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A Weekend Escape To Sarnia, What To Do In Lambton County

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Did you have a great time wine touring your way through Grand Bend? I certainly did, but Grand Bend is only the northern tip of Lambton County and there is plenty more of Ontario’s Blue Coast left to explore. For the next part of my weekend escape, I head south along Highway 7 to the town of Sarnia which is on the southernmost tip of Lake Huron on the banks of the St Clair River. Just a stone throw from Port Huron, Michigan. Home to a Blue Flag beach, 100 + parks, a microbrewery and much more. I’m ready for some adventure, let’s go.

Standing under the bridge in Sarnia looking to Port Huron Michigan

First stop is to check into the Harbourfront Inn & Suites on 505 Harbour Road. Affordable, free Wifi and a complimentary breakfast are the hallmarks of this 3-star Sarnia accommodation. While there is no view of the lake or river from this hotel the location and affordability make it a great choice. Plus the room is quite large and the decor and finishes are updated which is a nice surprise given its reasonable price.

Harbourfront Inn in Sarnia, Ontario

Next, I am off to grab a bite to eat and enjoy a pint or two. I am visiting two local hotspots in one go. First, a quick stop at Burger Rebellion food truck to place my Burger order and then a short walk to Refined Fool Brewing Co.

Refined Fool is a group of local teachers, creatives, blue collars, entrepreneurs, musicians and pastors who care about beer, business, Sarnia and each other. What started out in basements and garages has been transformed into Sarnia’s own “nano” brewery and they will let you bring in to pair with their beers. While I waited for my burger I enjoyed quite a few “samples” from the taps. The Guava Berliner Weisse was my personal favourite.

Flight of beer tasting at Refined Fool Brewing Co

As for my burger, I ordered it as a combo complete with Rebel Potato Chips. A fresh 1/4 pound burger grilled perfectly and loaded with the toppings of my choice. A perfect compliment to go with the beers. PRO TIP: Tuesdays after 4 pm get free BACON on your burgers.

Cheeseburger with chips from Birger Rebellion food truck


Up early my first stop of the morning is to grab breakfast at the famous John’s Restaurant, open since 1964 this local favourite has been serving up made from scratch fare for over 45 years. I am famished so it is the Front Street Heat Chorizo Skillet topped with John’s Famous peameal Bacon. Believe it or not, I almost finished it.

Front Street Heat Chorizo Skillet from John's Restaurant

With a full belly, I am now off to explore Sarnia’s best-known park and Blue Flag Beach at Canatara Park. It isn’t really beach weather but this also means I have the park to myself for a great walk and sightseeing.

Windy Autumn day at Cantara Beach in Sarnia

During beach season there is plenty to do here for the whole family including a petting zoo, BMX track & mini train ride. I’m happy just enjoying a walk along the waterfront and in the woods.

Fall leaves at Canatara Park, Sarnia

Believe it or not but I am hungry again so I head back into town to check out Lola’s Lounge at 110 Christina St South. Recommended by more than a few people I ordered a Thai Stir-fry bowl and enjoyed a bit of heat for lunch.

Thai stirfry at Lola's Lounge in Sarnia

Only one thing left for me to do in Sarnia and that is to check out one of the local coffee shops. Blackwater Coffee Co is the one to visit and I was not disappointed. A perfect roasted on the premise espresso with golden crema in a funky industrial/cottage country designed cafe to enjoy it in. Easily a favourite spot for me to hang out while in town.

Blackwater Coffee Co in Sarnia

My time is up in Ontario’s Southwest. It is time to head back home. I’ve loved my rest and relaxation getaway in Lambton County. It was great visiting both Grand Bend and Lambton Shores for wine and Sarnia for some good food and craft beer and just proves to me that small towns offer some of the best getaways for weekend adventurers. Until next time.

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Disclosure: General

Thanks to Ontario's Southwest & Ontario's Blue Coast for inviting and hosting me on this adventure. The views and opinions here are 100% my own.

About Author

Marc Smith is a former event planner turned vagabond adventurer. He loves strong Americano's, great wine, cold beer and zip lining over tree tops. Formerly of Vancouver, most of Marc's time when not travelling is in Canada's largest city, Toronto. Follow along on his nomad adventures and discover places to stay, things to do and where to eat & drink as he explores the world one city and region at a time.

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