Located on the stunning shores of Lake Huron, Kincardine, Ontario has something for everyone. Famous for its picturesque shoreline, sandy beaches, and iconic lighthouse, Kincardine is a popular tourist destination, especially during the summer months. There are so many Things to do in Kincardine that are sure to please everyone.
Erin and her family have owned a Kincardine cottage near the beach for over 35 years and have grown to love the area and spend alot of time their during the summer months. Over the last 2 years they have also started renting out the cottage for a few weeks each summer so other families can enjoy Kincardine.
In the summer, beachgoers flock to Kincardine’s sandy shores and revel in a medley of festivals. Some of the best are the Kincardine Scottish Festival and Highland Games. Kincardine proudly operates the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, a colossal nuclear power facility and a vital economic driver for the community. This Scottish heritage-infused town offers much more than meets the eye. You are going to want to check it out and spend a long weekend in Kincardine this summer!
Great Things to do in Kincardine
Kincardine is a diverse and charming town, offering a mix of beachside bliss, cultural experiences, fantastic local restaurants, and outdoor adventures. From Station Beach to the Scottish Festival and Highland Games, the town has something for everyone.
Explore its vibrant downtown, enjoy local brews at Grey Matter Brewery, or delve into history at the Walker House Museum. With opportunities for surfing, hiking, and family fun, Kincardine is a fantastic destination for all.
Kincardine’s top attraction is Station Beach, a vast, sandy expanse along Lake Huron’s shores. It’s perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and even surfing. Families love the shallow, gradual waters, and there are beach volleyball courts for active visitors. They often have paddleboards available for rental on busy summer weekends as well.
My favourite part of the beach is you get to enjoy the beautiful waters of Lake Huron but get to avoid the craziness of Wasaga Beach or Sauble Beach where you pay for parking and the beach is crowded. You can visit Station Beach on the busiest holiday weekends and it still won’t feel crowded – its truly a hidden gem in Ontario.
A charming boardwalk lines the beach with informative plaques and quirky community gardens, creating a unique atmosphere. Don’t miss the iconic big blue beach chairs offering fantastic viewpoints and instagram worthy photo spots. If you follow the boardwalk to the end you will find a children’s playground for the kids to enjoy!
Station Beach provides free parking, washrooms, and a snack shack, making it an ideal destination for a day of sun, fun, and relaxation by the lake.
Discover Kincardine’s vibrant downtown on Queen Street! There are an array of unique shops, cafes, and restaurants to visit. While Queen Street undergoes a revitalization project in spring 2023, you can still explore its sidewalks. The summer of 2024 will see a brand new downtown free of construction hopefully. In the summer months, the town of Kincardine often hosts sidewalk sales and other fun kids events downtown such as the Kincardine Blues Festival and Canada Day Events.
One standout shop is Stilara, a colorful boutique showcasing creations from over 100 Canadian artisans, many hailing from Bruce, Grey, and Huron counties. They offer art, jewelry, and sustainable products.
The Loop is a trendy clothing shop with stylish and distinctive items, including Lake Huron-inspired souvenirs.
West Shore Clothing & Surf Shoppe carries beachy apparel, and book enthusiasts have choices with Condor Fine Books and Fincher’s is our favourite toy shop, offering secondhand books, souvenirs, and more. Shop local and support these businesses!
If you get hungry while shopping stop at Best Friends Bakery for cupcakes and cookies or Huron Stone Pizza for their amazing pizza or gelato.
Macpherson Park, located just across the marina from Kincardine’s main beach, is a picturesque haven. A captivating trail winds through lush gardens, offering Instagram-worthy moments. Families can enjoy the playground, tennis courts, and easy access to the beach.
While our family calls it Tiny Tot park as thats what we called it as kids, my own kids now love exploring this unique playground that has two tiers of fun. The playground has a spider web to climb, swings, pirate ship to explore, slides and much much more all located on the sandy shores of Lake Huron. There are lots of shady spots near the park for a picnic and in the summer they often have small food trucks appear for a treat.
