Between the sweeping views of Lake Huron, the dramatic Blue Water Bridge, the exquisite local restaurants and the thriving cultural landscape, Sarnia is a fantastic destination for a weekend getaway in Ontario. As the largest city in the lake and in Lambton County, there are plenty of things to do in Sarnia — no matter what your interests are.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned local, peruse this itinerary for an across-the-board exploration of what Sarnia has to offer.

Admire Canadian art at Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery

Nestled in the heart of downtown Sarnia’s cultural district is the Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery, a public art gallery home to over 1,100 works of Canadian historical and contemporary art. Housed in the beautiful and historic Thom Block, locally known as the Saks building, the gallery offers a variety of compelling exhibitions, tours, lectures and programs aimed to inspire creativity. 

The Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery is generally renowned for being the best space to see national treasures and pieces important to Canadian history, including signature canvases by the influential Group of Seven. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply want to get your culture fix , the Sarnia art gallery is the perfect place to journey through the city’s creative landscape.

Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery will re-open to the public on Saturday, October 32020.

Explore the Sarnia brewery scene at Refined Fool Brewing Company

Sarnia’s brewery and taproom scene is fairly sparse, with only a handful of craft brewers, but we all know the age-old saying quality over quantity.’ And anyone who’s ever spent more than five seconds in the city will tell you to add the Refined Fool Brewing Company to your list of things to do in Sarnia. Situated in downtown Sarnia, with a second location in the suburbs near Lambton Mall, the microbrewery was founded by a group of teachers, creatives, blue collars, entrepreneurs, musicians and pastors who care deeply about beer and the city.

Drop by for an ice cold pint and a bite to eat from March Hare, the snack bar conveniently located inside the brewery to satisfy all of your cravings. Whether you’re after a classic cream ale or a hazy IPA, Refined Fool Brewing Company has 16 tap lines that are always flowing, so you’ll have a variety to choose from. And if you happen to find a new favourite, you can always take a pack home with you.

Dip your feet in Lake Huron at Cantara Beach & Park

Being a short drive from downtown Sarnia, Canatara Beach & Park is appealing because it offers a bit of everything: a sandy and blissful beach, numerous walking and biking trails, picnic areas, and plenty of kid-friendly activities, including a nearby Children’s Animal Farm. Take a stroll through the forested areas, admire the clear blue water or bring a basket of delicious snacks to indulge in on one of the benches — either way, you’ll be amazed by the area’s natural beauty and peaceful nature.

The urban beach is perfect for early morning runs or evening sunset strolls, as it stretches for nearly a kilometre along the shores of Lake Huron near the mouth of the St. Clair River. Best of all, Canatara Beach has earned itself official Blue Flag status, meaning it’s managed sustainably, is accessible and inclusive for all, and is committed to actively monitoring water quality and safety.

Grab lunch (or dinner) at Bad Dog Sarnia

It could be the delicious burger combinations or the fact that it’s situated in the heart of Sarnia on Christina Street; whatever it is, Bad Dog Sarnia is a local favourite. Come here for lunch or dinner, and you’ll be greeted with an extensive food menu, ice cold beer and strong cocktails, and a very laid-back atmosphere. The interior is complete with plenty of screens for all your sports viewing and comfortable decor, so you’ll be tempted to sit here all day.

You can’t go wrong with any of the options on the menu at Bad Dog Sarnia. Share things like their simply cheesy nachos, crispy shrimp and spinach dip or order your own serving of their famous taco perogies or the classic fish and chips. But what you should really be prioritizing is their juicy burgers, and their selection of toppings that include everything from peameal bacon and onion rings to feta and bruschetta mix.

Looking to explore more of Southwestern Ontario? Add these attractions to your weekend getaway itinerary.

Choice Hotels in Southwest Ontario