A vacation just wouldn't be a vacation without at least one tour!! The Lake Huron Shoreline communities offer an assortment of tours--one of which is sure to appeal to your family's interests. Tour a lighthouse, museum, a cheese factory or take yourself on an historic tour. Check out the list below and pick one!
Pine River Cheese Factory & Museum
In 1885, this cheese factory opened its doors and, in 1939, became an area farmers' co-operative. Cheese can be purchased in the on-premises retail store.
Visit Pine River Cheese Museum and take a tour of the production facility to see for yourself how cheese is made!
The newly refurbished museum just opened its doors in mid-March 2012 and in collaboration with the Bruce County Museum, showcases tools and artefacts used in cheese production over the past 100+ years.
A DVD takes visitors on a journey through the cheese making process, starting with the collection of milk from dairy farms.
A tour through Pine River Cheese allows you to take a rare glimpse into a manufacturing plant in action!
Bus tours welcome! (Recommended that you call ahead!)
Point Clark Lighthouse
Climb the 112 steps to the top of one of two imperial lighthouses along the Lake Huron Shoreline. The view of the Point Clark beach is breathtaking from the lighthouse --bring your camera! Be sure to wear sensible walking shoes, too, as the stairs are steep and narrow. Browse through the former keeper's home which is now a museum. Guided tours are offered daily from mid-June to Labour Day--please call ahead if you are booking a group! Admission fee.
**PLEASE NOTE THAT TOURS WILL NOT BE OPERATIONAL IN 2013 DUE TO ONGOING REPAIRS OF THE TOWER--LIGHTHOUSE KEEPERS QUARTERS REMAINS OPEN**
Through the summer months until Labour Day, Kincardine's lighthouse and museum are open for public tours. The white wooden lighthouse is nestled close to downtown at the harbour; its unique location means it's close to shopping, restaurants and the beach, too! Tour as a family or bring a group. The haunting tunes of the phantom piper can be heard at dusk on summer evenings (except Saturday). Remember to call ahead to book for group tours. Admission fee.
Chantry Island Lighthouse
Accessible only by tourboat, Chantry Island sits about a kilometre off the shore of Southampton. The lighthouse is a sister to the one at Point Clark, but take note of the subtle differences. Chantry Island, for instance, has 115 steps to the top. Tours to this lighthouse must be pre-booked and pre-paid; only sanctioned tour groups are allowed on the island. Group tours can be booked by calling ahead at 1-866-797-5862 or 519-797-5862. Tours run from June to mid-October (weather permitting). Admission fee.
Historic Walking Tours
Check out the historic walking tour guides on line or pick one up in the local info centres. Each shoreline community is unique and has its own style of architecture, which is linked to each individual community's history. Kincardine has a brand new publication for undertaking a Self-Guided Walking Tour (available at Kincardine Tourism Office), and in Southampton, meet down by the flag for a guided historical tour of Southampton's oldest area.
Historic Horse Drawn Carriage Ride Tours
Tour historic Southampton the old-fashioned way--in a horse-drawn carriage! Call the Southampton Visitors' Centre for more details. 1-888-757-2215
Bruce County Museum & Archives
Tour the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre on your own or bring a group. Permanent exhibits trace the county's history through a series of galleries. Take in the special exhibits and events during the summer months and throughout the year. Group tours are welcome--just phone ahead to book your date and time. Open year round, seven days a week. Call 1-866-318-8889. Admission fee.
Paisley's Treasure Chest Museum
Suitably named, the Treasure Chest Museum is truly full of treasure! Lamps, furniture, glassware, tools, crockery, machinery and more make up an intriguing collection--a browser's delight! Group tours welcome--please call ahead. Open May to September, seven days a week. From October to April, by appointment or chance. 1-888-545-8117
Hint: Planning to be a repeat visitor to the area?--buy membership at either museum and save on admission fees!
In Kincardine, follow Huron Terrace to Rotary Park where the hatchery rests on the bank of the Penetangore River. The brown trout hatchery is open for tours whenever the OPEN sign is in the window, usually 7 to 8 p.m. most evenings. Visit the Lake Huron Fishing Club website for more info.
The Chinook hatchery on Upper Avenue in Port Elgin offers arranged tours only. To set up a tour, contact the Lake Huron Fishing Club through their website.