Things To Do In Hamilton
Hamilton City is one of the major districts in Ontario that is blessed with stunning waterfalls and creeks situated along the Dundas Valley. First on the list is the Albion Falls, also known as the premier waterfall at Hamilton City. On July 2009, a strong storm modified the landscape of Albion Falls; the entire section was reshaped and shifted the rocks, creating a third section making the waterfall easy to access and within reach. This waterfall has a rich history and was once considered as a possible water supply source for the city of Hamilton. The Lower Mill Falls is located in the Old Dundas Road and it is active all year round. The falls are located in a residential area in Hamilton, but people are allowed to see the waterfall which is right beside a famous landmark. Tews Falls is classified as the tallest waterfall in Hamilton; its source is the Low Mills Creek.
The rock layers of this ribbon type waterfall have deposits of mud and other inorganic substances from thousands of years ago. A rich selection of wildlife can be seen around the city of waterfalls. If you want a holiday in Canada with a great appreciation for nature conservation and beautiful environment, Hamilton is the best city to explore and experience all these options.
When To Go:
The high season for tourism is mostly felt during the summer months of June to August. The short respite from the cold weather is the ideal time when most tourists explore and discover the beautiful nature parks that Hamilton is blessed with. Since these are the peak months for travel, prepare for higher rates and accommodations at least two months in advance. Most of the local festivals are also held during the summer, so expect a festive and lively atmosphere anywhere around the city.
If you want affordable holiday rates and fewer crowds, schedule your vacation during the cold winter season (December to February). Prepare thick jackets and gloves to endure the cold atmosphere. Although inn rates are much lower compared to summer, most waterfalls and creeks cannot be accessed because the icy water is frozen and not much is left to admire. Most of the activities that can be enjoyed are mostly indoors like; museum, castle and art gallery tours.
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The so called “shoulder” months like March to May, and September to November are also ideal times to plan a holiday. The average temperature, affordable hotel deals, spring and autumn festivals, with average highs that range from 40s to 60s make these months the best time to see Hamilton City.
Here are the places to see and things to do in Hamilton City:
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum
The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum is housed in a large hangar near the airport because of the many vintage aircraft that are preserved here (forty in total) were placed in conditions of flying and sometimes organizes exhibitions in flight. Among these is a Lancaster bomber of CAAF used during World War II where one of only two copies in the world is still able to fly. The museum provides an excellent visit to the heart of Canadian military aviation. Inside, you will see enthusiasts still working on the aircraft of yesteryear, and will let you go anywhere near up to the privacy of those passionate in their work.
The guides explain the military history of the Canadian Air Force and why the Dakota 2 Avro Lancaster is still in good working order. In short, this place is pure happiness for $12. Equipped with a beautiful boutique and presentation, the museum is just right next from the Hamilton International Airport. The special anniversary and air shows are usually celebrated in August. It is easy to gain entrance, so do not miss this military museum and spend one full hour to appreciate old aircrafts and a glimpse of aviation history.
African Lion Safari
It is a great safari park where you can use your own car or ride the bus through the park, and children can easily spend a day. The African Lion Safari is a large site with many activities: take a ride and the journey through the animals (lions, giraffes, monkeys, rhinos, etc.), Elephant shows, water games, etc. The site is very clean and well maintained. Children come in large numbers and delight in the experience, same thing for parents. To see everything, allow a whole day. It is a must-see attraction for families living near the southern Ontario territory.
In the afternoon, the lions and other animals are calm, no cages and fences, and troughs for animals are provided and they can roam the rest of the zoo territory even for 5 meters. If you drive your vehicle inside, it is highly recommended to close the window of the car, so that the bird's beak will not get stuck. The most fun starts with the monkeys who jump on the hood of the car, which is quite fun to hear how they're jumping, play with the antenna of the car, but not all can be seen, so seeing everything from the car is more fun, but risky. There are various animals and endemic wildlife to see; bring your camera to capture the special moments.
HMCS Haida National Historic Site
The noteworthy HMCS Haida National Historic Site is an ideal attraction in Hamilton that aims to educate everyone about the realities of war. The ship is the setting for Canadian soldiers who fought and worked hard to bring peace during World War II. The admission fee is $5 and inside there is so much to see and appreciate. Visit the Army Museum, to see the photographs of the brave military service personnel who worked on this ship during the war.
It holds an astonishing bit of history and lasting impression of their patriotism and dedication to their service. There is a military veteran who will assist you and make the visit exceptionally enlightening and educational, especially for the young generation. Despite its antiquity, the ship is well maintained, neat, and all the important facilities are still in top condition. Towards the end of the tour a small donation is required (but not mandatory) for the regular upkeep and preservation of the historical ship in Hamilton.
Waterfalls of Hamilton
No matter what or how you want to explore the waterfall, all of them are worth seeing. Good footwear, enough stamina and getting up early, are just some points that you should consider when visiting the Waterfalls of Hamilton. Mountaineering equipment can come in handy, but it’s not mandatory. A good camera with film/ memory card and battery is something you must always have when discovering one falls into another.
If you go with a guide to the trails around the creek leading to all the falls of Hamilton, they always have anecdotes and short stories to tell. The best time to see and explore it is during summer. In winter, some of the falls are closed because the road is slippery and most of the falls are frozen. At least four of the best waterfalls in Hamilton can be photographed and explored here.
Dundurn Castle is a neo-classical mansion built in honor of Sir Allan MacNab. It occupies 1700 square meters with 72 rooms built around 1830. It is equipped with the techniques available during that time such as gas light and running water. Out of the 72 rooms, only 42 rooms can be visited and where taking pictures are allowed. The guides and staff wear period costumes for authenticity.
