Let’s be tourists in our own hometowns this summer! Staycations are synonyms of rediscovering.

For many families, the COVID-19 pandemic has turned summer plans upside down. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make incredible memories right here in our own backyard. That’s right – we can slow down and enjoy the gems that helped us fall in love with our communities.

Clarington Tourism has even launched a Rediscover Clarington campaign that encourages us to explore all our community has to offer. Here’s a sampling of its suggestions, along with some tips from the City of Oshawa:

EXPLORE SCENIC TRAILS

Our first suggestion is enjoying the sights and sounds of nature on a scenic trail. Did you know Clarington boasts more than 20 kilometres of off-road recreational trails, made of asphalt and limestone  surfaces, with most located in creek valleys and along our picturesque waterfront?

Staycations are the perfect moment to discover the beauty of streams, wetlands and forests on the trails located within the Central Lake Conservation Areas.  Also check the scenic trails in the Orono Crown Lands, the Ganaraska Forest, and the Samuel Wilmot Nature Area.

The City of Oshawa was one of the first cities in Ontario to be designated a bike-friendly community and for good reason: it offers nearly 60 kilometres of bike lanes and routes and 27 kilometres of paved trails in its extensive trail network.

The Oak Ridges Moraine is home to Treetop Eco-Adventure Park, a zip-line and outdoor adventure park. Oshawa is home to a number of picturesque natural areas, including Gold Point Marsh and Pumphouse Marsh.

RELAX AT THE WATERFRONT

Clarington is home to 30 glorious kilometres of waterfront on Lake Ontario, with public access from these eight locations: Darlington Provincial Park, Courtice Waterfront Trail, Port Darlington West Beach Park, Port Darlington East Beach Park, Port of Newcastle Park, Samuel Wilmot Nature Area, Bond Heat Park and Newcastle Glen.

In Oshawa, Lakeview Park is the scenic location of the Oshawa Museum’s century homes and is once again open for tours.

GO ON A MINI ROAD TRIP

Drive or cycle along Clarington’s charming rural routes at your own pace. Discover  A Country Path, an established route that will take you to unique businesses and attractions throughout north Clarington. Our suggestion are Tyrone Mills, Archibald Orchards & Winery, Rosemary Jenkins Pottery and 3Beez buzz.

Make your way to east Clarington and discover places like Buttercup Hollow Pantry and Orono General Store in Orono, Enniskillen General Store (one of Canada’s oldest stores) and Newtonville General Store and Café.

VISIT FARMS AND MARKETS

Visit family-owned farms and markets for fresh, locally-grown produce and fruit. Clarington is home to an abundance of farmland and rich agricultural history.

Favourite destinations include Algoma Orchards and Gourmet Market in Newmarket, Archibald’s Orchards & Estate Winery in Bowmanville, Fred’s Fruit Market in Orono and Gallery on the Farm in Enniskillen.

TAKE A STEP BACK IN HISTORY

Parkwood National Historic Site, former home of General Motors of Canada founder R. Samuel McLaughlin and his family, is one of Canada’s oldest and last remaining grand estates, has been reopening in stages. Mansion tours are set to resume on August 1, 2020.

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, a public art museum with a permanent collection of more than 4,000 works and four galleries of changing exhibitions, will reopen on July 28.

For other ideas, visit Things to See and Do – City of Oshawa

DISCOVER MAIN STREETS

Durham Tourism, meanwhile, has created a helpful guide to the Region’s 13 distinct ‘main street’ downtowns and offers an important reminder: As we explore everything from historic storefronts to culturally-diverse independent restaurants, we’re also supporting businesses working hard to recover and rebuild as a result of the pandemic. This is a good plan for staycations.

BE A FOODIE

Durham is developing a reputation for harvesting award-winning, craft beer and cider products. Follow the Rural Routes & Dirty Boots trail to visit outstanding breweries and cideries and experience their artisanal flavours. The self-guided map includes restaurants accredited by Feast ON, farmers’ markets and hikes.

Be sure to drink responsibly and have a designated driver! Clarington’s food truck scene, meanwhile, is full of delicious options sure to tantalize your taste buds, such as Italian, Mexican,Greek and the Caribbean. Food Truck Alley is located just north of Bowmanville along Taunton Road. You’ll find six or more trucks serving up a variety of flavours. Check out their Facebook page for more information.

REMEMBER: SAFETY FIRST

Before heading out, check with restaurants, businesses and attractions to ensure they’re open and learn what safety precautions are in place. Some attractions, for example, request making a reservation in advance and may not always be able to

accept walk-ins. However you choose to spend the rest of the summer, I hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy as you make memories you’ll cherish for years to come!

Enjoy your staycations!

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