Whether you’re seeking a tranquil garden walk, active outdoor fun, or a lakeside escape, Macpherson Park is a must-visit destination in Kincardine. There is a short boardwalk that you can stroll between the pavilion and the pier. The pavilion is often used for events such as the Pride Event in June, Canada Day in July and other summer festivals. You can also enjoy sitting in the big blue chairs on this beach as well and it is very accessible to strollers and wheelchairs as they put down the accessibly beach mat.
Davidson Centre Park and Splash Pad
The Kincardine Davidson Centre serves as the vibrant heart of the community, offering a diverse range of year-round programs and facilities. It includes an indoor pool for aquatic activities, an ice rink, an outdoor track, a skateboard park, playground, multiple gyms, and multi-function rooms available for public rentals.
Additionally, the center features a splash pad for cooling off during hot summer days. This all-inclusive facility encourages active living and fosters a sense of community in Kincardine.
Grey Matter Brewery
Kincardine’s sole brewery, Grey Matter Brewing Company, is centrally situated on Queen Street. They offer a selection of four core brews available year-round, complemented by a rotating array of seasonal beers, including black IPAs, seltzers, and sours. Grey Matter Brewing sells beer on tap, by the can and even by the growler.
For a unique experience, visit on Thursdays to explore the grey matter beer company “brew lab,” where they unveil a limited-edition beer each week featuring specialty ingredients. Craft beer enthusiasts should mark their calendars for the 4:00 pm release time to ensure they get a taste of these exclusive creations.
Grey Matter is a great place to enjoy the patio on a sunny day, or head inside on a rainy day to enjoy corn hole or play one of the games in their board game library.
Lighthouse Tours and Museum
Constructed in 1880, a visit to the Kincardine Lighthouse ranks among the top attractions in Kincardine. Perched on the banks of the Penetangore River, this iconic structure crowns a two-story keeper’s house and offers stunning views of the marina. Accessible via the River Trail staircase, the lighthouse soars to a height of 74 feet with an intriguing eight-sided design.
Since 1922, it has been powered by electricity, boasting a remarkable 30 km range. Notably, a red balcony encircles the light, serving as the stage for the Phantom Piper’s mesmerizing performances every Saturday evening in July and August. Not to mention, it’s the sole downtown-core lighthouse along the Bruce Coast. Moreover, the lighthouse hosts a captivating museum, staffed by knowledgeable individuals who eagerly share insights into its rich history and the dedicated keepers who tended to it over the years.
Kincardine Centre for Arts
The former town hall has undergone a remarkable transformation, emerging as the Kincardine Centre for the Arts. Within its walls, a vibrant mix of artistic endeavors awaits exploration. Here, you can discover the Victoria Park Gallery, the Scougall Gallery, and the Wood Turners Guild, alongside seasonal highlights like the Bluewater Supper Playhouse and Kincardine Theatre Guild.
Whether you’re captivated by the performing arts or find solace in the world of visual creativity, this space seamlessly blends the old with the new, making it a must-visit for art enthusiasts of all tastes.
Walker House Museum
Just a stone’s throw away from the Lighthouse stands the Walker House Museum, an architectural treasure dating back to 1850 and proudly holding the title of the oldest wooden hotel in Bruce County. Originally erected by the pioneering entrepreneur, Francis “Paddy” Walker, it served as both a hotel and tavern for over a century, witnessing the passage of time and history.
Notably, the Walker House holds the distinction of being the oldest standing structure in Kincardine. Today, this historic edifice has been transformed into a local museum, welcoming visitors during the summer season. Within its walls, you can delve into the rich history of Kincardine and Bruce County, occasionally guided by informative tours.
Furthermore, the Walker House Museum conceals one of Kincardine’s best-kept secrets known as the Industry Room. This seasonal bar exudes a prohibition-era charm, offering an enticing selection of creative cocktails and wines, making it a hidden gem well worth discovering.
