Ah, to be in love in the summer.
Summer romance isn’t just for the young ‘uns! South Eastern Ontario has the perfect summer date waiting to be discovered.
Can’t get away during the evening hours? We’ve got you covered with lots of sweet daytime dates, too. South Eastern Ontario is home to the best couples experiences, so grab your partner and plan to try these 22 unique summer date ideas!
1. Daytime: Stroll, sip and saddle up
When is the last time you leisurely strolled through downtown shops with no rushed agenda? Make time with each other count while exploring Downtown Belleville. Enjoy hopping into trendy and eclectic shops, finding hidden treasure and strolling along the Riverfront Trail hand in hand. If you’re feeling adventurous, saddle up and go horseback riding at Fina Vista Farm! Trails meander through the beautiful Oak Hills near Stirling, and visitors ride with a guide. Finish off the day back in Downtown Belleville, with a refreshing, cold beverage on a patio. Watch the sun go down over phenomenal water views from The Boathouse Seafood Restaurant or The Pier Patio in Belleville. Once the fireflies start appearing, you know you’ve had a day to light up your heart!
2. Daytime: Food, water and fun
You’ve heard people say the best way to win someone’s heart is through their stomach, well this sure fits the bill! Kingston Food Tours blends tastings at the best local restaurants with an insider’s perspective on Kingston’s history and culture. The tours involve a walking tour of the city’s hip and historic downtown, while focusing on unique artisans, shops, farmers and restaurants that contribute to Kingston’s vibrant local food movement. Never get hangry again!
After indulging in local food, set sail with Ahoy Rentals for an intimate on-water experience. If you want to get out on the water with your SO – this is your chance! Ahoy Rentals allows visitors to rent kayaks, SUPs, canoes, and more. For a totally unique adventure, ask about the skippered sailing charters for groups up to 5 people aboard a 24’ sailboat! No sailing experience required; Ahoy Rentals’ skipper will personally show you Kingston’s waterfront.
3. Nighttime: Beer, cocktails and live music
Take your liquid-courage-loving partner on a tour to discover Kingston’s breweries! Whether it’s the Ramboozle at Hard Way Cider Co., or Follow Your Nose IPA at Daft Brewing, tasty sips are found around every corner in the city. Have a blast touring breweries, finding your brew style and maybe even meeting a brewmaster! If shaken or stirred is more your thing, then feel grand and playful at Kingston’s cocktail bar scene. Talk and sip during a date over finely-crafted cocktails. Sometimes chic, sometimes cheeky, Kingston’s cocktail bars are perfect spots to while away a few hours while getting to know each other – and finding your new fav drink. Hit the ground running and do a little research with your SO before you go by meeting the brewers of Kingston here.
Finish off the memorable (and maybe a little fuzzy…) evening by taking in some live music in the city. Kingston is known far and wide for its penchant for live music and visitors can find entertainment on stages, outdoors, at clubs and pubs any night of the week in the city. Look here for a podcast dedicated to Kingston’s live music scene, as well as curated playlists highlighting local musicians, venues, and artists.
4. Daytime: Flowers, river and stars
Okay. This is it, love birds! Clear your calendar and set aside the whole day and evening. Start at Wynn Farms Pick Your Own Flower Experience to walk through the colourful fields of flowers to fashion a bouquet together that’s as unique as your relationship. Book ahead for the Field to Vase Experience to have a delicious charcuterie board waiting for you! Then, head over to the Waterfront River Pub & Terrace to enjoy the beautiful waterfront fare in Napanee. We’re talking craft beer, local wines, spiffy cocktails and the creative culinary of a cutting edge chef team in a limestone pub on the river. But wait! There’s more! While there, hop aboard a Norman Paul River Tour – a fully-licensed 45-foot custom built pontoon boat cruising the Napanee River.
Finish the perfect date day by packing a blanket, lawn chairs and some bevvies to stargaze together at the Lennox & Addington Dark Sky Viewing Area. Be prepared to be awe-struck with clear views of the night sky – this spot is the most southerly point in Ontario that offers a night sky experience similar to what was available more than 100 years ago.
