Like a long finger jutting out into the Great Lakes, the Bruce Peninsula is a popular outdoor vacation region in Canada’s Ontario province. Surrounded by Lake Huron in the west and the Georgian Bay in the east, the peninsula has the largest remaining area of forest and natural habitat in Southern Ontario and is also home to some of the oldest trees in eastern North America. The natural setting draws holidaymakers to the region, where there are plenty of water activities and coastal hiking to be enjoyed. The small town of Wiarton, about a 2.5-hour drive northwest of Toronto, is the gateway to the peninsula, and here are 10 of the best Airbnb vacation rentals available in the vicinity.
Wiarton’s downtown essentially revolves around the long Berford Street, where you will find plenty of amenities and eateries. It also boasts a lovely waterfront park called Bluewater Park, where there is a playground, a small sandy beach and a boat launch into Georgia Bay. This cozy apartment above a delightful ice-cream shop can accommodate up to four guests and has a separate dining room and fully-equipped kitchen. Everything is within easy walking distance, giving you a stress-free base to start your Bruce Peninsula vacation.
The Berford Street "Sweet 2"
Hiking enthusiasts will be eager to tackle the Bruce Trail which covers the entire length of the Bruce Peninsula and extends all the way to the Niagara Falls, a total of 890 kilometers (550 miles). The oldest and longest marked hiking trail in Canada, most hikers will do parts of it, and they can enjoy sights of waterfalls and wildlife along the way. The trail passes through Wiarton via the waterfront park, making the town a great pit-stop for hikers. And if they choose to stay at this guestroom in a spacious bungalow, they can enjoy soaking their tired legs in a swimming pool by the back deck in the yard. An outdoor fire pit is also available for cooking or simply to gathering around for fireside chats.
Beautiful Bungalow on the Bruce
Many small towns in North America have their own quirky festivals or celebrations, and Wiarton is one of them. On Groundhog Day, every February 2nd, the town trots out an albino Canadian groundhog, whom they dubbed Wiarton Willie, and his role is to predict whether there will be an early spring for the year. The day is a major celebration for Wiarton, with around 10,000 people enjoying ice hockey tournaments, pancake breakfasts, and sleigh rides, among other fun activities. If you love such festivities, then be early to book accommodations such as this no-frills guestroom in a cottage just a block away from downtown. While the decor is nothing to shout about, the basic amenities are all there: double bed for up to two guests, well-equipped kitchen, laundry dryer and backyard with BBQ grill.
Your base for exploring the Bruce Peninsula!
The above-mentioned cottage also rents out a bigger guestroom which can accommodate up to five guests with its two single beds and one sofa bed. This makes it an ideal lodging for small families. One popular vacation spot for families touring the Bruce Peninsula is Sauble Beach, a beach community just a 20-minute drive from Wiarton. Its beautiful sandy beach that overlooks Lake Huron is reportedly the second-longest freshwater beach in the world, at seven miles (11 kilometers) long. All sorts of beach and outdoor sports activities are available, and in summer, there are weekly Family Movie Nights and an annual sandcastle-building contest to enjoy with your family members.
Second room to explore the Bruce Peninsula!
Just a short five-minute drive north of Wiarton is the tiny Colpoy’s Bay village. It is a gateway to exploring the calm waters of Georgian Bay via canoeing or kayaking, and the bay is great for prize fishing, with salmon, lake trout, perch and pike all available to be caught. Colpoy’s Bay is also where you can find this gorgeous log home, with several bedrooms available for rental. Its master bedroom can accommodate up to three guests, and there are a well-equipped kitchen and a shared bathroom on the premises. And like any good rustic accommodation, it has a spacious backyard and outdoor deck with a fire pit and BBQ grill.
Master Bedroom #3-Cozy Log House Colpoy's Bay
For outdoor enthusiasts, the Bruce Peninsula National Park is their “playground” in this region. Located near the tip of the peninsula, about a half-hour drive north of Wiarton, the park offers many opportunities for hiking, camping and bird-watching. Head over to the tranquil Cyprus Lake’s campgrounds to set up your base, then explore the Grotto Caves, one of the iconic natural attractions of the peninsula. If you prefer the coziness of a log cottage to a campground stay, then the log home in Colpoy’s Bay also rents a second bedroom, similar to the previous entry. Just like the above-mentioned accommodation, you can have access to the log home’s kitchen, shared bathroom and outdoor backyard.
Private Bedroom #1 - Cozy Log House Colpoy's Bay
Right at the midway point of the Bruce Peninsula lies the small and peaceful town of Lion’s Head. This is a well-traveled holiday spot, with the nearby limestone rock formations making the town a scenic stop for some canoeing and rock climbing. You can also visit the active Lion’s Head Lighthouse, probably the most recognizable landmark on the peninsula. The town is about a 25-minute drive from Wiarton where you can find this snug guestroom on the only heritage house in the town. Check out the classy, vintage interior decor and comfortable sofas in the living room, a great spot to laze away the day.
The Wright House in Wiarton
Right on the tip of the Bruce Peninsula is the town of Tobermory. About an hour’s drive from Wiarton, it is the endpoint for the Bruce Trail for hiking enthusiasts. It is also a fascinating spot for scuba diving because of the numerous shipwrecks that lie in the surrounding waters, especially in nearby Fathom Five National Marine Park. The town itself has nice eateries and cafes for a relaxing road trip from Wiarton or Colpoy’s Bay. So go ahead and base yourself in accommodations like this guestroom for three at the Colpoy’s Bay log home, where you can relax and enjoy the outdoor backyard, or the satellite TV system in the stylish and cozy living room.
"Open Loft" Bedroom #2-Cozy Log House Colpoy's Bay
Just outside of Wiarton are two spots marked as Conservation Areas: the Bruce Caves and the Spirit Rock. The Bruce Caves were formed by the wave action of a post-glacial lake more than 7000 years ago, while the Spirit Rock features the remnants of a historical home in the late 18th century. Both areas are great for ambling around and soaking in the rural scenery if you are based in accommodations in Wiarton such as this two-bedroom apartment in the heart of town. It has a private driveway and patio, as well as a kitchen, TV with wifi and a bathroom.
A Cozy Nook near Bluewater Park (Wiarton)
All over the Bruce Peninsula are campgrounds near scenic locations such as lakes or beaches. This rustic cottage is set inside the Oliphant Family Campground beside the Spry Lake, a 10-minute drive west of Wiarton. Able to accommodate up to four guests, the cottage makes an ideal lodging for camping families, with the popular Sauble Beach just a short drive away. There is a playground and a swimming pool for kids to enjoy, as well as a fire pit and picnic table. There is even a small convenience store on the campground, and kayaks are available for rental to row around the lake.
Rustic Cottage At Campground
Accommodations for a memorable vacation
Travelers to Ontario would usually flock to famous destinations like Niagara Falls or the city of Toronto, but Bruce Peninsula is a fantastic destination to enjoy the great outdoors in a province that is easily accessible from Ontario’s metropolitan areas. If you wish to explore the peninsula, then Wiarton is the best possible place to find convenient and cozy Airbnb rentals for a memorable vacation.