must-see locations that will take you on an exploration of our Nation’s history.
Fort Malden National Historic Site has you experiencing what military life was like over 200 years ago. The Fort played an important role in both the War of 1812 and the Rebellion of 1837. At this site, you have the opportunity to start your day with a blast or experience lunch with an authentic soldier’s stew.
Walking in historic downtown Amherstburg, you are sure to pass the Park House Museum on Dalhousie Street. This 1700’s home was restored in 1850’s style and tells the story of a well-to-do family. Here you will find incredible tinware treasures, which are sought after by museums world-wide and by movie production companies. Perhaps you saw a few pieces on the TV series Alias Grace, by regional author Margaret Atwood.
If art peaks your interest, Amherstburg has successfully coupled it with the early industrial era of the Michigan Railroad station. Visit the Gibson Art Gallery and enjoy the showcased artwork, unique crafts for sale or just acquaint yourself with the historic train station and caboose that make this site fascinating.
Through all of Amherstburg’s history, it is most proud of its connection to the Underground Railroad. Amherstburg was the primary crossing point for those slaves seeking freedom. The Amherstburg Freedom Museum preserves our region’s Black Heritage and showcases remarkable trailblazers. Our favourite story is that of Elijah McCoy.
After exploring Amherstburg’s museums and galleries you must make time for the King’s Navy Yard Park, found in the heart of historic downtown Amherstburg. This park was once the King’s Naval Yard, where several tall ships were made on this shore of the Detroit River. Today this park is adorned with spectacular flower arrangements that only pale to the unbelievably vibrant sunsets.
For those who may be more adventurous, check out our Olde Amherstburg Ghost Tour, where you can use your smartphone to experience more than 13 unique stories and locations about Amherstburg’s history?
The Essential “Wet Your Whistle” Guide
There’s nothing like a thirst-quenching beverage after a long day of sightseeing. But we’re not talking about lemonade. The Town of Amherstburg is home to more than 7 vineyards, breweries, and distilleries that specialize in ice cold, locally made refreshments. Making sure you never get thirsty, we’ve put together a tasting guide to the Amherstburg Region!
Our brew masters and winemakers are brilliant, fun, and adventurous. They’ve set the bar high for one another and the breweries and wineries in neighbouring regions with their unique drinks. From a perfect I.P.A. to a satisfying chardonnay our independent craft beer and winery scene is gaining momentum and fans near and far. Don’t forget to buckle up your bottle on the way home!
Wine Not? Check Out these great Amherstburg Wineries!
Nothing says high class and full of culture like a glass of wine and Amherstburg is a place that can offer you just that. Not only do these places provide you with a nice glass of red or white (whatever your choosing), but they also contain a rich family heritage, tradition, and history that shouldn’t be missed.
One of the most popular wineries in Amherstburg is the famous Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery. Located at 7258 Country Road 50 West, this winery started out as the dream of Hannah and Gord Mitchell. Nestled on a 52-acre farm on the coast of Lake Erie, the winery’s picturesque views make this a hotspot for local events, parties, and wedding celebrations. The style of the vineyard replicates the beauty of Tuscany. As for the wine, Sprucewood Shores grows vines that make a variety of reds and whites – such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Merlot, having something to satisfy any taste.
Maybe you want something that’s not as grand, but quieter. If that’s the case, why not check out Sanson Estate Winery. This winery has lots for you to sample, including their Autumn Harvest Vidal, or their Rancher’s White. However, one that should be top of your list is their Bird Dog Red, which was voted best Baco Noir in Canada. If you’re looking for a bite to eat with your new favourite red, the winery offers samples of meat to pair with their wines. Stop by their location on 9238 Walker Road, and make sure to call ahead to find out their tasting hours.
Take a country drive to Vivace Estate Winery. Chances are, you will meet the young entrepreneur of Vivace Estate Winery, who invites you to experience wine-tasting at its most enjoyable in an atmosphere of casual elegance. Their VQA wines are produced in a viniculture climate, creating wines such as their Sonatina, Blanc de Blanc, Brilliante Rose, and even their Vidal Icewine. Visit their location at 5141 Concession Road 5N.
Dancing Swallows Vineyard
The latest winery to open in Amherstburg is Dancing Swallows Vineyard, located at 8704 Essex Road 9 (Howard Ave.) on a family farm that has went through many changes since the Hutchins’ first located there in 1881. Each bottle of their small batch wines feature original art of Swallows in flight. The varieties include Baco Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay, and Cabernet. A visit to this heritage farm under the large maple trees with a unique outdoor tasting lounge, a reconditioned shipping container, is an experience to remember.
Wyandotte Cemetery – The Spirit of our Indigenous Past
Amherstburg area was once the home of the Wyandotte, Huron, Neutrals, and Petuns who were dispersed by the Iroquois in the 1640’s. Some eventually reunited and settled along the Detroit River, where they became known as the Hurons of Detroit, or Wyandotte. After the fall of New France, the Wyandotte became supporters of the British during the American Revolution although many remained neutral in the War of 1812. A few names in the cemetery include, White, Warrow, Spitlog, Drouillard, Clark and Brown. A truly inspiring landmark along the Detroit River bank.