5. Daytime: Brews, unique sports, legendary fish and chips
Want a FUN day with your special someone? Escape to Brockville! Start by unleashing your inner child with some mini golf at 1000 Islands Miniature Golf Centre and Driving Range. This iconic 18-hole course started as a local hang out in the 1950s and has been completely renovated to become a leading mini golf course in the region. Next, head over to The Capitol Axe Throwing to see who has the best throw. After earning some bragging rights, enjoy a celebratory pint and take a brewery tour at 1000 Islands Brewing Company. Next, solve puzzles and clues together in a real-life game at Skedaddle Escape Room. Round out the day at the legendary Don’s Fish and Chips. This place is the real deal – it’s been around for more than 60 years, family run, homemade food made fresh daily, hand dipped in famous secret batter made from scratch. We’re drooling!
6. Nighttime: Dinner and a show
Here’s a neat twist on dinner and a show! History and delicious food unite at The Mill Restaurant. As the last building left in use that once used the waterpower of Buell’s Creek, the Mill is an experience just walking in the door. Or, dive into scrumptious food at a local favourite, the Buell Street Bistro, complete with a stunning courtyard patio and even a new gluten free menu to complement their full modern Mediterranean and market garden dine in/take out menu. Look for live jazz here, too!
After dinner, get those toes tapping at the Brockville Arts Centre during fun and incredible live tribute shows this summer! Watch as MoTown Mania takes the stage, and look for The British Legends, The Music of Rod Stewart & Chicago, as well as a Bruce Springsteen tribute that will light up the arts centre. This beautifully restored heritage theatre is well known for its comfort, friendly staff and fine acoustics.
7. Daytime coffee, mountain, music, winery and water
Spend the day in beautiful Westport, but first – caffeine! Start with some delicious coffee from Westport’s Cottage Coffee House. Next, head up Foley Mountain to take in the sunrise with a breathtaking view of the town waking up below. While there, walk the trails at the conservation area to see nature at its best! Take a break at the Westport Brewing Company and then stroll through the harbour and feel the breeze from the lake. Be sure to take a couples photo on the unique arch bridge! Next, visit Scheuermann Vineyard and Winery specializing in wood-fired pizza and enjoy their new Vidal as you look over spectacular views of Westport, Sand Lake and the vineyard. Cap off the perfect day later that evening with a stunning dinner and live music at The Cove Inn. Live music is always on the menu here!
8. Daytime: paddle, lock up and camp
Get up close and personal to Rideau Canal UNESCO World Heritage Site history and paddle for the day along the canal! Be sure to lock through at one of the stations, like Jones Falls Lock Station, to get the full canal experience. Take note of the romantic and historically charming cottages along the way – this has been a recreational playground for famous people throughout history! There’s even a local cottage on Big Rideau Lake deemed “the Wedding Cake Cottage” built around 1880 on its own private island! Take the canal experience to the next level and summer sleep under the stars: Colonel By Island on Big Rideau Lake is owned by Parks Canada. There’s tent camping for those arriving by water, as well as a 3 km trail. Fun fact: Danny Arnstein, owner of the Yellow Taxi Cab Company in New York and Chicago, spent three decades here as a summer resident, building an unusual (now abandoned) cottage on the island. Rumour has it that famous people such as Paul Anka, and several Hollywood actors and actresses were entertained by Arnstein here!
9. Daytime: Ice cream, on water touring and heritage
Explore the adorable waterfront hamlet of Chaffey’s Lock and fall in love with your surroundings. Make it a double scoop at the 1950s style The Opinicon Ice Cream Shop where the ice cream is handmade on site. Visit the unique Lockmaster’s House Museum to step back in time and then hike the Marion Dunn Heritage Trail to view the commemorative memorial wall. Rent kayaks or canoes from Rideau Tours or rent a boat from a nearby marina in Chaffey’s Lock to reel in a good time fishing! A new tour map is available. On your way, listen to a fun podcast about a Chaffey’s fishing story or a documentary about the village.
