Pack up the car, turn up the heat, and put your toasty sweaters on, because we’ve put together an itinerary for Westport!
It’s no secret that South Eastern Ontario is home to some prime destinations in the province. We have towns and villages that are not only charming but in the winter they look as though they came straight out of a fairytale.
Westport is a village of 600 people that is notorious for being bumping in the summer! However, this destination is a year-round spot for when you need a getaway. If you have are looking for great shopping, wine, craft beers, and scenic views, use this suggested itinerary to explore Westport.
Snowshoeing At Foley Mountain
We started our trip with a visit to Foley Mountain., a granite ridge that overlooks the Upper Rideau waterway and Westport.
When we arrived in the parking lot, we were greeted by Paul Thorpe and his beautiful pet boxers. Paul is a local resident who specializes in producing handcrafted wooden charcuterie boards, platters and cutting boards. He’s also heavily involved in the Westport Market which is held on Saturdays from May to Labour Day Weekend.
With 800 acres of forest, ponds and fields, Foley Mountain has so much to offer. Snowshoeing is not only an exciting way to see the countryside but a workout at the same time! The highlight of the trail is Spy Rock Lookout which gives a panoramic view of the snow-covered village.
The Victorian Luxury Suites
Checking into our accommodations was perfectly timed on the itinerary. Between the warmer winter morning and the snowshoeing, I worked up quite a sweat! Our accommodation for the weekend was at The Victorian. Originally built in the 1800s, The Victorian is a newly restored heritage home. The extravagant suites not only blend the architectural character of the home with a modern style but provide practical suites for multiple guests.
Once we arrived, we were greeted by the new owner Stephanie Manstan and her sweet Jack Russell Stella. They both led us up to our suite, which was The Loft.
The Loft was located on the third floor and offered a fresh modern design. I was amazed by how the kitchen was not only stunning but offered amenities such as a dishwasher, stove, oven, and microwave! If you were to stay in The Loft with three other people, you could easily cook up a storm in a comforting setting.
After chatting for a bit with Stephanie, we made our way out to enjoy the rest of our itinerary. I love going on out of town trips to learn that where I will be staying is in close proximity to quaint shops and restaurants. I find having everything close by and walkable makes you appreciate your new surroundings.
Shopping In The Village
Lunch was next up on the itinerary and just down the street was The Cottage Coffee House. Newly renovated, The Cottage Coffee House believes in the saying ‘if we can make something ourselves, we do. Oh, does it ever pay off! We had quite the selection to choose from such as yummy scones and a menu that offered a variety of different sandwiches. I got the Great White North sandwich, which had a lightly-whipped cream cheese spread paired with red pepper jelly, plus the usual sandwich fixings. If you’re not a huge fan of cream cheese (like my boyfriend Alex) you will still enjoy this for the tanginess of the red pepper jelly.
With a couple of hours to kill before our next planned activity, we decided to do a little bit of shopping. A stroll along Westport’s streets will bring you to places such as Jake By The Lake, Rosie Yumski, and Past Time Home Decor.
Jake By The Lake is the first Canadian shoppe that has been open for over ten years. This inviting store doesn’t shy away from offering a full line of ‘Life is Good’ merchandise. I left the store with a cute hat – that was able to fit my big hair and a beautiful coral coffee mug.
Over at Rosie Yumski, we picked up a few kitchen accessories and a couple of jars of gourmet food. It was hard for me to resist purchasing from the large selection of jams and mustards. Alex was quick to remind me of the many jars we have open at home. Next time, I’m stocking up! Our last stop was at Past Time Decor where I bought a beautiful herb display that I later found out was made by a 13-year-old boy. Not too bad of a side hustle!
Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beer Holder
At this point in the day, we were feeling thirsty and a bit tired. To recharge, we headed over to Westport Brewing Company. Not only a nice addition to the village but also Westport’s first small-batch brewery offering four beers on tap.
