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Fall Staycation in Brighton Ontario


With the leaves changing colour, fall makes the perfect time for a road trip. If you're looking for small-town charm, Brighton, Ontario just a quick jaunt of highway 401, is your relaxing getaway waiting to happen! From locally-owned shops, historical landmarks, trails, and other natural beauties, this charming harbour town sits along the scenic shores of Lake Ontario. It is only an hour and a bit from Kingston and home to the picturesque nearby Presqu'ile Provincial Park as well as the town’s annual Applefest event that draws quite the crowd of thousands of visitors. Just so you know, Brighton has some of the finest apple orchards in Canada!

Last month I had the pleasure of exploring this quaint area in the Bay of Quinte located just on the other side of the ever so popular Prince Edward County and boy was I surprised by the drive into town. Brighton has become the escape of choice for some city folks looking for a slow-paced charming experience and I was about to see why.

Keep reading to find out why!

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

 Here are a few of my favourite spots that I discovered during my visit:

AIR BNB STAY

Only a few blocks from the downtown Main Street of Brighton tucked away on a quiet street was where I found my Air BnB and a lovely host by the name of Sandra. Extremely welcoming, we immediately bonded over our love of dogs as her adorable black dog Tia greeted me when I first arrived. Warm and attentive, her home was beautiful. The room I stayed in was spacious, comfy and very cozy just a home. Sandra provided lots of great insight into the area and was helpful in recommending sights I should visit.

Bonus: The neighbourhood was quite lovely to walk around as well! Definitely a big thumbs up on this stay!

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

LOLA'S CAFE

Why You Need To Go: If you're craving that laid-back, community-focused and carefree vibe, then Lola's Cafe is it. This neighbourhood hangout spot was like an episode of Gilmore Girls at Luke's but of course, this wasn’t a diner and the owner wasn't grumpy. Everyone who walked into the cafe simply smiled and just knew one another from couples, mums and kids to the friendly staff. I found a cozy spot in the corner to sip my chai latte over ice, which was perfectly sweetened and of course, I couldn't help myself and get a croissant and peanut butter bar. All treats decadent and savoury, are baked in house and seriously, if I lived in Brighton I'd be there every morning.

Scroll down to see some delicious looking pumpkin cinnamon buns that were made for AppleFest! I was drooling just looking at them.

Bonus: If you're looking for another cool breakfast spot, try out Kailey’s Kafe.

Where: 74 Main St, Brighton, ON

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

PROCTOR HOUSE

Why You Need To Go: Built in the late 1800s, Proctor House, a grand Victorian mansion is a beautiful monument to Brighton's past generations. Part of the grounds of Proctor Park Conservation Area, right next door to the property sits the Brighton Barn Theatre, where a number of special events and theatre performances are hosted. Visitors can walk through the beautiful surrounding conservation area while also taking in the history of the area. A must visit even if you're into the fall colours!

Where: 96 Young St, Brighton, ON

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

PRESQU'IL PROVINCIAL PARK

Why You Need To Go: If you're looking to escape the big city, it might just be time to check out the quaint side of things. Presqu'il Provincial Park is a hidden gem of Brighton that has grown with popularity with tourists as a summer destination for adventurers, bird lovers and beachgoers. But let me tell you, fall is probably the best time to visit as the changing colours are simply beautiful. As you drive along the parkway or walk the trails, make sure to have your camera ready. If you can, be sure to catch a sunset with cotton candy skies and visit the second oldest operating lighthouse in Ontario.

Bonus: It's open for day use all way until the end of December!

Where: 328 Presqu'Ile Pkwy, Brighton, ON

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

How stunning is that sunset? Best enjoyed sitting on the beach with dessert from Lola's Cafe.

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

Ontario's second oldest operating lighthouse in Ontario which was just restored recently!

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

The trails on Presqu'il Provincial Park are stunning during the fall season. Pack some water, snacks, lunch and away you go!

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

HELICOPTER RIDE OVER BRIGHTON

Probably the highlight of this trip was getting an aerial view of Brighton with the Mayor, his wife and the wonderful Deputy Mayor who were all so kind. The helicopter ride offered the most intimate and stunning way to view the area. It was truly amazing to see the grandeur of Lake Ontario compared to the land and the beauty of the surrounding area.