10. Daytime: hiking views for days
Hike to the summit of Rock Dunder with your sweetheart and take in the unbelievable view over the Rideau Canal’s lakes, rock cliffs and lush woodlands! The trails lead to one of the highest points of land in the area, towering 275 feet above Morton Bay on the Rideau. This is more than just selfie worthy – we bet your phone storage will be full with all your ‘grammable Dunder snaps! There have even been proposals up here. Just sayin’. Please note that the trail is only open sunrise to sunset and that a trail pass is required.
11. Daytime: lunch and shopping
Indulge in lunch at The Stagecoach Inn Restaurant and take in the charming village of Newboro. Be sure to stop in for the destination shopping at Kilborn’s On the Rideau and then venture down the picturesque laneway to Newboro Lock Station to watch boats lock through and see one of only four blockhouses built for the defence of the Rideau Canal. Have a peek at the new tour map of Newboro!
12. Daytime: lattes, curd, beach
We like this place a latte! Portland on the Rideau is the perfect place to while away an afternoon. Grab a latte at the Recess Café on your way into town and enjoy a refreshing splash at the small but mighty Portland Beach! Walk over to the Station Café to grab a picnic and enjoy the view of the Big Rideau from the gazebo at Hanna Park. On your way home, stop at the historic Forfar Dairy for a scooped ice cream cone or some fresh curd and sit on their new streetside patio. Check out the new tour map of Portland here!
13. Daytime: markets, heritage trail, ice cream
Start the morning off early in Prescott, meeting local farmers and makers at the Prescott Farmers and Crafters Market! Happening every Saturday morning in Market Square, look here for a variety of vendors as well as live music to get you grooving and ready for the weekend! Next, stroll hand-in-hand along the Heritage River Trail by the St. Lawrence River. Revel in the peacefulness of watching the river awaken, see the boats at the marina, and enjoy the beautiful waterfront amphitheatre and Shakespeare Gardens. There are lots of benches along the path to cuddle up and enjoy watching the big ships go by on the river. Go wild and have ice cream for lunch at Katarina’s Coffee Shop or tuck in for breakfast, some baked goods or their popular homemade soups! If it’s a hot day, look next door to Kelly’s Beach and Centennial Pool for a cool dip with your partner.
14. Nighttime: dinner, music, Shakespeare riverside
Picture this: gourmet dinner, professional outdoor theatre in a breathtaking waterfront setting and live music to shake up your Saturday night. Sounds pretty great, right?! Find your way to Prescott to experience it as a couple! Enjoy a gourmet Spanish dinner at El Rebost De Les Milles, with patio seating and specialty drinks. Then head over the waterfront amphitheatre for a stunning show with the St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival. Finish the night tapping your toes or dancing to live music on the patio overlooking the waterfront at O’Heaphy’s Irish Pub. Live bands every Saturday night and open mic night each Wednesday evening keep this heritage pub hopping!
15. Daytime: rambling and wine in Kemptville
Wine and plants! That’s a sure fire way into the heart of someone you know. Treat them to a fun day out, starting with a wine tasting at local favourite, Green Gables Winery near Kemptville. Book online for your tasting – get this sweet deal: the winery offers free wine tasting with the purchase of a bottle, as well as free vineyard and winery tours again with the purchase of a bottle. Next, discover the Rideau Woodland Ramble Display Gardens and Centre. Amble through this incredible collection of rare plants and woodland paths, more than 25 years in the making. The garden centre is anchored by one of Canada’s largest glass-enclosed gazebos. You’ll be amazed!
