Nestled along the western shore of beautiful Lake Simcoe, Barrie is the perfect place to get away to for a weekend.

The historic downtown and waterfront play host to dozens of festivals throughout the year — including The New Music Festival, the Barrie Film Festival and one of the province’s best Ribfests. It makes a great home base if exploring the areas hiking trails is your cup of tea — or if you’re keen to visit a brewery or farm market.

It’s no wonder that their slogan is Escape The Everyday!

So, without further ado — here is our perfect weekend in Barrie!

1. Leave the car home. If you don’t have a car or you want to take a break from driving, then GO train is there for you. From Toronto to Barrie will take you a little more than an hour to get there. The trip is pretty darn comfortable and they let you bring your bike. Get off at the last stop and be prepared, the amazing Lake Simcoe is just a few meters away!

2. Bike everywhere! Once you get off the train you will see the Lake Simcoe Trail, if you follow it you will be able to explore part of the lake in a short period of time. Since cars are not allowed in that area it is easy to hear the birds, the wind, and the water. If you get hot you can stop at any of the local beaches and swim, or simply mediate on the view.

3. Rent a kayak. Bike for a couple of hours and get ready to rent a kayak or a canoe! Make sure to bring an ID and a credit card with you. It clocks in at around $20 for two people. Make sure to check the weather for updates since it is not a good idea to kayak in a windy or rainy day.

4. Visit the local farmers market. You deserve a great meal after an exciting day! The Barrie Farmers Market is a great place to find local food all year long.  Our favorite vendor is Best Pierogi, offering up Polish classic like pierogi, cabbage rolls and meatballs! Have a sweet tooth? Carter Farmsoffers up maple syrup treats that are great gift ideas for family and friends.

5. Cheers! After all that exercise,it’s time to enjoy a glass or two of local beer at Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery located right on the waterfront in downtown Barrie. They’re know for fuller-bodied ales with nuances of fruit, spice and a pleasantly hoppy finish!

Originally published by the Culinary Tourism Alliance.

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