Have you ever wished your work trip included more than just meetings and hotel rooms? That’s where ‘bleisure’ travel steps in, blending the practicality of business with the laid-back charm of leisure. And if you’re eyeing the Bay of Quinte for your next venture, prepare for a perfect blend of work and relaxation in this laid-back region.

Kick back, roll up your sleeves, and dive into both work and pleasure at your own pace with this work-and-play itinerary. Whether you’re extending your stay or taking advantage of remote work flexibility, this region invites you to explore its local treasures while getting the job done.

Sidestep the stress of navigating wintry roads; Via Rail offers a seamless travel experience, ensuring your journey to the Bay of Quinte is not just a commute but an opportunity for productivity and relaxation. Glide effortlessly through the scenic route as Via Rail connects major cities, offering a comfortable passage. With complimentary Wi-Fi on board, your travel time becomes a productive journey—a chance to tie up loose ends, answer emails, or refine presentations while being treated to picturesque views along the way. 

On Track to Productivity & Fun: Belleville's Workcation Express

Most hotels in Belleville are located a short drive (approximately 5-8 minutes) from the vibrant shopping, dining & attractions of the downtown core; this itinerary will set you up for the best use of your time.

Arrive at the VIA Rail station in beautiful Belleville, Ontario – on the shores of the lovely Bay of Quinte. Hop in a cab to your home base for the duration of your visit, the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Belleville.

Public transportation and taxis are readily available in Belleville and will help get you where you need to go throughout your visit. Find a whole list of travel options here

The Holiday Inn Express and Suites Belleville has a number of amenities to take advantage of during your stay, including a fitness centre, pool, hot tub, and business centre, which includes two meeting rooms and print services available on-site.

After you get settled into your accommodations and have had a chance to dig into some work, bundle up and head out for dinner at Linguine’s Italian Restaurant, located a short 5-minute walk from your hotel. This family-run restaurant has been locally owned for over 20 years and is a community staple. Their menu features a delectable selection of authentic Italian eats, including two full pages of various pasta dishes. If you’re a fan of seafood, we recommend their linguine con pesce or indulge in a classic chicken parmigiana or lasagna. Don’t forget to end your meal with a tiramisu, or if you’re feeling adventurous, try out their deep-fried cheesecake!

Day Two

Start your morning with a working breakfast at The Brake Room, located downtown in Belleville. Don’t let the bicycle shop portion of this establishment confuse you into thinking you have the wrong place; this funky spot was established in 2016 and is the local spot to score fantastic coffee and breakfast goodies and a new bicycle, accessories or repairs! Bring your laptop along to get some work done and enjoy a handcrafted latte or flat white and one of their fresh baked goods or breakfast sandwiches.

After clearing up your workload, stroll along the downtown core of Belleville and indulge in some retail therapy. There are lots of great stores along Front Street for a variety of interests, but we recommend checking out these places to score some lovely goodies:

  • Obi’s Kitchen features various gourmet kitchen goodies to help enhance your kitchen game. Hot sauces, jams, syrups, local creations and even a section of gluten-free and vegan options, they are sure to have something in stock to help you elevate any meal. Be sure to check out the variety of goodies from Dooher’s Bakery, located in Campbellford, who have been cooking up fresh, homemade baked goodies since 1949 and even won “Canada’s Sweetest Bakery” in 2018 and 2019!
  • Locally owned and operated, Lafferty’s Crossings is the perfect place to score some fabulous men’s business wear that is sure to impress at your next meeting. They also have a variety of casual wear, outdoor wear and footwear to complete your wardrobe, and if you’re looking for something a little more custom, check out their tailored options to get the perfect fit!
  • Depending on the days you’re visiting the area, it would be worthwhile to pay a visit to the Belleville Farmers Market. This outdoor market runs all year long, rain or shine, and boasts a variety of local vendors ranging from preserves, honey, mushrooms, organic vegetables, and even emu meat and soaps. You’re sure to find some delicious local finds!
  • Looking to score a unique and one-of-a-kind find? Check out the Bazaar Artisan Market for some whimsical and beautiful creations! Boasting a variety of goodies from local artisans, their inventory is constantly changing and features a wide variety of handcrafted items from textiles and fine art to candles and jewellery – you can even score something for your furry, four-legged friends! This is one spot you won’t want to miss!
  • Pure Honey Boutique helps you discover the latest fashion trends. Their curated selection of women’s apparel will help you find the perfect look for your next business meeting or snag something more casual for your work-from-home hours. They even have an assortment of accessories to choose from to complete your perfect outfit! If you’re looking for new threads, this is the place for you!

