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Burlington serves up big culture for food lovers

Written by Julie-Marie Innes

The time is always right for a staycation or getaway and beautiful Burlington is here for you. Put on your cozy sweater and comfortable shoes and join us this fall, for a warm embrace from the charming city on the shores of Lake Ontario. Whether you’re driving, strolling or cycling, the main attractions are just minutes apart. We’re looking forward to seeing you, so please stay safe and stay awhile.

After your morning coffee and croissant at one of our quaint downtown cafes, head towards the lake to Burlington’s newly transformed cultural destination, the Joseph Brant Museum. Named after the city’s first citizen, Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant, ‘Thayendanegea’, the spacious structure is anchored by a replica of Brant’s 1800 homestead. Permanent displays carefully detail Burlington’s rich history. Nostalgia buffs will appreciate the tribute to the former Brant Inn where the greats of the Jazz and Big Band era performed in the ’40s to ’60s. Right now, the museum’s family-friendly travelling exhibit demystifies tall tales of giants, dragons and unicorns in a vibrant exhibit from New York’s American Museum of Natural History.

One block and one stoplight away, is the Art Gallery of Burlington. Here, local artisans showcase their creations in a variety of mediums including the largest collection of Canadian ceramics. This fall, Hamilton artist Stylo Starr’s dynamic array of collages called 89DAMES features talented Black women of the past. Admission is free and plan a stop at the one of a kind gift shop to get some artistic inspirations for your Christmas gift-giving.

You must have worked up an appetite by now, and Spencer’s at the Waterfront offers some delicious options in a spectacular glass-walled dining room, overlooking the lake. Their specialty is sustainable seafood and fresh seasonal produce. Or, how about a mouth-watering steak paired with an award-winning Ontario wine? Their friendly servers always put your comfort and safety first and yes, reservations are a must.

The show must go on and the Burlington Performing Arts Centre has designed a fall line-up of actors, musicians and comedians to fit the bill. It has risen to the occasion presenting performers in virtual and live formats. One of its upcoming musicians is Canadian superstar, Chantal Kreviazuk who sums up these difficult days beautifully. “We all need to connect so badly right now,” she says, “and there is no better way than music.” The Arts Centre offers meaningful shows including Jazz artist Elise LeGrow, comedian Sean Cullen and a Beethoven celebration, to name a few. Music lovers can test their knowledge with the Drag Queen Music Bingo game in October. Can you name that ’60s, ’70s or ’80s tune? Now that’s a groovy challenge!

For out of town visitors or locals wanting a  getaway, the Waterfront Hotel Downtown Burlington with its newly renovated guest rooms is close to the main attractions, including downtown shops.

Stop by the Visitor Information Centre for more awesome day trip ideas and culinary adventures like Taste of Burlington that runs until Oct.25 with an affordable prix-fixe dining experience.