Surfing and Kite Surfing
Did you know that Kincardine is a top Canadian surfing destination? Station Beach has been recognized by Surfer Today as one of the prime surf spots in Ontario. If you’re on the lookout for thrilling activities in Kincardine, catching some waves should be on your list. On a windy day head to the beach to enjoy the show of wind surfers.
With over 17 km of shoreline, Kincardine offers ideal conditions for surfers, thanks to its consistent wind swells on Lake Huron. For those without their own gear, local businesses, such as SurfSup Eco Shop, provide surfboard and wetsuit rentals, along with valuable lessons for those looking to ride the waves. It’s a fantastic opportunity to experience the thrill of surfing on Lake Huron’s shores.
Walking Tours and Murals
Whether you have a passion for history or simply seek cost-free activities in Kincardine, the town offers an array of captivating self-guided historic walking tours. With over half a dozen options to choose from, each tour delves into the area’s rich history, highlighting specific locations and sharing stories of the people who have shaped the town’s identity.
What sets these tours apart is their accessibility; online versions come complete with sound clips, making for a more engaging experience that doesn’t require extensive reading. The tours are conveniently divided into sections, allowing you to explore them at your own pace. You can opt for a leisurely one or two tours in a day, or embark on an epic adventure by tackling them all in succession.
If you prefer a tangible guide, paper brochures of the walking tours are available at the Kincardine Tourism Welcome Centre, conveniently located within the Kincardine Centre for the Arts.
Kincardine Scottish Parade
Kincardine proudly wears its Scottish heritage, earning the distinction of being Ontario’s most Scottish town. For over two decades, Kincardine has played host to the renowned Kincardine Scottish Festival & Highland Games, a distinguished event held annually in July that draws visitors from far and wide. The Scottish Pipe Band also holds a weekly parade every Saturday evening at 7PM from Victoria Park to Quinn Plaza and then hosts a concert at the end in Victoria Park – all of the town gather to enjoy the tunes.
This vibrant, three-day festival offers a diverse array of activities that pay homage to all things Scottish. Attendees can immerse themselves in cultural workshops, savor live entertainment, and marvel at the captivating performances of Highland dancers.
A highlight of the festival is the iconic Kincardine Scottish Pipe Band parade, a spectacular procession that embodies the spirit of Scotland. In addition, Scottish pipe bands journey from various corners of Canada and the United States to join in the festivities.
The Kincardine Scottish Festival & Highland Games provides a unique opportunity to savor a taste of Scotland right in the heart of Ontario, making it an unforgettable experience for all who attend.
Get Ice Cream
In Kincardine, you’ll find a variety of ice cream options to satisfy your cravings. Quinn Plaza hosts an ice cream shop featuring Chapman’s ice cream, known for its local appeal and diverse flavors (this is our favourite place to get ice cream – its very affordable and deliscious). I recommend trying Granny’s Cupboard but by kids would suggest Superhero or Unicorn Toots. Rollz Icecream, located in New Orleans Pizza, offers a unique twist with rolled ice cream. For those seeking familiar favorites, Dairy Queen and McDonald’s are also conveniently located in town. Whether you’re in the mood for traditional or innovative ice cream, Kincardine has you covered.
Hike Kincardine Trails
Kincardine boasts an extensive network of trails, each marked by its own distinct color. These five colored trails – red, pink, yellow, green, and blue – wind their way through the town, each offering a unique experience.
The Red Trail, also known as the River Trail, is a particular favorite among hikers, while the Pink Trail takes you along the picturesque lakeshore. What’s great is that they all connect to one another at various points, providing a diverse range of outdoor exploration opportunities.
Spot the Erie Belle
Within the waters of the Great Lakes lie numerous shipwrecks, and off the shores of Kincardine, a historical maritime relic can still be glimpsed. Back in 1883, the steamship known as the Erie Belle suffered a devastating explosion, leading to its sinking just south of Station Beach.
Today, a portion of the shipwreck remains visible, with parts of it still protruding above the water’s surface, offering a captivating glimpse into the past. Stroll along the beach to find the Erie Belle – depending on the year it may be partially under water.