After scoring some incredible finds, try out Burger Revolution for lunch, or take your goodies and work gear back to the hotel to tuck into some emails (or that presentation due next week). 

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head back downtown for dinner at The Local Social House for the vibrant atmosphere and incredible food! The restaurant lives up to its name with local ingredients used as much as possible and live entertainment; this spot has become the gathering spot for locals and visitors alike. Their menu features a unique mix of delicious dishes, including coconut curry in an acorn squash, Tonkotsu ramen, and Ontario pickerel. Be sure to give their extensive cocktail menu a look ( and taste), too, for the perfect painting with your meal!

Day Three

Wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day! Grab breakfast at the hotel, or pack up your laptop and head into the downtown core to partake in a working breakfast at L’Auberge de France. This little slice of Paris, France, in the heart of Belleville, has been serving up handmade, authentic French delicacies like freshly baked bread, croissants, and other delicate Parisian pastries for over 14 years. Enjoy a coffee and croissant while you work, or indulge in something more hearty like eggs benedict to give you the fuel you need to get through the day.

After completing some work tasks, you will feel accomplished but in need of a break! Relax and unwind at Kita Beauty Lounge for some much-deserved “me time.” They offer various services to help you customize your experience: manicures and pedicures, facials, holistic healing, and on-site RMT massage services. They are sure to have something available to help you take away the tension from leaning over your laptop. They also have a collection of pampering provisions available for purchase to keep the relaxation going once you return home.

Once thoroughly relaxed, head to The Lark Restaurant for an early dinner. This groovy little spot has a unique atmosphere and a delectable menu. Try incredible dishes like brown butter gnocchi, lobster risotto, or short rib Wellington. The menu continuously rotates to match the season and make the most of locally available ingredients. Pair your meal with one of their handcrafted cocktails to elevate your experience – and don’t overlook the dessert menu!

After dinner, head over to The Empire Theatre to take in some entertainment before calling it a night. Originally known as the McCarthy Theatre, it opened its doors in 1938 and operated continuously until 1962 – it reopened its doors as a live performance and cinematic theatre in 2003 to serve the Belleville locals and tourists alike. The theatre has you covered for whatever your preference is when it comes to your evening entertainment. Featuring a variety of independent films and “Quinte Film Alternative Movies,” you can catch a movie premiere on the big screen during your visit. Or, you can also get tickets to any number of live performances the theatre has on-stage all year round. No matter your preference, you are sure to find something that tickles your fancy!

Leaving Day

If you booked business class with Via rail (available on most trips between Québec and Ontario), you can enjoy a gourmet dish made with local ingredients on your voyage home. 

If not, stay and dine a little while longer in the Bay of Quinte. For breakfast, head to Eggsquis Belleville to score a big, hearty breakfast. Departing later in the day?  We recommend scooting over to the Quinte Mall to get in some shopping. With over 125 stores to choose from, from clothing and footwear to jewellery and beauty products, you’re sure to find something you’ve been looking for.

Have a sweet tooth? Venture over to Sugar Mama’s Bake Shoppe – just a short 8-minute walk from your hotel. They have a selection of baked goods made in-store: cookies, tarts, cupcakes, donuts and pastries – whatever you decide on may not make it home to share!

Bon voyage- visit again soon!

If you are travelling on points or receiving benefits from a particular brand of hotel when you travel for work, you’re in luck! Belleville has many big-name hotels, all a short distance from the downtown core, making redeeming or collecting points or reaping the benefits of a specific chain a breeze! Find a complete list of accommodations here.

You also might like this raily-y great trip to Kington for business meets pleasure.