After sampling a beer tasting we paired our pints with a charcuterie board from their tasty bites menu. The Upper Rideau Blonde Ale paired nicely with the assortment of meat and cheeses but the one that stood out the most was the robust and smooth Rideau Lakes Red Ale.
The cozy pub atmosphere paired with the friendliness of the staff easily makes this a perfect hang out spot. You bet that I will be back in the summer to enjoy their waterfront location!
Dinner And Entertainment At The Cove
In the evening, we headed to The Cove Country Inn for dinner and entertainment. This favourite spot for locals and travellers has been around since 1988. It was originally constructed in 1876 by the Fredenburgh family who owned the local sash and door mill. The restaurant offers something suited to everyone’s taste. On this particular evening, The Cove was featuring a Prime Rib buffet.
We ended up opting to share an assortment of appetizers that included jalapeno poppers, Korean BBQ wings, and a ginger peanut salad. Sometimes pub food gets a bad rap, but these dishes were far from processed and had a punch of flavour.
Our evening ended at The Cove with entertainment from Brea Lawrenson and Shawn McCullough sharing their own music and favourite cover songs.
Brunch And Chats At The Black Dog Inn
The next morning started with a feeling of refreshment and relaxation after a blissful sleep. King size beds are the equivalent feeling of having the bed all to yourself – which is an underrated feeling. If you’re looking to room with more people, The Loft also offers a pull-out sofa.
The Victorian doesn’t offer a full breakfast menu but offers guests an assortment of baked goods from The Cottage Coffee House, fruit, oatmeal, and of course, coffee. We were actually invited over for brunch by the owners of The Black Dog Inn, Elaine and David.
The Black Dog Inn offers Canadian History themed rooms and they’re pet-friendly! We dined on delicious smoked salmon benedict and even got to taste Elaine’s famous stuffed french toast.
We spent most of our time chatting with Elaine and David, which reminded me why I adore staying at B&Bs. Humanized hospitality. I believe that when visitors recall a memorable trip, they talk about these three things, what they saw, what they did, and the people they met – this includes community members. Westport instills a sense of community pride as well as knowledge of their history.
We spent so much time chatting with Elaine and David, that suddenly we realized that we were going to be late for our next activity!
Find Your Happy Place
How many villages do you know of that have a brewery and a winery? Our next stop was at Scheuermann Vineyard and Winery. This is our second time visiting and I swear if we lived in Westport you better believe we would be regulars.
Scheuermann is family run and operates daily in the Spring until Thanksgiving. They finish the season with their Community Harvest that welcomes volunteers. Even after that, you can still call and make an appointment for a tasting.
We met with vintner Allison Scheuermann, who owns the winery with her husband. We were treated to a flight of elegant wines which included the 2016 and 2017 Vidal and the Cabernet Franc.
Bundle up, walk around the 14.5 acres, and sip on locally-produced liquid sunshine. After a couple of hours of chatting with Allison and learning about the history of Scheuermann, sadly it was time for us to leave the postcard-perfect Westport.
On our way back to Kingston we made a stopover in Newboro to check out Kilborn’s. This is a must-stop if you’re in the Rideau area. Kilborn’s is such a unique shopping experience that has everything from clothing to art. I love a one-stop-shop, with three large buildings in total, I plan on revisiting this spot around Christmas.
Small Town Charm
Whether you’re visiting for the jaw-dropping views or going on a shopping spree at the unique stores, or sampling beverages, Westport offers everything you need for a small-town getaway. It’s such a beautiful rural spot that it’s no wonder people come here from the big cities to relax and unwind. This small town not only has a lot to offer all year round but the charm can be highly contagious. You bet I will be back in another season (probably this coming spring haha).
Special thanks to What’s on Westport for making this trip happen and putting together a great itinerary! A special mention should go out to Cynthia Pringle who went above and beyond in organizing this trip. As always, all reviews and opinions are my very own.