Top 15 Best Things to Do in Hamilton, Canada

Top Tourist Spots in Hamilton Canada

Royal Botanical Gardens photo via Wikimedia cc

Bucket List: 15 Best Places to Visit in Hamilton, Canada

Hamilton is one of the oldest cities in the region, full of historic homes and landmarks and National Historic Sites. The city also has a distinctly urban, historical, and natural atmosphere, partly because of its location between the Niagara Escarpment and Lake Ontario and its easy access to nature paths and waterfalls. However, there is one reason that Hamilton gets international visitors: waterfalls.

Chasing Waterfalls

Albion Falls by Mhsheikholeslami via Wikimedia cc
Albion Falls By Mhsheikholeslami – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, cc

Hamilton has been deemed the “Waterfall City” because of the several waterfalls found within the city. Because of this, chasing waterfalls is an activity every visitor should try.

Some of the more popular waterfalls around the city are The Devil’s Punchbowl, with its unique cliff face and different colored layers of rocks, the stunning Albion Falls, and the largest in the region Webster Falls. Borer’s Falls is one of the lesser-known waterfalls, relatively smaller and more difficult to see. But for those looking to hike to a waterfall and have the cascading to yourself, give this one a try.

Royal Botanical Gardens

Royal Botanical Gardens photo via Wikimedia cc
Royal Botanical Gardens photo via Wikimedia cc

A National Historic Site and the largest botanical garden in Canada, the Royal Botanical Gardens teems with cultivated gardens and more than 27 kilometers of nature trails. The attraction varies by season, with particular plants highlighted depending on their bloom. The Royal Botanical Gardens have four distinct gardens; Hendrie Park, the largest and most diverse plants; the Rock Garden with a waterfall and other water features; the Laking Garden and its iris and peony collection; and the Arboretum with an extensive avenue of flowering trees.

Dundurn Castle

Dundurn Castle by Paul Tavares via Wikimedia cc
Dundurn Castle By Paul Tavares – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, cc

The Dundurn Castle, a former military encampment during the War of 1812, can be explored through a guided tour and learn of Sir Allan Napier MacNab and his family who lived above the stairs and the family servants who lived below. Within the castle grounds, a two-acre Historic Kitchen Garden is taken care of by costumed staff.

Bruce Trail

Bruce Trail is one of Canada’s longest and oldest natural wonders, stretching for over 1,300 kilometers which can be explored on foot by walking, hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. The legendary trail is also the site of the Wild Bruce Chase, a team of 18 women set the fastest known time on the trail. The Wild Bruce Chase completed the trail in four days, one hour and 39 minutes, starting on July 01, 2016, from the North Terminus and ending on July 05, 2016, on the South Terminus. To preserve and secure the footpath’s nature, the Bruce Trail Conservancy works with Bruce Trail Clubs through partnerships and donations.

Whitehern Historic House and Garden

Whitehern Historic House and Garden by Hhl4hamilton via Wikimedia cc
Whitehern Historic House and Garden By Nhl4hamilton (Rick Cordeiro) – Own work, Public Domain, cc

Established as a National Historic Site, the Whitehern Historic House and Garden is a historic home that survived three periods. With its interiors still intact, a costumed interpreter guides tour groups inside the house and tells the story of the three generations of the McQuesten family that lived at Whitehern.

Bronte Creek Provincial Park

Bronte Creek Provincial Park photo via Wikimedia cc
Bronte Creek Provincial Park photo via Wikimedia cc

One of the most popular state parks in Ontario, Bronte Creek Provincial Park has biking trails around the park, beginner-friendly hiking trails that can be completed in a day, and one of Canada’s largest outdoor public swimming pools. The park is also great for bird watching, fishing, and winter activities like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and tobogganing.

Little Rays Reptile Zoo and Nature Centre – Hamilton

Little Ray's Nature Centre- Hamilton photo via FB page
Little Ray’s Nature Centre- Hamilton photo via FB page

One of Canada’s largest exotic animal rescues, founded in 2000, Little Rays Reptile Zoo and Nature Centre has one of Canada’s most extensive and diverse animal education and outreach programs. Its mission is to provide educational exhibits to educate the public on animal welfare and conservation and protect the natural world through positive action. The zoo has guided tours, sloth encounters where visitors can hold and feed a sloth, and a combination of both guided tours and sloth encounters.

