The bulk of our summer vacation was spent at a cottage in Port Franks, Ontario. This is the same cottage that my Dad spent summers in as a kid. It’s also the place that I spent time in during my youth, and holds a lot of fond memories for me. Almost every summer at least some time was spent at that cottage or camping at the Pinery Provincial Park nearby. We spent those hot summer days playing at the beach, riding our bikes around the community, running like hooligans through the dunes, and fishing in the ponds nearby.
Port Franks is a small summer resort community in the municipality of Lambton Shores, Ontario. It sits on Lake Huron just 60km north of Sarnia. It has a private beach owned by the community, so there’s no commercial development here, just a beach, a wonderful beach that you can even bring your dogs to. It also boasts the finest sand I’ve ever had the pleasure of making a sand castle in. Seriously, the best sand castle sand! It’s powdery, and when wet, it holds like brown sugar. As grown adults, some with kids, I think there was a day or two that we adults spent more time and effort to build our multi-level sandcastles then should be admitted.
Directly around Port Franks there are a number of things to do besides the beach.
- Hiking – there are trails in the area though forested dunes, around lakes and along rivers
- Fishing – well it is on a lake. There are also inland lakes and rivers for those avid fisherpersons
- Paddling – no matter your what you prefer for floatation there are plenty of places to use them. From paddling up the Ausable river to look at the cottages along the way or going out onto the lake to have an unobstructed view of the sunset
- Boating – not necessary to point out again, but this is one of the Great Lakes and there are plenty of marinas around, including in Port Franks for you to dock your boat
If the laid back non-commercialized life of Port Franks is not for you Grand Bend is a mere 20min drive away. Grand Bend is a resort town as well, with a population that explodes in the summer. Along the main strip are a number of bars and restaurants, interspersed with clothing and knick-knack stores. It also has some great ice cream shops that are a must on a hot summer day. The main strip ends at the beach which is public and has ample parking and washrooms/change rooms for anyone to use. It’s a great place to spend if you want a more active nightlife.
Also in the area are a number of wineries and cideries that have been popping up. Although we did not visit any of the wineries we did visit Twin Pines Cidery. It’s a little off the beaten track but well worth the visit. It’s family friendly and has some trails and gardens to walk around and you can even go in the orchards. Lots of photo ops and they have many activities in the fall during harvest. Unfortunately, I myself did not take any pictures, I was too wrapped up in tasting all they had to offer, then walking away with with whatever I thought I could bring back through the states with me. This included two bottles of cider, a bottle of ice cider (who knew that existed), and some apple blossoms.
Although we did for the most part cook our own meals, there were a couple of outings to a local pub style restaurant named Grog’s. I liked it so much we went twice, and we ordered the exact same thing each time; BBQ chicken pizza, fried dill pickles and buffalo wings. Again, no pictures of the food, I annihilated it….. I’m new to this and forget to take those photos until long after. I did get a picture of the restaurant though.
Port Franks is a great area, and we plan on making it a regular stop over the years.
This will be a series of posts so that I don’t have to cram 2+ weeks into one post. It may not be an Epic Road Trip but it certainly was eventful.
Read on for more:
Part 1 – Road Tripping – BC to Ontario and Back Again
Part 3 – South Dakota the Epic Fail
Part 4 – Rapid City Tourism
Part 5 – Rapid City Restaurants
Part 6 – South Dakota Day Trips
To see loads of photos from the trip you can find them here: