Hamilton is a Canadian port city on the western tip of Lake Ontario on the eastern end of the Niagara Peninsula. This port city is known for its industrial heritage. It gives a unique urban feeling, a vibrant arts scene, and a bustling downtown. It offers incredible access to nature trails, parks, museums, waterfalls, art galleries, and restaurants, including a shopping experience.
Ready to explore Hamilton? Get the most out of your Hamilton vacation by visiting these creative sights.
In Canada, you won't find a more authentic Regency-style manor house than Dundurn Castle, built-in 1835. Its most striking feature is its stunning Neoclassical design, particularly the four massive pillars at the entrance. Around 1900, Hamilton bought the building and carefully restored it to its original appearance. Visits include viewing original décor and furnishings and hearing the well-informed costumed guides share informative anecdotes and stories about the past. The grounds of the building are just as attractive as the interior. The stunning folly, a two-acre kitchen garden (still in use), and the old coach house (turned into a shop) are all spotted along the way. Tours of the gardens are also available for free.
A devoted hiker's dream is to walk the entire 890-kilometer Bruce Trail. Located on Lake Huron, it extends up to Georgian Bay on the north shore of Niagara Falls. Thanks to this epic hiking trail's manageable length, you can break it up into bite-size adventures that are perfect for those of us who are not hiking experts. The Niagara Escarpment is one of the prettiest sections of this northern trail. Hamilton is the ideal jumping-off point, as it is situated along the Niagara Escarpment, a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. There are some spectacular waterfalls along the way, including Canterbury Falls. A short walk from downtown Hamilton along the Bruce Trail brings you to the Dundas Valley Conservation Area, where the falls are located. Check out #5 for more great Hamilton waterfalls.
HMCS Haida is another waterfront tourist attraction to consider for a Hamilton vacation. Named Canada's "fightingest ship" for sinking the most enemy tonnage in World War 2, HMCS Haida is another waterfront attraction worth visiting. From her berth at Pier 9, this historic destroyer can easily be accessed from Newcastle-upon-Tyne in Britain. This warship was launched in 1943. This museum ship is a well-preserved national historic site that children and adults can enjoy exploring together. An exciting view of the ship's crew of over 250 men includes the often "tight" sleeping and eating quarters, plus the engine room, bridge, and officer's quarters. It's also a great place to try your hand at Morse code and use a vintage submarine search device to find spies. Tours last approximately one hour and are informative. The ship's deck guns are sometimes even fired on special occasions.
Located at the western end of Hamilton Harbor, Hamilton's Bayfront Park is the city's premier recreational area. One of the city's most attractive green spaces was transformed from a former landfill into a center of urban revitalization. There are level trails connecting the area to Pier 4 Park (and further if you take the Waterfront Trail), and a lovely network of green space surrounds it. In addition to the natural fish habitat, the 1,800 meters of shoreline feature a sandy beach that's great for kids and a boat launch (plus a marina). Ensure your fishing license is current since there is also good fishing here. If you visit during the summer, be sure to check out the city's events calendar for information about the many concerts and festivals.
Hamilton is Ontario’s port city with “The City of Waterfalls.” It is home to over 100 impressive waterfalls. Most of the waterfalls wind through the Niagara Escarpment. Don’t forget to explore these top 10 waterfalls when you’re on the port – Borer’s Falls, Albion Falls, Tews Falls, Buttermilk Falls, Sherman Falls, Tiffany Falls, Great Falls, Devil’s Punchbowl Falls, Webster’s Falls, and Chedoke Falls. The trails leading to other Hamilton waterfalls are well-marked.
There is no better time to travel to the city than when it is in its coziest, middle of the year.