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

MRS. B'S COUNTY CANDY

Why You Need To Go: Looking to sweeten up your day? No matter if there's an occasion worthy of celebration or not, this goodie shop is stocked with a tempting selection of chocolate made the good old fashion way aka hand-made on-site one batch. Mrs. B's knows what's up when making chocolate and she is the pro in town. The store is the literal definition of being a kid in a candy shop because there's so much to choose from!

Where: 7 Prince Edward, Brighton, ON

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

THE WHISTLING DUCK

Along the shores of Prequ'il Bay, you'll find The Whistling Duck, a dining waterfront experience that is is hands down a must-try when you're in Brighton. With stellar views and great food, I was slightly obsessed with this restaurant that I came back twice in a day.

Of course as a mac n cheese lover, I had to indulge in their lobster mac n cheese that I requested be made with gluten-free (extra brownie points!) that was extra cheesy with a side of hibiscus cranberry-apple Number E sparkling tea. It's definitely worth the drive off the 401 for a bite to eat and relax. If you have the chance to stop by, please try the Dusty Bender Burger for me made with Enright Cattle beef - gotta love the local support.

 Bonus: They have several gluten-free options from buns to pasta - winner winner chicken dinner!

Where: 75 Harbour St, Brighton, ON

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

If you're looking for a non-alcoholic beverage, look no further! Really do hope Number E  can get into the Kingston market because it's so darn good.

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

END OF THE THREAD ANTIQUE EMPORIUM

This one of a kind shop is not your traditional antique shop as there's more than meets the eye. A mix of vintage and new pieces but also unusual unique items. From cute modern farmhouse decor that immediately caught my eye to pieces with character and charm, this store is perfect for those willing to go on an adventure, or as antique shoppers say, ‘go on a hunt’ to find that hidden gem.

Also, you wouldn't believe if I said it but there's also a cafe shop tucked into this location. And if you're craving some ice cream then it's as simple as heading around back to the Tin Roof Dairy Bar where you'll find the best cones in town.

Where: 13 Main St, Brighton, ON

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

CHEER FARMS

Fall just wouldn't be the same without visiting Cheer Farms in Brighton, a family-owned and operated farm market. As soon as you step outside your car, you are immediately hit with the smell of sweet maple along with apples and fresh baking. They have a variety of sweet treats from loaves drizzled in icing, pies galore to classic donuts. If you weren't aware, apples are a big deal in the community of Brighton as they are surrounded by an abundance of apple orchards. Stop by their roadside farmers' market or during AppleFest at the height of the harvesting season to try their bountiful goodness of apples, seasonal produce and finger-lickin' sweet treats!

Where: 365 Main St, Brighton, ON

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

CRICKLEWOOD FARMS

If you're looking for the perfect day adventure with the family, Cricklewood Farms is the place. This fifth-generation farm means business as it features six acres of intricate corn mazes and orchards for apple picking with over forty varieties.

Their market also provides baked goods, local cheese, honey, jams, fresh-pressed cider in season and gift items. But heck, this is the perfect combination for a picnic on site. You could spend a few good hours just taking in all the surroundings and building new memories. You're welcome!

Where: 14953 County 2 Rd, Brighton, ON

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

BRIGHTON APPLEFEST

I saved the best for last! An annual event that draws thousands of visitors locally and nearby, Brighton AppleFest festivities take over Main Street Brighton and is a true testament to showing appreciation for the many apple orchards and rich agriculture that surrounds the area. You can delight yourself in some sweet apple treats while taking in the fall colours. AppleFest takes place over the last full weekend of September with a pancake breakfast, vintage car show, children’s activities, arts and crafts vendors, foodie vendors, a parade and of course, plenty of apple-related food items to eat and bring home.

So to wrap it up, add Brighton, Ontario to your fall bucket list because you won't regret it!

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

Fall Staycation in Brighton, Ontario - Bay of Quinte - Rosalyn Gambhir

Thank you to the folks at Bay of Quinte for organizing this amazing trip!
Rosalyn Gambhir
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[name=Rosalyn Gambhir] [img=https://i.imgur.com/9rNiMGU.jpg] [description=Rosalyn Gambhir is the gal behind the blog The Staycationer. Whether its exploring the local food scene with her foodie partner-in-crime or taking in the view from her favourite cafe, Rosalyn is always a tourist, looking for the next exciting adventure. The Staycationer allows you to rediscover hidden gems in your very own backyard.] (facebook=https://www.facebook.com/thestaycationer) (twitter=https://twitter.com/rosalyngambhir) (instagram=https://www.instagram.com/rosalyngambhir/)

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