Seven things to do in Guelph this May long weekend

May 6, 2024 | Guelph

If you’re looking for a weekend getaway that’s close to everything yet a step away from it all, plan to gather in Guelph! Just an hour-or-so drive (train or bus) from Toronto, Guelph promises bright spring weather, vibrant downtown and tons of food, drink and fun to satisfy visitors of all ages. 

Jump over to our trip planner and build your own Guelph itinerary. We suggest you not miss these must-do stops:

  1. Explore Downtown and Guelph Farmers’ Market

Wander through the charming streets of vibrant Downtown Guelph, where celebrated historic buildings and landmarks blend seamlessly with modern locally owned boutiques, cafes and eateries. On Saturday morning, don’t miss the Guelph Farmers’ Market, a fixture for fresh produce, artisanal goods, and local crafts for nearly 200 years. 

  1. Bond with Nature at The Arboretum

Stroll the internationally accredited Arboretum, a stunningly beautiful 400-acre natural area within the University of Guelph campus and a “living laboratory” for many students. Explore serene walking trails and learn about the garden species including 2,000 different woody plants in thematic collections. Best of all, it’s free for everyone from dawn to dusk.

  1. Enjoy a Riverside Ice Cream at The Boathouse

A refreshing treat is surely warranted after an exerting shopping or nature walk. Head to The Boathouse, located along the scenic Speed River. Savor delicious food and drinks while taking in the picturesque views of the water. Stroll or relax in the parks nearby, and say hello to the abundant geese and ducks – they’re known to stop traffic from time to time!

  1. Find Something Old and Make it Yours

Guelph is a “green” city and we love a good reuse or upcycling story! Canada’s largest outdoor Antique Market is just down the highway in Aberfoyle (open Sundays), and a great range of shops help you find previously-loved treasures from books at Janus Books or Sunrise to vintage clothes at The Attic, Wild Rose or Outpost. Bargain hunters; we’ve got you covered. 

  1. Get to Know Guelph’s Beer & Spirits Scene

Elect a DD, grab a cab or hop on Guelph transit and hit some of Ontario’s most celebrated craft breweries and distilleries that date as far back as the Sleeman family’s recipe book in the 1840s. Each stop offers a unique blend of creativity and tradition for a rich offering of brews from light to robust, and prize-winning cider, wines and distilleries. Check out the full list.

  1. Take in an Exhibition at the Art Gallery

The Art Gallery of Guelph strives to inspire through artistic experiences that nurture creative excellence, strengthen community, and contribute to positive social change. Browse the unique collections and stroll through Donald Forster Sculpture Park and its 41 permanent installations adjacent to the gallery building.

  1. Experience our Local Food Movement

Guelph has no shortage of fantastic dining experiences, from casual to fine. Celebrate classic Canadian cuisine prepared with a commitment to local ingredients at Miijidaa, load up on Italian classics at Sugo on Surrey, indulge in Mediterranean dishes at La Cucina Pizzeria  or settle back for some cozy jazz and gourmet pizza at Manhattans – to name a few of the many, many great options.

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