Built in 1827, Guelph was designed to resemble an old-world European city. But while known for its fittingly rich history and a sparkling arts and cultural scene, it’s also home to more unexpected pleasures. Here are five of our favorite ways to spend an afternoon in the city of Guelph.

1. Check Out a Microbrewery
Guelph is home to no less than five craft brewers, including the oldest independently owned microbrewery in Canada. Taste one of the award-winning traditional-style ales of the Wellington Brewery, who shipped its equipment all the way from England to achieve the most authentic flavor possible. Sign up for a tour of the Sleeman Brewery, which was founded on five generations of family brewing history, or check out the newest kid on the block, the small-batch Fixed Gear Brewing.

2. Taste Local Honey From the Honeycomb
Take a tour of the Honeybee Research Centre at the University of Guelph, where North America’s first building of beekeeping studies was built on campus in 1920. Today the facilities include 300 beehives, a molecular biology laboratory, and an indoor colony during the winters. Tours are held April to October and include the option of tasting honey directly from the honeycomb, as well as purchasing some to take home.

3. Indulge Your Foodie Cravings
Treat yourself to Guelph’s diverse culinary offerings through an afternoon excursion with Taste Detours. This tour for foodies in the know combines cultural, historical, and architectural insights with tastings of locally sourced food and drink. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’ll definitely want to visit Lumus and Nox: Breakfast House and Chamber of Spirits, where the best meal of the day comes with a little sorcery on the side. And for some of the best ramen on this side of the pond, head to Crafty Ramen, where no detail is spared when it comes to ingredients. The water is filtered, the meat is locally sourced, and the noodles are made in-house with a Japanese machine and Canadian wheat.

4. Pedal, Paddle, or Play
Take in Guelph’s natural beauty through its many outdoor activities. Stretch out on the sandy beaches of the Guelph Lake Conservation Area, where you can canoe or sail on the reservoir. Pack a picnic and a good book for an idyllic afternoon at Royal City Park or rent a bike from Speed River Bicycle for a spin through Riverside Park – kids will get a kick from its giant chess board, carousel, and miniature train.

5. Sign Up for An Astronomy Lesson
As the afternoon turns into evening, come see Venus, Jupiter and the rings of Saturn up close at the University of Guelph’s observatory. Tours are offered every spring, summer, and fall by the physics department to anyone interested in checking out their latest telescope acquisition, via which you’ll also get to see the moon and several common stars. Email observat@uoguelph.ca for more information.

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