For an enjoyable family-friendly experience in Kincardine, make your way to Family Funland. Situated just a short drive south of downtown, this amusement park offers a wide range of entertaining activities for all ages.
You can tee off on the mini-golf course, race around the go-kart track, test your skills in the arcades, and practice your swing at the driving range. And when it’s time to refuel for more fun, their snack bar has you covered with a menu featuring everything from burgers to delicious ice cream treats. It’s a perfect destination for a day of wholesome family entertainment.
Inverhuron Provincial Park and Macgregor Point Provincial Park
Situated on the shores of Lake Huron, Iverhuron offers a tranquil escape with its sandy beaches, hiking trails, and rich natural heritage. Birdwatching and water activities are popular here.
Meanwhile, Macgregor Point, located along the Lake Huron shoreline, is celebrated for its diverse ecosystems and abundant wildlife. It’s a paradise for nature lovers, featuring wetlands, woodlands, and a stunning coastline. Visitors can enjoy hiking, birding, and year-round camping at both parks. With their breathtaking natural beauty and recreational opportunities, these parks provide an ideal setting for outdoor enthusiasts to connect with nature. Check out Winter Camping at MacGregor Point Provincial Park.
Stoney Island Conservation
Just 5 minutes north of downtown lies Stoney Island Conservation Area, covering nearly 100 acres with over 6 km of scenic trails. Along Lake Huron’s shores, the Shore Trail offers a beautiful lake lookout.
The short trails make it easy to explore the entire area, featuring charming footbridges over winding creeks.
Birdwatching is a hit from spring to fall, and in winter, groomed trails attract cross-country skiers and snowshoers. Stoney Island Conservation Area is a year-round hotspot for outdoor enthusiasts.
Bervie Zoological Park, a long-standing treasure in Kincardine, stands out as a privately-run, family-owned gem. This unique establishment has been a labor of love for the Geddes family, who have dedicated themselves to the world of exotic animals for over three decades. Their commitment has gone beyond the typical boundaries of a zoo; they’ve become ambassadors for animal education and welfare, enriching the community’s understanding of a diverse array of species.
Visitors to Bervie Zoological Park are in for a treat, as they can encounter more than 40 different animal species, ranging from the majestically large to the delightfully small. This immersive experience not only allows you to observe and appreciate the animals but also fosters a sense of connection and empathy for the importance of animal care and conservation.
The zoo’s rich history, coupled with the passion and dedication of the Geddes family, makes Bervie Zoological Park a must-visit destination in Kincardine. It’s a place where fun and learning seamlessly come together, offering an opportunity to engage with the fascinating world of exotic animals while supporting a family’s lifelong mission to promote wildlife awareness and conservation.
Now Playing Family Centre
Now Playing Family Centre in Kincardine is your go-to destination for indoor fun, especially on those rainy days. This vibrant play center offers a world of excitement for kids with play structures, a ball pit, and much more. It’s the ideal place for children to unleash their energy and creativity while providing a safe and enjoyable environment for parents. Now Playing Family Centre ensures that every day is a great day for play in Kincardine.
Mill Creek Chocolates
Mill Creek Chocolates in Kincardine is a delectable haven for chocolate lovers. This charming chocolate shop boasts a mouthwatering array of handcrafted chocolates and sweet confections. With a rich selection of truffles, pralines, and other irresistible treats, it’s the perfect place to satisfy your sweet cravings. Whether you’re seeking a delightful gift or a personal indulgence, Mill Creek Chocolates is a must-visit destination for those with a passion for all things chocolate.\
shores of Kincardine at sunset, except for Saturday evenings when the Kincardine Scottish Pipe Band Parade takes place. Pipe Band members rotate their performances from the Kincardine Lighthouse’s summit or front steps, paying tribute to the memory of Donald Sinclair, an early Kincardine Piper. This cherished tale has been handed down through generations, carried on by word of mouth.
