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Stratford: food and culture rule in southwest Ontario

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Stratford, renowned for its lively arts scene, lies along the Avon River in southwestern Ontario.

“If you love food, beauty and culture, Stratford is the place for you,” said Cathy Rehberg, marketing manager for The Stratford Tourism Alliance. “You know us for the Stratford Festival, and we invite you to explore all our hidden gems. Savor delicious morsels on the chocolate trail or take a cooking class and sample flights of craft brews.”  

While enjoying the area’s range of cultural activities, groups can get inspired by nature, among other things.

“Stretch your legs by enjoying the beauty of our parks and gardens,” Rehberg said. “And browse the array of quality boutiques for unexpected finds. Or stretch your mind at museums, independent book shops and stimulating talks. Let us surprise you with something new and exciting in Stratford.”

Everything is better with food in Stratford

Stratford, Ontario, Canada

Photo: The Stratford Tourism Alliance Stratford, Ontario, Canada

Delight in flavorful culinary options in Stratford. Grab a quick breakfast. Enjoy lunch or dinner at one of Stratford’s many fine or casual dining establishments. Stop for a drink at one of the local pubs.

“Explore the Chocolate Trail, a self-guided tour to our world-famous confectioners, bakers and food purveyors,” Rehberg said. “Choose six of 27 stops and indulge any time of the year.”

Besides the Chocolate Trail, the area has a Bacon & Ale Trail as well as other seasonal trails and culinary adventures.

Serving 17 varieties of pies and other homemade treats, Anna Mae’s Bakery & Restaurant will help please a sweet tooth. Or make a stop into Junction 56 for a taste of vodka, moonshine or other liqueur products. The craft distillery offers tours as well.

Groups seeking a more hands-on approach to food can take a class at Stratford Chefs School. Workshops are designed to help home cooks improve their skills and techniques.

Explore cultural variety in Stratford

Stratford Festival, Stratford, Ontario, Canada

Photo: The Stratford Tourism Alliance Stratford Festival, Stratford, Ontario, Canada

History, art and music all play a role in what makes Stratford known for its culture.

“Don’t miss the Stratford Perth Museum, where the first Justin Bieber exhibit, “Steps to Stardom,” is revealed along with an exclusive Harper Lee exhibit, created especially for Stratford that celebrates the life of the author and tells the story of To Kill a Mockingbird,” Rehberg said.

The Stratford Festival is packed full of theater fun. The 2018 season runs through Nov. 4 and features 12 plays. Experience theater magic by taking a tour of the costume warehouse for a close look at costumes and props or take the backstage tour to see how a show at the festival is put on. Guided tours of the landscaped grounds are an option too.

Depending on the time of year, The Stratford Concert Band, The Stratford Symphony Orchestra or the Stratford Concert Choir could be putting on a performance. In the summer, there is a multi-week music festival, the Stratford Summer Music, that takes place and features over 350 artists in both indoor and outdoor venues.

Save time to make a visit to Gallery Stratford, one of Ontario’s longest operating public galleries. The gallery offers contemporary visual arts as well as an outdoor parkland decorated with sculptures. 

For more information, contact The Stratford Tourism Alliance, call 800-561-7926 or visit visitstratford.ca.

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About Author

Steph Lulofs, Associate Editor

Steph Lulofs’ career path curved through the daily newspaper world and made a stop in marketing before walking in the front door as Associate Editor at Group Tour Media. Her passion for research and writing is a good fit for her foray into blogging and driving editorial content for the northeast in Group Tour Northeast/Midwest magazine. When not on the road or at her desktop, Steph kicks back with her dogs, at the movies or between the pages of a good book. Meaning? She reads the book and then sees the movie.

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