This species-rich Carolinian Zone of southern Ontario supports a rich mosaic of natural areas, including some of the most biologically diverse areas remaining in Canada. These include Carolinian forest, open waters, one of the largest wetlands systems in the Great Lakes basin, and rare tall-grass prairie and oak savannah.
Chatham-Kent is known for several clean, sandy beaches along the shorelines of both Lake Erie
and Lake St. Clair. Rondeau Provincial Park boasts the region’s longest beach, with 14 kilometres of
smooth sand stretching along Lake Erie.
The summer beach resort com munities of Mitchell’s Bay and the village of Erieau feature long
white sandy beaches and world-class sport and game fishing, with convenient water access to one of the
last great muskie lakes in existence and the world’s most productive fresh-water lake. Add hiking trails
and conservation areas, and it’s clear why this is a popular vacation getaway. Creative chefs add their
personal flair to fresh lake fish at waterfront restaurants
such as Erieau’s Molly & OJ’s.
Chatham-Kent farmers are among the most innovative and efficient producers
in the world. Visiting farms and farm stands is a way to explore Chatham-Kent’s terroir
and way of life. Local farm families invite tourists to explore their unique
operations and learn the fascinating process that produces local
quality meats, fruits, and vegetables.
Visitors can also sample award-winning
maple syrup on the farm where the tree
sap is collected. A total of 44 farms are
featured in this year’s Buy Local! Buy Fresh!
Chatham-Kent guidebook and map.
Enjoy homemade treats at Parks
Blueberries, Ontario’s second-largest blueberry
grower and one of this area’s tastiest agri-tours.
Take a stroll through their spacious country
store, full of unique gifts and housewares,
including some of the handiest little gadgets you can imagine. And their freezers
are stocked with an array of hard-to-find local berries, so that great Ontario’s Southwest taste is available
even out of season.
Many visitors start their self-guided Lake Erie North Shore Wine Route tour at the vineyards and
winemaking operation of Smith and Wilson Estate Wines. Opened in 2005, this area’s first winery is
located in Blenheim on the scenic shore of Lake Erie, and is worth a visit for the fantastic view alone.
Enjoy outstanding "al fresco" dining with a delicious Smith & Wilson picnic with all the trimmings,
savoured on the winery grounds. Using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, they can create "a light nibble"
or a hearty lunch, paired of course with a glass of your favourite Smith & Wilson wine.
Restaurant Sound Bites
Talented chefs source local produce and ingredients, adding regional flavours to signature specialities at culturally diverse restaurants such as the Italian-inspired Rossini’s and the Portuguese-inspired Churrascaria Steak House, also known as Chatham’s Breakfast House and Grille. The area offers every possible dining experience, from sophisticated gourmet dinners with tasting menus at the Chef’s Table to family-style restaurants and mom-and-pop diners serving farmhouse-inspired meals.
Breakfast House & Grille/
Churrascaria Steak House
From the Mediterranean-inspired flavours of Portugal to the mouth-watering tastes of the authentic Churrascaria Steakhouse, the Chatham Breakfast House and Grille offers you a beautiful cultural dining experience. Chef Brian Machado brings over 16 years’ experience of haute cuisine to the table.
525 Grand Avenue East, Chatham
Tru’s Grill House
A steakhouse-themed, family-owned local landmark situated near the Thames River since 1960, Tru’s Chef Debbie Cracknell’s mandate is to deliver great food, value, and service in a relaxing atmosphere.
220 Riverview Drive, Chatham
Smith & Wilson Estate Wines
The vineyards of Smith & Wilson Estate Wines grow on a gently sloping ridge that falls to the north shore of Lake Erie. Private tours and tastings for groups of six or more are offered by reservation. A visit to the vineyard (weather permitting), a tour of the production facility, and a guided tasting of four wines paired with a sampling of local food tastes takes about 45 minutes.
8368 Water Street, Blenheim
The Chilled Cork
With an eclectic atmosphere, a modern take on culinary favourites and unparalleled service, the Chilled Cork offers an experience that inspires all. Nestled in a century-old building on the “Retro Block”, guests are taken in by the exposed brick walls, iconic pop-culture pieces and original modern art.
22 William Street South, Chatham
Chefs Ed Prelaz and Steve Bye feature dishes that are infused with the freshest ingredients. Specializing in Italian-inspired cuisine from authentic traditional recipes.
634 Grand Avenue East, Chatham
Dimitar’s Fine Dining
Enjoy innovative French-inspired cuisine in a casual dining atmosphere. Chef Michael Lavonte takes you on an interesting culinary journey with the support of local farmers, featuring house wines from Pelee Island.
510 Wallace Street, Wallaceburg
Denise and Mike Hatfield want you to feel at home in their casual bistro-style restaurant. Enjoy made-from-scratch soups, salads and deli-style sandwiches, using all-natural and locally grown seasonal ingredients.