The castle is the best place to learn about how the people use to survive in such living conditions. The original kitchen is still functional and where jams and cakes for the guests are mostly prepared. Outside, the nearby herb garden is lovingly cared for and you can spend quiet times for a short stroll. It is more exciting to visit this castle during the day, because there is some kind of fair time where everyone was dressed in old costumes and selling their homemade jams, etc. There is dancing (even if it's still early in the morning) and all the performances are original. If you need souvenirs there is a cute gift shop inside the castle.
The Bayfront Park is located on the shores of Lake Ontario with paved walkways. You can ride a bicycle, go rollerblading, running, or simply walk. You can go fishing for fun, but it is not suitable for eating. There are tables for BBQ and where most friend and families gather every weekend. You can walk along the path bordering the lake and at the end stop in Williams Coffee to have some snack or buy a hot cup of coffee, find a good location, sit back, wait for the sunset, which is one of the most beautiful things to do here in Hamilton.
Spencer Gorge Conservation Area
The Spencer Gorge Conservation Area is where you can spend time to have a lovely walk in a beautiful environment with many different kinds of trees. It is nice and cool even if there is a lot of sun.
Too many deer and other wildlife can also be seen, but you have to be there early in the morning to appreciate its all natural setting. It is more ideal to explore the area during the day and the summer time. If you come during the cold winter season, most of the structures and the gorge are closed (but the recreational area is still used as a picnic ground). The full path is around 10 km, and it has the most beautiful views from the peak of Hamilton.
The Webster Falls is worth a visit both in summer and in winter. Beautiful waterfalls, a place of peace and beauty! The ideal site in Hamilton where you can have picnics and enjoy nature. The parking has a fee, but it is worth it. You can observe the waterfalls from all points of the park that surrounds it. The park and the way to the fall is well signposted and with hiking trails designed for the entire family, even kids will enjoy.
There is a beautiful nature park and garden where families can rest after the short trail. There are available restrooms, but dining places or food kiosks are not accessible from here. It is advisable to come early and bring your own drinking water and snack. The perfect time to see it is during the autumn season when the flowers are all in bloom and the entire waterfall is running and creating mists of rainbows around it.
In order to access and park your car you need to pay $10 each. From the map, you can follow various paths that lead to the Tews Falls, and it is one of the wonderful falls to admire along the Dundas territory. The Tews & Webster Falls both run through the Dundas Valley.
Both falls flow together and run in the Spencer Creek. Thus, you can either hike on the same day or explore. The main reason why it opens after each winter season is because, rocks keep slipping into the depths and can complicate walking on the footpath along the railway tracks.
Pier 4 Park
The Pier 4 Park has a great playground to take the children. It also has access to the water park where anyone can cool off in the summer. If the weather is fine, they can also have a picnic next to the site. It is a pleasant place to eat, have a coffee, and watch the sunset. Kids can go roller skating in winter and summer and listen to music while watching the ducks play on the water.
This park also has a beautiful sculpture of two boaters. It's a great site to go jogging, biking, running, or walking. There are many cafes, restaurants lakefront, people skating, the scenery is beautiful, and it is well worth the visit.
For interesting outdoor activities to enjoy with the family when in Hamilton, it is a must to visit the Frootogo Orchards. It is a wonderful farm with a large playground for small children, there is a maze in a cornfield, pumpkin fields around the trailer (each ride must be paid separately).
On the farm, there are more than 20 kinds of apples and pumpkins. At the entrance, you can take the basket and collect the apples straight from the tree. The apple trees are small and measures about 1.5 m. If you want to bring home the output of the apple harvest, you need to pay (about 1.5 dollars per lb.). At the farm there is a bakery with fragrant cakes and a small shop.
Devil’s Punchbowl Falls
If you’re searching for a unique tour and waterfall experience here in Hamilton, where you need not go and travel far from your hotel accommodation, visit the Devil’s Punchbowl Falls. However, it is not ideal to see it during the summer season, because this waterfall has a tendency to dry up in warm weather conditions. The parking fee also serves as the admission fee to gain access to the falls. Once you parked your car, you will find a remarkable attraction where you will find yourself at the highest point of the city and with an astounding perspective of the waterfalls. It is so captivating that you will definitely yearn to see more as you go around the observation platform ) look for the landmark metal cross). The distinctive shading created by the natural flow of water along the stone or the layers of the mountain is dazzling and the presence of the falls is equally stunning.
The picturesque scenery is ideal for taking landscape photographs and the hiking trail is more exciting to accomplish after you’ve seen this natural beauty. The trail towards the bottom is easy and even if there are no hiking signs, the path is easy to access, but wear proper shoes to avoid the slippery rocks. The trail is about 45 minutes, but it is all worth it, once you feel the cool shower mists and see the rainbow colors produced by the waterfalls. The trek along the return path is a bit challenging (if you’re not as fit as a fiddle), make sure there are guides that will come with you because they are already familiar with the trail around the Devil’s Punchbowl Falls. Beside the parking lots there is a public market where you can buy local goods, souvenirs, and try the freshly baked bread in Hamilton.
If you’re a great fan of nature, war and aviation history, nature parks, waterfalls and creeks Hamilton City has everything you need for that perfect holiday adventure in Canada. It has attractions with affordable entrance fees and great nature parks where you can admire the wildlife, sunrise, and sunset views. There are parks that are neatly maintained, lined with restaurants and benches for people to relax with after a busy day of exploring its awesome sights and things to do. Hamilton is just a few hours away from the Niagara Falls, but it has its own set of nature parks where families can plan a full day visit, enjoy a picnic, and simply admire the natural beauty of the city.
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