LOCATION: 968 Front Road North, Amherstburg, ON N9V 0E3
(County Road. 20 & County Road 10)
Park House Museum ~ Where Our History Lives
The Park House is a year round museum catering to the needs of visiting school children, seniors and the general public; they bring the story of Amherstburg and its people to life through programs and exhibits that are created to engage and inspire all who visit.
Built in the 1790’s at the mouth of Rouge River in Michigan, this house is rooted in a rather unusual history; during the house tour students learn of the house history and of its connection to the United States.
LOCATION: 214 Dalhousie Street, Amherstburg Ontario, N9V 1W4
CONTACT: 519-736-2511 OR email@example.com
Marsh Collection Society ~ Find Your Roots and Other Fascinating Information
A community history and genealogy centre. Researchers are invited to utilize the collection of local photos, maps, census, cemetery and church records, newspapers on microfilm, and books on Great Lakes/Detroit River history. Small gift shop carries local history publications.
LOCATION: 80 Richmond Street, Amherstburg, ON N9V 1E9
CONTACT: 519-736-9191 OR www.marshcollection.org/contact-us
NOTE: Due to Covid-19, hours of operation and access to the public may be affected. Call prior to visit.
Mary, Mary Quite Contrary how do your Hostas grow?
In Amherstburg’s Signature Hosta Garden there are currently 202 hosta varieties in this exquisitely marked and documented garden. Hundreds of varieties of hostas are available today and unique species are continually added to the King’s Navy Yard Garden from time to time.
When you are viewing the garden you will encounter some rather distinctive names. These are the actual names that the hybridizer or ‘inventor’ of that hosta has chosen for that particular plant. It is what you would call a trademark on that plant.
The American Hosta Growers Association (AHGA) established the AHGA Hosta of the Year in 1996. For the selection process of this annual contest, the AHGA Members vote for their favourite hosta plant. When you read the labels on the hostas you will notice that many of the varieties displayed in our garden today were winners in years past!
Take a stroll through this intriguing garden and you will encounter some fun and interesting names! See if you can pick out the differences between them!
Hostas are generally easy to grow. Hostas like to be well watered, but not to sit in water. Darker leaved varieties prefer shade where yellow leaved ones need more sunshine to keep their colour. Often people don’t see the differences between varieties, but when you look closely, you can notice the striping, leaf size, shape, flower colours and fragrance. Hostas are perennials, so they will come back up every spring and are easy to separate or transplant.
Be careful when you start collecting hostas …once you start it is very difficult to stop growing these beautiful perennials. Enjoy!
LOCATION: 270 Dalhousie Street, Amherstburg, ON N9V 1W7
Holiday Beach Conservation Area
Holiday Beach offers a long sandy beach on the Lake Erie shoreline, plus many other amenities. It is ideal for a day at the beach, a beautiful picnic, or a vacation getaway. Holiday Beach Conservation Area has serviced seasonal campsites, a stunning rental cottage, new showers and washrooms, large shady picnic areas, a playground, nature trails, a boardwalk, and a three-storey observation tower. It is also one of the sites at which Conservation Education Field Studies are conducted.
Holiday Beach is known as a fabulous place for canoeing, kayaking, bicycling, cross country skiing, along with birdwatching and photography.
The park is open for day use from 6am – 8pm daily, from mid-April – Thanksgiving annually. Entry is collected by a credit-card friendly automated gate.
Holiday Beach and Big Creek Conservation Areas received international recognition in 2000 as a globally significant Important Bird Area (IBA), joining BirdLife International’s global network of IBA sites. The designation is a result of the significance of the area for raptor migration and as a known breeding area for Prothonotary Warblers (a nationally endangered species).
The world-renowned Festival of Hawks takes place each September. There you can witness the migration celebration as thousands of hawks, vultures, eagles, falcons and other birds of prey concentrate in the area before heading across the Detroit River towards warmer, more southerly destinations for the winter.
LOCATION: 6952 County Rd 50, Amherstburg, Ontario N0R 1G0
CONTACT: 519-736-3772 or 1-888-487-4760
The Gordon House and Visitor Centre ~ Your Amherstburg Connection
The Gordon House and Visitor Information Center. Get everything you need to know about Amherstburg and region at this historic site! Boasting four original fireplaces and period pine floors and gorgeous balconies! Let our experienced staff assist you with area maps, brochures, wine and craft beer route recommendations and shop for unique souvenirs.
While visiting this historic home, be sure to take a peak at the Doll Exhibit, showcasing culture from around the world.
LOCATION: The Gordon House, 266 Dalhousie Street, Amherstburg, ON N9V 1W7
CONTACT: 519-730-1309 OR firstname.lastname@example.org
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