16. Nighttime: paddle and a pint
Kemptville Creek is perfect for paddling! Use the kayak launch in Anniversary Park or launch from Curry Park, then glide by herons, ducks, otters, salamanders, and turtles as you explore the 5.5 km waterway that runs from the Rideau River, past Ferguson Forest Centre and into downtown Kemptville. Tie up at the docks at Rotary Park downtown for a post-float brew at O’Heaphy’s Irish Pub, or dinner at the fushion Cajun restaurant, Salamanders, or Hyde Smokehouse and Bar. Don’t have a boat? No problem. Visit Drifters Outdoors in Kemptville to rent a kayak or SUP!
17. Daytime: helicopters, kayaking, riding
Soar to new heights in your relationship status by charting a course for adventure in the 1000 Islands! Take a romantic flight with 1000 Islands Helicopter Tours over Boldt Castle on Heart Island and get a first-class aerial perspective on the islands and stunning St. Lawrence River. Next, saddle up and go for a horseback tour through the rural countryside with Fort Garry Stables. End the day with some epic river paddling among the grand islands with 1000 Islands Kayaking! Perfect for the couple looking for an adventure, 1000 Islands Kayaking has you covered with all the equipment and instruction you need to set off. Ask about their sunset paddles, which make for a memorable date night activity!
18. Daytime: cider. Need we say more?!
If you and your sweetie are fans of cider, look no further. BUSL Cider near Mallorytown is a great place to spend the afternoon sipping. Soak up the sun and indulge in some locally handcrafted ciders, get a flight to enjoy different offerings, or grab a pint and head out into the orchard to enjoy the peaceful rural setting. Laid back and indulgent. Sign us up!
19. Nighttime: dinner and dockside drama
Set the scene for a perfect evening out! Grab some dinner at one of Gananoque’s eclectic restaurants or pubs and walk along the waterfront to the Thousand Islands Playhouse for a stunning performance of professional Canadian theatre right on the shore of the St. Lawrence River. Cuddle in close and get lost in the story on stage, then enjoy a bevvy on the verandah at intermission, watching the sun set over the water.
20. Daytime: winery, birds, and trails
It’s easy to make memories at Stone Crop Acres Winery. A family vineyard and winery that offers wine tours and tastings, Stone Crop also hosts an incredible concert series working with Harmony Concerts. Look here this summer for top-notch Canadian talent such as Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys, Susan Aglukark, Leahy, the Devin Cuddy Band and more! The large hall and patios are waiting to welcome you for wine and cider tastings by the glass and bottle, and be sure to check out the wood fired pizza oven menu! Make a weekend out of it and visit the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary to find more than 150 bird species, as well as beautiful walking and biking trails that allow visitors to interact with the migratory birds and other wildlife.
21. Daytime: fields of gold, pairings and music
Gold as far as the eye can see… it’s real and it’s in SDG Counties! Fields of Gold celebrates the sunflower season and allows visitors a place to walk, take pictures, and relaxation surrounded by beautiful sunflowers. Imagine having photos with you and your crush in a sea of sunflowers. Swoon! Don’t forget to take home some fresh cut flowers. Double swoon! After you’ve reached for the sun, head over to Stonehouse Vineyard for an afternoon of local wine and food pairing, art and live music. This estate winery produces small batch fresh, artisanal and vibrant wines in addition to their barrel-aged gems – all from grapes grown onsite in North Glengarry.
22. Daytime: underwater and on the road
Want to explore what lies beneath the surface of the mighty St. Lawrence River? You’re not alone! Deco Stop Outdoor Centre offers a multitude of diving lessons and excursions for people with diverse experience and interests. From exploring shipwrecks to underwater locks and other pieces of the Lost Villages, a fascinating world awaits underwater that is truly awe-inspiring for visitors who come from around the world to drive in the St. Lawrence. After you dry off, hop in the car and engage even further with the past through the Glengarry Historical Driving Tour by the Glengarry Pioneer Museum. This audio-guided driving tour of historical locations throughout SDG Counties includes communities of Glengarry, Williamstown and Alexandria.
South Eastern Ontario is home to countless summer date ideas that will create memories you’ll look back on fondly for years to come! See how many summer bucket list items you can cross off with your loved one!