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Your guide to Port Dover
Welcome to Port Dover
Named for the city of Dover, England, this community on Lake Erie southwest of Toronto is a lakeside beach getaway. Walk along the Port Dover pier to the town’s 1905 lighthouse, then go for a swim or try stand-up paddleboarding at the town beach. The Port Dover Harbour Museum can tell you more about the area’s heritage, particularly its shipping and fishing history, and often hosts concerts, lectures, and other events. In Turkey Point Provincial Park, 20 minutes from Port Dover, you can swim and sun at the beach, or go mountain biking along the trails. A particularly beautiful sandy beach is located in Long Point Provincial Park, which is also an excellent destination for birdwatching. Small wineries and breweries around Port Dover offer tastings of their products, and local seafood restaurants are known for Lake Erie perch and pickerel. The town’s professional theatre, the Lighthouse Festival Theatre, usually produces several plays during the summer season.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Port Dover?
The busiest season for booking one of Port Dover’s rentals is from late June through early September, when the weather is best for going to the beach and playing outdoors. If you can come midweek during the summer months, you’ll generally find fewer crowds than on the weekends. Enjoy birdwatching? Then visit in spring or fall, when migrating birds travel through Southwestern Ontario. The mild spring and fall weather can be pleasant for hiking, paddling, and other outdoor activities, too, although spring can be a more volatile season. Winter in this region is quiet, cold, and often snowy, but a good time to cozy up in one of the local cottages. Average July temperatures are 27 degrees Celsius, while the January average is -8.5 degrees Celsius.
What are the top things to do in Port Dover?
Long Point Provincial Park
Every spring and fall, more than 300 species of birds migrate through the area around Long Point Provincial Park, which juts into Lake Erie about 45 minutes southwest of Port Dover. The park is also known for its long, sandy lake beach, one of the prettiest in the Lake Erie region.
“Toast the Coast” Trail
More than a dozen small wineries and craft breweries have set up shop in Southwestern Ontario within touring distance of Port Dover. Bring a designated driver and plan a tasting excursion along this “Toast the Coast” Trail.
Six Nations of the Grand River Territory
You can visit several heritage sites to learn more about the Six Nations of the Grand River, the Indigenous peoples including the Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca, and Tuscarora First Nations, whose traditional territories encompass sections of Southwestern Ontario. Chiefswood National Historic Site in Ohsweken was the home of Mohawk author E. Pauline Johnson, the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford has historical exhibits about the Six Nations, and Her Majesty’s Royal Chapel of the Mohawks, located on First Nations land in the Brantford area, is Ontario’s oldest surviving church.