Gage Park

Gage Park photo via Wikimedia cc
Gage Park photo via Wikimedia cc

Gage Park is one of Hamilton’s significant and historic landscapes, with outstanding gardens and notable structures. The Gage Park Tropical Greenhouse, constructed as a gathering place, is Gage Park’s star attraction, holding a diverse collection of palm trees and subtropical plants, as well as water features like a turtle pond, fish pond, and waterfall.

Dundas Valley Conservation Area

Dundas Valley Conservation Area by Jaydenfromcanada via Wikimedia cc
Dundas Valley Conservation Area By Jaydenfromcanada – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, cc

One of Southern Ontario’s natural treasures, the Dundas Valley Conservation Area, was designated World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. The area’s rich environment is part of a large glacial valley that spreads out into Lake Ontario, consisting of a dense forest, meadows, streams, gorgeous geological formations, and a diverse wildlife population. Some of the popular activities in the conservation area include horseback riding, cycling, and picnicking.

Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum

The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum is one of Canada’s largest flying museums. To preserve, restore, and display vast collections of historic aircraft, the museum now houses more than 40 planes. Around half of its collection can still fly, one of its features unique to itself in North America. Apart from its collection of aircraft, the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum has a large aviation exhibit gallery and holds special events and guided tours, which include touring thousands of students learning the theory of flight, aircraft design, and military history.

Spencer Gorge Conservation Area

Tews Falls by UKWikiGuy via Wikimedia cc
Tews Falls By UKWikiGuy – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, cc

The Spencer Gorge Conservation Area is one of Hamilton’s natural wonders and contains two stunning waterfalls: the tiered Webster Falls and Tew Falls. The conservation area is noted for its magnificent views of the forested depths of the gorge below and the diverse hiking trails that are beginner-friendly.

Twin Valley Nature Park

Established in 1991 with its founder’s love of animals, the Twin Valley Nature Park is a 25-acre animal park home to more than 80 species, including wolves, deer, lions, and alpacas. The park has daily educational programs focusing on animal welfare, conservation, and environmental issues.

Brantwood Farms

Brantwood Farms photo via FB page
Brantwood Farms photo via FB page

Brantwood Farms was founded in 1891 by the Pate Family. Aside from its own market, Brantwood Farms is popular for its family-oriented Fall Festival Weekends with kid-friendly activities like a mini maze, wagon rides, a straw castle, pumpkin bowling, apple slingshots, and a haunted barn. Farm Tours during the fall season and Flower Workshops are also offered by the farm.

HMCS Haida National Historic Site

Destroyer HMCS Haida moored as museum ship at Hamilton, Ontario. photo by Balcer via Wikimedia cc
Destroyer HMCS Haida moored as a museum ship at Hamilton, Ontario. photo By Balcer~commonswiki – Own work, CC BY 2.5, cc

Established as a National Historic Site, the HMCS Haida was named for the Haida people and celebrates Canada’s legacy as a wartime naval service, the largest in the world during the Second World War. The HMCS HAIDA is a Tribal Class destroyer during the Second World War, the last survivor of all the Tribal Class destroyers, one of the three surviving Canadian warships from the Second World War, and the only remaining Canadian warship that served during the Korean War.

Art Gallery of Hamilton

Art Gallery of Hamilton
Art Gallery of Hamilton

The Art Gallery of Hamilton is the largest and oldest art museum in Southern Ontario, founded in 1914 and inaugurated with the “Bruce Collection” by William Blair Bruce. Since its founding, the Art Gallery has displayed and collected thousands of collections and continues to exhibit groundbreaking and thought-provoking installations.

How to get there

Like other Canadian cities, Hamilton can be visited year-round, although its spring and fall seasons are recommended to enjoy the several hiking and cycling opportunities. Getting to Hamilton by car or train is effortless, and the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport is just a short drive from downtown Hamilton.

Our Top Hotel Picks for Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Hamilton Travel and Tour Packages

Check out our list of cheap Hamilton Canada hotels and resorts via Agoda, and Booking, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

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