Kincardine Cruises offers a unique and unforgettable experience along the beautiful shores of Lake Huron. With a variety of cruise options, it’s the perfect way to explore Kincardine’s stunning coastline, including the opportunity to spot the iconic Kincardine Lighthouse from the water. Whether you’re in the mood for a leisurely scenic tour or a romantic sunset cruise, Kincardine Cruises provides a memorable journey on the serene waters of Lake Huron.
Kincardine Golf Club and Ainsdale Golf Club
Offering a scenic 9-hole course that winds through lush green fairways, Kincardine Golf Club offers stunning views of Lake Huron. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a challenging round while taking in the natural beauty of the region.
On the other hand, Ainsdale Golf Club boasts a meticulously maintained 18-hole course that combines the beauty of nature with an engaging golfing experience. Both clubs offer welcoming atmospheres, making them ideal for both avid golfers and those looking to enjoy a leisurely round. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner, Kincardine has something to offer every golf enthusiast.
- Erie Belle Restaurant
- Huron Stone Pizza
- The Bruce
- The Tusk
- Watercress Bistro
- Best Friends Bakery
- Hogs Breath Saloon
- Jeans Family Restaurant
- Kin Social
- Godfather Pizza
- Beans Bistro
- Sushi Won
For more details Checkout our Guide to the Best Restaurants in Kincardine – Coming Soon!
- Southampton: Approximately a 15-minute drive from Kincardine. Known for its beautiful sandy beach and charming downtown area.
- Sauble Beach: About 40 minutes by car from Kincardine. Famous for its long sandy beach, great for swimming and sunbathing.
- Goderich: Around a 45-minute drive from Kincardine. Known for its picturesque port and historic square, offering a glimpse into Ontario’s maritime heritage.
- Port Elgin: Approximately a 30-minute drive from Kincardine. Features lovely beaches and a welcoming atmosphere, perfect for a day trip or a weekend getaway.
- Finchers – Toy Store
- West Shore Clothing & Surf Shoppe – Beach wear and swimsuits
- Condor Books – Used Bookstore
Is There Free Parking in Kincardine?
Yes! Kincardine makes life easy for visitors and residents alike with abundant free parking throughout the town. Whether you’re exploring the vibrant downtown, enjoying the scenic beauty of the shoreline, or delving into local attractions, worry-free parking ensures you can focus on the experience rather than the logistics. Kincardine’s commitment to accessibility and convenience is just one more reason to love this charming lakeside community.
How Long Should I Plan to Visit Kincardine?
The ideal duration of your visit to Kincardine largely depends on your interests and the experiences you wish to have. For a brief but delightful introduction to the town’s charm, a day trip can be perfect. You can explore key attractions, enjoy a meal, and even relax at the beach in just one day.
However, if you seek a more immersive experience, consider dedicating a few days to Kincardine. This provides ample time to fully engage with the local culture, savor outdoor activities, explore the numerous parks, dine at a variety of restaurants, and appreciate the town’s serene atmosphere. A multi-day visit allows for a deeper exploration of Kincardine’s unique attractions and the opportunity to fully enjoy its tranquil lakeside setting.
Hotels in Kincardine
- Inn at the Harbour: Located downtown with picturesque views of the water, the Inn at the Harbour offers a prime location for guests seeking a waterfront experience.
- Best Western: A well-known hotel offering comfortable accommodations with modern amenities.
- Kincardine Guest Cottages: A charming and cozy option for those looking for a relaxing stay.
- Sutton Park Inn: Known for its warm hospitality and convenient location.
- Lakeview Motel: Offers both motel rooms and is open year-round.
Check out Kincardine Cottage Rentals near the beach for an especially cozy experience.
Kincardine, with its notable tourist attractions, is a gem in the heart of Southwestern Ontario. Whether you’re basking in the sun at Station Beach, exploring historic landmarks, or enjoying the local arts scene, the town offers a wealth of experiences. Don’t forget to take in the spectacular views along the lakeshore. Kincardine is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking both adventure and tranquility.
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