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5 Reasons to Visit the Unique Beach Town Kincardine, Ontario

I like to share travel experiences and enjoy exploring new places for food and drink, hotels and sights.

Kincardine Sunset make waves of bright colors.

Kincardine Sunset make waves of bright colors.

A Pretty Beach Town on the Shores of Lake Huron

Kincardine is a picturesque small town that has become one of my favorites to visit, and I look forward to exploring more. It is one of many beach towns located within a couple of hours of where I live in Guelph, Ontario. It is a unique destination with an interesting history and, on my recent visits, offered a tranquil, less crowded vibe.

But this is also a town with renowned lively festivals, including the Scottish Festival & Highland Games, celebrating the town's Scottish influence and roots. This three-day festival takes place every July. I look forward to going back, checking out and enjoying the live music, and experiencing the culture. While I haven't been to any festivals there yet, I have had some wonderful, quieter moments in Kincardine and would like to share five of my favorites.

1. Sensational Sunsets

Kincardine offers sensational sunset views in multiple vibrant colors that entice the senses and draw you in. There are obviously many places to see a beautiful sunset, but this town offers one of my favorites. Just a short walk from the main street, you can stand at the bridge with other admirers, with the lighthouse view complementing the sunset experience. Especially after a couple of hours of rain, I felt extra appreciative for being able to experience this sunset and feel the perfect warm temperature, a gentle breeze, and the clear skies of an August night.

Kincardine Lighthouse

Kincardine Lighthouse

2. Kincardine Lighthouse and Museum

The pretty red and white lighthouse that brightens the landscape of Kincardine was built in 1880 (for the fishing and salt shipping industry) and is located steps from downtown. As I gazed up at the captivating building, I fondly recalled climbing the 69 steps to the top and enjoying the tidbits of history and details of this landmark on a previous tour.

On this visit, I simply admired the view and especially enjoyed the sounds of the Phantom Piper playing beautiful Scottish music on the steps of the lighthouse at dusk. This delightfully unique Ontario experience occurs almost nightly in July and August. It was the perfect night to take in the spirited but tranquil melody.

Kincardine Boardwalk

Kincardine Boardwalk

3. Kincardine Boardwalk and Harbour

I love exploring boardwalks, and the one in Kincardine is a lovely and easy stroll that feels tranquil and cozy, with smooth sand dunes and inviting planted gardens along the way. It is a great addition to spending time at Station Beach. Another highlight of Kincardine is walking along the wide pier by the harbour.

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This time the water had a misty and mysterious hue and was close to perfectly calm after the rain. It was truly a mindful moment worth remembering. On a Sunday night in late August, only a few people were around to distract from a pure connection with the lake's beauty. There are plenty of other places nearby to enjoy these Lake Huron views, including Inverhuron Beach, just a short drive away.

Fish Tacos at the Bruce

Fish Tacos at the Bruce

4. Great Dining With (or Without) a View

Any visit to Kincardine is not complete without a stop at The Bruce. While their lakeside patio dining is ideal, indoors still offers a great experience, and as the patio was not open, inside was our only option.

This is a large restaurant with a great bar ideal for watching sports, as well as comfortable seating and a good atmosphere for all. I thoroughly enjoyed my fish tacos (and my friend her Yorkshire Pies) and the friendly, efficient service. Another highlight included posters on some of the Blues music shows that have taken place there over the years.

There are several other restaurants I look forward to trying, including the intriguing looking The Tusk, which offers a great menu in a historic building a short stroll from the Harbour. Kincardine is a great place to dine.

Architecture of Downtown Kincardine

Architecture of Downtown Kincardine

5. Strolling the Charming Downtown and Victoria Park

Kincardine has a very pleasant downtown that is easy to navigate. It offers interesting shops, a farmers marketplace (Mondays) in Victoria park, great coffee (check out the Daily Grind), and one of those old school Dairy Queens I like to see. The Queen's Lookout (for another great water view) is here as well. The historic buildings in this beach town steeped in Scottish heritage are eye-catching, especially when you can get a peek of the lake in the near distance.

By the Water

By the Water

While there is plenty more to do in Kincardine and the surrounding area, I wanted to share my experiences of the five things that stood out to me during my recent overnight stay there (with a couple of past memories too).

In the future, I definitely will add the Scottish Highland Games and Inverhuron Beach to my list. They look like fun experiences to expand my enjoyment of the area. I also plan on taking an extra night or two to relax, stroll downtown, take in those sunsets, and bask in this Bruce County beach town I am lucky to have less than a two-hour drive from my home.

© 2022 Nella DiCarlo

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