153 Nelson Street, Wallaceburg
Chatham-Kent Farm Tours
With over 40 acres under cultivation, Park’s Blueberries is one of the largest producers of blueberries in Ontario. The season usually begins in mid-July and lasts approximately until Labour Day. Park’s has four different varieties to pick from, and two more in development. (Bushes need to mature for four to five years before they bear fruit.) Park’s has a great you-pick operation, which on most days includes a wagon ride.
14815 Longwoods Rd. N, RR 3 Bothwell
Giffin’s Maple Syrup
With their sugar bush located near Blenheim, Gerald and Jane Giffin have many years of experience tapping maple trees. In addition to maple syrup sold in decorative glass, tin and plastic containers, maple butter, soft maple sugar, maple jelly, maple-stirred sugar, maple candy floss, and their "Simply Maple" cookbook are all on hand. Open year round.
18862 Communication Rd S., RR 4, Blenheim
Delhaven Farms, with 400 acres under cultivation, is owned and operated by Marilyn and Hector Delanghe. Sixteen varieties of apples and twelve varieties of peaches are grown alongside cherries, pears, apricots, nectarines, strawberries, kiwi, soybeans, tomatoes, corn and wheat. The Delanghes have also been making apple cider for over fifteen years. By using a "controlled atmosphere" process, quality apples are available virtually all year long.
8130 Talbot Trail, Blenheim
Roesch Meats & More
With viewing windows into hog and poultry barns, this family farm offers an opportunity to learn about feed ratios and the care of animals. Check out the farm machinery and explore the cash crops grown on-site. There’s a meat store retail operation — bring your cooler — and group meals with farm-fresh ingredients and produce can be arranged. Open year-round, Monday to Friday 9 to 5 and Saturday 9 to 3. Closed Sundays and holidays.
10910 Northwood Line, RR 2, Kent Bridge
Lo Maximo Meats
Paul and Sara Spence’s creative small-scale farm business near Kent Bridge offers specialty Latin-style cuts of meat and offal (hooves, tendons, brains, tongue and heart), as well as traditional pork and chicken at regional farmers’ markets. Their latest offering is an authentic Latin BBQ culinary experience, called –"Experience Casa Latina." Dinners are offered in a circa-1883 one-room schoolhouse, which has been converted into a cozy community centre with a working kitchen.
11945 Selton Line, RR 3, Kent Bridge
Great Lakes Lavender
Since 2004 Great Lake Lavender has been Southwestern Ontario's premier lavender producer and "Ontario's Lavender Destination". With an annual lavender festival drawing thousands, private group tours, and all-natural products from the very plants on their farm. Harvested, dried and steam distilled on-farm, they offer a lavender experience you won't forget!
9560 Pioneer Line, Chatham
Pardo Villa Acres Farm Market
Wholesale, pick-your-own or already-picked apples, pears, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, black currants and veg-
etables, including tomatoes and cucumbers, are available in season. You’ll also find fresh baking and crafts.
7425 16th Line, RR 1, Blenheim
The Jennen Family Farm Market
The Jennen’s family farm continues to improve, most recently with the addition of a
three-million-gallon irrigation pond. In 2007, they added 3.2 acres of high tunnels
(unheated greenhouses). All the produce at their roadside farm stand is grown on the
farm. Avid supporters of the Chatham-Kent Buy Fresh–Buy Local initiative, the
Jennens were 2009 recipients of the Environment Award from the Chatham-Kent
Chamber of Commerce.
11775 Baseline Road, RR 7, Thamesville
Sarah’s Farm Markets
Co-owner Sarah Graham started her farm market business when she
was ten years old, with a picnic table, a couple of bushels of corn, and a
good location. Today the market has grown into a thriving enterprise with
413 Queen Street, Chatham
31 Sandys Street, Chatham
568 St. Clair Street, Chatham
Greatview Orchards & Market
Cindy and Mike Bokor specialize in strawberries and apples on their
farm. Their retail store, open May to October, also carries a wide
variety of fresh Ontario-grown produce, including local honey and
apple chips, as well as the Wellesley line of jams and juices.
7425 16th Line, Blenheim
Cheryl’s Farm Market
In season, pick up asparagus, raspberries, tomatoes, beans, peppers, muskmelon,
watermelons, garlic, sweet corn, beets, popcorn, carrots, potatoes, zucchini, squash
and cucumbers, all naturally grown, at the farm gate of this small heritage farm. They
also raise goats and have high-quality meat for sale, as well as roasting chickens.
24939 Center Side Rd., RR 7, Dresden
Getaway Culinary Packages
Enjoy one of these culinary packages that will
inspire and recharge you, from romantic
getaways to an escape with friends.
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