Canada's province of Ontario is home to many world-famous tourist attractions, from Toronto's CN Tower to the majestic Niagara Falls. However, visitors should check out Tobermory, next time they're heading to Ontario. This cozy village is home to a population of 1,200 people but is one of the province's best-kept secrets.
Being only a couple of hours away from Toronto, Tobermory is visited by thousands of Ontarians in the summer months. Situated on the Bruce Peninsula and part of the Niagara Escarpment, Tobermory offers tourists stunning views of dramatic cliffs and crystal clear waters. Overlooking the pristine Georgian Bay, Big Tub Harbor is a must-see lakeside town.
Due to Tobermory's unique environment, the area is perfect for nature enthusiasts. Whether it's cycling or hiking, tourists will love the stunning views of Tobermory and the surrounding area. Visitors can even scuba dive in the Georgian Bay--they don't call this town the Scuba Capital of Canada for nothing!
Wanderlusters thinking of where to travel to next should check out some of the reasons why Tobermory is a must-visit travel destination.
8 Visitors Can Scuba Dive For Shipwrecks
Visitors will be surprised to know that Tobermory is home to Canada's First National Marine Park, known as Fathom Five National Marine Park. Visitors can scuba dive in the park and awe at the shipwrecks found at the bottom of the lake—there are over 20! Scuba divers will also be amazed at the remnants of this-once tropical ocean, going through submerged forests and viewing ancient coral. Travelers who can't scuba dive can get some lessons nearby. Visitors interested in diving should also check out the Tobermory Hyperbaric Facility.
7 The Iconic Lighthouses Are Photo-Worthy
Brochures of Tobermory often feature lighthouses overlooking the pristine waters of Georgian Bay. In addition, visitors can get up and close and personal with many lighthouses scattered throughout Tobermory. Travelers will be welcomed by the Big Tub Lighthouse, an 18th-century lighthouse that is about 43-feet tall. This now-automated lighthouse is accessible, allowing visitors to see the ferries arriving to and nearby islands. Additionally, tourists should also check out the Cove Island Lighthouse, an 80-foot lighthouse first lit in 1858. The lighthouse uses a 500-watt bulb that is so powerful, it can be seen by ships 80 km (or 50 miles) away!
Finally, tourists who love hidden gems will love the Flowerpot Island Lighthouse, built-in 1896 amongst lush shrubbery. This lighthouse guided ships traveling along the Georgian Bay and Lake Huron at the Fathom Five National Marine Park.
6 Cape Croker Is A Hidden Gem Worth Visiting
Known as "The Bruce Peninsula's best-kept secret," Cape Croker is known as Neyaashiinigaamiing. While on the grounds, visitors can appreciate the beauty of the Georgian Bay while learning about the Chippewas of Nawash, a First Nations community that inhabited the area for centuries. Guests can learn about maple syrup or Ziibaakdakaan ("sugar bush" in Ojibwe), a commodity that's been produced by the Chippewas of Nawash for centuries. Visitors can also camp under maple trees (Ninaatigoog) or along the beach (known as Dibew), appreciating the beautiful campgrounds of former tropical landscapes millions of years ago! Guests can also learn essential wilderness skills at Cape Croker, from fire-making to identifying local plants.
5 Flowerpot Island Is Uniquely Gorgeous
Touring Flowerpot Island is one of the best experiences at the Marine Park! Only accessible via boat, Flowerpot Island is almost 7 km away from the Tobermory Marina. It gets its name from its flower pot-shaped rocks! Many tourists devote a day touring the islands while enjoying a picnic or hike along the Beachy Cove Dock. Guests can even reserve a spot for camping at Flowerpot Island.
4 Tobermory Is Home To All-You-Can-Eat Fish And Chips!
All-you-can-eat sushi and BBQ restaurants are pretty commonplace, but at Tobermory, hungry foodies can get their hands on all-you-can-eat fish and chips! Visitors can enjoy an endless supply of traditional white fish and chips at Shipwreck Lee's. Located on Bay Street, Shipwreck Lee's is the "original pirate bistro" and is known to experience long wait lines. However, many patrons have said the bar is worth it for its food and service. Guests will also love the pirate-themed decor at the restaurant.
3 Tobermory's Only Microbrewery Is Worth Checking Out
Similar to Shipwreck Lee's, the Tobermory Brewing Company is located on Bay Street. With a tagline "NO ADDITIVES, NO PRESERVATIVES…just clean, crisp beer!" patrons will love the dining options at the Tobermory Brewing Company. This is not a typical sit-down restaurant; the restaurant offers upscale fare made from local and organic ingredients. Travelers can enjoy traditional pub grub like fish and chips, juicy burgers, or succulent steaks served with their homemade craft beer. Visitors can even take a peek to see how their beer is crafted!
2 Little Cove Adventures Will Give Travelers An Adrenaline Boost
Located on the tip of the Bruce Peninsula on Highway 6, visitors can feel like monkeys as they're rope climbing while working their way through an obstacle course. Using tires, nets, and ropes, climbers can have fun while being several feet off the ground! Low ropes are also available, 1 to 2 feet off the ground. The property is also equipped with a fully-electric cabin for guests to rent—which can sleep up to 4 guests. Amenities and facilities like BBQ pits, firewood, and bathrooms are also available on-site. Visitors should make sure Little Cove Adventures is open before visiting, as its usually open in the warmer months.
1 The Grotto Is A Must-See Attraction
The Grotto is one of Tobermory's most popular tourist attractions. It is typically busy between mid-June to mid-September and on weekends from May to October. The Grotto is a prime example of how beautiful the Niagara Escarpment is, as visitors can stand on the rocky cliffs, admiring the blue-green waters of the Georgian Bay. Prospective visitors may groan at the large crowds they encounter at the Grotto during July and August. Still, the view alone is worth the bustling tourists! Travelers may want to consider coming here early or on the weekdays to avoid large crowds. Reservations must also be made online to see the Grotto and Cyprus Lake and the Halfway Log Dump Shoreline.